Relaxing, Releasing, Rebalancing, Restorative
Reiki, meaning ‘universal energy’, is a form of natural energy healing, which helps to restore ease and balance to a person as a whole – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Reiki is based on the principle that, at the subtlest level, everything in existence is comprised of energy, including human beings. When a person is generally relaxed, healthy and living in tune with their environment, their energy field will remain strong, balanced and free-flowing. However, if they experience excessive external challenge (such as a severe accident or living in an excessively damp environment) or internal stress (such as unresolved emotional experiences), then corresponding parts of their energy field become disrupted, leading to blockage or deficiency.
In Reiki, the therapist connects to and channels universal ‘life force’ energy into the client’s energy field, via the chakras (energy centres located along the spine), using gentle touch. The energy naturally goes to where its needed, helping to restore balance to the whole person.
Treatments usually begin with a short case history to find out if the client is suffering from any particular physical, mental, emotional or spiritual issues that they wish to address. Reiki is holistic, so works on all levels of a person’s being.
Reiki usually takes place with the recipient lying down, wearing comfortable clothing, in a quiet and peaceful environment. It is also possible for the person to sit if they are not able to lie down. Sometime gentle music may be played to help with the relaxation process if the client wishes.
In a Reiki treatment, the practitioner uses the gentle touch of their hands to channel universal energy towards the main organs and chakras (energy centres) of the client’s body in order to help re-balance their energy field. The therapist is not the healer him/herself but just a channel for the universal energy. The energy naturally flows towards any areas of imbalance, deficiency or blockage in the body, helping to restore balance on whatever levels are needed. The client’s body and ‘inner wisdom’ decides on the priorities for the healing.
During a treatment, you may experience a number of things. People often feel relaxed, calm and peaceful as they experience the healing effects of the energy. As part of the healing process, old emotions, memories or injuries may also temporarily surface to be expressed, released and resolved. After the session, it is recommended that you take time to rest and relax as your system adjusts to the healing changes. Some people can feel quite tired immediately afterwards as their system re-balances; others will feel energised, as if they have had their batteries recharged. There’s no right or wrong. Each system is different and your own body will set the priorities.
Reiki healing has been around for centuries, however it was brought back into our awareness by Japanese minister Dr Mikao Usui in the early twentieth century. Spurred on by the questioning of one of his students after a discussion about the healing miracles performed by Jesus, “How does hands-on healing actually work and do you really believe it works?”, Dr Usui spent years searching for the answers in countless spiritual texts in both US and Japan. Eventually he came across Reiki healing in some ancient Buddhist texts. However he still couldn’t work out how to put this into practise. As a last resort, he went into a deep, twenty one day meditation and on the last day had a life-changing spiritual experience that gave him the ability to channel universal energy and to teach Reiki healing to others.
Dr Usui then spent many years working in the slums of Japan using Reiki to help others to heal themselves. However, he noticed that the same beggars came back over and over again, without any attempts to improve their circumstances despite better health. He realised that this was because they didn’t have a moral code to live by or any real sense of purpose. As a result, Dr Usui established the Five Reiki Principles as a guide for a happy, healthy and meaningful life. They are as follows:
Just for today, don’t worry.
Just for today, don’t anger.
Just for today, be grateful.
Just for today, do an honest day’s work.
Just for today, be kind to all living things.
These became an integral part of the Reiki path. Reiki remained a closed system for many years, with its secrets passed down to only one person (referred to as the Reiki ‘Master’), at a time, until it finally spread to the West and became more widely taught and practised.