Reiki (say ‘ray-kee’) is a healing, stress reduction and relaxation technique which works with your body’s energy field. This simple, but powerful method was developed in Japan in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui.
While many Reiki practitioners refer to their craft as ‘spiritual’ there is nothing that either the practitioner or the patient has to believe in order to benefit. Even though Reiki is not complicated to learn, the practitioner must go through training to achieve various levels of mastery. This includes learning about the history of Reiki as well as how to administer the various hand positions and also involves getting a ‘transmission’ of life force energy from the instructor known as an attunement before the practitioner is certified.
A Reiki session should ideally take place in a quiet location where you will not be disturbed. Some practitioners like to play soft music during the session and some augment their sessions with the diffusion of aromatherapy oils into the air of the treatment room. Your session will be conducted while you are fully clothed, either reclining on a treatment table or supported in a chair.
Reiki Practitioner Is Conduit/Channel
The practitioner’s hands are held lightly over specific areas of the body, both front and back as well as on the head. Hand placement should never be inappropriate and is not intrusive. Many people report feeling very relaxed during a session and can also fall asleep during treatment. Others report dramatic results, while for many, the effects are more subtle. I want to emphasize that the Reiki practitioner is simply a channel for life force energy and is not herself the cause of any healing that may occur.
Reiki is not without controversy. The existence of the body’s energy field or life force is sometimes questioned, especially by traditionally trained Western medical practitioners and scientists. But many of these same practitioners and scientists do not question the effectiveness of Chinese acupuncture, which relies on tapping into this same flow of subtle energy which is referred to as qi (say ‘chee’) by Chinese medicine practitioners.
Reiki Effectiveness Studies
Many studies looking at Reiki’s effectiveness have been poorly designed so there is more research to be done. But a study done in 2010 and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that patients who had suffered a heart attack and who had received a Reiki treatment within three days of the event exhibited a more positive mood as well as increased heart rate variability, both indicators of a more positive outcome. And a second study conducted in 2012 and published in the journal Cancer found that breast cancer patients who suffered from from fatigue and received four weeks of Reiki reported significant relief as compared to patients who received fake or no treatment.
Reiki sessions are completely safe and when you are in the hands of a trained practitioner, a session is an enjoyable, completely relaxing experience. I encourage you to try it for yourself!