What is Reiki?
Ultimately everything in our universe is just energy. The illusion we call solid matter, when viewed closely scientists say, turns into protons, neutrons, and electrons, which when viewed even closer turn out to be nothing more than energy. Reiki is also a form of energy, and it is set apart from other energy forms because it is a conscious energy. While Reiki can certainly be felt in the material plane (often it is experienced as a warmth from the hands), it's source is from the metaphysical plane. Reiki energy healing, under different names, has been used since ancient times in nearly every culture, and was rediscovered in Japan by the visionary Mikao Usui in the 1800's and brought to the West as "Reiki" where it is now beginning to be widely accepted as a powerful form of hands-on-healing for body and mind. Reiki is a technique that addresses both chronic and acute conditions, gently and powerfully promoting balance among all the body's systems and the normal regenerative processes of the body and mind.
Just what sort of energy is Reiki?
Reiki is usually described as Universal Life Energy, which is an attempt at the best translation from the Japanese term. Think of Reiki as a mixture of metaphysical energies: the Chi energy, which the Taoist tradition in China has worked with for several thousand years, and what is usually called the God or Divine energy. This combination makes Reiki a healing energy, but it goes further than that. It is an intelligent energy because of the component from the Source, which of course is the ultimate intelligence. The Chi component is neutral, for Chi, loosely speaking, is that neutral energy which allows the material world to exist. It is just there, to be used for better or worse by humans. But added to energy from the Source, the combined energy takes on a healing quality Chi does not posses on its own.
So Reiki is an intelligent healing energy. The way it works is that it flows from the metaphysical plane through the practitioner to the client. The practitioner's personal energy is not involved. It respects free choice in that it only flows if permission is granted. Indeed, in the Usui system of Reiki much importance is properly attached to having client permission, regardless of which degree of Reiki is being used.
What is a Reiki session like?
During a typical Reiki session, the client lays fully clothed on a massage table or may sit in a chair. Little or no pressure is applied and no oils will be used. With quiet focused attention the practitioner will simply place his or her hands on or above the clients head, shoulders, back, chest, stomach and limbs. The teachings say the the energy will flow through the practitioner, but not from the practitioner, to the client. The client will receive the amount of energy needed to bring the mind and body into balance.
Medical research has focused upon verifying Reiki's effects rather than explaining exactly how it works. The results are impressive. One study showed a "highly significant reduction in pain", including cancer pain, following Reiki treatment. Another study cited improvement in immune and nervous system functioning at Columbia, HCA Portsmouth Regional Hospital in Portsmouth, NY. Surgical patients decreased their use of pain medications, stayed for shorter periods, and reported increased satisfaction with pre-and post surgical Reiki sessions.
Many times the client simply feels very calm and relaxed after their session. They may notice that the feeling of being more centered last for several days or more. They may find they are less reactive to issues in their life that before Reiki seemed overwhelming. Each session is different and individual to that client.