Sacred Childbirth with Reiki
Empowering Birth Filled with Pleasure and Serenity
by Cori Nielsen
The Monthly Aspectarian October 2010
Breathe deeply into your belly following the contraction to its peak. Exhale. Each contraction takes you deeper and deeper into relaxation. All the muscles relax except those working to push the baby out.
I became the participant and the observer. Crystal clarity. Still Presence surrounding, permeating, sustaining. Oneness, with myself, with Source, with the process. Undulating waves. Dancing the baby into the world. Painless. Empowering!
That was my experience during the birth of our last child, sixteen years ago. Fourteen years ago I became a Reiki Master and eventually my painless childbirth experience evolved into the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ method of natural childbirth.
What is Reiki?
Reiki (pronounced RAY-key), a Japanese word meaning spiritually guided life force energy, is a gentle method of hands-on bodywork of incomparable ease and power. It is a technique that addresses both chronic and acute conditions, gently and powerfully promoting balance among all the body's systems and the regenerative processes of body, mind and spirit. Reiki is profoundly relaxing, supporting one's good health, well-being and happiness. From that place of deep relaxation, tension floats away and your body is able to balance itself on all levels.
The gift of Reiki is that it is spiritually-guided life force energy. As such, it automatically goes to the root of any problem at the level it occurs: physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Gentle and efficient, it allows old pain to release. Those spaces where the pain was held are then filled with the much higher Reiki vibration. The potential is resolution of significant blocks those feelings may have created in your life, healing, and a much deeper sense of peace and well-being.
Energy Follows Thought
We manifest our reality by what we think and feel. Often those feelings are long forgotten or subconscious, yet they heavily influence our experience. This is true about birth. Recorded in the cells of our bodies are the feelings of our own birth: anger, fear, anxiety, frustration, loneliness, and disempowerment to name a few. Births of previous children, loved ones' births, others' horror stories, and our own birth weave the tapestry of our experience. All affect the outcome of our births. We have to start asking ourselves, "What are the initial emotions our babies feel as they experience their births?"
These are the facts about birth in the United States:
• Over 90% of all infants in the U.S. are born with drugs (e.g. narcotics from epidurals, Pitocin, acetaminophen, etc.) in their systems. (www.givingbirthnaturally.com/birthing.html).
• The cesarean delivery rate rose for the 12th straight year, to 32.3% of all births. (www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr58/nvs r58_16.pdf).
• The World Health Organization (WHO) states that no region in the world is justified in having a cesarean rate greater than 10 to 15 percent. (www.childbirth.org/section/CSFact.html).
• A search of birth costs shows on average that c-section costs $5000-$7000 more than a vaginal birth, some sources quote that it's double the cost.
• About fifty percent of women use epidurals during childbirth, according to Dr. Jun Zhang, Ph.D., M.D., of National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Division of Epidemiology.
Side effects of an epidural for the mother are possible and it is advisable to fully research that choice before making it. Possible side effects for the baby may include direct drug toxicity, fetal distress, abnormal FHR which can lead to emergency cesarean, drowsiness at birth, poor sucking reflex, maternal fever (impeded thermoregulation from numb skin) which leads to fetal hyperthermia and neonatal NICU workup (spinal tap, etc.), neonatal jaundice, decreased maternal-infant bonding resulting in behavioral problems, or hyperactivity up to seven years of age (suspected). www.childbirth.org/articles/sideeppi.html
Why are epidurals in such high demand? Fear of the pain. Unlike our ancestors who birthed at home, we are removed from the naturalness of birth which is now often treated as a medical emergency. Dr. Grantly Dick-Read in his book Childbirth Without Fear, explained that fear restricts blood circulation in the uterus which causes pain. His research proved that women who were not predisposed to fear had no birth pain. Patty Bowen is a childbirth educator, labor and delivery nurse of 23 years at Yukon Medical Center in Connecticut, and Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ practitioner. She states that fear about birth is rampant among women.
What is Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™
Reiki's ability to release old patterns and to deeply relax the receiver makes it a valuable tool for sacred childbirth. Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ gets to the root of the fear.
The key to the success of a sacred childbirth is that while deeply relaxed as they receive Reiki, mothers and fathers are guided to re-experience their children's birth experiences and then their own births, if they so desire, to remove all negativity from their body's cellular memory. Doing so creates a clean slate on which the dream they hold for their child's birth can be envisioned and practiced while holding the awareness that they are co-creating with their baby the absolutely perfect birth experience for what the baby needs to do its life work. With the addition of the Reiki symbols, a focused, empowered pathway is blazed within the energy fields of the bodies. When in labor, the birthing energy flows along the created pathways bringing into the physical a sacred, empowering birth experience for both the parents and the baby.
