How I Healed My Lower Back Injury
Using Reiki

“If you fall I will catch you I’ll be waiting
Time after time”
Cyndi Lauper, “Time After Time”

As soon as I opened the back door to let my dog out, I flew up into the air and landed full force on my left side. With nothing to break my fall except the sharp edge of our concrete step.

Ice had arrived unannounced, like a quiet assassin, in the two hours before midnight, coating the cars and roads and steps.

I rolled onto my back and I heard myself say, “Ooohhh.” I couldn’t see the sky because the pain knocked out everything in me except the will to get back up. I rolled over onto my knees, stood up slowly, and reached for the door handle.

Once inside I knelt down, put my forehead on the floor, and extended my arms straight out, hoping this would stretch my back and relieve the pain. My wife placed an ice pack over my lower back injury as I tried to breathe and stay calm.

But after five minutes my chest and left side felt as if a weightlifter had strapped a bunji cord around my ribs as tightly as he could. The muscles in my back began to spasm and shoot electric shocks of pain down my left side. I had to stand up because soon it would be too painful to move, let alone get up.

Back on my feet, I could taste blood coming up my throat — but my mouth wasn’t cut. There was internal bleeding…I just didn’t know much.

“Take some Ibuprofen,” my wife said.

“No,” I told her. “I want to feel my body.” I knew that if I couldn’t feel the pain, I wouldn’t know what was wrong with me.

And in that moment, unable to breathe deeply or walk more than a few steps because of the pain, I decided what I would do.

Reiki Healing When You Need It Most

I’ve helped many animals using Reiki, and some humans, too. I know the power of energy healing, and in that moment I realized that the time had come to prove that power on myself.

And if not now, when?

So I put my left hand on my lower left back as the back spasms made me grit my teeth. Then I slowly placed my right hand on my right side. I called to Dr. Usui, the founder of Reiki, as I always do when starting a Reiki session.

And I said to him, “I need you now.”

Then, as I stood in the center of our kitchen, I mentally pictured the Reiki healing energy flowing into my left side. At the same time I whispered softly to myself, over and over, a chant I use whenever I prepare to work with animals:


 After twenty minutes of Reiki my lower left back felt like someone had shoved a 6-inch knife into it — but I could stand, breathe deeply, and walk. And, most importantly, I could think straight.

Even so, I felt weak and my face was the color of morning fog. “Let’s go to the hospital,” my wife said. “You could have broken ribs. Or worse.”

In Two Weeks You Should Be Walking Okay

While we waited on the x-ray results, my wife dozed in a chair. Not being able to sit down without yelling a curse or two, I stood in the center of the hospital room and began to open the flow of Reiki once again.  I pictured the blue and green waves of Reiki healing energy reversing the damage to the muscles in my back.

And I let that healing energy flow for the next 45 minutes while we waited.

“You may not be able to move much for the next couple of days,” the doctor said when she came in. “You didn’t break any ribs. But you’ll be walking like an old man for a while,” she said. “I’ll give you something for the pain. You should be okay in about two weeks.”

“I won’t take any of that pain medication,” I told her.

“Just like my husband,” she said, smiling. “But that means you can’t complain.”

“I won’t, I promise.”

But now that I knew nothing was broken, I would heal myself the way I had learned, the way that works so beautifully for the animals.

As we were leaving the hospital at 2AM that Saturday morning my wife saw how I was walking and insisted, “Let’s get that prescription for Vicodin filled. You’re going to need it.”

“Not now,” I told her. “It’s late, maybe tomorrow.” But pain medication didn’t fit into my plan.

That night I slept in a chair, expecting to not be able to move when I woke up. Lower back injury can immobilize a person for several weeks, I knew. Five hours later I stood up out of the chair. My left side was stiff, and the pain made me tremble.

Yet I could walk on my own; I could even go up and down the stairs…slowly.

Throughout the day I applied ice to my back, and continued with Reiki. By late that Saturday afternoon I was able to take a hot bath to soak the painful muscles on my left side.

Late in the day I added two more healing sessions, using techniques I have learned: Matrix Energetics and Shamanic Healing. I figured I would use everything I had.

