Reiki literally means “spiritually guided life force energy”. This is based on the combination of the Japanese words ‘rei’ and ‘ki’. ‘Rei’ means Higher Power or God’s Wisdom while ‘ki’ means life force energy, as is often referred to by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine and also spelled ‘qi’ (pronounced “chee”).
Reiki is an ancient healing technique that involves the practitioner placing hands on or above different areas of the receiver’s body and holding them in place without movement, transmitting pure Universal or God energy. The movement of this energy is very discerning, and therefore goes wherever it needs to for the receiver. Since practitioners can’t possibly know what’s best and in the highest good of each client, they receive a series of “attunements” before establishing an official practice. These attunements include the receipt of particular symbols that help the practitioner to focus the flow of energy for specific purposes – the symbols are received into the energy body of the practitioner.
The objective of Reiki is to facilitate healing by activating the body’s own healing capacities. By promoting profound relaxation, Reiki allows the cells to optimally heal and regenerate, much like they do during deep sleep.
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Reiki originated in 1922. The founder of the practice, Dr. Mikao Usui, was a student of medicine, psychology and religion. An avid businessman with perceptive spiritual inclinations, Dr. Usui discovered Reiki at the age of 57 while pursuing spiritual training at Mt. Kurama, north-west of Kyoto, Japan. Reiki was brought to the west in 1937 by Hawayo Takata, the Hawaiian daughter of Japanese immigrants. Takata had experienced incredible healing at the hands of Reiki and was insistent on learning the method. She mentored 22 Reiki practitioners before her passing, and those students started the spread of Reiki throughout the west. For further details on the history of Reiki, I recommend Reiki the Healing Touch, by William Lee Rand, a versed authority and teacher of different Reiki practices, or visit Rand’s extensively informative website: reiki.org.
Though a completely esoteric practice, Reiki has the capacity to produce very tangible benefits such as decreased blood pressure, increased mental function, memory, focus and concentration, stress reduction, improved sleep & immune function, accelerated healing from accidents & trauma, reduced anxiety, emotional awareness & release, as well as personal insight and advancement. These days, it’s becoming common for Reiki practitioners to be on staff at hospitals across North America due to the glaring benefits of the practice.
Here at Wellness on Whyte, we practice both Usui Reiki (offered by Roberta & Alanna) and Karuna Reiki (offered by Alanna only). Usui is considered to be the classic form of Reiki, while Karuna Reiki is a practice that was developed in 1995 by William Lee Rand. Karuna Reiki is rooted in compassion and has been noted to help with past-life issues, to resolve karma, dismantle denial and impart deep groundedness.
Many people approach the receipt of Reiki with skepticism and trepidation, only to come out on the other side of a single session firm believers and then avid receivers. In my 17 years of practicing Reiki, I’ve observed positive result in response to Reiki applied to the following situations: broken bones, digestive complaint, constipation, cancer, exhaustion, anxiety, sleep disturbances, acute pain and injury, labor pain and anxiety, infertility, depression, transition to death, emotional instability and panic attacks.
Reiki is not associated with any religion, though it can be a valuable component of any spiritual practice.
Roberta Shepherd for Wellness on Whyte