Reiki – Fad or Here to Stay?

For many, Reiki (pronounced Rey-Kee) is a new word and a new phenomenon which then begs the question: is this a new-age fad or a healing method that’s here to stay?

Reiki is in fact not new but was originated by Dr. Mikao Usui.  In April 1922, he opened his first school/clinic in Harajuku Tokyo to help others with his healing ability.  Some time after he also began teaching people basic methods for self-healing. It wasn’t until a few years before his death that he started teaching his methods to others, now known as Reiki Masters.  It was then brought to the United States by a women named Ms. Takata in 1937 and since then, many different branches of Reiki exist mainly due to the Westernization of an originally Eastern technique.

Reiki is now one of the top three complementary in-patient therapies in U.S. hospitals, according to an AHA survey. Massage therapy is first, with 37% of hospital patients requesting it. Music/Sound/Art therapy is second, at 25%, and Healing Touch Therapies (eg. Reiki, Therapeutic Touch) is third, 25% which is why many science-based evidence now exists from universities, hospitals and the Center for Reiki Research.

New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Campus was amongst the first to perform studies on Reiki treatments and the Autonomic Nervous System. The testing began with all participants at “baseline” autonomic nervous systems levels. The group who received Reiki showed a lowering of these levels including heart rate, respiration and blood pressure.(1)

According to an International Association of Reiki Professionals (IARP) study of “America’s Best Hospitals” (the top 25 ranked by U.S. News and World Report in 2002), 60% of hospitals had formal/informal Reiki programs.  Every hospital within the list with a Reiki program stated that they believed Reiki to be at least somewhat beneficial for patients, and 67% said they believed Reiki was highly beneficial.

“Reiki has become a sought-after healing art among patients and mainstream medical professionals.”
— Dr. Mehmet Oz

Theory of Treatment

Reiki is a natural, energy healing fractured used to repair, remedy and replenish the energy system of the person receiving treatment. It is similar to acupuncture in that it balances the energy of the body to improve its ability to heal itself whereby hand placements are used instead of needles.

Feelings of stress, trauma, sadness, depression, worry, anxiety, guilt, shame and similar thoughts have harmful affects over time on our emotional body which weakens/restrict the natural flow of energy – or Ki in Japanese – in our body. Reiki is meant to rejuvenate the natural flow of energy back into the body, supporting the body’s ability to heal itself.

Is it safe? Are there side effect?

Reiki can be safely used on children, animals, pregnant women and adults alike and is very gentle. If you are able to relax and allow the flow of energy, your vibration may rise during the process.  In this case, many report being cold during or after a session.

Additionally, as you allow the flow of energy, you may begin to release many things which are no longer serving you.  In this case, crying may be your body’s natural form of release.

Occasionally, if there is any resistance on the recipients part, the energy will not be able to flow freely/easily back to the body. In this case, some may experience head pressure/headache or general weakness. This is generally a sign of resistance.

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