This method has been used for over 10 years. These parents share their experiences:
Heidi about Baleigh's Birth
During my Reiki sessions, the clearing process I went through to let go of all the negative pregnancy and birth memories about my first birth which was a significant emotional event. Memories that I had not been aware of surfaced. When I birthed again just thirteen months after my first birth, Reiki helped me re-center my thoughts after we transitioned to the hospital. I was able to get back to a place of peace and control. My body did all the work in a fraction of the time. I spent less than ten minutes actually pushing. It was more like my body was making her come out instead of me pushing. It's an indescribable feeling. I delivered with no medication. This program gave me the birth I'd always wanted to have. I am thankful that this method helped Baleigh have such a peaceful entry into this world.
Erin about James's Birth
Reiki transformed my birthing experience. I have witnessed the two most extreme opposites of labor and delivery. My first birth was very traumatic- scary, painful, out of control...my second birth was smooth, calm, peaceful, and painless. It is unbelievable the difference between the births. I am so blessed to have been guided to this process.
Bridget about Joseph's Birth
When I was eight months pregnant with my second child, I visited Cori for Reiki sessions. Cori talked me through the memories of the birth of my first son and helped me locate and release the pain and fears I had been carrying around. She taught me relaxation techniques and a way to release fearful thoughts and feelings as they came up during the birth of my second son. Thanks to Cori's Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ sessions, I had a much more peaceful and trusting birth experience with my second son Joseph.
Are there long-term effects from Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ births? Do these babies' births create an empowered foundation for how they live their lives?
Makayla, first daughter born to Angela and Joe, was induced with Pitocin due to a car accident that had caused Angela's bag of waters to leak undetected. Joe, a Reiki I, gave Angela Reiki during labor and guided her through the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ visualization and breathing. Makayla was a happy baby and developed early. Makayla is now 8. This is what Angela has to say: "Makayla is just so in touch with the world around her ... she still loves Reiki. She uses it, occasionally, herself. She's the one most ‘in tune' with the Reiki."
Innana was born at home to Kerensa and Jodie and big brother Imani. Kerensa describes Innana as affectionate, observant, and self-confident. Reiki helped her to adjust seamlessly when Kerensa spent two days in ICU due to post-birth complications. Kerensa says about her birth experience: "The energy of the Reiki strengthened our connection. Innana is now six. She's an extremely sensitive, energetic person. Reiki has helped her have a strong sensitivity to energy and to her connection with it."
How do I learn more? Where can I find a practitioner? How can I train to do it?
Please visit our website at www.sacredchildbirthwithreiki.org. We have practitioners in five states. All contact information is on the website. Please email or call with your questions. Trainings to be a Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ Practitioner are open to experienced Reiki II Practitioners and above. Check out our upcoming Chicago area training Oct. 8-10. The trainings are a life-changing experience. Here is what people have to say about that experience:
During the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki training process, I was able to identify and release deep seeded traumas that centered around birth and fertility. This process allowed me the opening to completely uncover the hidden obstacles that I have held in my body for over 20 years. I would recommend this training for anyone who wants to take their practice to a new level and particularly those practitioners working with women who are trying to conceive or have a trauma-free birthing experience.
— Ann M., Chicago, IL
The practitioner training for Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ was one of the most profound experiences of my life. Even though my children are parents themselves, the re-experiencing of my pregnancies and births brought up issues I was not even fully aware existed for me. Under Cori's skillful direction, I was able to relive these landmarks of my life without the pain and in full recognition of the issues that had developed around the traumas of the initial events. Cori guided me through the emotion of releasing these traumas and resolution of significant blocks these feelings had created in my life. I am profoundly affected by the experience of this training and look forward to being able to assist others, both women and men, in clearing the fears and pain related to their own births and/or pregnancies they have experienced.
— Pam F., Pittsburgh, PA
I received many sacred gifts while participating
in your workshop. I am so grateful to have taken this training. The work we did enabled me to resolve any personal birth issues so that I can now be more empowered to do this work with other women, maximizing their potential for a positive birth experience!
— WB, Buffalo, NY
There are many methods of natural childbirth available that honor both the baby and the mother. Research your possibilities. Find a method that dances in your heart and embrace birth for what it was meant to be—a sacred rite of passage for both of you!
Cori Nielsen is the creator of the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ method of natural childbirth. She has been a Reiki Master/Teacher since 1997, a Dar'Shem Master since 2005 and is a certified teacher with 35 years of experience. Cori is an ordained Spiritual Peace Minister, a medicine woman and a drummer. She facilitates classes in Reiki, Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ and Dar'Shem. She invites you to send your Reiki childbirth stories for a book on Childbirth with Reiki. To share your stories and for more information, contact Cori at firstname.lastname@example.org
* Parts of this article first appeared in Reiki News Magazine Summer 2010.