What is Reiki?
You've probably heard the word and have a loose idea of what it is but what is reiki? Reiki is a traditional Eastern healing modality, and much like acupuncture and cupping, it impacts the energetic systems of the body to promote healing. Reiki treats the whole person, body, mind and spirit, to achieve balance and restore optimum health.
So, what is reiki? In Japanese, it translates to "spiritual healing" or "spiritually guided life force energy". More simply put, reiki is universal life energy, harnessed and guided by a trained practitioner that has been attuned to the practice. Once a person has been attuned, their hands become a channel for concentrated life energy that can promote healing and balance in themselves and others.
In the Western world, medicine generally relies on physical intervention, such as surgery or medication, to promote healing. Eastern healing traditions rely on energetic manipulation, and energy medicine remains a part of mainstream healing practiced in hospitals in the East to this day.
How Does Reiki Work?
To answer the question what is reiki? you need to consider the way in which it heals. Reiki works to restore the natural energetic balance in a person's body. That energetic balance can become disrupted or frayed by stress, injury or illness. Life force energy is responsive to thoughts, feelings, presence and compassion.
In a reiki session, a trained reiki practitioner works to charge the recipient's energy field with positive energy and help restore a healthy, balanced flow of life energy throughout the body.
Every person responds to reiki differently, because the attuned energy travels to the parts of the body that need it most. Sometimes it is a general feeling, that helps to create relaxation throughout all the body systems for a particularly stressed recipient. Sometimes it will feel targeted, to heal specific areas requiring attention.
Often practitioners and recipients feel a warm flowing sensation, but often, nothing is felt directly. Instead, the body takes the time to incorporate the changes applied by the attuned reiki practitioner. The benefits may not be felt until after a session is complete, sometimes even days later.
All in all, reiki is a gentle healing art that uses an "energetic dance" between the practitioner and recipient to create holistic healing throughout the systems of the body.
What Can Reiki Heal?
Since reiki works with subtle energy throughout the body, it can impact any illness. Reiki is particularly effective for managing stress within the body, both physical and psychological. Since so many different maladies have stress as an underlying cause, reiki helps to improve overall physical, mental and emotional health.
Reiki helps the body reconnect with the healer within, and with the guidance of an attuned reiki practitioner, it helps a recipient use their own subtle energy to heal themselves. By nurturing your body's own natural healing mechanisms, the benefits of reiki transcend the healing session and follow the recipient into their daily life for continued benefits.
Benefits of a Reiki Practice
Understanding the answer to the question what is reiki? You may still wonder why you would practice it. As a spiritual and energetic practice, reiki is beneficial for both the practitioner and recipient. In a way, reiki is a shared meditation that brings mindfulness and tranquillity to both parties, regardless of the specific goals of the treatment.
Most reiki practitioners develop a daily self-reiki practice and add reiki to their toolbox of self-care. As a practitioner, it's important to use your skills to maintain your own health, because as the ancient proverb goes, "you cannot pour from an empty cup". To heal others, self-care is paramount.
Even without a self-practice regime, reiki practitioners experience the benefits of reiki as they use their practice to help others. As a practitioner, you cannot be a conduit for universal life energy without experiencing its healing powers as a side benefit. Practicing reiki heals the healer, even if that is not the explicit goal.