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Reiki - Introduction, History, Uses and Benefits of Reiki

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Introduction to Reiki

Reiki is a Japanese form of healing that is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. What makes Reiki unique is that it incorporates elements of just about every other alternative healing practices such as spiritual healing, auras, crystals, chakra balancing, meditation, aromatherapy, naturopathy, and homeopathy.

Reiki involves the transfer of energy from practitioner to patient to enhance the body's natural ability to heal itself through the balancing of energy. Reiki utilizes specific techniques for restoring and balancing the natural life force energy within the body. It is a holistic, natural, hands-on energy healing system that touches on all levels: body, mind, and spirit.

Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is a Japanese word representing universal life energy, the energy which is all around us. It is derived from rei, meaning "free passage" or "transcendental spirit" and ki, meaning "vital life force energy" or " universal life energy".

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What Is Reiki?

Reiki practitioners channel energy in a particular pattern to heal and harmonize. Unlike other healing therapies based on the premise of a human energy field, Reiki seeks to restore order to the body whose vital energy has become unbalanced.

Reiki energy has several basic effects: it brings about deep relaxation, destroys energy blockages, detoxifies the system, provides new vitality in the form of healing universal life energy, and increases the vibrational frequency of the body.

The laying of hands is used in Reiki therapy also as in spiritual healing. There is a difference though. In spiritual healing, a person with a strong energy field places his or her hands above a particular part of the recipient's body in order to release energy into it. So, here the healer is the one who is sending out the energy. In Reiki, however, the healer places the hands above the recipient; however, it is the recipient that draws the energy as needed. Thus, in this case, the individual being healed takes an active part in the healing process as opposed to having a passive part in spiritual healing. The individual takes responsibility for his or her healing. The recipient identifies the needs and cater to them by drawing energy as needed.

Although there are a few positions in which the practitioner is in contact with the patient (such as cradling the head), most Reiki treatments do not involve actual touching. The practitioner holds his or her hands a few inches or farther away from the patient's body and manipulates the energy field from there.

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History of Reiki

Reiki is believed to have begun in Tibet several thousand years ago. Seers in the Orient studied energies and developed a system of sounds and symbols for universal healing energies. Various healing systems, which crossed many different cultures, emerged from this single root system. Unfortunately, the original source itself was forgotten.

Dr. Mikao Usui, a Japanese Christian educator in Kyoto, Japan, rediscovered the root system in the mid- to late 1800s. He began an extensive twenty-one-year study of the healing phenomena of history's greatest spiritual leaders. He also studied ancient sutras (Buddhist teachings written in Sanskrit). He discovered ancient sounds and symbols that are linked directly to the human body and nervous system which activate the universal life energy for healing.

Usui then underwent a metaphysical experience and became empowered to use these sounds and symbols to heal. He called this form of healing Reiki and taught it throughout Japan until his death around 1893.

The tradition was passed through several grandmasters of reiki such as Dr. Chujiro Hyashi, Hawayo Takata, and Phyllis Lei Furumoto.

There are many forms of reiki being practiced now. The two principal ones are: "the Usui System of Natural Healing" and "the Radiance Technique."

The Usui System of Natural Healing balances and strengthens the body's energy, promoting its ability to heal itself.

Reiki is useful in treating serious serious illnesses as well as others. Examples are: sports injuries, cuts, burns, internal diseases, emotional disorders, and stress-related illnesses.

Reiki was introduced to the Western world in the mid-1970s. Since then its use has spread dramatically worldwide.

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Reiki Energy

Reiki energy is regarded as life energy at its most effective-with the maximum vibration. It is considered to have an almost divine quality and as such includes everything, in a world where problems and disorders are deemed to be due to the feeling of detachment from the world. There is no division of Reiki energy into positive and negative forms but when a person undergoes a session of therapy, they allow the energy to be taken into themselves with beneficial effects. Essentially, those receiving Reiki energy decide subconsciously just how much of the life energy is taken in.

Those who use Reiki regularly often find they are more joyful, lively and their own in-built energy is enhanced-almost as if their batteries had been fully charged! Existing conflicts within the person are broken down and there is a greater vitality, leading to relaxation and a stimulation of the body. As this improvement develops, the natural processes of renewal and removal of toxins are enhanced and rendered more effective, ultimately opening up more of the body to the life energy.

