top of page

The Iceberg Concept – Transcending Suffering

Every individual is unique and so is every individual’s journey with Reiki. It’s important to remember that Reiki itself is not ‘doing’ anything; it is simply providing the fuel – the energy – for you to do your own inner work.

Healing is commonly defined as the disappearance of symptoms and a return to feeling ‘normal’ (until the next time!). At the Reiki Centre, healing is defined as ‘the transcendence of suffering’, which is not the same as returning to ‘normal’. Healing is often much deeper than a simple elimination of symptoms.

The difference that this approach to healing can make is explained here: If I have frequent headaches I could take painkillers to relieve the symptoms, but I might then find myself in a constant cycle of medication and with no permanent alleviation of my suffering. If, however, I acknowledge my headache as being a symptom of a deeper disharmony, I can begin to investigate, within myself, what its cause may be.

Imagine that the illness or problem we are trying to heal is an iceberg, with 70-90% of it hidden from view. What we see above the surface is actually the symptom, in this case, the headache. When we discuss the Iceberg Concept during my Reiki class we come up with dozens of potential reasons for the headache: environmental reasons (light, heat, noise, pollution, etc); allergies; biochemical imbalances; emotional issues such as stress or anxiety; tiredness; back problems; tumors or lumps; concussion; the list is endless! I might have a headache because of one or two of these factors, or maybe because of all of them. But it is logical that the content of my iceberg will be different to yours, and that my healing journey will also be different in both route and length. Every body is different and so is every body’s healing journey.

As an illustration, here is a case study of two clients who both suffered from migraines, but whose ‘icebergs’ were caused by very different issues, and who responded to Reiki in two very different ways:

Client A, a woman in her 40s, came to me for treatments as she was suffering from migraines that left her lying in a darkened room for at least 48 hours. She had tried all types of medication, as well as Chinese herbs and acupuncture, without success. She came to Reiki as a last ditch attempt, on the recommendation of a friend. During our first session together she experienced a deep release of emotion and cried heavily for about 30 minutes. Afterwards, she described going back to the memory of when she was a young child and witnessing her parents go through a violent and aggressive divorce. All her frustration, fear and confusion was released during that one session. She reported feeling lighter and, quite frankly, amazed that she had blocked such powerful emotions within herself for so long. We arranged for two follow-up sessions, which passed without incident, and I know she did not experience any further migraines for at least the next four years (after which time I lost touch with her).

Client B, a man also in his 40s, came to me for treatment at the request of his girlfriend who hoped that Reiki would help him overcome his depression. As we spoke it became clear that he was suffering from a wide variety of problems including depression, immune system weaknesses and a general malaise that his life was not ‘turning out the way he wanted’. The first treatment passed without incident but he called me 24 hours later complaining of a terrible migraine. He had not mentioned the migraines during our session but now, on the phone, he reported having them infrequently – but not usually as bad as this. We continued with another two treatments but the migraines continued unabated. Miraculously (to my eyes), during our final session he admitted to me that the Reiki had helped him realize he had a lot of ‘sorting out’ to do and that the migraines were his internal alarm system, telling him he needed to get his life back on track. I was surprised that after three sessions his mind had opened so quickly to this possibility. I did not see him again after that but I can presume the Reiki sessions did not help his migraines, but gave him something possibly more valuable: a wake-up call.

To begin your own healing journey, its important to see your own uniqueness and melt your own iceberg. What works for your friend or therapist might not work for you, their experiences may help but they cannot guide you with any particular accuracy – only you can do that for yourself.

photo credit: SebsEye – See the world through my eyes Eisberge vor Ilulissat via photopin (license)


bottom of page