Treating Stroke and Other Neurological Disorders

by Mari Hall

When I was working and living in Scotland in the late eighties, I began to do research into how emotions play the biggest part in creating disharmony, that thoughts in the mind are actually secondary to the emotions. The key was to repattern a person's emotional energy, which would in turn release the thoughts. I understood that the reason affirmations did not work sometimes was that people had not done the spiritual gardening work necessary to plant these new flowers or thoughts deep into their psyches. Without the gardening, the person seemed switched off, emotionally fractured on some level.

I started using a technique I learned to repattern mentally challenged children before I learned Reiki. By incorporating a cross pattern with the use of Reiki, I could see how the body took the energy deeper into areas where there had been emotional fracturing. At first I started treating people with dyslexia this way.

What started as an idea for the treatment of common dyslexia lead to years of work with people with motor neurological problems. I discovered that dyslexia is actually like being "switched off." It usually starts with a moment or moments of emotional fracturing. Furthermore, we can be considered slightly dyslexic on many levels. The specialized integration treatment I am writing about has helped people to reconnect body, mind, and soul to experience wholeness again. Before I detail this technique, I will share some of the stories and miracles that show why this special integration treatment so useful.

Johnny’s Miracle 
I was visiting a family in the countryside of Scotland. One day, their thirteen-year-old son John asked me if I had problems understanding things in school when I was little. I replied, “It is funny you should ask that, Johnny. I was just thinking how hard it was to get my mind focused on what the teacher said and what I tried to read in books. It seemed like there was a part that was missing, like a door I couldn’t go through.” It turned out that Johnny had a similar problem.

I had been doing research into using Reiki with Whole Brain Therapy. I had strong impressions of how I might treat dyslexia and other problems. I was searching for people to work with, to see if what I suspected had some validity. I explained this to Johnny and his parents. I asked Johnny if he would be interested in helping me to find a way to help other kids that had the same problem. He and his parents both agreed.

I treated Johnny once a week for one hour. Instead of having him lie on a traditional couch or massage table, I asked him where he would be comfortable. He said that if the weather was nice he had a special spot in the glen—a field that was “his,” but he was willing to share. So off we would go, hand in hand, to his spot, with a blanket and something to drink.

When I was treating him with Reiki, he would talk about what he felt, and how the energy seemed to move. He was full of insight and could talk a blue streak. During the fourth treatment, he got so quiet I thought he had fallen asleep. I asked Johnny if he was sleeping. “Nope,” he replied, “you see, I am reading this wonderful book I found in the library of my mind, Mari. I have found the doorway into understanding. It’s great in here, and there are so many books to read.”

My experience working with Johnny became the foundation for a specialized integration work I began doing with Reiki. His miracle of “finding the door” helped many other people. John is now a neurologist, practicing medicine implemented with Reiki in his clinic in western Scotland. He tells his story to the children he works with.

Sean Is Walking
I was asked to come and talk with a family on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Scotland. They had heard about my work with Johnny. Sean didn’t have dyslexia. He had suffered a massive stroke, losing his ability to walk and talk. His left side was paralyzed. His doctors had given up hope and told Sean and his family that he would never recover. When you are eighty years old, as Sean was, it is easy to believe that there is no chance to recover, but Sean and his family wanted to see if Reiki might help his problems.

Fortunately Sean could write with his right hand. It was a painstakingly difficult process, but his only way to communicate. He kept paper and pen with him all the time and had devised his own shorthand by the time I was asked to use Reiki with him. I asked him if I could use a particular process for brain integration I had used in the treatment of dyslexia. I had seen it benefit people with motor neurological problems. He replied that he had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

I worked with him five days a week for the first month. He would lie on his back while I treated his whole body in traditional Reiki positions. I then spent extra time using a special position that favored brain integration. The most notable effect was that Sean felt more connected to his body and more clear. He said he felt he was working with the Reiki and not being worked on. When I said that you are always working with the energy as you are using it, his written reply was, “Well, now I really know it from the inside out.” His family took first and second degree Reiki trainings in order to work more closely with Sean. They took turns working with him twice a day. This became quality time for Sean and his family members. When I would stop by to see his progress, they remarked that they were actually enjoying this special time with him, and were able to see how his body was changing.

He started talking in the third month, first words and then short sentences. After a few more months, a speech therapist was called in to work with Sean. We celebrated each success. I continued to treat him two to three times a month. His body became suppler, and his left arm regained some slight movement. We ran energy through his limbs and cradled his head in our hands. The right side of his brain was the side that had been traumatized, affecting the left side of his body. Extra time was spent there. We often remarked that working with Sean was like connecting the dots in a child’s activity book. He was acutely aware when a particular dot had been connected. His eyes would light up as he said, “Yes, that’s the spot.” I gave him a drawing of a human body and asked him to point to where he felt more and less alive. I asked him to show us how to work with him. He loved the integration position, as he said he could feel how the energy pushed through into other areas. He told us that his body was feeling stronger.


