The Basics Of Reiki

Reiki is a form of energy healing therapy that originated in Japan, and was introduced to Western cultures in the late 1930s. The word Reiki comes from the combination of the Japanese words “rei,” meaning universal, and “ki,” meaning life energy. To promote their health, more than 1.2 million U.S. adults learn the basics of Reiki therapy every year (National Health Interview Survey, 2007).

The Five Principles of Reiki Healing
Mikao Usui, the founder of Reiki, developed a system of five principles that provides the spiritual foundation of the therapy. Translated from the original Japanese, these principles are:
1. Don’t get angry
2. Don’t worry
3. Be grateful
4. Work hard
5. Be kind to others.

These concepts–which may have been influenced by Buddhist principles–are central to Reiki’s practical applications in medicine, and its firm basis in spirituality and mysticism.

How does Reiki Work?
Reiki is a simple, spiritual practice involving a practitioner and the patient. Performed by a process of “laying hands,” the goal of Reiki treatment is for the practitioner to improve the flow of life-force energy in the client. The Reiki practitioner lays her hands on the patient in various positions, thereby channeling the patient’s energy to flow more freely through pathways known as meridians.

This is thought to promote relaxation, healing and a spiritual experience. Reiki sessions generally last between 30 and 90 minutes, but each patient receives examination and treatment according to their own needs.

Reiki Practitioners
Reiki masters maintain that anyone can learn the practice regardless of their physical or intellectual capability.

To become a Reiki master, practitioners must pass a series of instructional classes that can take years to complete. Fully learning the art involves:

1. First-degree training: gives students lessons in hand placement and general technique

2. Second-degree training: teaches students advanced meditation, remote healing and the use of Reiki stones and crystals

3. Master-level training: includes the study of sacred symbols and advanced practices.

Does Reiki Work?
Reiki treatments can have positive effects on ailments from bee stings to cancer. Reiki is most commonly used as a supplemental treatment in conjunction with more traditional medical practices. A fair amount of evidence supports Reiki’s benefits as a stress-reductive therapy that promotes healing and psychological well-being.

If you’re interested in a more detailed examination Reiki’s origins, learn about the history and the creation of Reiki in Japan and the United States.