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What is Reiki?

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As people are becoming spiritually aware in these times, the word “Reiki” is becoming more commonly known.  Many of my clients who come to me for massage ask me what Reiki is and if they would benefit from it.  My answer is always “YES”!  Everyone and everything can benefit from this 19th century healing technique.

The word “Reiki” is broken down into two words, “Rei” which can mean “Spirit”, and “Ki” which translates into “Energy”.  Together, these two words can stand for “Universal Life Energy”.  In the tradition of the Yogis, this “Universal Life Energy” is called Prana.  In ancient Hebrew lore, it was called Manna.  Today, many people believe it to be God or The God Force that surrounds everything all the time, connecting us to our Creator.

Knowing now what the word means, it is easy to then to understand that Reiki is a modality of hands on healing which channels the Universal Life Energy into those who are in need of physical as well as emotional healing.  I have seen clients with everything from headaches to  sports injuries, anxiety, insomnia, and even repressed emotional traumas.  All have laid on my table, suffering greatly from whatever their ailment was, and upon leaving the sessions, many of them claim to have relief from their pains and emotional issues.  The clients with deep-rooted psychological conflict generally find insight through the session which leads them to healing their own emotional wounds.

There are different branches of Reiki, but I personally practice and teach the Usui Reiki, the original tradition started by Mikao Usui in Japan during the late 19th century.  Just prior to WWII, Reiki finally made its way to the shores of the United States with the teachings of Reiki Master/Teacher Hawayo Takata in Hawaii. Today, Reiki is a globally practiced hands on healing technique.

So how does it work?  In a session, the Reiki practitioner will lay their hands on, or above the recipient, making an energy connection.  The practitioner will use their body as a conduit to transmit the Universal Life Energy to the recipient.  In traditional Usui Reiki, the practitioner will utilize various Sacred Symbols as visualization tools to help stimulate a particular facet of healing.   Although you may be able to find these symbols on the internet or in various books, until you have been initiated by a Reiki Master, the symbols will not work in their intended manner.  No other healing modalities use symbols in the way that Reiki does, which sets it apart, making it easier for students and masters alike to channel the Universal Life Force.

If you are interested in learning Reiki, the internet has made it easier to find practitioners near you, however, be sure that the person is a certified Reiki Master & Teacher.  Generally classes are taught in 3 separate courses: Reiki I, Reiki II, and Reiki III (Master/Teacher Level).  Each class teaches something different about the healing technique and at the end of the course, you will participate in what is called an Attunement.  The Attunement is a private ceremony between the teacher and the student.  It is an initiation that helps strengthen the tie to the Universal Life Force that the student has, as well as helping them unblock any obstructions that would disrupt pure healing energy.  The length of the class and the time suggested to wait between Attunements varies depending upon the beliefs of the Reiki Master.  There are many forms of Hands on Healing out there as well as various forms of Reiki, and each of you will find the technique works best for you.  Always remember, it is all about the Healer’s intentions.  Intention is everything.  Ego has no place in Reiki, because it disrupts the flow of Universal Life Energy from God to the recipient.

Whether you have chosen to receive Reiki or to learn Reiki, the benefits of this practice are endless.  As a practitioner, I use Reiki daily, sending healing to everything from my pets, to a neighbor, my plants, the food that I eat, even my old computer when it is giving me trouble.  There is no end to what Reiki can help with.  As a recipient, you may find relief from arthritis, PMS, fibromyalgia, migraines, stress, sprained muscles, depression, IBS, emotional illness, digestive issues, self-esteem/self-image problems, etc.   Reading this, one may jump to the conclusion that Reiki is a “Cure All”, however we make no claims that Reiki will cure these illnesses, it merely helps one to begin the healing process by managing symptoms and pain.

With all the healing techniques out there, Usui Reiki chose me.  The traditions and teachings resonated with me and when the time came to find my Reiki Master, everything came in to being without any force or conflict.  I feel it is important for everyone to know that if they choose to follow a healing path or are looking to receive healing, everything should work out with ease and harmony.

We are all one. Namaste.

By Jennifer Durant, RMT, CMT
© 2012

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