Reiki and Stroke
I have heard of some Reiki teachers who say that one should not treat stroke victims with Reiki or that one needs to wait a certain period of time before treating stroke victims. I don’t know what this is based on as I have only experienced positive results when treating those who have experienced a stroke. I have worked with people immediately after they have suffered from a stroke and have found the earlier you treat someone, the better, so that Reiki can support the traditional medical procedures. While I have heard many ideas about not working with some illnesses at all or waiting for some days, I have found the reverse to be true. There is nothing to fear... for fear creates our reality. I trust the process and love Reiki, and I have never experienced an adverse reaction.


After Sean had his stroke, the family built a ramp from the back door, so that he could be wheeled into the back garden and be outside. As he started making improvement, his need to be outside became even greater. As he regained some use of his left arm, Sean started learning to push his chair using the wheels. His task, as he put it, was to get outside by himself. He was proud when he could roll his chair outside, and in the months that followed, get back into the house. Each time was a victory, celebrated and savored.

The treatments continued throughout the year and went on into the next. Both his family and Sean were convinced that there had been marked improvement and wanted to see what else would happen. Sean did first and second degree Reiki training in order to work on himself. He treated his own legs. A physical therapist had been working with Sean to keep his body from atrophying, and he too noticed the changes in Sean’s body. The doctors were also amazed at the changes, and suggested a more aggressive physiotherapeutic approach at the local center. He exercised there three times a week to strengthen his left leg as it started to come alive.

It was a beautiful day in the fall when I next drove to Sean’s house. The air was crisp and clear. I had run through in my mind the progress he had made during this time, and felt he had made many miracles. I was inspired by his tenacity. I had used Sean’s story in many of my Reiki classes as a way to bring home to the students the miracles Reiki can provide us. I pulled the car into the drive and found his empty chair at the bottom of the ramp. I looked in the back garden in Sean’s special place to see if he had been put in a chair there. No luck. I was in a panic. Where was Sean?

As I started to the house, I heard him laugh. I looked towards the door of the house, and there he was, holding onto the metal railing, a look of great satisfaction on his face. I said, “What are you doing here all by yourself, Sean?” He said, “I am practicing my surprise for the family. I can walk ever so slowly, and I want to give them this as a thank you. Don’t tell a soul.”

Sean’s birthday was November first. His family assembled for a luncheon celebration. I had been asked to join them. After a lovely meal, we all went into the garden to sit and be with each other in the beautiful fall weather. Sean said he would roll down to join us “in a shake.” He declined help, giving me a wink and saying would be along presently.

We all were talking when a hush came over the crowd. Sean walked out of the house and began walking towards us on his own. He stopped and said, “Since it’s my eighty-third birthday, I wanted to give you all a present.” What a precious gift it was to us all to see him walking. We had been taught so much about ourselves all the time we had been working with Sean. Miracles had touched us all—Sean’s triumph was the best birthday present I have ever witnessed being given.

Pat Has Come Home
I was a guest speaker at a Reiki conference held in Loveland, Colorado, a few years ago. The conference was held in a beautiful part of Colorado, at Sunrise Ranch, a property owned by a group called the Emissaries. I had been living in Europe for over twelve years and felt removed from the Reiki community in the U.S. I also had so much free time after giving my talk that I was at a loss for something to do. I seem to continually move between being and doing. Although doing seems to win out most of the time, I think my edge of learning is the actual surrender into being present.

I actually think it is our biggest challenge as people in the world to be present, to be a human being not a human doing. I was sitting there in the conference room with all this in my mind when a lovely woman approached me and struck up a conversation. Her name was Pat. During the course of our sharing, she said she had had a stroke a few years back and had felt since that she was not totally in her body. She had received a tremendous amount of therapy, both allopathic and complementary. I suggested we meet for a few integration treatments with Reiki and explained what I would be doing. She agreed.

We went into an area where massage tables had been set up, and I treated her for about an hour. After the treatment she said she felt more clearheaded, and we made an appointment to meet again the following morning for another treatment. When I saw her the next morning, she was bubbling over. She told me that she had experienced absolutely no problems walking up the stairs, and in fact had bounded up them like she would have before her stroke. She also felt as if she had slipped back into her body and was lined up again. I treated her once again the following morning, and afterwards she said she could feel her hands from the inside. She was just radiant. I showed her how she could do this treatment on herself when she was home. When I looked at her, it seemed to me that she had realigned her energy, as it all seemed even. She truly had come home in herself.

