Reiki is a holistic alternative therapy based on Eastern concepts of energy flow and the chakras (energy centers) in the human body. Reiki was formulated by a Japanese teacher, Mikao Usui, around 1890, based on Vajrayana (Tibetan) Buddhism, but incorporates meditation techniques, beliefs, and symbols that are considerably older. It is distinctive among energy therapies in its emphasis on self-healing, its spiritual principles, and its accreditation of healers through a system of initiation. Reiki practitioners participate in the healing of emotional and spiritual as well as physical pain through the transmission of universal life energy, called “rei-ki” in Japanese. It is believed that ki flows throughout the universe, but that Reiki connects humans in a more direct way to the universal source. Reiki is used for the healing of animals as well as people. As of 2002, a research team at the University of Michigan is studying the effectiveness of Reiki in treating chronic pain in patients with diabetic neuropathy. Various other studies are also underway in the United States and Canada, some examining the efficacy of the therapy in coping with pain and anxiety.
Reiki is a safe, gentle, non-invasive form of hands-on healing. Recipients report their experience of Reiki includes increased energy, reduction of pain, deep relaxation and a general feeling of well-being. Reiki initiation attunes a practitioner to become a channel for the Reiki energy and is a powerful, life-changing experience for physical, mental and spiritual growth.
Although Reiki involves the human touch, it is not massaged therapy. The patient lies on a table fully clothed except for shoes while the practitioner places her or his hands over the parts of the body and the chakras in sequence. The hands are held palms downward with the fingers and thumbs extended. If the person is in pain or cannot turn over, the practitioner may touch only the affected part(s). Silence or music appropriate for meditation is considered essential to the treatment. Reiki healers practice daily self-healing, in which they place their hands in traditional positions on their own bodies. They may use touch, or distant/non-touch.
How Does Reiki Work?
We are alive because life force is flowing through us. Life force flows within the physical body through pathways called chakras and meridians. It also flows around us in a field of energy called the aura. Lifeforce nourishes the organs and cells of the body, supporting them in their vital functions. When this flow of life force is disrupted, it causes diminished function in one or more of the organs and tissues of the physical body.
The life force is responsive to thoughts and feelings. It becomes disrupted when we accept, either consciously or unconsciously, negative thoughts or feelings about ourselves. These negative thoughts and feelings attach themselves to the energy field and cause a disruption in the flow of life force. This diminishes the vital function of the organs and cells of the physical body.
Reiki heals by flowing through the affected parts of the energy field and charging them with positive energy. It raises the vibratory level of the energy field in and around the physical body where the negative thoughts and feelings are attached. This causes the negative energy to break apart and fall away. In so doing, Reiki clears, straightens and heals the energy.
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