What is Reiki?
Reiki is a form of therapy that uses simple hands-on, no-touch, and visualization techniques, with the goal of improving the flow of life energy in a person. Reiki (pronounced ray-key) means “universal life energy” in Japanese, and Reiki practitioners are trained to detect and alleviate problems of energy flow on the physical, emotional, and spiritual level. Reiki touch therapy is used in much the same way to achieve similar effects that traditional massage therapy is used—to relieve stress and pain, and to improve the symptoms of various health conditions.
Benefits of Reiki
Reiki claims to provide 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 health conditions. Practitioners have reported success in helping patients with acute and chronic illnesses, from asthma and arthritis to trauma and recovery from surgery. Reiki is a gentle and safe technique, and has been used successfully in some hospitals. It has been found to be very calming and reassuring for those suffering from severe or fatal conditions. Reiki can been used by doctors, nurses, psychologists and other health professionals to bring touch and deeper caring into their healing practices.
What to Expect at a Reiki Session
Reiki sessions can take various forms, but most commonly resemble typical bodywork appointments. 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 where it’s needed. 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.