Reiki is a form of therapy that uses a combination of hands-on, no-touch, and visualization techniques, with the goal of improving the flow of life energy within a person. Reiki (pronounced ray-key) means “universal life energy” in Japanese, and Reiki practitioners are trained to detect and alleviate energy flow problems on the physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. Reiki touch therapy is used in much the same way, and to achieve similar effects, as that of traditional massage therapy. Primarily to relieve stress and pain, and to improve the symptoms of various health conditions.
Reiki provides many of the same benefits as traditional massage therapy, such as reducing stress, stimulating the immune system, increasing energy, and relieving the pain and symptoms of various health conditions. Reiki has had great success in helping patients with acute and chronic illnesses, everything from asthma and arthritis to trauma and recovery from surgery. Reiki is a gentle and safe technique, and has been used successfully in many hospitals around the world. It has been found to be very calming and reassuring for those suffering from severe or fatal conditions. Reiki has been used by doctors, nurses, psychologists and other health professionals to bring touch and deeper caring into their healing practices.
Reiki was reintroduced in the mid-1800s by Dr. Mikao Usui, a Japanese scholar of religion. According to the story that has been passed down among reiki teachers, Usui was a Christian who was intrigued by the idea that Christ could heal sick people by touching them with his hands. Searching for clues that would explain the secrets of healing with hands, Usui made a long pilgrimage around the world, visiting many ancient religious sects and studying ancient books. Some reiki teachers claim that Usui found clues leading back nearly 10,000 years to healing arts that originated in ancient Tibet. During his intense studies, Usui claimed he had a spiritual experience, which enabled him to heal with his own hands by becoming aware of and tapping into the universal life force. After that, he dedicated his life to helping the sick and poor. His reputation grew as he healed sick people for many years in Kyoto, Japan. Before his death, Usui passed on his healing insights using universal life energy to Dr. Chujiru Hayashi, a close acquaintance. Hayashi, in turn, passed on the healing techniques in 1938 to Hawayo Takata, a Japanese woman from Hawaii, whom he had cured of life-threatening illness using reiki methods. Takata became a firm believer and proponent of reiki, and during the 1970s formed an initiation program for training reiki masters to preserve Usui’s teachings. Before she died, she prepared her granddaughter, Phyllis Lei Furumoto, to continue the lineage. Takata had personally trained 21 practitioners before she died at the age of 80 in 1980. Along with other reiki masters authorized by Takata, Furumoto formed the reiki Alliance.
The basic philosophy of reiki
The basic concept underlying reiki is that the body has an energy field that is central to its health and proper functioning, and this energy travels in certain pathways that can become blocked or weakened. This idea of energy flow in the body is also a central concept in Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture.
Reiki practitioners believe that everyone has the potential to access the universal life energy, but that over time most people’s systems become blocked and the energy becomes weakened in them. A reiki practitioner is trained to be able to detect these blockages, and practitioners will use their hands, thoughts, and own energy fields to improve the energy flow in a patient.
A reiki session
Reiki sessions can take various forms, but most commonly resemble typical bodywork appointments, where the receiver lies clothed on his or her back on a flat surface or massage table. A session generally lasts from a half hour to an hour and a half. Reiki is a simple procedure, consisting of calm and concentrated touching, with the practitioner focusing on healing and giving energy to specific areas on the receiver’s body. Practitioners place their hands over positions on the body where the organs and endocrine glands reside, and the areas that correspond to the chakra centers. Practitioners also use mental visualization to send healing energy to areas of the receiver’s body that need it. In special cases or with injuries, a no-touch technique is used, where the practitioner’s hands are sometimes held just above the body without touching it. Advanced practitioners rely on intuition and experience to determine which areas of a body need the most energy healing.
The practitioner’s hands are held flat against the receiver’s body, with the fingertips touching. There can be over 20 positions on both sides of the body where the hands are placed. The positions begin at the crown of the head and move towards the feet. The receiver usually turns over once during the session. The practitioner’s hands are held in each position for a usually five minutes, to allow the transfer of energy and the healing process to take place. In each position, the hands are kept stationary, unlike typical massage where the hands move, and both the giver and receiver attempt to maintain an attitude of awareness, openness, and caring.
Reiki practitioners recommend that those receiving reiki for the first time go through a series of three to four initial treatments over the course of about a week, to allow for cleansing and the initial readjustment of energy. Reiki sessions can cost from $40-100 per session. Insurance coverage is rare, and consumers should consult their individual policies as to whether or not such therapies are included.
Training and certification
Reiki practitioners undergo a series of attunements, which are sessions with reiki masters that teach the basic methods of energy healing. Several organizations provide resources for reiki training. Reiki practitioners believe these attunements are necessary for correct technique. The masters teach each person how to activate the universal life energy in themselves before they can pass it on to others. These initiations often are held during weekend workshops. Trainees can achieve up to four levels of attunements, until they reach the level of master themselves. The certification process is not a formal one; masters approve students when they feel satisfied with their progress.
Here at Willpath our teachers and students have a direct lineage line back to Dr. Mikao Usui.
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Rev, Michael Efford (Okuden, Komyo Reki Kai)