Reiki, pronounced ‘ray-key’, is a Japanese form of therapy that aims to increase energy levels and promote relaxation and wellbeing. Developed in the late 19th century, Reiki is applied through non-invasive, non-manipulative gentle touch.
Reiki energy, (often described as "universal life energy" or "spiritual energy") is based on the principle that the practitioner can channel energy into the client by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of a person’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.
Reiki, as we know it today, began in the early 1900s. It is recorded that through study, research and meditation a Japanese man, Mikao Usui, had an experience of empowerment that led to the development of Reiki as a healing system. Usui devoted the rest of his life to practising and teaching this art of living and healing.
Over time the system of Reiki healing developed by Mikao Usui has evolved, or been changed, by subsequent teachers. Today a number of different forms, or branches, of Reiki are practised worldwide. A common element of many forms of Reiki is a set of principles or precepts. While there are variations in the expression and interpretation of the precepts, they are all based on the original teachings of Mikao Usui.
The Five Precepts of Reiki
Do not become angry
Worry about nothing
Express one's gratitude
Be diligent in work
Be kind to others
The underlying philosophy of Reiki is that if a person’s energy is low, they are more likely to be unwell or stressed. If it is high, however, they are more capable of being happy and feeling well. Reiki will not cure illnesses or disease, but it may help your body to feel more relaxed and peaceful and works alongside other medical and therapeutic techniques.
A Reiki session may help ease tension and stress and may help support the body to facilitate an environment for healing on all levels- physical, emotional and spiritual.
The experience of Reiki is subjective, changeable, and sometimes very subtle. People often experience heat in the practitioner's hands, but sometimes the practitioner's hands feel refreshingly cool. Other common experiences are subtle pulsations where the practitioner's hands are placed or cascading waves of pulsations throughout the body, you may feel a tingling sensation, slight twitching or a rumbling tummy, or you may feel absolutely nothing! People often comment how comforting they find the experience of Reiki to be, and some fall into a deep, sleeplike meditative state. Sometimes the experience of Reiki is dramatic, while for other people, the first session in particular may be uneventful, although they feel somehow better afterward. The most common experience is an almost immediate release of stress and a feeling of deep relaxation.
It is important to note that Reiki does not treat or diagnose. A Reiki practitioner draws on this higher universal energy, which flows into them and out through their hands, into the person they are working with to assist in healing. The energy is not guided by the practitioner, but the energy has its own innate wisdom to guide itself, helping to free blocked energy, reducing stress, and providing relaxation. This helps to create an environment in the body that fosters healing and wellbeing.
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