The Brilliance of Reiki
The first therapy I learnt to help people on a one-to-one basis was Reiki. A hands-on healing technique originating from Japan in the early part of the 20th century, Reiki has become a worldwide phenomena over the last 30 years. There has been many descriptions of what Reiki means, but overall it can be broken down to: Rei meaning spirit, universal, god consciousness, or the great rainmaker; and Ki meaning life-force or vital energy. So it’s a therapy that uses universally conscious form of energy for the purpose of stimulating the healing process.
Reiki can be learnt initially in a weekend workshop. It’s a method is simple, safe and with no need for technical in depth knowledge. The intensive course of training has often been criticised as being too short for any one wishing to practice Reiki professionally, but the critics miss the point. Reiki is something that can be shared amongst the general public and experienced healthcare practitioners alike.
The brilliant thing about Reiki is its flexibility when you apply it. It can be used on plants, animals, self-healing on ourselves, and healing for other people. It can be used safely by lay practitioners, and it can be moulded within the healing or medical model used by professional practitioners. As a Massage & Remedial Therapist, I often use Reiki where physical techniques are not working effectively to correct a musculoskeletal problem. Amazingly Reiki often helps to shift the issue. It doesn’t matter if you apply Reiki with scientific anatomy & physiology in mind, or balancing energy centres know as Chakras, or Chinese acupuncture meridians, it has a useful input into the process of healing.
This leads me to this term healing. For many people “healing” is synonymous with “cure”. Sometimes that can happen, but healing is more about “care” and “quality of life”. Eventually we are all going to die, but that doesn’t stop us caring for one another*. Healing and caring can help on many levels, whether on a physical, emotional, mental or even spiritual level of our being. Many physical problems may have an underlying emotional issue or trauma. And being a Reiki practitioner, there’s always a deep sense of connection when practising or teaching Reiki – connecting with our self, our clients, our community, with nature and beyond.
Another criticism of Reiki is that it doesn’t have a scientific rationale, as it’s based on a unproven theory of universal life-force energy. Does that matter? For some it may well do, but for countless number of people through out the world, Reiki has been a helpful therapy that has often been used in conjunction with conventional methods of medical treatment. Is Reiki no more than just a placebo effect using the theatrics of the laying-on of hands? It may well be just purely a placebo, but then all therapies whether its drugs, herbs, surgery, physical, cognitive methods and so forth, has an element of placebo within them. Otherwise why does scientific research methods use control groups?! Science should initially look at Reiki by it’s effects; both by assessing improvement in peoples quality of life, and by measuring physical parameters such as blood pressure, and shouldn’t be too concerned with the underlying mechanisms.
Putting science to one side, Reiki is a subjective healing art. It is both a noun and a verb. For people that feel benefit from a Reiki treatment, there is a deep sense of relaxation. Brain waves slow down to a point that you can often go into a trance, very much like that is often felt in a hypnotic or shamanic state. This is where deep healing takes place, submerging into our subconscious. Even if Reiki cannot solve someone’s problems, that deep sense of connection felt within may lead the client to follow a healing journey to wholeness. This to me as a Reiki practitioner is what the brilliance of Reiki is all about.