Reiki and Guillian-Barre Syndrome

by Doris Smith

I received my Reiki I attunement in Dec 95 and a Reiki II attunement in 1997. My husband, Steve, and I have been practicing traditional Korean Martial arts for over ten years. We were both familiar with Chi/Ki. Reiki seemed to be the next logical step. Little did we know how much we would need it.

In Jan 1996, Steve received a few immunizations for an upcoming business trip to Europe in April. While on this business trip, Steve caught a small stomach bug. When Steve returned home from his trip, he began having severe headaches and shoulder pain. Then his feet and legs grew numb. He began having problems walking. He was admitted to the hospital in April with an irregular heartbeat and high liver enzymes. The diagnosis was Guillian-Barre Syndrome, a rare neurological condition that causes paralysis.

This disease causes the immune system to become confused and instead of protecting the body, it begins to attack the myelin coating surrounding the nerves which 'short circuits' the impulses between the nerves and muscles. There is no cure, only treatment with IVIG or Plasmapheresis. Within 5 days, Steve lost all facial movement, the ability to walk and lift his arms. He became almost totally paralyzed.

I was at my wits end. I had just returned to work from maternity leave (Jacob was 6 months old at this time), my mother recently had back surgery and now my husband was in the hospital with a paralyzing condition. Doctors and specialists didn't know enough about this syndrome to tell us if Steve would ever walk again, play with his son or return to work.

During this time, I gave myself a small Reiki treatment each night. I gave Steve Reiki numerous times during the day. I was exhausted. I called my Reiki instructor for help. She contacted some of our mutual friends who were also attuned to Reiki.

During the next 6 months, they visited Steve in the hospital, in the rehab facility and eventually at home, 1-2 times a week or whenever he felt like he needed 'juice'. GBS patients often need to be placed on a feeding tube or breathing tube, but Steve needed neither. His heart rhythm became normal and the feeling began to return to his fingers and toes.

In June he began to stand with the aid of a walker. In August he walked unassisted. Today, he chases our 3 year old and romps with him on the floor. He bicycles, lifts weights and golfs. Except for a few problems with his toes, he's back to his old self. I don't know where we would be at today without our friends and Reiki. I am very thankful for the help of our Reiki community and the opportunity to share my story.