Reiki = Healing Hands
Reiki is a system of energy work ... done for healing and a variety of other things ... such as release of tension, stress, amplification of energy and more.
First, a tiny bit of history ... the system currently used in one form of Reiki was codified back in the 1800s by Mikao Usui, mind you, he did not invent it ... just re-defined it.
Now the concept of the laying on of hands to heal or doing energy manipulation is not new, it was old before the current system that is now being used, there just was not a "system" to it and a means to train others in the art, the system I practice is called ... Usui Shiki Ryoho ... named for its creator. There are many many other forms of Reiki, as many as their are people, but for our discourse I will stick to the one I know best.
It was and largely
still is, an intuitive thing, the good Dr. Usui, sought to create a system,
so this means of healing could be taught to others
rather than relying on blind chance to provide the healer.
The word Reiki in Japanese, means any kind of healing done with energy work, various forms of acupressure etc. would fall under this category by a loose definition, but Reiki has come to be associated almost exclusively with Usui's system, there are other ways, as noted above, that have been developed since the good Usui's time.
Now this system
is so venerated, that their are those who would feel the Reiki symbols
I used for the picture above, would be nothing short of sacrilege. Sacred
they are ... most assuredly but Sacred does
not equal .. secret ..
Whole body treatments:
In a typical whole-body Reiki treatment, the practitioner asks the person to lie down, often on a massage table or other surface that allows the Reiki master to reach all parts of the body comfortably, massage chairs or a normal chair can be used, whatever position is the most relaxing for the client will work. Treatment time can run from 30-45 minutes per treatment.
Normally, one wears loose, comfortable clothing, it is rare to hear of a reiki treatment being done unclothed. The practitioner will generally take a few moments to enter a calm or meditative state of mind and mentally prepare for the treatment. This can be done prior to the client being present, or as a first action, prior to treatment. This kind of ground and centering is almost universal.
The treatment part, is where the practitioner places their hands on the person, to channel healing energy, and they do so with a variety of hand positions, that covers most major areas of the body. Many practitioners use a non-touching technique, where the hands are held a short distance away from the body. The hands are usually kept in place, for 3 to 5 minutes, before moving to the next position.
Some practitioners use a fixed set of hand positions, and take them in order. Others use their intuition to guide them. Most Reiki masters start the treatment with a "scan" of the recipient to find trouble areas. This intuitive approach leads to individual positions being treated for more or less time, as is needed.
The person often reports the feeling warmth or tingling in the area being treated, even when the non-touching approach is being used. A state of deep relaxation, combined with a general feeling of well-being, is usually the most noticeable immediate effect of the treatment. As with deep tissue massage, emotional releases are commonplace.
"As the Reiki treatment is said to be stimulating natural healing processes, instantaneous 'cures' of specific health problems are not usually observed. A series of three or more treatments, typically at intervals of 1 to 7 days, is usually recommended if a chronic condition is being addressed.Regular treatments, on an on-going basis, can be used with the aim of maintaining well-being. The interval between such treatments is typically in the range of 1 to 4 weeks, except in the case of self-treatment when a daily practice is common. " ( Wikipidia)
treatments are just what the name implies, local. Recent injuries are usually
treated in this way, with the site of injury being targeted for healing.
There is great variation in the duration of such treatments, though 20
minutes is pretty typical.
Reiki one, is a basic attunement, that aids the person in doing self healing. It is a time for learning Reiki's history, the hand positions, the basic mechanics if you will. To learn what are the chakras, how to use them, to learn the ethics of Reiki and to begin healing others. At this point, one is considered an Initiate.The first degree Reiki course teaches the basic theories and procedures and gives the first attunement. Students learn hand placement positions on the recipient's body for a whole body treatment. Having completed the first degree course, the participant can treat himself and others with Reiki. The course duration time varys widely, depending on the school or teacher.
Reiki two, is a more detailed attunement, that opens up more systems as it were, for the person to use. Learning to use the symbols and signs, more details of treating others, how to do distance healing. This is the point where one becomes an acting Practitioner. In the second degree Reiki course, the student learns the use of three symbols which enhance the strength and distance over which the effect can be exerted, as well, is re attuned.
Having completed the second level, the student can work long distance Reiki. The three symbols used are, Cho Ku Rei. Sei He Ki, and Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen, which is used for distance healing.
Reiki three, or Master, is the point where you are not only a healer, but also teacher and are able to give attunements and training to others.Through the third degree, or "master training", the student becomes a Reiki Master. The student learns the master-level symbol and is giving another attunement. The new Reiki Master can now attune other people to Reiki and teach the degrees of Reiki. The duration of the master training can be anything from a day to a year.
