What is Reiki?

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Introduction to Reiki

Reiki is a type of complementary medicine, first developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui. It is a hands-off treatment that differs from a traditional massage. Although your practitioner will touch you, they will not manipulate your muscles. Instead their focus is entirely shifting the balance of qi (or “energy”) with the aim to help heal muscles and organs without touch.

Reiki healing is typically used to address emotional problems, such as stress and anxiety, and as a complementary treatment following medical procedures. Reiki can also benefit pregnant women and babies.i  Cancer patients also sometime seek Reiki to help control side effects of their cancer treatments, such as pain, anxiety and sickness. It is important to bear in mind that while Reiki may help you to cope with symptoms or side effects, it is not able to treat cancer. It has no proven effects, but may make a psychological impact depending on your needs.

What happens during Reiki treatment?

You may hire a Reiki practitioner to come to your home, or visit them at their home or studio. Remaining fully dressed, you’ll be invited to lie on a massage bed or sit on a chair.Your Reiki practitioner might dim the lights or play soothing music. They put their hands on, or a few inches above, your body. They will move their hands across your body, usually starting at your head and working down to your feet. They may focus on particular areas of the body, depending on your needs. Even if you just need help with a specific area, Reiki is used over your entire body, as practitioners believe that energy can be blocked at various points, in particular the chakra portals which run along the main energy channel. You might feel a tingling sensation, a deep relaxation, or warmth or coolness throughout your body. Or, you might not feel anything at all. Beyond the philosophy of Reiki itself, you may find the gentle touch or even just the soothing presence of another person comforting, supportive and reassuring. Practitioners are not trained to be able to diagnose any health issues, and you should always see a doctor for medical advice.

A session usually lasts between 20 minutes and an hour. Many practitioners say you will get the best results from 3 sessions within a fairly short space of time. Then take a break before having more treatments.

How does Reiki work?

Reiki has not been proven to have any medical or scientific effect on the body, so it’s outcomes are personal to the individual.

The technique at the heart of Reiki is called palm healing. By placing their hands on or above you, a Reiki practitioner believes that they are transferring their own energy into your body. Many other therapies also claim to work using energetic movement, such as Reflexology. However, as this also involves an element of physical manipulation it’s proven effects can be related to a direct interaction with the nervous system. Reiki can be sent remotely. An appropriately trained practitioner can send healing over a distance. So you can be in your own home having Reiki from a person elsewhere.

Reiki symbols

Symbols are used in Reiki to focus the practitioner’s mind and allow them to tap into specific energetic frequencies. Some of the most well known Reiki symbols include:

  • Cho Ku Ray (pronounced “choh-koo-ray”): This is used to turn on the energy flow from the practitioner,increase the intensity or power of the treatment, or to finalise the session.
  • Sei Kei Ki (pronounced “say-hay-key”): Chanted before treating emotional or mental blockages.
  • Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen (pronounced “hanh-shah-zay-show-nen”): Used to send energy to anyone, anywhere from a distance.

Reiki music

Calming music will usually be played throughout your treatment. It is typically slow and continuous, without any high pitched or sharp sounds. Reiki music can be great for concentration if you’re trying to wind down after a long day or study for an exam.

After Reiki a treatment

You might feel thirsty after a session. It can help to drink plenty of water and avoid strong caffeine based drinks, such as coffee. You will be able to carry on your day as normal following treatment without feeling any adverse effects. The effects will depend on your mood and expectations.

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