On the last episode of “Gray’s Anatomy” before the writers’ strike, one of the story lines involved an energy healer who was in the hospital for a life-saving surgery but who kept leaving her room to heal other patients. In one case, the healing was immediate—dangerously escalating blood pressure lowered and an imminent crisis averted. In another case, the healing occurred just a few hours after she had laid her hands on an injured child. The episode ended with the healer and two friends, also healers, imagining the steps of her upcoming surgery (which a doctor was talking them through) while channeling healing energy in an effort to make the surgery unnecessary.

All of this brought a huge smile to my face. I had seen energy healers depicted on network television before, but always as slightly delusional women (never men) who just didn’t have good sense. I had never seen the subject treated with such respect. I was excited by the prospect of thousands of viewers stopping, thinking that maybe there was something to this healing energy thing after all.

But then I thought, oh no, are folks going to think healing always happens this fast, and if it doesn’t then it’s not the real thing? Are people once again going to be made to believe that healing should be quick, easy, and painless?

While miracles most certainly can, and do, happen, in my experience as a healer, the healing is more apt to occur in layers. In December, I wrote about Leroy, a rescued Belgian who was almost completely shut down with pain and depression. (The article is now on my Website if you missed it.) His recovery was one of the most speedy I have ever experienced; he was hungry for healing, and soaked it up like a giant sponge. Even so, the healing was not immediate. His transformation from pain and fear to joy took several sessions, and he is continuing to grow and change today.

While physical pain can be alleviated fairly quickly with Reiki, complete physical healing can take longer, and complete emotional healing can take longer still. I am currently working with a rescued mare who was so shut down when she arrived at her new home that she continuously stood off by herself, head down, not even socializing with her filly. This had been going on for months when I began working with her (across distance). After one session, her human companion saw the mare give a little buck in the paddock (something she had not done before); after the second session, the mare climbed the hill to be with the other horses. I was ecstatic! But the mare’s human companion, who had expected a full and immediate recovery, was not. She said that mare was still sullen and that she had actually become a bit more stubborn with humans (she is not being ridden).

I asked the woman to consider that the mare’s healing was happening in layers, like layers of an onion being peeled off one by one. Gradually, the woman recognized that the mare was actually feeling better, that the little buck and the climb up the hill were indications that she was coming back to life. When you haven’t felt for awhile, the initial thaw isn’t always pleasant, and this mare was feeling a bit grumpy! But she was feeling. And that was the gift. She is now slowly adapting, becoming more comfortable with herself and her surroundings, slowly learning to trust.

Healing often comes slowly. The hoof of a newly barefoot horse may need to expel necrotic tissue through abscessing before the foot is healed. The toxic horse may lose weight when detoxed because the toxic bloat is gone. Healing is coming, but the horse may look awful in the short term. The physical wounds caused by harsh hands can heal slowly, from the outside in. The emotional wounds caused by hard hearts can heal slowly, from the inside out.

Energy healing, including Reiki, can assist in this process, can warm the shut-down heart, can assist the healing of broken bones, torn flesh. The power of this healing is life-altering (and well-documented). Despite television’s good intentions, energy healing is not a quick fix; it heals at the source of the illness or despair; it heals the cause, not just the effect. Sometimes this healing takes more time than we would like, reveals more pain than we expected, but it is always worth the wait.

Until next month . . .

Be well,


*This column originally appeared in From the Horse’s Mouth in March 2008.

© 2008 by Pamela Sourelis