This is an image of heart made with hands in a blog post on Celebrating Love by Haripriya Suraj in her blog When Spirit Meets Science
modern medicine, reiki

Primum Non Nocere – First Do No Harm

When Suraj and I were newly married, we met a Reiki practitioner friend of mine.

After engaging in small talk for a while, my friend began to talk to Suraj about Reiki.

She spoke of how Reiki had helped her in terms of physical wellness, personal development, synchronistic happenings and spiritual growth. Everything she shared seemed pleasant and plausible. Suraj listened earnestly to her.

Suddenly, the tone changed and she began to talk about how Reiki had helped her charge electronics, stop a hailstorm, and also clear traffic jams.

I noticed the expression on Suraj’s face changed for a split second. I knew this may have been a tad too much for a scientific person like him. However, he was polite and continued to listen with interest.

The conversation took an even crazier turn when my friend finally claimed that her Reiki teacher had cured hypertension, heart disease, and even cancer through Reiki.

At this point, I knew Suraj had much to say. However, for my sake, he probably just listened and didn’t get into an argument with her.

On our way back home, I said, “I guess everything my friend shared was a bit ‘too much’ for you.”

He was quiet for a few seconds, after which he said, “You see, the problem is not about something being ‘too much.’ What concerns me is the potential harm that can come out of claims that no one can verify.”

This was all new to me back then. So, I said, “Can you elaborate?”

“If Reiki is really able to charge devices and clear storms, is there harm to anyone?” he asked.

“No, there isn’t. I understand it may be hard to believe such stuff. I think what she meant was when you have a strong enough intention, miraculous things happen. Reiki is just an instrument to make something happen,” I explained.

“That’s alright. But my point is – this claim causes no harm to anyone. And if Reiki can perform such feats, good for the world,” he went on, “But the other stuff she said about her teacher curing hypertension, heart disease, and cancer is what I am concerned about. If there is even the slightest bit of untruth there, you do know it can end up causing harm right?”

“Can you elaborate again?” I asked.

“I constantly see cancer patients who try a hundred other therapies and finally land in the hospital with advanced disease. By the time they approach us, it’s too late for us to help. If the same people had come at an early stage, they could have easily been cured,” he said.

“Yes. I understand,” I said.

“Your friend started off sounding perfectly normal. And there was a sudden jump to a totally different wavelength that didn’t match what she said initially. Unless there is solid evidence to support medical claims, I don’t think they should be made. It has the potential to mislead another. You owe it to Reiki to talk about its true essence and beauty,” he said.

I listened quietly and contemplated his words.

“If her teacher claimed she could make an aircraft fly through Reiki and that there was no need for technology or for a pilot, would you board the aircraft?” he asked.

“No way!” I said.

“Because you clearly see the practical aspects of it – you recognise the dangers of allowing an aircraft to take off without solid evidence that Reiki can make it fly. Then why wouldn’t you question tall medical claims like these?” he asked.

Based on this conversation that happened way back in 2008, Suraj wrote in our co-authored book ‘When Spirit Meets Science’-

A very important guiding principle taught to all medical students is ‘Primum Non Nocere’ which in Latin means, ‘First, do no harm.’ It is wiser to do nothing than to do something which would make a sick person worse.

From this tenet of non-maleficience emerges the need for evidence.

If a doctor/healer offers something to a patient, he should be as certain as possible that it works. The downside of not being certain is that it often creates more harm than good. Even if a particular therapy does not cause direct harm to a patient, it may cause indirect harm by preventing him from taking therapy that would have been more effective.

When in doubt, the principle of ‘Primum Non Nocere’ acts as a guiding light.

It took me some years to to truly understand the essence of this principle. Now, I am able to see and honour it completely and I also apply it in my own Reiki practice.

reiki, when spirit meets science

The First Reiki Attunement

I fondly remember the afternoon of my very first Reiki attunement in the November of 2007.

As I sat in the sacred space my Reiki teacher had created, I was in complete surrender to the Universe and open to all possibilities.

I did not see lights or feel very different during the attunement. It just felt like a quiet meditative experience.

However, as I made my way back home after the class, I developed a running nose.

This was followed by a high temperature that lasted four days.

My teacher said I had so much pain and darkness to clear from years gone by that my body had reacted strongly to the Reiki attunement and subsequent self-healing practice.

I intuitively felt she was right.

Years of pain and darkness – in the form of terror, anxiety, worry, imaginary ghosts, and manipulative humans who were a pain in the neck- pushed me to have a spiritual awakening.

When I suddenly came in contact with the higher frequency of Reiki, I believe the lower energies stored in my system were shaken up. And that’s why I experienced a healing crisis in the form of the flu.