Body organs such as the skin, and protective systems such as the immune system are improved providing the individual is prepared regularly to undertake Reiki and in the first place to undergo an attunement or initiation into Reiki energy. The initiation is merely a means whereby the universal life energy is bestowed through the Reiki master. The master acts as a channel and a link with God to release the healing power.

An initiation is not absolutely essential but it allows the individual access to the universal life energy, which is used rather than their own life energy. Also, an initiation conveys a greater capacity for using Reiki energy, with no associated tiredness and further, it provides a protective mechanism against any negative manifestations.

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Initiation or Becoming a Reiki Master

Through a series of attunements, part of the initiation process for new Reiki practitioners, a Reiki master employs the ancient sounds and symbols that attune an individual's nervous system to a higher level of energy. A level is reached in which the students, neither highly trained nor especially gifted, can experience more energy flowing through their hands, giving them the power to heal themselves and others.

Reiki is taught in three levels or degrees. In Level I or First Degree, the participant receives attunement or initiation to the Reiki energy by the Reiki master. This permanently guides the person to greater healing power. The student learns how to do full body treatments on self and others.

In Level II or Second Degree, the participant receives attunements which increase the strength of the practitioner's Reiki energy. This primarily involves learning the sounds and symbols which are used in advanced Reiki bodywork and absentee healing.

In Level III or Third Degree, the participant receives third-level empowerment and the 'final symbol'. It is taught mainly for personal growth. A person who has completed the third level is able to give the Level I Reiki attunement.

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Who Does The Reiki Master Initiation?

Practitioners study with Reiki masters to learn how to access ki and become a channel for its transmission. Students learn basic healing patterns and the "laying on of hands" for themselves and others. More advanced practitioners may use absentee healing-which involves practicing Reiki on someone from a long distance, such as a different part of the country- or goal-oriented healing to address specific problems.

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The Use of Whole-Body Reiki

Since, a disease or disorder in one area will inevitably affect the whole body, the use of Reiki is best applied to the whole-body, to cleanse and revitalize the complete system.

The implementation of Reiki is highly ritualized and ceremonious. Many practitioners undertake a particular routine before commencing a regime of whole-body treatment. The main elements are briefly described below.

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Preparing For Whole-Body Reiki

Remove jewelry

Jewelry contains items such as stones (semi-precious or precious), metal rings or chains, leather thongs or a variety of other objects. Many of these will attract energies that may interfere with the life energy of Reiki. Items such as watches create a closed circuit that reduce the flow of life energy. Earrings are especially a problem. The pierced ears interfere with the flow of energy. The ears are very important in many therapies such as acupuncture that utilize meridians and must be kept unencumbered.

Wash hands

There are two reasons for washing hands. First, there is the physical effect of cleaning. It makes the hands pleasant to feel for the recipient of Reiki. Hot, sticky hands should be avoided in Reiki as they are not conducive to the state of relaxation being sought.

The second benefit relates to the aura surrounding the body. This aura may be affected by contact with objects, people, etc over the course of the day and washing removes such influences, which could, in sensitive people, have an adverse effect.

Say a prayer

It is helpful at this stage to recite a short prayer asking for healing and to concentrate upon and acknowledge your aims, self-perception and those of the person upon whom your hands will be placed. The prayer makes you ready to enter into the relaxation process.

Even out the aura

This is a means of gently making contact and starting the therapy. It involves a number of steps.

Ask the person to lie down.
Sit beside the person; put your left hand on your sacrum.
With your right hand held about 6-9 inches (15-25 cm) above the body and palm facing down, move your hand along the length of the body from the head to the toes.

Return the hand to the starting point using a circular motion along the side of the body.

Repeat this three or four times

This process can be repeated after the Reiki therapy when your left hand can be placed on the sacrum of the recipient.

Energize

When each Reiki therapy session is complete the whole body may be energized via the root chakra. The hand is held vertically above the body and then quickly moved from the pelvis to the head.

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The Practice of Whole-Body Reiki

Before the Whole Body Reiki Treatment

There is great scope for variation in the number and sequence of positions used for whole-body treatment. It will depend greatly upon the practitioner and what is felt to be best for the recipient, but no one sequence can be deemed the best one for all. It is important to be certain that your client/partner is not suffering from any illness or condition that might require the attention of another health professional. Reiki has its particular uses but it is unwise to try to address problems that clearly fall beyond its scope. The client can easily ask advice from their doctor, or other professional, as to whether they should undergo Reiki therapy.

