The Japanese word for Reiki translates as Universal Lifeforce energy, recognised in Chinese Medicine as Qi, the manifestation of all things. This system of healing was developed by Mikao Usui in the early 20th century, primarily intended to support his students on their path to spiritual enlightenment. It’s application for the purpose of healing was a welcomed reward, which was widely respected and popularised in the West in the early 90’s. As part of these teachings, Usui offered reiju or attunement to his student’s, which still form part of Reiki training today. His “…secret method to invite blessings” are still at the heart of practice, bringing warmth, compassion and humility to healer’s and receivers alike.
Often described as palm healing or 'hands-on-body healing' Reiki involves thepractitioner placing their hands lightly on or just above the body tofacilitate the process of self-healing. Simply, it involves thepractitioner intuitively channelling energy to where it is needed most.
Reiki offers a safe, gentle, yet powerful therapy, enabling a more laid back andpositive approach to life, and better ability to cope. It can also have aprofound effect on clearing deep rooted blockages, invigorating the receiverwith a renewed sense of hope, direction and inner peace. It’sspiritual cleansing can be particularly effective during end of life care,supported by charities such as Cancer Research UK along-side complementing the treatment of longer term conditions such as MND. Morecommonly, Reiki can be effective in the treatment of anxiety, depression andstress. More information can be found here.
What to expect?
Reiki can be performed anywhere; on a massage couch, chair or bed, with the receiver, fully clothed, in a peaceful, warm setting. The initial consultation will involve a brief case history and understanding of treatment expectation. Once settled into position, treatment typically begins with a body scan, whereby the practitioner hovers their hand slowly above the body, feeling for areas of cool or heat. Once completed, Reiki is transferred by placing the hands lightly on or over the area, for up to 5 minutes. The treatment may incorporate chakra healing, with the intention always for the greater good of the individual. Typically, a warm or tingly sensation may be felt, with some describing a visual aura and a dream-like meditative state.
The treatment typically lasts 45 minutes, ending with a closing ritual to cleanse the energy field and ground the treatment. Treatments can be offered weekly, or bi-monthly, depending on individual circumstances, however are typically recommended monthly, to maintain good physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
Like most Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), clinical evidence (in a biomedicinally context) is challenging due to the inability to separate sham controls from applied intervention. Touch, however intended or applied, cannot be underestimated for it’s therapeutic effect. It can therefore not be categorised as a placebo, in the same way a non-pharmaceutical intervention may be. Despite these challenges, there is a growing body of clinical evidence which supports the positive effects of Complementary Therapy on huge range of conditions. Further information regarding Reiki and the supporting evidence can be found here.