If you’re interested in meditation or other Eastern healing traditions, you may have heard of reiki, a Japanese practice born out of concepts and beliefs that date back hundreds of years. Today, it is used by alternative medicine practitioners to relieve stress and minimise fatigue. Whether you’re just reading to satiate your curiosity or you’re considering trying it out for yourself, here’s what reiki is all about.
The Philosophy of Reiki
A very simple explanation of reiki can be found right in the translation of its name: rei is the Japanese word for “spirit,” and ki is best translated as “life force” (it’s the same concept as the more famous Chinese chi). Reiki was born out of the belief that we have invisible energy forces around us and within us, and that sickness is a result of our life force being altered or disrupted. Practitioners also believe that certain people, through innate ability or training, are sensitive enough to feel and control this energy; these are the people who are able to perform reiki healing.
How It Works
Treatments themselves can be thought of as a kind of massage—but one that involves very little touching, or even none at all. Healers are allegedly able to channel ki into the body of their patients, drawing from the energy around them, to “rebalance” their spiritual life force. Either by applying a light touch or by hovering the hands over the patient’s body, healers transfer this spiritual energy.
The energy field postulated by the philosophy of reiki cannot be measured with scientific instruments (at least not any currently invented), so bear in mind that there is no way to prove its existence. That said, thousands of people have reported positive results from reiki treatments, so the lack of hard facts doesn’t mean you should discount it entirely. In fact, belief seems to be a requirement for treatments to be effective, as it is claimed that disbelief can block the healing energy.
What Is Reiki Used For?
Although some claim that reiki can influence “big” diseases like cancer or heart problems, the vast majority don’t go this far. In light of that, it should be thought of as similar to meditation: a spiritual practice that can help you attain inner peace, relieve stress, and renew your mind. Especially if you find a healer that you trust and connect with, reiki can be very useful as a form of mental therapy. If you would prefer to do it on your own, you can take a reiki course to teach yourself the basics, then perform it on yourself or your loved ones.
Ultimately, reiki may not appeal to everyone, but if you’re interested in exploring your spirituality and possibly unfolding a completely new dimension of life, it can’t hurt to give it a try.
Have you had an experience with reiki healing?
by THOMAS CHO
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