The Elder, the Stool, and Me: A Reiki Story

The Elder, the Stool, and Me: A Reiki Story



My behind had not yet touched the bench when the gray-haired head of an elderly man hit the wooden side of our booth with a sickening thud. Somehow, the man had been catapulted the 10 feet from his stool at the diner’s counter and now lay nearly at our feet.

I threw off my coat—it was a frigid January afternoon—and knelt beside him. He was terribly upset—hyperventilating, holding his chest and saying over and over, “my heart, my heart.”

I asked him if I could touch him, and he said yes, and so I gently placed my hands on his chest. He was thin, very frail. His face was ashen, his blue eyes wide with fear. His heart pounded wildly.

Where was everyone? Not a waiter or busman or manager stepped forward to see if the man needed help. What was going on here? Ah, there was a woman way behind the counter, standing motionless near the wall, as though willing herself invisible. My hands still on the man’s chest, I yelled for her to call 911.

The other diners continued with their lunches, their conversations. The restaurant and everyone in it felt like props in a play, only there to set the scene.  All that seemed real was the frail, elderly man and the gentle power of my Reiki hands.

A week earlier, I had taken the Level II Reiki class, and since that day opportunities to use is had been presenting themselves almost daily. A barn mouse who had been inadvertently scooped into a horse’s bucket with his grain and been slobbered on had passed out from fear. But a few moments of Reiki had brought him back around. And the barn cats, who had never paid me any mind, snaking through my legs as I sat in a chair doing self-Reiki in the sun.

Quickly, so quickly, the pounding of the elderly man’s heart eased; its rhythm slowed. Then his breathing slowed, the terror left his eyes, and the color returned to his cheeks.

The crisis past, he wanted to sit up, but I asked him to please stay where he was until the paramedics arrived. He agreed, then added that he felt fine now, that I didn’t have to keep my hands on his chest, but I told him I would rather leave them there if that was OK.

Calm now, he told me that he lived in an assisted living facility down the block and was a regular customer at the diner. He said he had a heart condition. He was concerned about his heart medication. If he was going to the hospital, he would need his medication.

When the paramedics arrived a few minutes later, I removed my hands from the man’s chest and stood up. The man introduced me as a nurse and said how much I had helped him. I quietly told the paramedics that I was not a nurse, that I had just done my best to calm the man, to keep him from going into shock.

I explained what had happened. As I pointed to the counter, we all realized what had caused the accident: The metal post of the stool the man had been sitting on had snapped, had broken completely in two.

As I took my seat and ordered my lunch, the restaurant and the people in it slowly re-entered my awareness. I spoke with my friend about what had happened, how blessed I felt to have been at the right place at the right time, how blessed to have the gift of Reiki. The paramedics completed their examination of the elder at the front of the diner and then, finding nothing wrong, took him home.



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4 Replies to “The Elder, the Stool, and Me: A Reiki Story”

  1. Hi Pam,

    Wow, what a great story about the power of Reiki to heal and calm a person when they are in danger of going into shock. Thank goodness the man was okay and presumably didn’t have any lasting injuries to his head when he fell off the stool and was catapulted across the restaurant floor. I’m a bit surprised by the lack of immediate response from the employees and management in the restaurant. I’m glad you had your wits about you and sprang into action to assist the man and prod the waitress into calling for the paramedics.

    I loved the story about the little mouse in the barn, too. If I were in her or his paws I probably would have fainted with fright, too, if I had been slobbered on by some great big creature and narrowly missed becoming lunch. I’ve found that Reiki is a great way to bond with animals and calm them down when they’re anxious. I used Reiki with my sister’s puppy, Teddy, the other day when he was feeling a bit anxious about being in the car, and he calmed down and snuggled up next to me. (It was only his third time in the car, so I could see why he would be feeling a bit anxious.)

    1. Thanks, Sue. What was most amazing to me was how quickly the man responded to the Reiki treatment. The body has such a phenomenal ability to balance and heal itself.

      I love the mouse story, too. The critter wasn’t in much danger of being eaten since horses are vegetarians, but he was so wet it looked like he might have made it inside of a horse’s mouth and then gotten spit out. The girl who found the mouse placed it on the floor and a bunch of women crowded around it to look, which probably scared the critter even more. I had just been attuned to Reiki II which, as you know, enables one to give Reiki treatments from a distance, so I quietly worked with the mouse without anyone knowing. He quickly came to, shook him- or herself off, and looked around 🙂

      Thank you for sharing your story about your sister’s anxious dog. Wonderful.

  2. I remember you telling me (it may have been in a class) this story, but I love to hear it again…I never get tired of hearing/sharing Reiki’s healing power and benefits. I have shared many of my experiences with Reiki since being attuned. One of my favorite times is also in the barn…the horses just love Reiki and the barn becomes so quiet as they soak it in…if it were not for Holly, our paths would never have crossed and I would never have been introduced to such a powerful and awesome way to share love and healing with both human and animals….thank you, Pam!

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