Last year at the Reiki retreat in New York I saw her again and was thrilled to hear she was fine. She had moved to be near her family and was still at home in herself. Two years of integration and living in wholeness had cemented the blessing. She has shared this technique with her students and friends. All the people who were using it had benefited from taking the time to reconnect. I think when we are given a flash of intuition, we must first use what we see; we must come into a deep understanding of the insight before teaching it to someone else. In my case, I have been using this approach for over thirteen years, and each year my understanding deepens. I offer it as a way to help; the person receiving the energy of Reiki is actually using it to heal him- or herself.

A String of Pearls 
I was in San Antonio, Texas, for a book signing and teaching of a self-development course at Dancing Moon, a metaphysical bookstore with treatment rooms and classrooms in the back of the store. My friend Flute, who is a Reiki master, was waiting there to treat a woman. Flute explained that the woman had pulmonary edema and that at times her condition became critical—she swelled up so much she could hardly breathe. It seemed that her heart could not beat enough to move the fluids through her body, so they all backed up. She asked me if I had ever worked with something of this nature.

I replied that I had worked with heart problems and edema, but not together as they were presented. Her client’s problem was interesting, and I went inside myself and asked for guidance as to how I could assist in the treatment. I trust this process of asking. I do not always get an answer right away, but normally will have a flash of inspiration when it is needed. I remember sitting there signing books and talking with someone, when out of the corner of my eye I saw the client being brought into the bookstore in a wheelchair. She was so bloated she could hardly move or breathe. In my mind’s eye I saw her placed in the integration position and knew my intuition was showing me another way to use it. I excused myself and went into the treatment room. I explained to Flute and the other people who came to work on her what I had sensed and showed them the integration treatment. They agreed to give it a try, and I went back to the signing. When they came from the back room an hour later, the woman’s swelling had gone down appreciably, and her breathing was normal. It was a profound difference.

I sat for a minute with my eyes closed and asked for guidance as to why this particular treatment had been so effective. I had a vision of a strand of pearls. Each pearl represented a level of fracturing from the original source within us. By “fracturing,” I understood that the body, mind, and soul do not always work with each other; they sometimes work against each other. We basically have three captains (mind, body, and spirit) in our being not talking with each other or even at war with each other. The integration position brings them into relationship with each other, to work together. This also explained to me why, when we think we’ve done our work, when we have an issue in our lives mastered, the challenge comes back. The coming back is actually at a different level of our being. We basically spiral into ourselves. Our work is following the pearls down, one by one.

If this was the case, then this integration position was not just for dyslexia or motor-neurological problems, it was something we could use to reconnect ourselves and integrate our body, mind, and soul for the purpose of living fully. Since that moment, I have used it with almost every person I work with as an added treatment position.

How Life Supports Us 
When I was teaching Reiki in Thessalonika, Greece, I was demonstrating how, when we close our hearts emotionally and/or mentally, we also shut off our energy and become energetically weaker. When we open our hearts, the energy keeps us strong because it flows through us naturally. I asked a man attending the course who was in the Australian Special Forces stationed in Greece to act this out. I asked him to remember a time he had been hurt in life and to close his heart. Our thoughts also bring the emotions associated with the event to the surface to experience. I then pushed his shoulder. He was clearly off balance; he was not grounded at all and could easily be shifted off his feet.

When I instructed him to open his heart and remember being loving, his body opened up, but when I pushed him on the shoulder, he was still weak. Normally he would have been much stronger, grounded and steady on his feet. I then said with authority, “Stand to.” He immediately came to attention, and when I pushed him on the shoulder, he was so fixed it was impossible to move him off center. I immediately asked him if he had problems with studying in school. He said yes and that often he found he wanted to turn right but would say he was turning left. I asked him if I could demonstrate the special integration position on him and then retest him. After working with him for ten minutes, he said he was more alert. I asked him to repeat the exercise of opening and closing his heart. The result was considerably different. His body was firm in tone, his eyes were more focused and bright, he was not fixed as he had been when I ordered him to stand to, yet he was very firm on his legs. The most remarkable change was the difference in the way he stood; you could see he was more comfortable in his body, yet strong in his constitution. His Special Forces friend who also came as a participant remarked that he seemed brighter, more at home in himself. Three couples in the room had children with dyslexia, one woman had a husband recovering from a stroke, and another woman had multiple sclerosis. By using the technique in the class, it helped them all to understand the feeling of being connected, having clear thoughts, and being more at home in their bodies.

