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Friday, May 05, 2006

What is Reiki?

The world's best-known form of laying-on-of-hands energy healing, Reiki is rooted in the Tantric meditative traditions of ancient Buddhism. It was developed in the early 20th Century by Mikao Usui, a Japanese Buddhist monk. In the 1930s it was brought to the then-U.S. territory of Hawaii, and today Reiki is practiced in every country in the world.

Reiki is the subject of a growing body of scientific research, and studies have found it effective in reducing pain in cancer patients and people with HIV/AIDS, as well as enhancing immune function, reducing fatigue and insomnia, helping diabetics reduce their need for insulin, and improving the lives of people with depression. It has been used to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and antiviral drugs, improve immunity and lower heart rates and blood pressure.

The word Reiki is a combination of two Japanese words: ki is often translated as "life force energy," the same energy called chi or qi in Chinese. Rei has several translations, including "universal", "transcendent", and "spiritual." Reiki, then, is universal life force energy.

Is Reiki a religion or belief system?

No -- neither practitioner nor client need believe anything in order for Reiki to work.

How is Reiki administered?

The Reiki recipient relaxes fully clothed on a massage table or in a comfortable chair while the practitioner places hands on or near the body, using a variety of hand positions as well as brushing and smoothing to help balance the body's subtle energy field. A table session typically lasts an hour, while chair sessions usually take about 15 minutes.

Can I practice Reiki on myself?

Yes, once you've received the first level of training and attunement. Reiki practitioners usually maintain a regular self-care practice from that point on.

Is Reiki safe?

Yes. Reiki has never been known to harm anyone or anything.

What does it feel like to receive Reiki?

Most recipients find Reiki relaxing, as it helps the nervous system shift from the sympathetic (also known as the "fight or flight response") to the parasympathetic (also known as the relaxation response). People often fall asleep, or nearly asleep, while receiving Reiki. The dreamlike state frequently induced by Reiki is known as the liminal state of awareness.

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