Once the flu settled, I began to enjoy my Reiki practice.

I felt strong sensations of heat in my palms and also in my body. My palms often felt stuck to particular chakras and I remember heaving huge sighs of relief as energy flowed to them. Most of my chakras were in real need of strength and nourishment back then.

As Reiki flowed through me, I soon saw how it felt to breathe easy instead of tremble in fear.

I saw how it felt to co-create with the Universe rather than try to control every aspect of life.

I experienced the touch of a loving Higher Power rather than one that is inclined to instill fear.

I also developed the unshakable belief that I deserved nothing but the best in the area of human relationships – no more attracting fake friendships, manipulators, and tricksters – only people who are steady, simple, sincere, and authentic. And that is exactly what I ended up receiving.

Every Reiki attunement I have received has been significant in its own way and led to exponential growth. But the first one was truly a game-changer!

modern medicine, reiki, when spirit meets science

The Joy Of Offering Reiki To Loved Ones

Recently, I offered Reiki to my husband Suraj after a very tiring day he had at work.

He had to perform a complex cancer surgery involving four major organs – the esophagus, stomach, and spleen had to be removed completely, and a portion of the pancreas also had to be removed. A segment of the intestine had to be brought up and converted into a new esophagus.

Just listening to the details of the surgery made me feel overwhelmed and I thought to myself,

“You sure need a lot of stamina, and courage to do this kind of work!”

I could also imagine how tiring it may have been for the surgical team. This extensive procedure required him and his supporting team to be on their feet for almost seven hours at a stretch.

When he returned home, I saw he was super exhausted. His neck and shoulders seemed to be hurting.

He had asked me for Reiki the evening prior to this long surgery. But I was exhausted and promised to do it the next day. Considering how difficult the surgery was, offering Reiki after he was done with it turned out to be of greater benefit.

As I placed my palms over his third eye chakra, his breathing became softer, his body loosened up and he began to relax.

When I had my palms on his throat chakra, he suddenly opened his eyes and flashed a warm smile at me.

No words were required. The smile told me he was enjoying the Reiki.

He closed his eyes and drifted back into a state of deep relaxation again.

I felt grateful for the opportunity to share the gift of Reiki with an individual who is constantly giving to others in need of his services.

As I worked my way through the chakras, I noticed that his shoulders and some other chakras needed extra attention. However, overall, the energy flowed easily and he received all of it with zero resistance. When the session was done, he got up feeling energized and rejuvenated.

One of the gifts of Reiki is being able to share it with those we love and cherish the most.

I have been offering Reiki to my family and friends for years now and I must say those have been among the best sessions. I feel this is because there is an already established exchange of love with the people we are closest to. Sharing Reiki seems to make that bond of love even stronger.

What are your experiences of offering Reiki to those you love? I would love to hear from you!

reiki, when spirit meets science

Of Magical Hands & Magical Lands

Once upon a time, there existed a land of immense beauty and magic.

The land was abundant with a variety of plants and trees.

The air was pure, the water pristine and the earth rich.

The humans who lived there co-existed in harmony with plants, animals and all of nature.

They knew they were dependent on plants and animals for their survival and had a deep reverence for them. They cared well for them and received nourishment from them with utmost gratitude.

These humans also knew that they were the more intelligent among all the species they co-existed with. They knew they could put their intelligence to use in constructive or destructive ways.

They were conscious of the ‘Web Of Energy’ that runs through all of existence. They knew they were connected to everything in creation – mineral, plant, insect, bird, animal, air, water, earth, sun, star, planet and galaxy.  

They were very in tune with the life force energy flowing through their beings. They viewed their hands as ‘Healing Hands’ and used them as instruments to offer comfort to those in distress.

Their connection to the warm pulse of the life force flowing through their palms served their growth and evolution in more ways than one – it brought wellness and energy to their physical bodies and made their minds more productive. It also opened their hearts and brought joy to their souls. These humans learnt to put their intelligence to best use and the vibration of their land rose higher and higher. Anyone coming there felt an instant sense of peace, ease and calm.

It’s not that darkness didn’t exist on this beautiful land. It did. However, these humans had mastered the art of alchemy. They accepted darkness when it showed up. They knew how to transform darkness – both within and around them – into something higher.

As a result, the vibration of the land was always on the higher side. Life flourished. Boundaries dissolved. Peace prevailed. Love ruled.

Dear Reiki Healers, does this story ring a bell deep within your heart?

This is the power of the energy you feel flowing through your palms each day!

We each have the power to choose how we wish to use this energy in the current time.

