What is Reiki?

Reiki is an invisible, gentle energy that works by balancing an individual’s energy systems – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual  – and in that way promotes the body’s own natural ability to heal. It is a non-invasive therapy which aims to treat holistically and to restore homeostasis (whole-body balance).

Constructed from two Japanese words rei meaning “Universal Spirit,” and ki meaning “life force energy,”  the combined word has the meaning of cosmic or sacred universal energy or life force. Reiki is an ancient hands-on healing technique that claims the power to use this force to heal, by balancing the subtle energies within our bodies.

Reiki energy has several basic effects: it brings about deep relaxation, assists in the release of energy blockages, and increases the vibrational frequency of the body to provide new vitality.

The Reiki practitioner, who has been initiated and trained to become attuned to this healing energy, serves as a channel to direct those energies to where they are needed. Reiki’s ki-energies flow from  the practitioner’s body through the palms of the hands to the recipient’s body.

Reiki is believed to have originated in Tibet many thousands of years ago and that the original system of healing was lost.  In the mid-1800s that Dr. Mikao Usui rediscovered Reiki. He carried out a 21-year-long study that involved learning about history’s great spiritual leaders, the study of Buddhist teachings and ancient sounds and symbols linked to the human body and nervous system. He also learned the technique to use the life force energy to heal. Subsequently, Usui is claimed to have undergone a metaphysical experience and became empowered to use the ancient system of healing. It is now widely used throughout the western world as a popular means of relaxing, calming and healing.

The underlying principles of Reiki recommend a design for living in balance with all others and with nature. These are the FIVE PRINCIPLES of Reiki:

  • Just for today I will not be angry.
  • Just for today I will not worry.
  • Earn your living honestly.
  • Honour your parents, teachers and elders.
  • Show gratitude to every living thing.

Because  the study and practise of Reiki  encourages  personal or spiritual development, Reiki may help with a wide range of issues and conditions, as it puts the whole individual  – body  and soul – in the best position to create a more harmonious and well-balanced life style.

The Effects and Benefits

Users of Reiki report that they experience relaxation, and a calm, peaceful sense of well-being on all levels. As illness contributes to stress, Reiki is often used to alleviate the anxiety that accompanies many conditions.
Since Reiki aims to embody a four-fold approach, its benefits are listed under all four areas of human existence. These are some of the conditions with which people approach Reiki, in the hope of relief for the accompanying symptoms.

Physical conditions: Back pain. Headaches, Migraines. Fibromyalgia. General tiredness and Chronic Fatigue. Skin disorders. Auto-immune disorders. Cancer. Thyroid imbalances. Reiki is known to Speed Recovery after Surgery and Injury

Emotional conditions: Fears and Panic. Low self-esteem. Emotional disengagement, remoteness. Inability to cope. Feeling inadequate or out of place. Anger or jealousy.  Grief and bereavement. Reiki has been found to sooth and comfort people in times of personal stress and crisis.

Mental conditions: Variety of Stress-related conditions: From Anxiety and Depression to Confusion and Lack of concentration. ADD  & ADHD (Attention Deficit & Hyperactive disorders. Sleep problems and Negative thinking. On the positive side, Reiki has been found to aid Inner Clarity, Wisdom, Intuition and Awareness, and some use this aspect to prepare for an exam or work challenge.

Spiritual conditions: Disconnection from self & life. Spiritual seeking. Loss of personal power. Not knowing life direction or purpose. Being haunted by the past, and unable to forgive. Fear of death. There are many cases in which individuals with chronic and terminal conditions have chosen Reiki energy in their last moments to ease and help them accept the process of the process of death.

Reiki is concerned with the person and not the symptom, it can be effective more widely than the condition for which the client presented.

Fascinating Facts about Reiki

In the 1800’s Dr. Mikao Usui was the Dean of a Christian college in Japan. When asked by one of his students how Jesus was able to heal as by the laying on of hands, he didn’t have an answer. Dr. Usui resigned as Dean of the college and determined to find the answer for himself.

A-list stars such as Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie are reputed to use the calming powers of Reiki to deal with stresses and strains or stardom.

The concept of  ‘Universal Energy’ on which Reiki is based is not confined Japanese philosophy. Eastern medicine has always recognised and utilised this energy, which flows through all living things and is essential to well-being. Known as ‘ki’ in Japan, ‘chi’ in China and ‘prana’ in India. Acupuncture, T’ai chi and Yoga are also based on the free-flow of this energy in a person.

Reiki can also facilitate a spiritual path (not unlike Buddhism) towards enlightenment. Working with Reiki energy is comparable to meditating and can help the practitioner experience a very deep level of the Self.

In a number of Universities in the UK and USA, scientific research is taking place to explore the effects and benefits of Reiki. For example, ‘Effects of Reiki on pain and anxiety in the elderly diagnosed with dementia: a series of case reports,’ (Illinois, USA.) and ‘Reiki for the Treatment of Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Controlled Trial’ (University of Washington, Seattle), and ‘A randomised controlled single-blind trial of the effects of Reiki and positive imagery on well-being and salivary cortisol.’ (Psychology Department, Goldsmiths, University of London).

Reiki healing techniques can be used effectively on animals, particularly on horses.

If desired, Reiki energy can also be transferred to a client without direct touch. The hands of the Reiki practitioner are usually placed a few inches about the client’s body. Some Reiki masters can work remotely from a distance.

Professional Organisations

The Reiki Association

The Reiki Association is a community of people initiated into Reiki and is part of the world wide Reiki community. The Association is for people to connect and share experiences, learning, support and friendship with others who are exploring a life with Reiki. For many, being a member of TRA brings a valuable sense of being part of the wider Reiki community.

The UK Reiki Federation

An independent federation of individuals who have been attuned to Reiki, with the objective of forming a national umbrella organisation for education, training and guidance in the public practice of Reiki.

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