The extent of each session of Reiki will vary depending upon circumstances and the individual receiving treatment. Certain positions may be better left out of the sequence or therapy may be focused on a particular area to help relieve blockages or deal with tension. If the recipient is currently on a regime of medication then a shorter session may be appropriate.

Similarly, if dealing with a small child or an elderly or infirm person, it is probably wise to limit the therapy to a session of 15 to 20 minutes. In all cases the Reiki practitioner should be sensitive to and aware of the condition, needs and well being of the recipient.

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Positions In Reiki Therapy

The hands are clearly the 'instruments' of healing in Reiki. The position in which the hands are placed on the recipient is important. However, it may be varied depending on the circumstances. Just placing the hands on the appropriate part of the body is sufficient.

Reiki can be effected through clothing, as the energy will flow the clothing. But many people prefer to have no material obstacles to the therapy.

The Head

The hands are placed either side of the nose, with the palms covering the eyes; the thumbs rest by the bridge of the nose and the fingertips cover the cheeks and reach the upper lip. This arrangement covers the sinuses, eyes, Pituitary gland, and teeth. It is useful for dealing with colds, sinusitis, eye complaints, allergies, fatigue and general discontent.

Another position is to place the hands over the ears, with the fingertips extending down the jaw-line to the neck, encompassing the ears including the semi-circular canals, responsible for balance. The effect also extends to the pharyngeal area. Diseases and problems of these organs such as colds, trouble with balance, hearing loss, etc. are dealt with in this position.

For relieving conditions such as headaches, colds, asthma and circulatory problems, place the hands on the back of the head. It also promotes relaxation.

The Chest And Abdomen

There are many variations for the chest and abdomen; we will only discuss a few here.

The arrangement for the thymus, heart and lungs is as follows: one hand is laid across the thymus and the other at 90 degrees starting just below and between the breasts. The thymus is a bi-lobed gland in the neck. It is an important part of the immune system. This arrangement therefore reinforces the immune system and helps the lymphatics, the heart, lungs and counters any general debility.

Another technique is to place the hands on either side of the navel and slightly to one side. The stomach and digestive organs are the focus of attention here and the conditions/symptoms addressed are the digestion and the metabolism. Specifically, this treatment will combat nausea, heartburn, gastrointestinal diseases and indigestion. Because the presence of such conditions often results in tension and worry, the relief of symptoms will similarly help relieve anxiety and depression.

There are two other positions that are worth exploring: Here, the hands are placed in a position similar to that used to focus on the stomach and digestive organs but further away from the body midline. Approach the body from the right side of the recipient. Place your left hand around the base of the ribcage. In this position, we are dealing with the gall bladder and liver. This position is for diseases and conditions of these important organs and associated problems of a metabolic nature. The liver is a vital organ in the process of removing toxins from the body. Hence this arrangement is very important for healing those ailments.

The position related to this one is essentially a reflection where the hands are placed on the left side of the body to encompass the area of the bowels, spleen and some of the pancreas. Here, diseases of these organs such as indigestion and healthy blood are all dealt with.

Another position involves focusing on the appendix, intestines and urinogenital organs. The hands are placed where the pelvic bones are covered and meet over the pubic area. This is used for the healing of a number of ailments associated with the appendix, intestines and urinogenital organs. It is also useful for the treatment of allergies, general debility, problems of a sexual nature and related to weight. It is believed to reinforce the immune system.

The Back

Here again, there are a number of positions that are used. In one such position, the hands are placed across the shoulder blades at mid to upper point, to influence the intestines, lung, heart and various muscles in the neck and shoulder region. This will help lung and heart diseases, muscular tension, headaches and related conditions.

If the hands are placed lower down the back, around the midriff (on the lower ribs) this position will accommodate the kidneys and adrenal glands. (The adrenal glands are situated one each on the upper surface of each kidney and are important because they manufacture hormones that control a variety of body functions.)

Warning:

Please consult a qualified practitioner before you start with Reiki especially if you are suffering from serious conditions or diseases

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The Benefits Of Whole-Body Reiki

A Reinforcing Effect

The whole body Reiki is used to treat the whole body to achieve relaxation. It facilitates the removal of blockages in energy flow and the dispersal of toxins.