If we wish to weave realities like the one that existed on that magical land far far away, we must make the most constructive use of this energy!

reiki, when spirit meets science

The Gift Of Reiki For Plants

One of the best things about being a Reiki practitioner is that you get to share the gift of Reiki not just with humans but also with plants and animals.

The practice of offering Reiki to plants has shifted my relationship with them.

The plants in my little garden are no more just a slice of nature adorning my space. They are living beings that I feel a lot of love for.

I feel so very grateful for their healing presence in my space. Looking at them and being amidst them gives me comfort and peace.

I express my gratitude for their presence by offering Reiki and love to them!

Connecting to another living being purely through love, without having to say a word, is a soul-stirring experience indeed!

reiki, when spirit meets science

Reiki: Magic Minus The Flamboyance

Oh, beautiful Reiki

Of rainbow colours bright.

What a wonder you are,

Though nowhere in sight!

This little poem is from the first chapter of our book ‘When Spirit Meets Science.’

My first encounter with Reiki happened when I was a child. I was playing with a friend at her home when I saw her mother standing beside a plant, with her palms over it, eyes closed and keenly focused.

When I asked my friend what was going on, she told me her mother was practicing something called ‘Reiki’ and sending good energy to the plants.

This scene struck a chord deep within me. It felt very natural to me that someone should be doing this.

“Wow! How nice to be able to send good energy to a plant,” I thought to myself.

I believe a Reiki seed was gently planted in my consciousness that day.

Little did I know back then that this act of sending and sharing ‘good energy’ would become my purpose in life one day.

Around a decade later, in the year 2007, Reiki came into my life.

And this time around, it came in like a whirlwind.

I developed a strong calling to experience Reiki.

I was in a difficult phase in life and each day was a struggle. My soul pushed me to expand and to connect to something much larger than the ‘human struggling me.’

And Reiki training helped me achieve this connection successfully.

Soon after the training, life began to flow – whatever wasn’t working well for me made its way out of my life and positive new circumstances took birth, almost as if by magic.

Synchronicity kicked in and re-arranged my life, one step at a time.

I just took whatever practical action I had to take at each step and thereafter surrendered to an ‘Intelligence’ much bigger than me, trusting that everything I needed would come to me.

And it did. Even beyond my wildest expectations.

And if someone asks what the logic behind this magic is, I cannot answer – for Reiki is not concrete.

It cannot be seen or measured.

Its many possible effects are best experienced.

To me, Reiki is a subtle sweet force that works silently, offers support on different levels, and pushes you to become more of who you are.

Reiki is magical, without appearing flamboyant.

And this magic, which has been the very foundation of my growth and success, inspired me to begin the book with a poem dedicated to Reiki.

Thank you Reiki for everything you do for me and for everyone whose lives you touch!

energy medicine, reiki

Energy Healing Is A Two Way Process

“Let me tune in to your energy before I can say anything.”

“Can you tell me how you are feeling?”

“Let’s just go with the flow and see what shows up for you.”

“Let’s not go against the flow for now. Difficult as it may be, let everything be as it is. Let’s revisit this problem after some time.”

“Whatever is for your highest good is what you can expect from this session.”

“Can we let go and surrender completely to the energy? Let’s allow it to do its work.”

“Breathe energy into every cell in your body.”

“Something doesn’t feel right. The energy feels off. Let’s go deeper and see what comes up.”

“Looks like you’ve absorbed some negative energy. Can you work on clearing it?”

“You’re all high vibe today!”

Most healers are familiar with this kind of ‘Energy Talk.’ After a point in time, it begins to feel natural to talk like this!

I have been offering Reiki sessions for the last 14 years and have worked with a variety of clients. The most memorable sessions amongst these have been the ones I’ve done for other experienced energy healers and also for people who may not be trained energy healers but have had a fair amount of exposure to energy-based healing therapies.

The reasons being-

  1. It is an absolute joy to converse freely with them in ‘Energy Language’ and not have them look at you like – “Have you gone nuts?!”
  2. It is also easier to give them feedback because they know and understand the subtleties of energy work and are well aware of its potential as well as limitations. They don’t expect miracles and magic from the healer, and are ready to do their part to find solutions.

Energy healing, like all other forms of healing, is a two-way process. It’s not about the healer doing something to make a client’s problems disappear. Healers can only offer support by facilitating the process of healing and showing the light.

Barring a few exceptions, recipients of healing are not meant to be passive. They are expected to open their eyes, recognise the light, be in charge and make every effort possible to move in the direction of light. Only then is true healing possible.