Of course, there is much much more to this, but you get the basic concept. The time frame between all these stages, depends entirely on the individual and how motivated they are to learn, and use Reiki. On average, most people find that about a years span between level two and level three, is agreeable, given how much there is to learn. Less than this, and most people don't feel "comfortable" with their understanding yet, and want to use it and become confidant in it, before they attempt to teach it. I totally approve and applaud this sensible approach.
Further note: Reiki is not just a one on one student teacher process handed down by a guru to disciple. This is a time honored tradition of course, but it is by no means absolute. One can, and as with anything we learn, often do, the major learning on our own. Attunement can be done on the self, and one can be entirely self taught on the subject, after all, someone had to come up with the concept, and how it all works, to start with, there had to be a 'first" Master. However, it is a lot easier if you have a living teacher you can call on to aid you.
To understand Reiki and the hand positions used, one has to have a working knowledge of the chakras. The Reiki hand positions are in direct relation to all the major chakras. The chakras are connected to the physical organs in our body and the aura. Imbalance in the charkas can lead to physical ailments.
7 centers of energy:
Chakra is a Sanskrit word and it means "wheel." It is wheel that spins around its own axis, and it can spin fast or slow. A chakra will spin in relation to the energy level of your own body system.
All things give off invisible energies or auras, as can be seen on a Kirlian photo. "The human body's system consists of sensory, breathing, circulation, digestion, reproduction and secretion. There are six corresponding chakras for these bodily functions. The brain and the whole being also has one chakra, making a total of 7 major chakras. These chakras are situated at the top of the head, forehead, throat, heart, solar plexus, the navel and at the bottom of the pelvis."
The chakras and
the physical body:
Every chakra has a corresponding organ in our physical system.
There is a connection between the condition of a chakra and the condition of the corresponding organ. A chakra can be over active, under active or in balance. Using Reiki can help provide that balance, when they are too slow or too fast, or blocked. Physical problems are often the result of such blockages in the energy flow causing the organs or glands to not function properly.
This laying on
of hands is instinctive ... we all do it ... What happens every time you
hurt yourself ? The very first thing you do is reach for it with your hands
do you not ? This Instinct for channeling healing energy to what is ailing
is inherent in all of us. One who uses Reiki,
does so on purpose, and with training, for someone besides themselves.
There are many formal poses of the hands for working with different areas of the body ( see links below for good page on that ) but again, it's as much intuitive work with the energy fields, as it is science.
One can all but see the blockages and poor routing of such fields, much as a Masseur does when feeling your muscle tension, in fact therapy which combines these two forms, is not uncommon. ( there are those who say that the benefit comes from the massage, not the Reiki, to which I say .. " if you think that ... why are you paying more for a Reiki treatment ? "
Which brings up another subject ... payment for energy work ... there are those who feel this is wrong ..period.. to accept or charge for such work. The same is often felt in charging for divination ... however
Any healing work is an exchange, it must be, the party being worked on must
and be a party to such work, this is not a passive thing you do to them
B: By the law of returns, they must give something back, if that energy, is the stored energy, of cold hard cash, then so be it.
The Reiki itself is free, as it should be, what you should be paying for however, is their time, supplies, etc. You would not consider not paying a medical doctor for healing, as if for nothing else, you are paying for the many years it took for them to learn how to be a doctor, why then would you not give an exchange for Reiki ?
As with other energy work, for example, the Craft, one does not draw this power from themselves alone, you would exhaust yourself in short order. You draw it from the Earth, from the cosmic force that sustains us and channel this energy through the chakras for the deliberate infusion into another living thing.
This is why there must be an exchange, we cannot just take this power over and over, and give nothing back. In the Craft we are just borrowing it for a moment and return it when we are done with it. In Reiki you have given it to another, yet it still must be returned, once it's done its work.
This kind of interaction
between healer and client is rare in today's society, as by and large we
are passive when it comes to our health care
( this does not apply to all people by any means, some like myself are very much a part of the process )
Reiki on the other
hand requires you be aware, that you open yourself to the hands of the
other party. It requires a level of trust, a level of acceptance ... and
yes ... belief ... as with any healing endeavor, even your basic medical
doctor, if you don't believe that the medicine
they give you
is gonna help .. News .. it won't .. period.. as you will not
it to help you.
Now there are those who pooh pooh the idea of remote Reiki entirely, but think about it for a moment, if we can take this power and do wondrous works of the Craft with it, how much of a leap is it, to think we could direct healing power to a living thing not under our hands ?
