Many ancient cultures embraced the belief that life energy flows through the body, affecting our entire being, deeply. The word Reiki (pronounced "RAY-key") comes from two Japanese words - Rei and Ki. Rei in this sense we will use as higher knowledge or spiritual consciousness. This is the wisdom that comes from God or the Higher Self and is the God-Consciousness which is all-knowing. It understands each person completely. It knows the cause of all problems and difficulties and knows how to heal them. The word "Ki" means Prana in Sanskrit, Chi in Chinese, and Ti or Ki in Hawaiian. "Ki" is life energy. It is also known as the vital life force or the universal life force. This is the non-physical energy that animates all living things. As long as something is alive, it has life energy surrounding it and circulating through.
Reiki can be defined a spiritually guided life energy. Reiki guiding itself with its own wisdom, rather than requiring the direction of the practitioner.
What is Reiki
Reiki is a Japanese word meaning universal life energy. It is a gentle method of hands-on healing that taps into the life energy. The practice of Reiki is based on the teachings of Mikao Usui, who practiced and taught healing techniques in early twentieth century Japan. Reiki is administerd by "laying on hands". Techniques such as this have been practied for thousands of years. Reiki is a very simple yet powerful technique.
Reiki is not massage, a tool for diagnosing illness, or hypnosis. Reiki is a technique that addresses both chronic and acute conditions, gently and powerfully promoting balance among all the body's systems and the regenerative processes of mind and the body.
What is a Reiki Session Like
There are a couple of ways to receive Reiki, a person can be physically present or Reiki can be received from a distance. It does not matter how far a person is, they could be across the world, Reiki is still received.
To receive Reiki in person, most people lie on a table fully clothed, so wear comfortable clothing. Little or no pressure is applied and no oils are used. The technique is so adaptable that you can receive it almost any setting, in a chair or hospital bed, and through casts and bandages.
Still and focused, the practitioner will simply place his or her hands on or above your head, shoulders, back, chest, stomach and limbs. Practitioners routinely follow a series of hand positions, but some follow instinct. The teachings say that universal energy flows, not from the practitioner but rather through the practitioner, to you. You will receive the amount of energy you need to bring your mind and body into balance.
Though Reiki techniques appear simple, the effects can feel profound. Most people experience deep relaxation. You may also feel tingling, pulsing, a feeling of warmth and comfort, or you may fall asleep.
Results can be subtle. Some recipients say they feel little during the session, but afterwards enjoy a sense of calm and well-being, and a deep, restful sleep. It is possible you could experience powerful sensations or emotions during or after a session. Your practitioner will want to hear about your responses to the degree you are comfortable sharing them.
Reiki in health care
Used by a rapidly growing number of hospitals all over the world and across America, Reiki complements massage therapy, psychological counseling and medical treatment. Reiki is appropriate for patients in any state of health.
Reiki is gentle enough to offer support and reduce the discomforts of pregnant women and can help ease the pain of childbirth. Appreciated in hospice care due to its ablility to help alleviate pain and anxiety for both family members and the patient. Hospitals such as the Tucson Medical Center, Memorial Sloan Keettering Cancer Center and Pennsylvania's St. Mary Medical Center have Reiki practitioners available to a range of patients, including recovering from surgery and those with cancer.
Studies of Reiki show significant reduction of pain, including cancer pain, following treatment. Patients also report increased feelings of relaxation and a sense of well-being. On study cited improvement in immune and nervous system function and increased mobility in patients with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, lupus and fibromyalgia. At Portsmouth Regional Hospital in New Hampshire, surgical patients decreased their use of pain medications, stayed for shorter periods, and reported increased satisfaction with pre- and post surgical Reiki sessions.
What Reiki can mean for you
Reiki can alleviate pain and stress, and promote restful sleep, healing and relaxation. Relaxation in itself promotes a host of benefits for the mind and body including a heightened sense of well-being, release of painful muscle tension, and relief from anxiety and depression. In addition, relaxation has been shown to help restore immune function and improve circulation, enhancing healing throughout your body.
Reiki is not only healthful, but pleasurable. One of its greatest benefits may be the opportunity to let go and enjoy the experience of being nurtured and cared for.
Talking with your practitioner
Your Reiki practitioner will be glad to answer any questions about his or her background, training and experience. Always let your practitioner know what health concerns you have. Ask questions at any time, including in the days following a session.
Reiki helps the patient feel better and heal better.
-Dr. Pamela Pettinati, surgeon, Saint Elizabeth's Medical Center, Boston
The far-reaching benefits of Reiki are often amazing, and the energy always works for the benefit of the patient.
-Marlene Bullock, RN, BSN, American Journal of Palliative Care
Natural Touch Marketing for the Healing Arts.
Reiki - The Healing Touch - William Lee Rand