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An Introduction To Reiki


"We are what we think".    - Buddha

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July 8, 2008

An Introduction To Reiki

Jeff here…

Thanks for reading the Self Help Tips Blog!

Many of you have probably heard of a new technique called "Reiki".  Today I would like to explain the basics of what it is and how it is performed, so that you will have the knowledge to decide wether or not Reiki is something that will benefit your life.

Mikao Usui is credited with developing Reiki in the early 1920’s after a three week period of retreat and fasting on Japan’s Mount Kurama. The term Reiki is derived from two Japanese symbols, Rei which literally translates to "Spirit" and Ki which means life force. Therefore, the practice of Reiki involves the channeling of a Universal Spiritual energy or life force. Reiki generally involves a "laying on of hands" whereby the Reiki practitioner channels the energy into the body of the recipient. The recipient will usually be lying on a couch fully clothed, and the practitioner may make gentle contact with various parts of the body in turn. In some instances, energy flow may be channeled without making contact at all with hands held a distance of a few centimeters away from the body. Advanced practitioners are also known to provide treatments to recipients remotely, where the energy flows are focused upon a symbolic representation of the recipient who may be physically situated at a different location.

It is believed that the energy does not originate from the practitioner but flows in from the Universe through the crown chakra at the top of the head and then flows out through the hands into the recipient. As the source of energy is not from within, Reiki may even be practiced on oneself and can be learnt by a wide range of individuals, regardless of intellectual and other abilities.

Reiki is not a religion, but is more appropriately classified as an alternate or complementary therapy. It’s effects are holistic and achieved through attuning the energy flows within the body and clearing the blockages of this energy flow. While there is anecdotal evidence of Reiki helping in a wide variety of ailments, Reiki does not of itself claim to provide instantaneous relief from specific complaints. Instead, it works by stimulating and supporting the body’s natural healing processes. In order for Reiki to work effectively, the recipient has to be a willing participant and it is believed that any reluctance or resistance on the part of the recipient would negate the effects of the treatment. Recipients report a variety of physical reactions during treatment such as tingling, warmth, cold or twitching, while others may feel nothing. A feeling of mental calmness and relaxation is often experienced.

A typical Reiki session would involve the laying of hands on specific areas of the body for around three to five minutes, before moving on to the next location. Up to twenty locations maybe covered including the head, front and back of torso, feet and knees with the whole treatment lasting between forty five to ninety minutes. Treatment may be localized if a specific problem or complaint is the focus. While Reiki may often be practiced in a formal setting, it can also be practiced in informal settings combined with social interaction, or in group sessions where each practitioner takes turns at being recipient as well.

Some examples of Reiki practices include:

Kenyoku Ho - The practice of cleansing heart, body and spirit which involves sweeping movements of the hands alternately from left shoulder to right hip and right shoulder to left hip.

Hatsurei Ho - This practice of unifying body and mind and purifying the mind involves sitting in a still (seiza) position while reciting specific calming verses of poetry.

Reiki does not claim to be a substitute for all other forms of treatment and it could be potentially dangerous to abandon treatment in sole reliance on Reiki. However, it does have many potential benefits and has received greater acceptance in the west since its introduction there by an American named Hawayo Takata in 1938. Reiki is non-invasive and simple to learn and practice, can be self administered and has little or no ill effects. These are all powerful advantages.

While Reiki is not a religion, it does promote several principles the origin of which are attributed to Emperor Meiji. These include:

Just for today - avoid anger and worry.
Just for today - be honest and compassionate to yourself and others.

Regardless of other benefits from the practice of Reiki, following these principles certainly can do no harm.

Filed under Health, Self Help by Jeff

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