ISLAMABAD: Bushra Iqbal, a native of Rawalpindi with nearly 20-year experience of journalism, stood up among her peers on a Women’s Journalist Retreat organized by Digital Rights Foundation in Nathia Gali in August this year and asked if she could direct them into a transfer of energy. Some enthusiastic and some skeptical, the women joined hands and were guided by Iqbal in an impromptu energy healing circle, one that seemed to mystify the participants when what felt like a ball passed through their palms and the lingering negative feelings of the day seemed to melt away.
Reiki healing is an alternative avenue of medicine focused on healing by way of energy. Masters and practitioners of Reiki most commonly use their hands for a hands-on, sometimes called palm-healing, approach and flowing energy through a patients affected areas or channels in order to promote physical, mental and emotional healing. Rooted in Japanese culture, Reiki is also found across Chinese history, utilizes traditional Indian healing methods and in Arabic is called Baraka, which means light or energy.
“I was introduced to Reiki back in 2003 when a colleague of mine told me about this alternative medicine route her sister had begun practicing,” Iqbal told Arab News. “I was not interested much back then, four years later while working at GEO a number of programs we were producing had started inviting Dr. Moiz Hussain, a prominent Reiki healer. My mother was watching his appearances and told me that she would like me to learn Reiki.”
“I started searching around Islamabad in 2008 where I could learn more as Reiki is not formal education, it’s not something you will find in a course list of a college,” said Iqbal. “I found Peace Mind and Body with Dr. Faisal Rehman.”
It was here Iqbal began attending a lecture voluntarily given by Dr. Fazli, a pharmacist, on Mind Sciences. “Week after week I was able to grasp the sciences behind Reiki and mind sciences. It was then that I requested Dr. Rehman to attune me.”
One must be attuned where a Reiki master opens up your energy channels, ridding and cleansing you of your bad and existing energies, to become a vessel of Reiki, and move Reiki energy for yourself and others. While you can read about Reiki in a book and learn hand positions, until you have been attuned to channel Reiki, you cannot truly practice.
“Empathy is the first step to positive healing ventures,” said Iqbal. “Reiki has this ground rule that every single creation in the universe belongs to God, each and every creation is respectable and lovable so one cannot operate in hate. Nobody can transfer positive vibes if they hate other creations on this earth. Accept people, tolerate people and you can give Reiki to them and you can bring them to the energy circle.”
Following her attunement as a Reiki healer, Iqbal received further training, all the while advancing in her journalism career, one whose hardships and occupational hazards she was able to confront head-on with her study of Reiki, a practice she felt could be applied to patients.
“After Reiki I was able to empathize in a way I had not tapped into before,” Iqbal says of how she applied her knowledge and practice into her own life. “Understanding emotional energies allowed for me to reduce my own work stress and be able to help others.
“Reiki helps you in balancing your energies in the time of stress and chaos when everything is going wrong, it gives you a way to get relaxed,” said Iqbal. “I started sitting in a clinic in Islamabad, clinic run by retired Major Dr. Khawar who was interested in alternate healing techniques. He introduced a new way to manage patients where they could call the Reiki healers and even visit them. There I got the chance to sit with patients, people who wanted to open up and be heard.”
Iqbal has taken her healing touch to other journalists as well specifically working with journalists in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area who reported violent incidents, including bomb blasts and suicide attacks. She also worked with groups of journalists who reported on the 2014 Army Public School attack that extinguished the lives of 134 children.
“Our journalists are traumatized because of terrorism, because of the magnitude and the frequency of violence that they have seen with their own eyes,” Iqbal told Arab News.
Reiki has been a changing force for Iqbal and many others.
“You can help people make peace with their past, give them hope and a little comfort to make them understand themselves and pluck up their courage to combat personal battles,” said Iqbal. “You can enjoy the moment, restart your focus and reset your goals. I think it’s good for everyone to understand how energy works and how energy flows and changes your energy process.”