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Self Nurturing: Reiki

I am a firm believer in alternative therapies, especially when it comes to maintaining general health and well-being on all levels.  The levels that I refer to are the physical, the mental, the emotional, and the spiritual.  If I do not take care of myself on all these levels then I find myself “out of sync” or “off kilter”.  Two of My favorite therapies are massage and Reiki.  I came to Reiki by way of massage and chose to study this unique and gentle therapy because my massage teacher said I was “predisposed to energy work”.  Today I am a Reiki Master.  Most people know something about massage, but not very many people know abut Reiki, so let me try and explain it a little.

The word is pronounced “ray-key” and translated from Japanese, Reiki literally means universal life energy.  This is a specific frequency of energy that exists everywhere.  Its frequency balances all other energies it encounters.  It is generated by all forms of life and has been given many names including “chi” and “prana”.  Even modern-day scientists acknowledge the fact that everyone, every creature, everything is made up of energy; it’s just slowed down enough to become solid matter.

Today when we use the term “Reiki” we are implying a system of natural healing that uses this universal life energy as a healing tool.  The actual techniques applied are more properly called the Usai System of Natural Healing , so named after the modern-day founder of the system, Dr. Mikao Usai.  Reiki as it is currently practiced is over 150 years old, but its actual origins date back over 2,500 years. 

The beauty of Reiki is that it does not conflict with any other therapy nor does it interfere with medicine.  Rather it enhances everything it touches.  Because Reiki can be used in every situation it can augment any standard medical course of therapy by encouraging and quickening the body’s own healing ability.  Reiki can help find clarity in mental processes and can add calm to emotional situations.  Reiki can help ease pain and discomfort.  It is also an incredibly effective stress management tool. Even in terminal cases, Reiki can help to comfort those in transition.

So what can you expect to experience during a Reiki treatment?  Well each session is completely unique because we are all unique beings.  The modality of the session as I was taught is very simple.  The person receiving Reiki will lie on his back with arms at his sides in a totally relaxed state.  His body will be well supported.  There is no need to be undressed.  The Reiki Practitioner will then lay hands very gently in specific positions on the body.  Some Practitioners do not touch the person, preferring to place the hands inches above the body.  My personal opinion is that the gentle touch is very much a part of the person’s healing experience.  The normal method is to start with the face and head area then move slowly down the body to the feet.  The Practitioner will then ask the person to turn over and will then continue the hand positions down the back of the body.

The sensations that you may feel will change as the Practitioner’s hands move over the body.  The most common sensation is a warm gentle glow that is very soothing.  Many people talk of finding themselves “floating” or “on another plain”.  Some people experience extreme heat coming from the Practitioner’s hands, and yet others experience a type of throbbing sensation.  Many people do experience some very specific and strong healing during or within twenty four hours after a Reiki session.

The Master who taught me Reiki made it very clear to all of her students that we were not “doing anything”.  We had been attuned, which means our energy channels had been opened, and we were simply offering ourselves as willing and clean conduits for the universal life energy to flow.  Ego has nothing to do with Reiki and will in fact interfere with the flow.  So for me, a professed Christian, this energy is God’s energy and trying to manipulate it or pretending that I have any say in the matter is rather like saying I know better than God!  In preparation for a Reiki session I clear my heart and my mind of self and I enter into the session with no intentions or purposes.  If the person receiving wishes to have a special thought or intention for what they would like to receive during the session that is fine.

You see Reiki energy is smart because the universe is a very smart place, and I think God is quite smart too!!  The energy flows and knows where to go and what to do once it gets there because God is directing it.  The exact amount of energy that is needed for the recipient is drawn through the Practitioner.  All this happens without direct conscious intervention by the Practitioner.  He or she is just making themselves available to do God’s work.  Under these circumstances healing has a different meaning from the widely accepted meaning which seems to be “curing of all symptoms”.  Healing in Reiki is simply meant as the return to greater wholeness.  Receiving Reiki is one of the most beautiful gifts you can give to yourself.

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