This is an image of a pill and a palm in an article on Modern Medicine & Reiki for Hypertension & Diabetes by Haripriya Suraj, Reiki Master
modern medicine, reiki, when spirit meets science

Modern Medicine & Reiki For Diabetes & Hypertension

“Modern medicine is not advanced enough. It can’t cure my diabetes and hypertension,” she complained.

I was lost for words when she made this statement.

An aunt of mine came to me for a Reiki session way back in 2015.

She was overweight.

She ate unhealthy and processed foods every other day.

She hardly moved her body, forget exercise.

Even after being diagnosed with hypertension and diabetes, she didn’t make any effort to adopt healthier lifestyle measures.

And she expected that modern medicine should be advanced enough to cure her!

Talk about not taking responsibility for our own lives and choices.

She looked at Suraj and went on, “You are a doctor. Tell me why I should take medicine for hypertension or diabetes? I am never going to be cured. Isn’t it so? So, what is the point in me popping all those pills every day?”

Suraj said, “Aunty, the medicine may not be able to cure the disease at the moment. But it does help prevent the potential complications of the disease – heart disease, kidney failure, gangrene to name a few. Isn’t that good enough reason for you to take it?”

“But along with the medicine, you also have to be mindful of your lifestyle. The two go hand in hand,” he went on.

She made a smug face and nodded, almost like it was Suraj’s fault modern medicine didn’t have an easy cure for her yet!

And then, she said to me, “Haripriya, please do something with your Reiki. Please cure me of these troubles.”

I said, “Aunty, I can support you with Reiki. But you will have to take your pills properly and adopt whatever lifestyle measures have been advised to you. Energy needs to flow freely within the body Aunty, and I can’t make it happen without your active involvement in the process. Reiki can help you connect to your body. So, making positive changes to your lifestyle may feel easier.”

She gave me a smug look too.

I could almost hear her thoughts, “What a good-for-nothing couple! Neither can do anything to cure me!”

After she left, I said to Suraj, ” I’m sorry if she annoyed you.”

He said, “It’s alright. We are used to people having unreasonable expectations of doctors and medicine.”

I said, “Isn’t it the same for Reiki? My hands can’t do anything when someone isn’t willing to lift their own finger to take charge of their life!”

Our answers obviously did not convince her. She never returned for Reiki.

Four years passed. In 2019, she was diagnosed with kidney failure and landed in the ICU.

Her family told us she eventually stopped taking her medicines and switched to a form of alternative medicine. Those medicines helped with certain health conditions, but they couldn’t keep hypertension and diabetes under control. As a result, the disease progressed and wreaked havoc on her kidneys. The extent of damage to her body was so high that she needed to be on even more modern medication to keep it functioning.

We were sorry she was having a hard time. What made it worse was the fact that the progression of the disease could have easily been prevented, had she been willing to view it through a different lens.

Some incidents in life are hard to digest. But I guess everyone has the right to create their destiny – even when that means bringing misery to oneself.

In such situations, all we can do is pray for people and wish them well.

This is an image of medicines and a heart in an article on "Can Modern Medicine Be Holistic?" by Haripriya Suraj, Reiki Master
energy medicine, modern medicine, reiki, when spirit meets science

Can Modern Medicine Be Holistic?

Can Modern Medicine be holistic?

I often contemplated this question after I became a Reiki practitioner.

From infancy to adulthood, I was cared for by a kind and gentle family physician Dr. Vasudev. His prescriptions were also as gentle as him! For symptomatic relief, he often prescribed paracetamol – a very mild and safe drug. And thanks to the body’s innate healing mechanism, the most common infections I got as a child healed on their own.

Dr.Vasudev prescribed antibiotics only when indicated. Over the two decades that I consulted him, he must have prescribed antibiotics a maximum of three times!

In my early twenties, Reiki came into my life.

I came down with the flu right after my Reiki training class.

My temperature was very high. However, in the Reiki class, we were told to avoid modern medicines since Reiki was considered holistic healing.

After struggling with fever and extreme fatigue for a couple of days, I told my teacher I couldn’t take it anymore and took paracetamol to support myself.

Once I got better, I began contemplating the meaning of ‘holistic.’

Sure, I practice Reiki now. But does that mean I must not take modern medicines when required?

This question gave birth to an internal struggle and I was determined to find an answer. Every time I remembered Dr. Vasudev, I felt there was absolutely nothing wrong even if I chose to take modern medicines. I wasn’t popping them for pleasure! I took them only when I genuinely needed them.

The Universe must have heard my cry. Less than a month later, I crossed paths with Suraj.

When I looked into his eyes for the first time, I recognised a hidden light. He felt very familiar and my heart skipped a beat. I didn’t know yet that he was a doctor.

I told the Universe, “Looks like I found my soulmate! Universe, please tell me my intuition is correct.”

