Reiki is a non-invasive approach to healing that developed in Japan in the 1920's. Today, Reiki energy healing is a popular adjunct to traditional forms of medicine and is among several alternative healing therapies actively studied by the US government.
The word Reiki comes from two Japanese words, rei and ki. Roughly translated, Reiki means universal life energy . Practitioners of Reiki believe that this form of energy flows in and around everyone and everything in the universe. Reiki practitioners also believe that all illnesses have non-physical components. The purpose of a Reiki healing session is to channel additional life energy, or ki, to the person who suffers from some type of physical, mental, or spiritual trauma. The additional energy clears blockages and establishes an increased, and more efficient, flow of energy within the person. As this occurs, true healing can begin.
The time needed for an individual healing session varies depending on the client and the particular problem addressed. However, Reiki therapists generally schedule their sessions for 45-60 minutes. The client remains fully clothed during a Reiki session. He or she may lie flat or sit upright. It is especially important that both the healer and the client feel comfortable, peaceful, and serene during the healing session. Soft lighting and relaxing music are often used by Reiki practitioners to increase these feelings.
When the client is comfortable, the therapist places his or her hands lightly on, or slightly above, the person's body. The hands of the healer are held palms down with fingers and thumbs extended. During the session, the Reiki therapist will move his or her hands to particular locations on the body, following a specific routine. There are 12-15 Reiki hand positions that correspond to energy centers. The healer will stop at each of these locations to transmit energy. The healer will pause at each location until the flow of energy seems to subside or stop. When the energy flow subsides, the therapist will move to another hand position, working from head to feet.
A sensation of heat is often taken as an indication of Reiki energy flow. However, the healer and the recipient may report a wide range of experiences. Among other things, a tingling, coolness, warmth, or the sensation of colors may be experienced.
According to Reiki therapists, people almost always leave a Reiki healing session feeling very relaxed and tranquil. However, recipients of Reiki therapy sometimes report what therapists call a cleansing crisis . They may feel headachy, nauseous, dizzy, or weak. Reiki practitioners believe that these symptoms occur as the body rids itself of toxins and realigns itself to the flow of ki. Rest and increased fluid intake are often recommended to help clients cope with these symptoms.