That night I slept deeply.

Black and Blue

The next day — Sunday afternoon — I looked out at the calm, sunny sky. Pain still shot down my left side, but I could walk. I snapped two leather leashes together and put on my winter coat, hat, and gloves. Then I called our Australian Shepherd to me.

“Let’s go, baby.”

We walked through the melting ice and slush that covered the streets, and kept walking. When she did get far enough ahead to pull on me, I gasped from the spasms in my left side.

I loved the sun on my face, and she loved being outside and on the move in the cold air.

Two miles later, back at the house, I stopped wondering whether the Reiki healing had worked.

Two days later, my wife asked to look at my back. “There’s no bruising,” she said. “You should be black and blue after that fall on the ice. Does it still hurt?”

“Yes,” I told her. “It hurts. But I didn’t miss any work, and I can move around the way I want.”

Then I quietly thanked Dr. Usui for bringing Reiki to me, and walked upstairs to say goodnight my daughters.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it on Twitter and Facebook. You can read more about the work Joe does with dogs and other animals by clicking here.


1 Toni { 02.06.12 at 7:49 PM }

Thanks for the article, Joe. There are so many things we don’t understand in this human form, but with reiki and your faith that it would help you, you definitely experienced something special. I’d call it a small miracle and a great blessing. Keep doing what you’re doing, because you’re making this a better world.

2 Joe { 02.06.12 at 9:27 PM }

Thank you, Toni. We learned Reiki together, and it is still as powerful.

3 Patrick Murphy { 02.06.12 at 10:57 PM }

Early that same evening as the freezing rain passed through the St. Louis area I took my two Beardies out after their dinner. When they got to the steps they tumbeled down the steps on the invisable ice. I grabbed the handrail on both sides for safety, but when my foot hit the first step both feet went straight out in front of me. When my falling weight tore my hands off of the handrails as my back hit the steps I went down the steps on my back and left arm. Even though I was wearing a sweatshirt and a heavy military type parka, it tore the skin off of the underside of my left forearm. The meat of my arm was showing as a bright red strip that was 3/4 of an inch wide and 8 inches long. Since I am also a Reiki Master my arm got a lot of Reiki, as well as some healing ointment and a bandage for five days. It is now ten days later and it is totally healed. If I had possesed all of the healing modes that Joe has, it may have been healed in half the time. I have seen Reiki do some amazing healing in the last 16 years, and some of it that seems miraculous to me.

4 charlene boyd { 02.07.12 at 9:58 AM }

Hello Joe,

Your personal account comes alive with your vivid account of your personal experience ands how Reiki greatly helped you reduce your pain. Thank you for sharing this Joe.

Charlene Boyd

5 Laura Pieratt { 02.07.12 at 2:42 PM }

Way to go Joe! Gotta love the miracles! I’d love to see the doctor’s face if you had done back 2 days later and showed him how you could walk 2 miles and had no bruising. Did it make a believer out of Laura? Ed is becoming a bigger supporter of mine as he see and hears about more miracles. This morning he was even suggesting how important it is to keep taking more classes and expanding my knowledge and abilities! I share all my kind notes and “thank you for the healing” emails with him because I couldn’t do what I do for others if he didn’t support me the way he does. Hang in there. I hope you are fully recovered now. Looking forward to seeing you Friday. I can’t recall if you know Karen Kenny or not, but she will be doing readings there too.

Light & Joy, Laura

6 Joe { 02.07.12 at 4:04 PM }

Thank you, Laura. You yourself are the master healer, the one who taught me.

7 Joe { 02.07.12 at 4:05 PM }

Charlene, thank you so much. And thank you for opening up the world of Animal Communication to me.

8 Joe { 02.07.12 at 4:06 PM }

Thank you, Pat. It’s an honor to work with you and Casey and Bonnie.

9 Rita Polivick { 02.09.12 at 3:36 PM }

Joe, your ability to heal yourself extends to me your sister. And I am so thankful for your gift. When I heard your read at Aunt Therese’s funeral mass, it was your healing presence that calmed my trembling hands and my sad heart felt a ray of light. Much Love, Rita