Benefits of Mindfulness and Reiki in Schools

We think there are a lot of reasons to help school teachers bring mindfulness and Reiki into their classrooms.  Read on to learn more!

School Days, School Daze

How do you feel about school?  Are your memories positive, negative, or a bit of both?  Whatever your experiences of school – first as a kid, then perhaps as a parent and/or teacher, it can be a challenging environment – a place of rules and expectations that can cause anxiety and conflict, and set the stage for all kinds of social, emotional and behavioral issues (like bullying).

Mindfulness-based Interventions in Schools

Studies suggest that mindfulness practices such as conscious breathing, yoga, or gratitude exercises in schools may help children reduce anxiety and improve focus. [1] In one study, “teachers reported improved classroom behavior of their students (i.e., paying attention, self-control, participation in activities, and caring/respect for others) that lasted up to 7 weeks post-intervention.” [2] A review published in 2015 [3] found that “mindfulness-based interventions … have a small, positive effect on cognitive and socio-emotional outcomes.”

Teaching Reiki to Teachers

People who have heard of Reiki usually picture it as a hands-on (or hands-off, distant) healing modality, similar to how it’s featured on Dr. Oz. It is also described as a balancing method for the body’s systems.  These views of Reiki largely focus on it as something a Reiki practitioner does “to” or “for” a client. 

However, this misses the fact that Reiki is also a way of being, a life-long practice. Reiki brings tremendous benefits to the student/practitioner who never formally sees a client!  School teachers who learn Reiki can use it to help them deal with all the challenges they face, both inside and outside the classroom. That’s why we are excited to announce that this year (2019) we created a Reiki class just for teachers!   

With each level of Reiki, you learn tools to help yourself. These tools help you to rediscover your true self [4]. They also help you learn how to remain grounded in all situations. The Reiki tools are in the form of meditations utilizing deep diaphragmatic breathing, and embodying the Reiki Precepts [5][6]:

For Today Only:

  • Do Not Bear Anger
  • Do Not Worry
  • Be Humble
  • Be True to Yourself
  • Show Compassion

There is abundant evidence that deep diaphragmatic breathing has many benefits, primarily through stimulation of the vagus nerve and resulting effects on heart rate. These benefits include reduced fight-or-flight response, increased psychological and physical resilience, better cognitive function, and lower blood pressure. [7] [8]

Through the Reiki meditations and Reiki Precepts you start to rediscover true-self, and through that you start to have more awareness of others. 

Reiki in the Classroom

Imagine being a teacher standing in front of the class, and there are those one or two difficult students. The ones that make you crazy! How do things play out when those children act up? 

If you have been practicing Reiki – the meditations and the Precepts – you have been discovering your own challenges and your own triggers, and you have forgiven yourself. You are now able to stand in front of that class and because you have worked through your own anger, fears, and judgments you are able to approach those students differently. Since you are different, their response will be different in return. Because you have recognized aspects within yourself, perhaps it is easier for you to recognize them in others. Perhaps it is easier for you to show compassion, and to ask the right questions to help them on their own path. 

A mentor of mine once said, “the difference between a teacher and an educator is that a teacher shows you the information and expects you to memorize it. The educator shows you the information and then sets the space for you to embody it.” It isn’t until you experience something for yourself that you truly understand it.

There are many ways that the Reiki meditations and Reiki Precepts can be adapted to the specific classroom needs and requirements of a given school.

Calandra Center for Health & Wellness offers both Reiki classes and Reiki sessions at the Schaumburg and South Loop locations.  

REFERENCES

[1] Mindfulness in the Classroom: Does it Work? Psychology Today, posted April 5, 2017

[2] Mindfulness Training and Classroom Behavior Among Lower-Income and Ethnic Minority Elementary School Children.  J Child Fam Stud. 2014 Oct; 23(7): 1242-1246

[3] Mindfulness-based interventions for improving cognition, academic achievement, behavior, and socioemotional functioning of primary and secondary school students.  A Campbell Systematic Review, Published March 2017

[4] Reiki is Our True Self

 [5] Reiki Precepts

[6] Precepts – The Foundation of the System of Reiki

 [7] Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercises and Your Vagus Nerve.  Psychology Today, posted May 16, 2017

[8] Effect of slow abdominal breathing combined with biofeedback on blood pressure and heart rate variability in prehypertension.  J Altern Complement Med 2010 Oct; 16(10):1039-45. Doi: 1089/acm.2009.0577