Reiki is a Japanese term for a therapeutic energy healing modality that is quickly gaining popularity within Western medical communities. If you are familiar with Reiki, it's history, benefits and growing body of research evidencing its effectiveness, feel free to scroll past this brief introduction and explore the available session options below.
What IS Reiki?
The common definition of Reiki (Ray-kee) found through any Google-type search starts by explaining the two Japanese kanji (symbols used for language) Rei and Ki. Both kanji are symbols that represent spiritual/philosophical concepts, or way of understanding reality and human existence.
The "Rei" kanji is a symbol for the non-visible energy system that maintains the on-going creation process. The universal life-force behind things like cellular division and reproduction, when seeds grow into plants and trees, caterpillars into butterflies, and the life cycles of stars and planets. "Ki," or "Chi," is a symbol for the non-visible energy system within every living being. It is "Rei" on the individualized level.
The definition I use for Reiki, at its most basic and practical levels, comes from an article by Pamela Miles and Gala True, published in the March/April 2003 volume of Alternative Therapies (article linked below):
"Reiki is a vibrational, or subtle energy, therapy most commonly facilitated by light touch, which is believed to balance the biofield and strengthen the body's ability to heal itself."
Where did Reiki come from?
Reiki's history in the Western world generally references Usui Reiki. The story begins with Mikao Usui (1865-1926), a Japanese healer who received an energetic attunement and healing symbols to share with others. He founded a society for healers who practiced this type of biofield therapy called the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai.
Usui-san gave his student, Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, permission to open an Usui-Reiki dojo and teach the practice to others. One of Dr. Hayashi's students was a woman from Hawaii named Hawayo Takata. Takata studied under Dr. Hayashi in Japan, then returned to Hawaii where she attuned and trained 22 Usui-Reiki Masters. A far majority of English-speaking Reiki practitioners can trace their Reiki attunement linage to one or more of these 22 Usui-Reiki Masters.
What does Reiki do?
Reiki "is believed to balance the biofield and strengthen the body's ability to heal itself." First, let's take a closer look at the concept that our individual bodies each have a "biofield."
A biofield describes the various forms of energy our body creates while we are alive. When our heart beats, it creates a subtle, unseen electro-magnetic field. It's the reason a defibrillator can re-start hearts with electric pulses. Medical professionals can study multiple types of brain waves and how thoughts, emotions, positive and traumatic experiences impact cognitive processes.
In the past 20 years, several medical-based studies have produced key insights about Reiki's therapeutic benefits. The general agreement is that receiving therapeutic Reiki sessions can assist with decreasing levels of pain, anxiety and depression, reducing blood pressure, and increasing one's self-esteem, quality of life, and ability to experience deep states of relaxation.
What Reiki is NOT
Reiki is NOT a substitute for professional medical treatment. Reiki practitioners do not take the place of medical professionals and should never diagnosis, or claim to treat or heal, any medical conditions. Practitioners should facilitate therapeutic Reiki sessions to compliment, and never replace, any type of medical treatment.
REIKI IS NOT A RELIGION.
My experience facilitating in-person Reiki sessions has, so far, been limited to two states in the "Southern(ers)" corner of the United States: North Carolina and Tennessee. A far majority of my clients either are, or once were, individuals who identify as "Christian." The most common resistance I typically encounter from Christians is a belief that Reiki is somehow bad, evil, or even "demonic" because it is not openly tied to Christianity.
If you are a Christian questioning how Reiki compliments your religious beliefs, I invite you to read through a three part blog series on Reiki for Christians. You can read Part 1 here, or find the series in the Blog section above.