We are spiritual beings having a human experience, and as such are beings of light and energy, long distance Reiki contacts that energy and works with it directly. Now ,it does work easier if you have the person right there under your hands, as you don't have to work as hard at it, but can it be done remote..? You bet !
Best of all, if one can, is of course hands on, but sometimes this is not possible, but distance is not a deterrent to the healing power of love and energy. I would question one who did nothing but long distance ... but it is a very practical way to reach many more people, than those who live in your own geographical area.
As noted above, it's done with Love ... how many times have you thought of love, while thinking of a typical doctor ( which is whom we think of first most often, when we think healer ) ? Not very often I don't doubt, as compassionate caring is no longer part of most medical doctors outlook, at least not to an overt level to where they express it openly. With Reiki however, it's a must ..it's a given.. Love of their fellow living things is inherent in all Reiki practitioners.
It's a very spiritual practice, ( note I say spiritual practice, not religious practice, as there is no faith associated with Reiki ) with mediation and prayer, if one has a religious belief, as part of its main components. Some very special actions take place to allow a Reiki practitioner to work, so a Reiki healer is, in many ways, like a priest, like any other who lays on the hands to heal, and should be accepted with the same reverence.
Hot hands are only one sign of active Reiki, in fact, often ones hands are cold, it depends entirely on the amount of, and kind of energy needed. Psychic abilities often improve with the use of Reiki, if one has the skill for them. Anyone can learn Reiki, it will NOT cure "anything and everything" ( it can help a great deal though ). The amount of time to hold ones hands in place, depends entirely on how much work that area needs, the 5 minute concept is a guide line for beginners, not a rule one has to follow forever.
Reiki is not a "cure all", it's not a miracle, it's a means whereby the body can help heal itself, given extra power to do so and that is all it is. Now mind, this is often enough to avoid worse problems later down the road, and can do some major healing over all to current conditions. However it is not a case of a wave the hands and Wa la, all is well. This belief is often what gets Reiki considered to be some kind of "faith healing" or fraud.
Lack of immediate "visible" signs of healing, does not mean, the healer is a fraud or incompetent. Just like a medical doctor, healing takes time, commitment, the right amounts and number of treatments etc. You didn't become ill in a day, it's highly unlikely you will become well in one either.
Reiki can be very useful in helping psychiatric patients, as it makes no distinction between body ailments or mental ones, especially since it's well known, that a great many mental issues, have problems in the mind pathways, as the basis behind the mental problem.
In fact, to find a release of emotional or mental burdens or trauma, during Reiki, is quite common and considered a beneficial "side effect" of the release of body tensions and the correction of imbalances. This is also commonly seen in massage therapy. Any good Masseur knows and expects a release of mental trauma, and even old buried issues, to come to the surface during body treatments, it's a well known effect.
Becoming a Vegetarian or giving up smoking or drinking is a personal choice, not a requirement for Reiki. Moderation in all things, is the healthiest path. If one feels no call to give up such things, then forcing oneself to do so, believing its 'required" will just cause stress, which is not conductive to healing.
Reiki is not able to do "harm" to any living thing, so using it on a pregnant woman will do neither her, or her child injury.
( One exception, of a sort, is noted to this, which is not to give Reiki to someone just before surgery, as it may make them resistant to anesthetics. Ditto treating massive trauma or un-set broken bones. If you are first on scene of a major accident, focus on reducing shock, pain and blood loss, as if you attempt bone healing, before the bone is properly set, you may interfere, more than you help. Reiki is not the first choice, for first aid in a major trauma case. This advice is based on the self reports of many Reiki masters, take it as you will )
The body is not a funnel, in which the negative energy drains out of the lowest point, in point of fact, the good Dr. Usui is said to have given Reiki treatments "with his feet" on occasion, so, so much for the idea of not touching the feet. And one may be attuned over and over, with no ill affect, in fact, it's said to have a very positive effect. It was, and often still is, common place for a teacher to re-attune their students, with every major teaching session, and more than one Master has been re-attuned, at need.
The Credo of Reiki
Just for today
, I will let go of anger
Just for today, I will let go of worry
Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings
Just for today, I will do my work honestly
Just for today, I will be kind to my neighbor and every living thing
Is both a greeting and farewell
It is the spirit of Reiki
I honor the place
In which the entire Universe dwells
I honor the place
Which is of Love, of Truth, of Light
and of Peace
When you are in
that place in you
And I am in that place in me
We Are One
I hope my little missive gives you a small glimpse
into the world of Reiki
Reiki is not intended to take the place of traditional medicine but rather is an adjutant to it. Please consult your doctor for any and all medical issues.