Treating Mal de Débarquement Syndrome (MdDS) with Reiki

I offer Reiki to patients in a local doctor’s waiting room. Shortly after starting this work, I noticed Heidi, one of the staff members, moving slowly and bracing herself as she walked. She told me that she had been on a cruise a month before and since then had been dizzy, fatigued, imbalanced, and was having difficulty concentrating. When I asked her to tell me more, she explained that on the third day of the six-day cruise vacation, the ship stopped in Jamaica. “When we got off the ship, I asked my husband if the pier was moving. He said no and looked at me kind of funny. On and off that day, I kept feeling like I was swaying a bit. When we got back on the ship, however, I was fine. Then, after arriving back in Miami, as soon as I got off the ship, I felt a swaying, rocking sensation. I didn’t think much of it; it was our first cruise, so I figured it would go away. My husband said he was feeling the same way off and on, and other friends said this was pretty normal. My husband’s swaying sensation lasted four days.”

Her situation worsened. In two weeks, she couldn’t walk without holding onto something to keep her from falling. She felt a rocking, bobbing sensation, and also some brain fog, headaches, ear fullness, heaviness, and the sensation of gravitational pull on her head and bottom. The only way she could get a small amount of relief was to lie or sit down. Scared, Heidi went to her primary care provider, who ran some lab tests, but nothing appeared to be wrong, even though she and the provider knew that something was seriously wrong. She was referred to an eye, nose and throat specialist, who diagnosed her with Mal de Debarquement Syndrome or Disembarkment Syndrome (MdDS). Simply explained, MdDS is a form of motion sickness that can continue long after the motion has ended, causing many problems as Heidi had learned firsthand. A nurse practitioner at her job suggested Reiki, “so I gave it a shot. At that point, I would have tried anything.”

After hearing her story, I offered Heidi a 20 minute Reiki session. My first instinct was to balance her energies. I used the integration technique (wrists and ankles crossed, reversed after 10 minutes, Reiki at the head and feet). She felt some relief after the treatment but two days later she was the same. “After my first session, they asked how I felt and honestly, I didn’t feel much relief. I later gave Heidi a 20 minute traditional Reiki session, which again gave temporary relief. The following day, I was working in the office and she had called in sick because her symptoms were getting worse. I spent that night doing research on the Internet, which led to the realization that it was probably a grounding issue, since most of my research pointed to MdM sufferers grounding themselves. My thought was that the higher frequency Life Force Energy that I would normally channel would not be as helpful for grounding. Yet, the way that I had channeled the Reiki in our previous two sessions had not accomplished this for her.

The next time we were both in the office, we did another 20 minute session, at which time I explained to her that I would be making use of a Reiki different technique. This time, I stayed at her feet. My intention was to ground myself as strongly as possible, which I did by visualizing the tree at the corner of the building. I saw and felt myself sinking into the roots and gently pulled her down with me. I repeated the names of the Usui and Karuna Reiki® grounding symbols in my head throughout the entire treatment. Afterward, I gave her written directions on grounding herself.

Heidi reported that after the session, she felt great. The swaying/bobbing sensation went from an 8–10 down to a 3–4. “It was amazing. I was able to go home and function a little more than I had in weeks. After another session with Ken, I continued to feel better. Now, I’m at about a 2 on the scale.” I saw Heidi a few days later and she looked like a different person. The color was back in her face and she was smiling. After a hug she told me that there were barely any remaining symptoms.

“I’m an average Joe and don’t know much about how Reiki works. I’ve never had any experiences with it before this, but I can tell you that after having the Reiki sessions, I’m a believer. I tell everyone about Reiki. This has been truly an amazing experience for me. Many thanks to Stephanie Gale for suggesting this to me, to Dr. Martha Hackett for opening up her office to this wonderful world of Reiki and last, but not least, to Ken Egbert the Reiki Master for sharing his wonderful gift with me.”