As our lives become more stressed and frantic than ever before, people are turning to alternative and ancient therapies for help. One of these therapies is called Reiki, pronounced Ray-key. In 2002, over one million adults in America had at least one Reiki session.
What is it?
Reiki is a Japanese technique to reduce stress and promote relaxation and healing. It was introduced by Doctor Mikao Usui in 1922 and is based on the ancient beliefs of energy flow through the body. The Japanese call this ‘chi’ (or Ki) and say that it flows naturally through our bodies, allowing vitality, well being and happiness.
If the pathways that the ‘chi’ use become blocked because of ill health or stress of any kind, the energy flow is stopped, which in turn leads to further ill health and stress.
During a Reiki session, the practitioner simply lays their hands onto various points of the body – often the head, shoulders, chest, abdomen and legs) to allow the blockages to be removed and the correct flow of chi to be reinstated.
What does the word mean?
‘Reiki’ is derived from two words. Rei is Japanese for ‘The Wisdom of God’ or ‘the Higher Power’ and Ki means ‘life force energy’. So Reiki is ‘life force energy which is spiritually guided’.
What can it do for me?
Reiki is a holistic treatment that can affect a person’s mind, body and spirit. Those who have experienced it say that they feel warm, safe and highly relaxed. It appears to affect people in different ways. Many find a session deeply relaxing while others seem to get a huge energy boost. However it affects you in the first instance, the effects last for a few days. Reiki can also improve your sleep and appetite. It also appears to speed up healing from injuries.
Many people find it an intensely emotional experience and during a session, are finally able to let go of grief, anger, upset and other negative emotions. If you have been suppressing tears or grief a Reiki session may trigger an extensive bout of cleansing tears – and once you have had a good cry – you will feel a lot better! This is bourne out by fact as tears contain a chemical which, if allowed to build up in our systems, can cause depression – so it really is OK to cry!
Isn’t this just another example of New Age mumbo jumbo?
Apparently not! Experts have been so impressed with the results from Reiki that the National Institute of Health backed a clinical trial on it. A study done in 2003 showed that a group of cancer patients who were given Reiki as well as their usual medications experienced a reduction in their pain and an improvement in their quality of life.
Who can give a Reiki treatment?
It’s best to receive it from a bona fide Reiki practitioner. Reiki is not a skill that is learned but is passed on from one practitioner to another during an ‘attunement’. There are three levels of Reiki – the highest being a Master. It is the Master who passes the ability to the student. This allows the newly ‘qualified’ practitioner to tap into the life force energy which comes from God or a Higher Power.
To be a Reiki practitioner, one does not have to be of a certain intellectual standard. Thousands of people of all ages and from every sort of background have successfully been attuned to use Reiki. They use it in their everyday lives to help themselves, their families and others who need help.
Do you need to believe in God for it to work?
No. Reiki is a spiritual technique rather than a religious one. Neither you nor the practitioner has to believe in God although the practitioner will believe in, at the very least, a Higher Power. In keeping with spiritual beliefs, the Reiki practitioner should be an individual who lives their life in such a way as to promote the universally ethical ideals of peace and harmony. This doesn’t mean that they have to live or behave like a monk – but they should be peaceful, caring and compassionate.
If you do have an interest or belief in spirituality or religion, Reiki will help you to become more in touch with that.
What is “Usui” Reiki?
Several years after introducing Reiki, Doctor Usui added five ‘Reiki ideals’ to the technique. These came to him during meditation and he believed they would add spiritual balance. This differs from ‘ordinary’ Reiki in that clients are helped to realize that making a conscious decision to improve oneself is part of the healing experience of Usui Reiki. In doing so, the recipient is accepting responsibility for their healing and this will help to improve both their life and their healing.
The five Usui Reiki ideals –
Just for today:
- Do not be angry
- Do not worry
- Be grateful
- Work with integrity
- Be kind to others
Do all spiritual healers use Reiki?
No – all spiritual healers use energy but not all have received the Reiki attunements that allow them to be a Reiki practitioner. Spiritual healers who then receive attunements have discovered that their previous ‘success rate’ has gone up by at least 50%.
How much does it cost?
This is an area of ongoing disagreement between Reiki practitioners. The argument also extends to whether practitioners themselves should have to pay to receive their attunements.
A quick search of the internet will come up with numerous offers of weekends or day courses to gain attunement – and it’s not unusual to see the fee as thousands of dollars. It’s also possible for an individual to regularly attend a spiritualist church or group and then be offered the attunements free.
However the practitioner has received their attunements shouldn’t affect the quality of the treatment that they offer. However, what they charge can make a big difference to the recipient.
Practitioners who disagree with charging say that the healing energies are given freely and should be passed on freely. Those who say charging is right, argue that the recipient won’t value the healing if it doesn’t have an associated cost.
So, as with all things, it’s best to shop around or see if you can find personal recommendations in your area before booking your Reiki or Usui Reiki session. One thing is for sure, you will be glad you did!