Reiki was developed in Japan in the 1920s by Makao Usui, a Zen Buddhist who realized the technique during meditation.
Reiki is a form of alternate healing that originated in Japan. Also referred to as “energy healing,” it’s a technique where the practitioner places his or hands on or several inches above a client’s body and channels energy through the hands into the client. People seek reiki to heal anxiety, achieve deep relaxation, release stress, and to compliment other forms of healing. It has been used to treat all forms of maladies and diseases.
Generally, a session takes place without talking, and the client lies down, face-up on a massage table. The setting should be peaceful and relaxing. A session may last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. For those facing a serious health issue, reiki practitioners often recommend four sessions over four days.
During a session, the practitioner places his or her hands, palms down, gently on the client (who is fully dressed), and holds them for a period of time in one place. A number of positions may be used during the session, and clients may experience pleasant sensations such as heat or warmth.
The practitioner is said to channel “chi” or “ki”, the universal life force, and directs this into the client while meditating or using certain symbols. By using life force, the practitioner tries to activate the natural healing process of the patient’s body and restores physical and emotional well-being. The practitioner also channels his or her own healing energy and uses it to strengthen the energy in others.
Reiki practitioners are not licensed or regulated in the U.S., except in Florida and Texas where they are required to be licensed massage therapists. The states of Colorado and California require certain disclosures be made. The National Institutes of Health reports no negative effects of reiki, but claims clients may feel some anxiety, lightheadedness or fatigue.
Reiki is non-denominational and is not a religious practice. Since the technique was developed, several branches of reiki have emerged.
Reiki is taught in private educational institutions with degrees of achievement. While there is no governing body that determines the various levels, most reiki schools or organizations have a beginning, intermediate and Reiki Master level.