“Presently science is not yet able to capture the spirit of life in order to quantify it, but it continues to try to reduce the infinite source of existence into a finite research study.”
– Catherine Leb
What is Reiki?
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing. A helpful way to understand Reiki is to know the definition of the name. Rei = Universal or spiritual consciousness (Wisdom from higher power), Ki = Life force energy (non physical energy that animates all living things). Other traditions describe life force energy as Qi (Chi) – Chinese tradition – acupuncture and Qigong, Prana – Hindu tradition – yoga, Light – Christian tradition – prayer and hands on healing.
It is practiced by transmitting healing energy through the hands of the practitioner to the client. The healing energy is guided spiritually but not based on belief, faith or suggestion. It is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, but if it is high, we are more capable of healing and being happy and healthy.
Although discovered in the early 1900’s, similar techniques have been practiced for thousands of years in China, Tibet and other Asian nations. The practitioner places the hands either lightly on the body or above the body in a series of specific hand positions to transfer the healing energy. The client is fully clothed and the treatment is received either laying on a table or sitting in a chair.
Many hospitals across the nation have incorporated Reiki into their patient care and NIH has recently funded at least 2 research studies (one in Seattle) to evaluate the effects of Reiki on pain reduction.
How Reiki Works
Illness originates form blocked Ki or restrictions in the flow of energy. Ki is also the primary energy of our emotions, thoughts and spiritual life. So imbalances in physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels affect health and flow of life force. Reiki helps to balance these – restore flow.
Practitioners hands emit measurable biomagnetic fields that aid start the body’s ability to heal. Reiki works on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. The practitioner is attuned to the Reiki energy to be able to tap into and channel the life force energy. The practitioner does not guide it. Guided by a higher wisdom. Reiki can be used in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques.
What Your Session will Look Like
Client lies fully clothed on a massage table (can sit in a chair), Practitioner placed their hands on or above the recipient in a series of 12-15 hand positions on both front and back. Each hand position is held for 3-5 minutes. Sessions are usually from 60 min to 90 minutes. Relaxing music is played.
Benefits of Reiki
Most people experience deep relaxation, feelings of peace and security and well being. Documented effects include:
Decreased anxiety, stress
Decreased blood pressure and heart rate
Increased immune response
Changes in the Autonomic Nervous System
Minimize symptoms experienced with cancer treatment
Promotes inner peace
Resources: International Center for Reiki Training