Reiki is a way to heal, self-heal and distance heal by gently placing the hands on the person or an object such as a photograph.
This healing method originated in Japan in 1922 when Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui, (1865 – 1926), discovered the effect energy could have on other people.
It is gaining in popularity and in certain parts of the world nurses are sent on Reiki courses so they can use this technique on patients in hospitals.
Reiki is non-invasive and is conducted by a Reiki practitioner or master, (the difference being a master can also teach it, while a practitioner only practises it).
We all have energy, but those who study Reiki have their “bungs” removed, thus leaving the energy channel open. This allows energy to flow into and out of them and the principle is that they are “conductors” of energy, as conductors they are not affected by the mood or humour of the patient and likewise the patient is not affected by the Reiki practitioner’s feelings or frame of mind.
Reiki, pronounced “ray-key”, (lay-key in Japan), translates as two words, Rei meaning roughly wisdom of the universe and Ki which is a “life form energy”. Ki flows through people, animals and plants and even some non-living objects.
Electromagnetic energy is both a part of our bodies and the energy field that surrounds and touches us. Most people call this the “aura”, while some refer to it as “vibes”, as it is indeed a vibrating energy field.
Our energy field can become damaged and this is where Reiki comes in, repairing and healing parts of the energy our bodies need to function correctly. It can provide better health and well being whether or not you are ill.
Benefits of Reiki
What Reiki does for you depends on what problems you have and differs from person to person, but a few things it helps are:
Accelerates the body’s ability to self-heal
Eases chronic problems - asthma, eczema and so on
Headaches – a quick Reiki treatment can make a headache disappear
Helps break addictions
Improves the immune system
Lowers blood pressure
Physical injury or pain – Reiki not only can lessen the pain but also promote the healing process
Reducing stress – this allows the body to heal itself better
Reduces the side effects of some drugs and therapy, such as chemotherapy
Remove anxiety – it leaves you feeling more relaxed and better able to cope with daily activities
Toxins – Reiki helps free the body of toxins
The Origins and Evolution of Reiki
Mikao Usui taught his Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, (shortened to Reiki), to students and imparted the ability to teach to only one Japanese man, Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, before dying. This man in turn taught Japanese people to become practitioners but at first he too did not give anyone the ability to teach it.
In 1935 a part Japanese, part American lady living in Hawaii, named Hawayo Takata, visited his clinic. He cured her of a tumour and she beseeched him to teach her how to help others. He acquiesced and taught her how to be a practitioner. Two years later she returned to Hawaii and opened a Reiki clinic. In 1938 Hayashi visited her and taught her level three so she too could teach.
The views on what happened next differ and there are two conflicting explanations.
One says that all the Japanese Reiki practitioners were killed during the war, leaving Ms Takata as the only person in the world able to train more teachers.
The other account is that the Gakkai Reiki Society became so secret and closed that no one knows what happens, how many people there are and what they do. (The reason given is that the American government banned all Japanese methods of healing after WWII and decreed that only Western medicine be used – thus forcing the members to work in secret.)
Either way, it was left to the lady from Hawaii to train twenty two teachers who then travelled the world, (or the world came to them), conveying the ability to practice and teach Reiki. It is apparently thanks to her that Reiki is widely available today.
Whether this method is the original version or has been slightly modified to suit Western tastes, is in some debate, but this method is the accepted one for healing.
How Reiki is Practiced
There are seven major points, called “Chakras” and around twenty or more minor ones. A Chakra is spiral of energy located in a line inside or along the spinal area and it is from here that energy radiates into our bodies.
This is a list of the major Chakras and a few of the things each uses its energy for
The major Chakras are;
1st the base of the spine -legs, bones, feet and immune system
2nd naval - sexual organs, bladder, appendix, large intestine, lower vertebrae, pelvis, and hip
3rd solar Plexus - middle spine, abdomen, stomach, upper intestines, internal organs, (liver, kidneys, spleen, gall bladder, pancreas and adrenal glands
4th heart area/ mid chest - heart and circulation, lungs, shoulders and arms, ribs/breasts and diaphragm
5th throat -, thyroid, trachea, neck vertebrae, mouth, teeth and gums and oesophagus
6th brow - brain, nervous system, eyes, ears and nose
7th crown of head – skin, muscular and skeletal system
As Chakras are a vital part of the bodies energy this is where hands are places for Reiki healing.
Treatment involves the patient either lying on a massage type table or sitting in a chair. There is no need to remove any clothing, except shoes – the reason being, the soles of the feet are a minor Chakra and a solid shoe may block or deviate the flow of energy.
The therapist places their hands lightly on the Chakra points and the energy flows. Being an “intelligent” energy it automatically tends to head to where it is most needed, so you may be healed somewhere other than the place you had intended.
Certain feelings or sensations can be felt, by either or both the patient and practitioner, and they include tingling or hot or cold sensations.
During treatment some patients fall sound asleep – even sitting in a chair, some start to cry without knowing why and others laugh for no reason. This are simply forms of energy being released.
Levels of Reiki
There are three levels of Reiki;
First level – the practitioner’s channels are opened and remain open for the rest of his life
Second level – the channels are opened more allowing distance healing
Third level – the practitioner becomes a master and can teach Reiki to others
It is interesting to note that although Reiki energy can not be seen by the human eye, it can be picked up on a Kirlian camera. In 1939 Semyon Kirlian accidentally found that if an image touching a photographic plate has an electrical charge it will produce an image. This became known as contact photography.
An important point – it is firmly believed that Reiki should not be used on broken bones as it may speed up the healing process to the point where the bone sets before it is ready and in the wrong place.
On a personal note, my partner Lou Pizzi is a Reiki practitioner and I have witnessed him do Reiki on people who fell asleep in chairs, came in limping and left running, came to him sad and depressed and left feeling good.
He does Reiki to me when I have Migraines and although sadly not always, it often lessens the attack and also reduces the time it lasts from three days to one and a half.
As the process is non-invasive and can do no harm, if done by a professional, there is little to loose by trying and there may be a huge gain.