Long-term practice of whole-body Reiki will restore the general condition of the body. The energy channels are opened to allow the body to deal properly and naturally with both stress and the build-up of toxins. It will help you to cope with anxiety and depression.

Reiki therapy is also useful when you are recovering from an illness. Reiki will provide the additional energy required to recover from the illness. It will also reinforce the effects of any other method of natural healing. It can be used as a supplementary therapy as it is a truly complementary system of treatment.

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Reduction Of Side-Effects

Reiki therapy can be a very useful adjunct for anyone taking a course of drugs. It can help reduce some of the side effects of drug therapy. Reiki helps the body in the recovery after drug therapy, after surgery and after chemotherapy. In all these cases, Reiki therapy supplies the body with extra life energy, enabling the body to bounce back more quickly from the burdens of surgery and chemicals.

In some cases, use of Reiki therapy after an operation will lessen pain. It will accelerate the natural healing processes. The key to success is that the therapy be undertaken on a regular basis. When a person is enjoying good health, the regular therapy increases the body's built-in defenses which manifests itself as a confidence and outward harmony in dealing with everyday events. It bestows a greater ability to deal with stressful situations. You will gain a positive outlook on life. Once the blockages and toxins have been removed from the system, the scope for personal advancement and growth becomes available. In general, the better metabolic functioning afforded by Reiki therapy means that benefits and improvements may be experienced in many ways.

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Combination Treatments: Reiki With Other Holistic Therapies

Reiki therapy works very well in combination with other holistic therapies. Virtually any treatment can be used. We will examine a few such combinations to illustrate the synergy that can be accomplished.

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Reiki And The Use Of Crystals

Crystal therapy involves the use of precious and semi-precious stones. The stones are believed to store positive energy and they act as a conduit for healing from the practitioner to the recipient. They also believed to generate a healing vibration that acts upon the body. In some cases the stone is placed on the body where treatment is focused, in others it may be positioned on the appropriate acupuncture point. Most therapists use quartz for physical healing, amethyst for spiritual healing and rose quartz to heal emotions. Fluorite may be used to develop awareness and knowledge of a spiritual nature.

In Reiki, three varieties of quartz are commonly used-amethyst, rose quartz and ordinary quartz (or rock crystal). The crystal structure of quartz is often taken to be related to the six chakras and the tip of the crystal to the seventh chakra. Practitioners recommend using rock crystal to avoid feeling overpowered by changes, mounting pressures and the stress of everyday life. Carrying the crystal or wearing it is meant to bring light into your workaday routines.

Rock crystal, held in the hand or between the hands, can also be used in conjunction with Reiki meditation. The energy emanating from the crystal is thought to go into the palms and then the rest of the body via the reflex zones. It is recommended by some in a variety of applications such as relaxation, wound-healing with other therapy and treating particular organs.

Rose quartz, with its soft pink coloration, is used for mending emotional problems. Examples are: shutting out certain desires or facing trauma and stress brought about by a separation.

The use of amethyst with Reiki is varied. It is said to help promote the proper function of an organ that has been under treatment. Placed on the Third Eye (center of the forehead), it facilitates clearer vision in one's path through life. It can also reduce tension and fear.

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Meditation With Reiki

Reiki is said to assist in the concentration required for meditation, with the flow of energy aiding relaxation. There are some positions that can be adopted in Reiki meditation to achieve particular goals. In the first position the legs are drawn up and the soles of the feet put together with the knees falling apart. This can be done while lying down or sitting against a wall or chair. The hands adopt a praying gesture. This is meant to complete the circuit of energy, allowing a flow around the body. The Reiki energy removes any blockages and performed regularly, this becomes a powerful meditation exercise. It can be done for short periods initially, just a couple of minutes, and then built up in small increases.

Group meditation is also possible with Reiki, in which the participants stand in a circle with hands joined.

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Aromatherapy Blended With Reiki

Aromatherapy employs essential oils extracted from plants. The oils can be used in three ways: by direct application, bathing in water to which a few drops of the appropriate oil have been added, and inhalation.

When used in conjunction with Reiki, some oils can be applied directly on particular areas of the body, or their aroma can be made to fill the room using an aroma lamp. Below a few oils are considered and their use compared to their therapeutic value in aromatherapy.