I Am Not Awkward, I Am Dyslexic 
In August of this year I was teaching in France. One of my students was an Englishman in his sixties. All his life he had been told he was awkward. He knew he was dyslexic and had many problems with reading and writing in school, but had no idea how much his dyslexia had impacted his life and the choices he had made thus far. He did not finish school and at sixteen left home to join the Merchant Marines. He managed to work in the building trade until his retirement. My guess, although we did not talk about it, was that he was made fun of because he was not only slow in his thinking, but also in his walking. His walk had a homogeneous presentation in that he moved his right arm with his right leg, and most of the time he made no arm movements at all. He stood heels together with his feet pointing out like a penguin. His balance was unstable. His body was also turned and bent at a funny angle. When asked to do a simple test like touching his right hand to his left knee, he could not do that because he could not find his right hand. He kept presenting his left one.

During our conversations, I was given to understand that he had grown up as the family clown. Jokes were often at his expense. When he wanted attention it was quite often given as a result of his acting unclear or confused. It was obvious he had received much of his attention in a negative way. Although he has a hard time remembering daily things, he is extremely bright and is fiercely interested in history. But emotionally and mentally he had decided that he had no personal worth, and all his value was determined in how many people he could help. He had not even put himself in the picture most of the time.

My work as a teacher and therapist is to help people turn back to their innate truth and to find ways to help them nourish their being. I talked about the technique and asked him if he would be willing to have it demonstrated on him. If he saw any results, perhaps he could continue treating himself.

In the Reiki class we all worked on him when he was on the massage table on his back. I held his head in the position as indicated in the picture; the others put their hands over the areas that were crossed. He said he could feel the energy move through him and bubble, and he saw light. After treating him for approximately thirty minutes, we asked him to stand and then to walk. We could not believe our eyes. He stood with his feet apart and very stable. He walked with his arms swinging left leg with right arm and the reverse. His body unscrewed itself, and he was also standing upright.

What a complement to his work! He continues to use Reiki with the integration technique every day. He said he knows his body is changing, and he is more peaceful. He is making changes in his approach to life, and these changes are affecting those around him. I think he will no longer allow himself to be thought of or talked about as the awkward one again.

The Integration Technique for OthersThe Integration Technique for Others

From Being Out of Sorts to Being Clearheaded 
Sometimes I get out of sorts. It may be when I find myself in a stressful situation. It may be that I am so busy that I have not given myself enough quiet time to reconnect. I become edgy and not fully present. I become vague, forgetful, and short-tempered. Even Reiki teachers can get out of sorts, my dears; we are human after all!

To remedy the situation, I lie down and do this integration technique on myself. Within a few minutes, I am more clear and calm. I feel reconnected on all levels and more awake. There seems to be a common thread of experience in all cases where this integration technique is used; people have a sense of being fully at home in their bodies, more clearheaded, more alert, awake, and refreshed. My suggestion is this: Use it on yourself and have your own experience, then work with others. All you have to lose is being disassociated; all you have to gain is living fully!

Lie on your back and cross your ankles, left ankle over right. Cross your wrists at the top of your head, right wrist over left. Place your hands on both sides of your head. Leave yourself in this position for approximately 20–30 minutes and then change the crossing to right ankle over left and left wrist over right and give Reiki to yourself for another 20–30 minutes.

When I work with clients, I always take a client history detailing physical problems, the state of their emotions, and issues they have been dealing with lately. Part of the work I do with clients is to ask them to do simple tests in order for them to feel where they may be switched off. I watch them walk and see how the body presents itself. I may also ask them to take their hand and touch their knee on the opposite side. All this, when you have been trained, helps you to see the disharmony in the body and mind. Once they have been treated, they normally feel when there has been a shift in their energy. They will walk with more stability and feel better from the inside out. We do not tell—we give them opportunities to experience for themselves the effects of their work with Reiki. We often witness miracles.

Working with YourselfWorking with Yourself

You may ask if this treatment will work if you have not taken a Reiki course. I think it will help. What I know is that Reiki helps the crossing technique to work at a very deep level, and gives us the opportunity to be the instrument for our intention to be of service. Because of this, it gets us out of the way for the energy to work. When we do not have Reiki, we are working with our own energy, and we sometimes are too close to be detached enough from the outcome. As a result, we can become very tired.

What I have been given to realize is that all these moments of intuition or clear insight are moments of ONEness. When we cease to demand, surrender, and are one hundred percent in the now, then life works with us. We are given answers and, yes, direction. All that life is, is a series of opportunities to get out of our own way and reconnect to all that is divine. And because life loves us enough, all we need to do is show up.

Many more people have benefited from this integration technique over the years. Each one is actually a walking miracle. When a change occurs with their healing, then things also change around them. Lives are affected by others because we are so closely intertwined. There is nothing to lose but disharmony and everything to gain. I am constantly surprised how easy and effective this technique is.

This article appeared in the Summer 2004 issue of the Reiki News Magazine.