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What Is REIKI?

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It 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. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words - Rei which means "God's Wisdom or the Higher Power" and Ki which is "life force energy". So Reiki is actually "spiritually guided life force energy."

A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing. Many have reported miraculous results.

Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.

An amazingly simple technique to learn, the ability to use Reiki is not taught in the usual sense, but is transferred to the student during a Reiki class. This ability is passed on during an "Attunement" given by a Reiki master and allows the student to tap into an unlimited supply of "life force energy" to improve one's health and enhance the quality of life.

Its use is not dependent on one's intellectual capacity or spiritual development and therefore is available to everyone. It has been successfully taught to thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds.

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. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not. Because Reiki comes from God, many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their religion rather than having only an intellectual concept of it.

While Reiki is not a religion, it is still important to live and act in a way that promotes harmony with others. Mikao Usui, the founder of the Reiki system of natural healing, recommended that one practice certain simple ethical ideals to promote peace and harmony, which are nearly universal across all cultures.

During a meditation several years after developing Reiki, Mikao Usui decided to add the Reiki Ideals to the practice of Reiki. The Ideals came in part from the five prinicples of the Meiji emperor of Japan whom Mikao Usui admired. The Ideals were developed to add spiritual balance to Usui Reiki. Their purpose is to help people realize that healing the spirit by consciously deciding to improve oneself is a necessary part of the Reiki healing experience. In order for the Reiki healing energies to have lasting results, the client must accept responsibility for her or his healing and take an active part in it. Therefore, the Usui system of Reiki is more than the use of the Reiki energy. It must also include an active commitment to improve oneself in order for it to be a complete system. The ideals are both guidelines for living a gracious life and virtues worthy of practice for their inherent value.

“The secret art of inviting happiness
The miraculous medicine of all diseases
Just for today, do not anger
Do not worry and be filled with gratitude
Devote yourself to your work. Be kind to people.
Every morning and evening, join your hands in prayer.
Pray these words to your heart
and chant these words with your mouth
Usui Reiki Treatment for the improvement of body and mind.”

Reiki Founding Father,

Usui Mikao

Benefits Of Reiki

Reiki channels universal energy known as ki, pronounced “chi.” This is the same energy involved in tai chi exercise.

This energy supposedly permeates the body. Reiki experts point out that although this energy is not measurable with modern scientific techniques, many who tune into it can feel it.

Reiki allegedly aids relaxation, assists in the body’s natural healing processes, and develops emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. However, no studies have conclusively shown this to be true.

Some anecdotal evidence suggests that it may induce deep relaxation, help people cope with difficulties, relieve emotional stress, and improve overall well-being.

Conditions that people have used Reiki to help treat include:
  • cancer

  • heart disease

  • anxiety

  • depression

  • chronic pain

  • infertility

  • neurodegenerative disorders

  • autism

  • Crohn’s disease

  • fatigue

It is important to note that Reiki should never take the place of medical treatments.

However, people living with certain health conditions may be interested in trying Reiki alongside their regular treatment. For instance, some people with cancer may find Reiki beneficial as it may help them relax. The gentle nature of Reiki therapy may have a soothing effect on patients who find that they become overwhelmed with invasive therapy, fear, and stress.

Individuals report different experiences. Some say that the practitioner’s hands become hot, others report cooling hands, and some feel pulsating waves. The most common reports are of a release of stress and deep relaxation.

Limitations Of Reiki

Possible drawbacks of reiki include:

Limited scientific backing
Although reiki has been practiced for many years, there’s insufficient evidence to prove its effectiveness. Most of the existing studies on reiki have shown inconsistent results.

Plus, science has yet to prove that the body’s energy field exists. Even if it does, no scientific techniques can measure how this energy might be transferred or balanced.

It’s Unregulated
Reiki therapy lacks formal regulation. No one organization sets nationwide standards for:
· education
· training
· credentials
· certification
People without a background in healthcare can become reiki practitioners. Also, different practitioners can receive certification based on different requirements.

May not be covered by Insurance.
Reiki might be covered by health insurance if it’s part of another treatment that qualifies for coverage. For example, you may receive reiki during physical therapy that’s covered by insurance.

But if you visit a reiki practitioner, you’ll need to pay out of pocket. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $100 or more, depending on the practitioner’s experience.

Some practitioners offer donation-based sessions. Reiki students might also provide low-cost options as they begin their practice.

Experiences Vary
The reported benefits of reiki are inconsistent. And receiving reiki is a subjective experience. It’s difficult to predict how or what you’ll feel.

It’s said that people have better results when they’re more open to the potential of reiki. As a result, being skeptical of the practice could affect your experience.

Does not treat specific Conditions
Reiki is not an alternative for medical treatment. It doesn’t treat any diseases or disorders. Instead, it aims to promote overall wellness.

If you have a disease or disorder, it’s still important to get appropriate medical treatment while getting reiki.

Reiki therapy has been practiced for about a century. Yet, it’s occasionally been associated with side effects like discomfort and tiredness. There’s also limited scientific evidence and regulation behind the practice.

Other potential disadvantages of reiki include inconsistent results and paying out of pocket. It also doesn’t specifically treat any conditions.

Reiki is a subjective experience, though, and you may want to give it a try. To find a reiki practitioner, ask friends or massage therapists for recommendations. Check the practitioner’s background and credentials. Make sure you feel comfortable around them before booking a session.

Is Reiki Effective?

Is Reiki effective? Or more precisely, from a research perspective, what is Reiki effective for?

A Reiki practitioner would answer that question by saying, "Reiki is effective for restoring balance, which can show up in a number of ways, depending on the current need of the individual." That's not an answer that appeals to medical researchers, who are used to studying treatments for specific illnesses rather than treatments to promote wellness or restore balance.

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