Lavender

In aromatherapy lavender is a tonic with relaxing effects. It is also an antiseptic, an antispasmodic and stimulates the appetite. It is also used for minor burns and wounds. Its soothing effects render it helpful for headaches, tension and similar conditions.

In Reiki, lavender is associated primarily with recipients who are sensitive and easily hurt. In long sessions of Reiki lavender helps to promote the calm and confidence necessary for a period of building and strengthening of the life force energy.

Sandalwood

In aromatherapy, sandalwood oil is prized for its relaxing and antiseptic effects. It forms a very effective oil for application to the skin (especially facial), particularly for dry or sensitive skin.

Sandalwood oil produces an ambience conducive to the Reiki therapy because the oil is considered to elicit trust and confidence, between practitioner and recipient.

Clary sage

Clary sage is a tonic, antispasmodic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, bactericidal and more. It is also used to treat colds, menstrual problems and its very low toxicity renders it suitable for general use.

In a session of Reiki therapy, clary sage is used to open blocked channels and to enhance sensitivity.

Patchouli

Patchouli has some aphrodisiac qualities, and is also used to treat skin disorders and minor bums because of its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities.

It is also used in Reiki therapy for allergies and impurities of the skin; but the fundamental use and aim is to enhance the sensual qualities and aspects of life.

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Reiki and Prescription drugs

Many Reiki therapists believe that Reiki can readily affect the way in which drugs work in the body. Side effects of drugs can be lessened through the use of Reiki, and in some cases it is reported that the process will be accelerated. In addition, Reiki makes the body more receptive to drugs. Thus, it may be beneficial to undergo Reiki therapy prior to the start of a course of drugs. The relaxed state rendered by Reiki may also counter, to some extent, the efficacy of an anesthetic. However, injections such as anesthetics can more readily and easily be released from the body with the help of Reiki.

Although minor pains can often be remedied through the use of Reiki alone, stronger pain killers do not have their effect lessened by Reiki. The interaction between Reiki and drugs is neither well tested nor documented.

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Reiki and Homeopathy

In conjunction with Homeopathy, Reiki provides a reinforcing effect by rendering the treatment more effective. Reiki can help avoid strain, improve the removal of toxins and increase the body's sensitivity. After treatment, whole-body Reiki will help recovery.

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Reiki and Bach remedies

These are named after Edward Bach who studied plants with healing qualities. He identified 38 plants, the flowers of which he floated on clear spring water. This, he believed, transferred medicinal properties to the water which could be given to patients. His practice mimicked the drops of dew found on the plant which was used in the beginning. Stock solutions are diluted in water and a few drops taken.

Typical examples are:

cherry plum for fear, tension, irrationality
holly for envy, jealousy and hatred
pine for guilt and constantly apologizing
sweet chestnut for despair
wild rose for apathy.

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Is Reiki Effective?

The vast majority of reports on the effectiveness of Reiki appear in popular rather than scientific literature. Proponents of Reiki cite the growing body of research in the field of Therapeutic Touch as evidence of the therapeutic transfer of energy through touch.

One California study showed that Reiki can increase hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. The study compared 47 people participating in Reiki training and a small control group of 9 healthy medical professionals. The study found a significant increase in hemoglobin and hematocrit levels among the Reiki group and no significant change in the control group.

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Warning:

Please consult a qualified practitioner before you start with Reiki especially if you are suffering from serious conditions or diseases.

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An alternative medical practice of massage in which the patient is not physically touched.
 
A Brief Overview:

The knowledge that an unseen energy flows through all living things and is connected directly to the quality of health has been part of the wisdom of many cultures since ancient times. The existence of this "life force energy" has been verified by recent scientific experiments, and medical doctors are considering the role it plays in the functioning of the immune system and the healing process.

Reiki is a technique for stress reduction and relaxation that allows everyone to tap into an unlimited supply of "life force energy" to improve health and enhance the quality of life.

An amazingly simple technique to learn, the ability to use Reiki is not taught in the usual sense, but is transferred to the student by the Reiki Master. Its use is not dependent on ones intellectual capacity or spiritual development and, therefore, is available to everyone. It has been successfully taught to thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds.

A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through you and surrounds you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit and creates many beneficial effects including relaxation and feelings of peace, security, and well-being. Many have reported miraculous results. Reiki is a simple, natural, and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use.

Brief overview borrowed From The International Center for Reiki Training

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