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Relaxation for Researchers

As part of Bangor University's post-graduate conference in 2010 and 2011 (see HE Conferences) I co-ordinated a series of workshops aimed at helping students and researchers to relax and access a reflective state of mind. The success of these sessions was such that all participants were quite content, at its conclusion, to continue sitting peacefully, in silence.

Relaxation for researchers

The following was provided as a workshop handout.

Relaxation and inspiration for researchers: Reiki Healing

Keith Beasley, Reiki Master


... healing is a coming to terms with things as they are, rather than struggling to force them to be as they once were, or as we would like them to be

Kabat-Zinn 2005, p336


The life of a post-graduate can be challenging and of a researcher stressful. Whilst some degree of pressure can, for some, be a motivation, to be effective in our work requires us, somehow, to be both original & creative and, at the same time it seems, conforming to a strict, objective, discipline. To many, neither extreme seems to come naturally. It is my experience that Reiki Healing provides one possible approach to being both relaxed and inspired in the course of our research.

Reiki Healing, or more correctly, the Usui System of Reiki Healing, whilst often promoted as another 'alternative therapy' has, by virtue of its Buddhist origins and profound underlying essence, the potential to change our lives; to provide a tool for overcoming our limiting and limited beliefs and thought patterns. Like a few other, similar, processes (such as mindfulness) it provides us with a practical method of 'rising above' those mental activities that can prevent the clear mindedness we need for effective study.

Likewise, it was Einstein who said “imagination is more important than knowledge”. Whilst beyond the scope of this short paper, it is perhaps wise for a good researcher to ask him or herself as to the nature of imagination and where it comes from. Many who practice Reiki Healing would argue that, by enabling a deeper/higher level of consciousness, this self-healing method has the potential to stimulate or enable (depending on our perception of how it originates) our imagination. Without imagination our research is likely to be flat, dull and uninspired.

Research also involves becoming aware of the depth and intricate interconnections that surround our chosen subject area. Whatever topic we may be studying, the more we probe and investigate, the more subtle the arguments we unearth and broader we need to spread our net of understanding to fully appreciate the underlying issues and implications of the facts and theories that will form our thesis. To be able to see and write in a way that embraces these features requires that we accept the apparent contradictions that often emerge in research. It also means accepting that our original, perhaps simplistic, ideas, are inadequate. To be good researchers requires us to open our minds to a range of ideas and to be able to integrate them into a consistent picture. This acceptance, is an excellent example of the 'coming to terms with' of my opening quote. And Reiki Healing is, I have found, a powerful way of enabling such 'coming to terms'.

In Higher Education as in all forms of teaching and learning it is increasingly accepted that besides the rational conceptualisation and understanding of a subject we need to have a 'feel' for it. Biggs, for example, talks about ‘functioning knowledge’:

It is a matter of addressing and integrating several domains of knowledge. And we should be ensuring that our … knowledge is alive and functioning. i.e. that it is embedded, has depth and practical truth to it.

Biggs 2003, p43

Likewise, to learn a subject we need to not just absorb facts and theories but to, somehow, have experienced the knowledge that is being acquired. Heron, a pioneer of humanistic and transpersonal psychology says this:

By 'intuiting' I refer to the immediate, comprehensive knowing whereby the mind can grasp a field, a system or a being as part of a patterned unity ... and know what it signifies, what it means

Heron 1992, p17

Such knowing, if it doesn't come during a direct experience, often comes on later reflection. Such period of time spent quietly assimilation our latest intake of information and experiences can be enhanced by use of techniques such as Reiki which help to calm the rational mind and assists us to 'tune into' this 'knowing' state of consciousness.

A practical guide to Reiki Healing is given in my book Reiki - Without Rules.


Beasley, K. (2007) Reiki -Without Rules London: Lulu

Biggs, J. (2003) Teaching for Quality Learning at University (Second Edition) Maidenhead: OU Press

Heron, J. (1992) Feeling and Personhood: Psychology in Another Key London: Sage

Kabat-Zinn, J. (2005) Coming To Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World through Mindfulness London: Piatkus

Copyright 2012 by Keith Beasley