Reiki for Athletes

By Erin McCollough Published on

Last year was my first time attending a local race. I attended as part of the CNY Healing Arts massage therapy team offering post-event massage to assist in the recovery process for the athletes. It was so rewarding for me to share my services at such an amazing community event! What surprised me was how much education I provided in addition to actual massage therapy work. So, this year, I’m excited to offer you some ideas and thoughts BEFORE your event so you have the tools you need to keep yourself healthy and performing at your best! Today I would like to introduce you to the health benefits of incorporating Reiki into your routine.

What is Reiki?

For those of you who are not familiar with Reiki, it is a natural method of healing that brings alignment, balance, health and well-being to the recipient’s body. Due to the supportive nature of Reiki, it is a wonderful complement to anything you are already choosing as part of your self-care or medical care. Reiki practice releases energetic blockages, tension, and toxins from the body and is deeply restorative. It looks a lot like massage but is not the same. Instead of manipulating the muscles, it fosters healing that encompasses the mind, body and soul. Reiki is completely safe and has no known negative side-effects. From a scientific point of view, Reiki produces results on an electromagnetic level. From recent research, it appears Reiki acts to electromagnetically ‘jump-start’ the body’s own healing process by producing changes in vibrational frequency that, in turn, stimulate physical changes in the body.

How does Reiki Support Athletic Performance?

The health benefits of Reiki are becoming more recognized every day, and its popularity is growing, due successful integration into hospitals and other health care organizations, due to people sharing word of mouth success stories and because of recognition in the media, such as being featured on “The Dr. Oz” show.

For athletes, Reiki is supportive as a training aid, as a way to heal from new or old injuries, and as a way to improve the time for post-workout/event recovery. It is also a great tool to help boost the level of your overall performance! Here is a detailed list of ways Reiki may support you:

  • Reiki can help prevent severe injury
  • Reiki improves concentration and focus, creating a centered mind
  • Reiki relieves muscle soreness and stiffness
  • Reiki improves post-workout recovery, speeding up the healing of old and new injuries
  • Reiki can reduce the healing time of injury and makes the healing process more comfortable
  • Reiki supports athletes to be calm, secure & focused in the face of stress
  • Reiki supports a positive mental outlook, creating a winning mind
  • Reiki supports “refueling your gas tank” to relieve fatigue and to re-energize

Treatment – What to Expect

During the session, the person being treated is fully clothed and lies comfortably on a massage table with a pillow or bolster under his/her knees to protect the low back from undue stress. Blankets and extra pillows are always available to increase comfort and warmth if need be. The session begins with the recipient lying face up while the practitioner places his/her hands over strategic body positions designed to direct the flow of energy to the chakras and associated organ and endocrine systems of the body. Halfway through the hour, the person receiving Reiki turns face down, and the session continues.

A Reiki session lasts from one hour to one and a half hours in length. The area in which the session is offered is arranged to promote a feeling of relaxation and peace. It is normally quiet with only the addition of soft music. The person receiving can focus on themselves, going deep within, and take a break from daily stress and tension.

Falling asleep or entering a deep meditative state of mind is a normal response to receiving Reiki. This can be an indicator of a number of different factors. Most of us do not get enough rest, and the act of lying down–even for short periods of time–can prompt a state of deep relaxation. Add to that a constant flow of healing energy, and the stage is set for the body to go into a restorative mode.

Once the session is complete, the person receiving is invited to take a few minutes to integrate and absorb the work before beginning to sit up. It is common to experience a deep sense of peace and relaxation followed by a feeling of being energized. At least an hour of free time is recommended following the appointment to allow for a gradual reentry to the world. Eating a healthy meal, taking a leisurely walk, or sitting quietly are activities which often serve as a good transition to resuming whatever is planned for the rest of the day.

If you would like to explore reiki and the healing that it can offer, we welcome you to visit our website to learn more:, we have locations in Syracuse and Rochester, NY.

By Erin McCollough, LMT, RYT, Reiki Practitioner
2244 East Ave, Rochester, NY