Reiki comes from Japan and is a healing technique used to assist in relaxation and stress reduction. It is an energy healing modality in which hands are laid on the receiver to move energy within the body. Sometimes energy can become stuck, which can cause pain or illness. Reiki can help move that stuck energy in order to help the receiver heal her or himself. Many people have heard about Reiki and automatically think “pseudoscience,” “energy nonsense,” “typical alternative medicine,” etc. But there’s a lot to Reiki people don’t know. I’m going to give five things you probably didn’t know about Reiki to help you understand what it is and why I perform Reiki within my massage practice.
1. Reiki has been studied: The study, “Autonomic Nervous-System-Changes During Reiki Treatment: A Preliminary Study” was published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Volume 10, Number 6, and revealed a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate in the Reiki group versus the placebo group. This study was conducted on 45 people divided into 3 groups of 15 people–the Reiki group, the placebo group, and the rest–and measured blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and respiratory rates. Another study done in Oregon showed an increase in immune system function in the control/Reiki group. The blood tests revealed an increase in white blood cells in those who received Reiki treatments. There are many other studies that have the same results as the ones aforementioned.
2. Reiki is not a religion: Reiki has no dogma or a requirement to believe in a higher being. The word Reiki means spiritual energy. “Rei” means spiritual wisdom and “ki” means energy. Anyone can benefit from Reiki whether they are religious or not.
3. Reiki and psychotherapy can help treat trauma: Trauma can happen from a number of things–a car accident (physical and mental trauma), abuse (mental trauma), illness (physical and mental trauma)–which can ease and fade on its own, but sometimes one needs professional help in dealing with trauma accrued over the years. Reiki and psychotherapy work in conjunction to ease the client into a safe space, to help with relaxation when feeling vulnerable, and can assist in calming the mind to release trauma.
4. Intuitive information can come through in a session: Energy is all around us and within us. It takes energy to flex a muscle. The neurological pathways within our brains and central nervous system are a form of electrical energy. The weather patterns are energy. The universe as a whole is energy. We are a part of the universe, therefor we are energy so naturally we have energy flowing in us and around us. Sometimes when working with a client in a Reiki and/or massage session intuitive information or energy is passed from the client to the practitioner (Harrison 32). This is not to say the session is one of psychic readings, but rather energy being shared that may be relevant to the client’s healing process. For example, in a Reiki session a couple of years ago I saw pictures of dragons in my mind’s eye. I asked the young woman what dragons mean to her after the session and she said she loved the movies, How to Train Your Dragon, and loved the energy of dragons. She said she felt happiest when thinking of “her” dragons. Her mood and energy immediately lightened and she said she felt happy and less anxious.
5. Usui Reiki is more than energy: Mikao Usui wanted balance within Reiki practice, so he added “ideals” to help bring about balance. “Their purpose is to help people realize that healing the spirit by consciously deciding to improve oneself is a necessary part of the Reiki healing experience. In order for the Reiki healing energies to have lasting results, the client must accept responsibility for her or his healing and take an active part in it. Therefore, the Usui system of Reiki is more than the use of the Reiki energy. It must also include an active commitment to improve oneself in order for it to be a complete system.” (www.reiki.org, What is Reiki). The ideals then are to be the best form of yourself so that you can be the best facilitator of healing for those who come to you, as well as the receiver being in a state of readiness and acceptance for that healing. If a client is not ready for the healing (skeptical or fearful of the session) then the session will not have lasting effects. Reiki gives the receiver responsibility for her/his well-being and health. The ideals from www.reiki.org are as follows:
The secret art of inviting happiness
The miraculous medicine of all diseases
Just for today, do not anger
Do not worry and be filled with gratitude
Devote yourself to your work. Be kind to people.
Every morning and evening, join your hands in prayer.
Pray these words to your heart
and chant these words with your mouth
Usui Reiki Treatment for the improvement of body and mind
The founder , Usui Mikao
Reiki is a beautiful tool to be used to help relax and heal the mind. In conjunction with massage it helps facilitate that healing energy we all carry within us.
Harrison, Karen. “Improving the Value of your Reiki Practice.” Reiki News Magazine, Fall 2017, pp. 31-34.