The Basics – What is Reiki?
“Spiritually guided life force energy.” Sounds like something out of a fairytale book, right? While Reiki may sound like a figment of our wildest imaginations, it is real and remains a highly regarded method of healing.
The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words: Rei means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki is “life force energy.” Therefore, the term Reiki suggests that you are interacting with the spiritually guided higher power life force energy.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), Reiki is based on an Eastern belief in an energy that supports the body’s innate or natural healing abilities. Reiki has been studied for a variety of conditions, including pain, anxiety, fatigue and depression.
How Reiki Works
The basic concept behind Reiki is that, as everything in the universe vibrates with energy, the body has an energy field integral to its health and proper functioning. According to Karen Spiwak, Reiki Master, Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and founder of Summer Soul LLC, this energy travels in certain pathways and can become blocked or weakened by energy absorbed from other people and places or instigated by limiting thoughts, emotions or beliefs.
“A Reiki practitioner is trained to be able to detect these blockages, and practitioners use their hands, thoughts and own energy fields to improve the energy flow in a client. Reiki works on very subtle energy levels as well as the chakra system. The chakras are the system of seven energy centers along the middle of the body, connected with the nervous and endocrine systems,” says Reiki Master Spiwak. . “Reiki energy is intuitive, so when we receive energy healing, the life force energy goes where it is needed to heal the ‘whole’ person. That includes any emotions or old beliefs that our energetic body is holding on to and may be causing disease in the body. Reiki detects and alleviates problems of energy flow on every level.”
My Experience with Reiki
I personally battle with bouts of anxiety, and I do not want to pop pills every day to numb my pain. As an alternative, I sought out Reiki after reading an article about its benefits.
Before trying Reiki, I was skeptical. How could one simply lay on a massage table and rest while someone heals them with nothing but energy? Much to my surprise, after just two hour-long sessions, unexplainable relief washed over me. I no longer felt as if I was chasing non-existent problems and instead felt more in-tune with both mind and body. Best of all, relief seemed to be manifesting internally instead of externally. No medications were taken to ease my mind or body, but an internal shift occurred that I liken to resurfacing after drowning under anxiety-ridden thoughts.
Deep relaxation and a heightened sense of calm are the most notable sensations that come to mind when experiencing Reiki. Sometimes my temperature would drop or increase depending on the areas of my body that were being worked on.
What to Expect from a Reiki Session
Reiki sessions can take various forms but most commonly resemble typical bodywork appointments. A session generally lasts 60 to 90 minutes. The practitioner spends some time learning about the client’s specific healing needs and concerns. Together the client and practitioner set an intent for the session. The client then lies down, clothed, on a flat surface or massage table, and the practitioner begins.
“Reiki is a gentle procedure, consisting of calm and concentrated touching, with the practitioner focusing on healing and guiding energy to specific areas on the client’s body. Practitioners place their hands over positions on the body where the organs and endocrine glands reside, and the areas that correspond to the chakra centers,” Spiwak says. “Practitioners also use mental visualization to send healing energy to areas of the client’s body that need it. In special cases or with injuries, a no-touch technique is used, where the practitioner’s hands are sometimes held just above the body without touching it. Advanced practitioners rely on intuition and experience to determine which areas of the body need the most energy healing.”
An Open Mind, A Willing Heart, A Better You?
“The Reiki principles are meant to be ideals that one strives toward to add balance and peace in their life… focusing on manifesting and improving how one manages their thoughts and actions each day,” Spiwak says.
Whether you are in need of physical, mental, emotional or even spiritual healing or simply looking for better overall wellness, everyone can benefit from Reiki. No special training or prior education is needed, just an open mind and a willing heart to become a better you.