Some months ago I was teaching a First Degree Reiki class. That very first evening, I said it would be fine for students to start putting their hands on friends or family members if they had the opportunity. Among the participants was a mom with a four-year-old.

Saturday morning at 5 a.m., this little boy came bounding into his parents’ bedroom, ready for action. Mom and dad rolled over to make room, knowing their day had begun (too early!). But the mom, on a bit of a lark, put her hand on the little guy’s heart, and moments later he was asleep—for a good while. Mom got some time alone; dad slept in. She came to class delighted. Small things really, but all parents know how basic these are to maintaining sanity.

I started treating my own children (now twenty-three and seventeen) when they were in utero. Both kids were born with the help of the local midwife and Reiki, provided by my husband, Paul. I felt like I knew my kids before they arrived in that way that we “know” the people we treat. And I knew that the hands that met them the moment they arrived were already known to them.

As babies and toddlers, they were more familiar with Reiki than band-aids. “Reiki me” was the solution for almost every hurt, whether they were ow-ies, illness, or hurt feelings. We were blessed with very few situations that required a doctor; even earaches were relieved with Reiki. It was so reassuring as a parent to have this safe and effective (and very convenient) first aid tool always at hand.

I recently came across a photo taken in my mom’s living room. My daughter, Mara, is about two-years old. She is sitting at a Reiki table, very focused, treating her favorite baby doll. My children take it for granted that Reiki heals and that each of us has this ability. It’s a far, far cry from the doubt and insecurity I felt when I started doing Reiki.

One of my sweetest parenting moments came one evening when I was treating my son Michael, then in eighth grade. Out of the dark, came this voice, “Mom, you know why I love Reiki? It just washes away the day.” How much better every one of us could have survived the pain of middle school if we’d had that experience.

Our lives are largely made up of simple, universal experiences. But it’s possible to meet them with more grace and ease. Encourage your friends who are young parents or parents-to-be to learn Reiki and make it a part of their families’ lives. You know they won’t regret it if they use it.