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Everything you need to know about Reiki

Reiki is a form of alternative therapy commonly referred to as energy healing. It emerged in Japan in the late 1800’s and is said to involve the transfer of universal energy from the practitioner’s palms to their client.

Energy healing has been used for centuries in various forms. Advocates say it works with the energy fields around the body.

Some controversy surrounds Reiki, because it is hard to prove its effectiveness through scientific means. However, many people who receive Reiki say it works, and its popularity is increasing. A Google search for the term currently returns no less than 68,900,000 results.

A 2007 survey shows that, in the United States (U.S.), 1.2 million adults tried Reiki or a similar therapy at least once in the previous year. Over 60 hospitals are believed to offer Reiki services to patients.   After decades of often disputed validity, the effectiveness of Reiki, a holistic energy treatment is gaining new respect within the medical community. Not only are highly reputable medical facilities throughout the U.S. offering patients alternative healing programs such as Reiki, those facilities are analyzing the benefits of their programs and are submitting them for review and compilation. The results of these Reiki research studies are nothing short of remarkable. 

Fast facts on Reiki

Here are some key points about Reiki. More detail is in the main article.

· Reiki is a form of energy therapy.

· Reiki it is growing in popularity.

· It involves the transfer of energy by laying on hands or sending the energy   directly to the recipient.

· Reiki’s advocates say it can treat many conditions and emotional states.

·· Some hospitals in America and Europe offer Reiki.

What is Reiki?

In Reiki, the practitioner transfers energy by placing their hands over the client, on the client or by directly sending the energy to the client.

The word “Reiki” means “mysterious atmosphere, miraculous sign.” It comes from the Japanese words “rei” (universal) and “ki” (life energy). Reiki is a type of energy healing.

Energy healing targets the energy fields around the body.

According to practitioners, energy can stagnate in the body where there has been physical injury or possibly emotional pain. In time, these energy blocks can cause illness.

Energy medicine aims to help the flow of energy and remove blocks in a similar way to acupuncture or acupressure. Improving the flow of energy around the body, say practitioners, can enable relaxation, reduce pain, speed healing, and reduce other symptoms of illness.

Reiki has been around for thousands of years. Its current form was  first developed in 1922 by a Japanese Buddhist called Mikao Usui, who reportedly taught 2,000 people the Reiki method during his lifetime. The practice spread to the U.S. through Hawaii in the 1940’s, and then to Europe in the 1980’s.

What happens in a Reiki session?

Reiki is transmitted through the light contact, with the hands held above the body or across a room. Reiki feels healing, loving, and deeply relaxing. Many clients report that Reiki is much more relaxing than massage and many clients report they have never felt more relaxed in their lives.

During Reiki the person receiving Reiki often becomes deeply relaxed and may also experience tingling sensations, a release of tension (muscle often release and melt), a reduction in pain and/or a relaxation of emotional armor (bringing unresolved issues to the surface, release of emotion, tears, etc.). People sometimes see colors, get messages, fall asleep and on rare occasions feel nothing. The experience of Reiki also changes from session to session as well.

Also, some recipients don’t perceive that much is happening during a Reiki treatment, but instead notice changes in the next 12-72 hours. As a practitioner and as a recipient it’s important for us to release our attachment to a certain experience taking place and just let the session be what it is.

Reiki is best held in a peaceful setting, but it can be carried out anywhere. The client will sit in a comfortable chair or lie on a table, fully clothed. There may or may not be music, depending on the client’s preference.

If there is a particular injury, such as a burn, the hands may be held just above the wound.

While the practitioner holds their hands lightly on or over the body, the transfer of energy takes place. During this time, the practitioner’s hands may be warm and tingling. Each hand position is held until the practitioner senses that the energy has stopped flowing.

When the practitioner feels that the heat, or energy, in their hands has abated, they will remove their hands and may place them over a different area of the body.

Some Reiki techniques

The techniques involved have names such as:

· centering

· clearing

· beaming

· extracting harmful energies

· infusing

· smoothing and raking the aura

Some Reiki practitioners will use crystals and Chakra healing wands, because they find these can enable healing or protect a home from negative energy.

However, Annie Harrington, Chair of the Reiki Federation of the United Kingdom (U.K.), told Medical News Today:

“Reiki relies on no other instruments beyond the practitioner. We do not use crystals, powders or wands as a general rule. However, one of the benefits of Reiki healing is distance healing (where Reiki is sent over several miles) then, many practitioners will use crystals to assist with the energy vibrations.”

Sessions can last between 15 and 90 minutes. The number of sessions will vary, depending on what a client wishes to accomplish. Some clients prefer to have one session while others have a series of sessions to work on a particular issue.

Health benefits

According to practitioners, the healing effects are mediated by channeling the universal energy known as qi, pronounced “chi.” In India, this is known as “prana.” This is the same energy involved in tai chi exercise. It is the life force energy that surrounds all of us.

This energy is said to permeate the body. Reiki experts point out that, while this energy is not measurable by modern scientific techniques, it can be felt by many who tune in to it.

Reiki is alleged to aid relaxation, assist in the body’s natural healing processes, and develop emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being.

It is also said to induce deep relaxation, help people cope with difficulties, relieve emotional stress, and improve overall well-being.

People who receive Reiki describe it as “intensely relaxing.”

Conditions that Reiki has been used to help treat include:

· Cancer

· Heart Disease

· Anxiety

· Depression

· Chronic Pain

· Infertility

· Neurodegenerative Disorder

· Autism

· Chrohn’s Disease

· Fatigue Syndromes

According to the University of Minnesota, clients who have undergone a Reiki session may say:

· “I feel very refreshed and seem to be thinking more clearly.”

· “I think I fell asleep.”

· “I can’t believe how hot your hands got!”

· “I feel more relaxed than even after a massage.”

· “My headache is gone.”

Cancer clients who have Reiki say they feel better after. This may be because it helps them relax. Another reason, according to Cancer Research U.K. could be that the therapist spends time with them and touches them. This has a soothing effect on clients who may be overwhelmed by invasive therapy, fear, and stress.

Individuals report different experiences. Some say that the practitioner’s hands become hot, others report cooling hands and some people feel pulsating waves. The most common reports are of a release of stress and deep relaxation.

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