Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is comprised of two Japanese words, “Rei” which means “universal life force energy” and “Ki” which means “life force energy”. Together they form the foundation of a healing practice which taps into this higher wisdom to channel energy through the practitioner to release blockages and support healing on a mental, physical or spiritual level (often all three).
Reiki, as we know it today, began in the early 1900’s. Through study, research and meditation a Japanese man, Mikao Usui, had an experience of empowerment that led him to develop Reiki as a healing system. Usui’s original teachings call for five precepts to be practiced daily:
- Do not become angry
- Worry about nothing
- Express one’s gratitude
- Be diligent in work
- Be kind to others
While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki.
Reiki is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. It is administered by simply laying on hands and can be used alone and also alongside regular medical treatment whatever that might be. One does not need to know the cause of illness.
Reiki is increasingly offered in hospital, hospice, and private practice settings, applied to a variety of illnesses and conditions. Research shows that reiki helps in the reduction of stress, anxiety and depression, as well as relief of chronic pain. It encourages mental clarity, aids relaxation, improves sleep, smooths digestion, strengthens self-esteem, heightens self-awareness and intuition and offers support for substance abuse recovery.