And the Universe whispered, “Wait and watch.”

When Suraj revealed he is a surgeon, my eyes almost popped out of my head!

“This sure is no coincidence,” I thought.

In spite of our contrasting backgrounds, we clicked.

Our subsequent union in marriage answered my question – “Can Modern Medicine be holistic?”

I soon saw that much like Dr. Vasudev, Suraj’s prescriptions were also very gentle. The drug he recommended most often was paracetamol too.

He prescribed an antibiotic for me just once. This was for a suspected bacterial infection, where the use of antibiotics was indicated. In the fourteen years that we have been together, I have needed antibiotics just once and he not even once!

He has told me repeatedly, “Most minor infections resolve on their own, irrespective of whether you choose to take medicine or not. In such cases, medicine is primarily for symptomatic relief. “

On the same note, he insisted, ” But if it’s a major infection or other health condition that requires your body to take external medical support, don’t you dare tell me you will not take it! I don’t care if you are a Reiki practitioner. Go ahead and do all the Reiki you want. But if your body genuinely needs support, I am not going to allow you to take any risks and you will take whatever treatment is required.”

And I was like, “Wow! You actually are another Dr. Vasudev!”

In our co-authored book “When Spirit Meets Science,” Suraj writes “Allowing the body to heal naturally when it can is a sign of strength while turning to external support when it cannot is a sign of wisdom.”

When I had episodes of acid reflux after our second baby arrived and my lifestyle took a hit, he didn’t tell me to blindly pop antacids!

He said antacids were only a temporary solution (I confess I took them when symptoms were severe).

He pointed out exactly where I was going wrong in my eating habits and asked me to become more mindful.

This advice made me reflect on my eating. I realised I was stuffing myself with food for emotional reasons! I worked on addressing my emotions and became more mindful in my eating. This made a positive difference to the health of my gut. This approach requires more effort than just popping an antacid and feeling fine right away. But in my particular case of acid reflux, this was the holistic way towards long-term healing.

Seeing my husband practice medicine ( not just with me but also with his own patients) gave me the conviction that modern medicine can also be ‘holistic.’

On the rare occasions that Suraj prescribes a medical treatment, I know in my bones that if he is recommending it, then I (or anyone in our family) ought not to think twice about it.

And when he says, “Just give it time. The body will heal itself,” I know that’s perfect advice too, and take it easy.

Reiki is present for me either way – calming, balancing, and softly supporting the remarkable human body in its process of healing!

This is an image of Haripriya Suraj & Suraj Manjunath in a blog post by Haripriya on sensitivity to energy and its pros and cons.
reiki

Pros & Cons Of Being Energy Sensitive

I was on a road trip for three days. While the trip was a refreshing break from routine, it made me reflect on the pros and cons of being energy sensitive and also got me to appreciate the value of home sweet home!

Upon returning home –

The air flowing freely through our well-ventilated space felt uplifting. It felt great to breathe in fresh oxygen after spending plenty of our time in air-conditioned ambiences.

The water tasted fresher.

The food felt lighter and healthier.

The bed felt softer.

And when I lay down to recharge myself with Reiki, the energy felt sweeter too!

Not because Reiki changed in some way at home but because I was so fatigued.

The weather was harsh throughout and the places we went to ( except for one quiet temple) were more crowded than we expected. As a result, my energy was thrown completely out of balance.

As I placed my palms on my body, they grew hot, like they used to in my early days as a Reiki practitioner. I felt so comforted by this gentle heat. It felt like I was literally plugged into a source of love and relaxation. I allowed all the energy I needed to flow into my body, mind, and soul.

After a comforting Reiki session and a good night’s sleep in my own bed, I felt much better.

Is it a good thing to be sensitive to external stimuli?

Not always. Because it tires you out easily and can also make life more difficult for others around you.

But sensitivity also has its pros. Because when you enjoy an experience, you go into the depths of it and take it in with every fibre of your being. For instance-

I enjoyed meditating in a temple we visited. The sounds of the bells and drums playing there helped me drift into a trance-like state and to connect to the Divine in bliss.

The greenery and solitude around the temple left me feeling rejuvenated.

My mind was at peace watching cows graze and flocks of sheep passing by.

The colours and smells of some really unique flowers touched my soul.

The sight of a huge pristine lake helped me connect to my own expansive nature.

Travel challenges me in some ways and uplifts me in other ways. And I have made peace with the fact that this is just how it’s going to be for me and it’s OK.

I am grateful to my husband and to my ten-year-old son for being accepting of me – for giving me the space to be cranky when stimulated and ecstatic when inspired, and for time to bounce back to balance after every trip out of town!