Reiki is a form of Japanese spiritual healing, resurrected in the 19th century but that originated in Tibetan Buddhist healing practices around 2,500 years ago. The therapist draws upon life force energy ("reiki energy") from the universe, and channels it via their hands to wherever it is needed in themselves or others. Since being introduced to the West in the 1970s it has become increasingly popular, however it is not given much credence by conventional medical opinion.
It is claimed that reiki works at an atomic level, causing body molecules to vibrate more than they would normally, and hence dissolve energy blockages that cause imbalance and illness. The hands are laid onto or near the body to work their magic.
A full reiki treatment will last about one hour and usually the client remains fully clothed. The whole body is covered from head to toe, front and back, and the treatment is often very relaxing with the client sometimes experiencing a warm feeling, tingling, or even a sort of fizzing sensation. Others see colours or can experience an emotional release, allowing harmony to be restored. The theory is that the energy goes where the recipient needs it so does not need to be guided, either with the hands or the mind. Nevertheless there is usually a sequence to a reiki routine. Reiki practitioners are not trained in diagnosis and will not predict any specific outcome from treatment. If people are concerned about their symptoms they should see a doctor.
Reiki can be used in conjunction with other therapies, for example reiki energy can be used to cleanse a room, charge a crystal, and when hands are placed on the body during any massage routine or reflexology.
The main benefits of Reiki are:
- Relief of stress-related conditions such as headaches, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety.
- Helping with emotional distress, e.g. during end of life or bereavement.
- Pain relief.
- To enhance healing of any condition.
- Enhanced well-being, feeling peace, more grounded, and better able to cope with life’s challenges.
- Children and animals also respond well to Reiki.
One session may be enough for you to feel significant benefit, however it's best to discuss this with your practitioner. For example, if you have long standing emotional issues and series of treatments may be a good idea. Let common sense prevail - if you're feeling benefits continue with the treatment.
Please note that a good Reiki practitioner will always do a thorough consultation before commencing a treatment, and will also provide advice about aftercare and homecare.