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What is Reiki Healing?

By Kerrie Main
Updated May 17, 2024
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Reiki healing is a Japanese technique believed to have originated in the early 20th century by the Buddhist doctor Mikao Usui. The word "Reiki" consists of “rei,” which means universal, and “ki,” which means life flow or energy. There are seven energy centers, or chakras, along the spine of the body. Practitioners of Reiki usually open their crown chakras to the universal life energy, then direct that energy through their hands to the recipients. This subtle energy type of healing can be done in person or from a distance.

Many people use Reiki healing in conjunction with forms of Western medicine. Practitioners and recipients of this form of holistic healing believe that when a person’s life flow energy is disrupted or blocked, physical and emotional issues begin to form, resulting in health problems. Reiki is thought to be a non-invasive way to realign the chakra and bodily energies by simply using the universal life force.

There might be many health benefits of Reiki healing. It typically relaxes the recipient’s body to help to release stress and tension, which also might accelerate other normal self-healing capabilities. Some people believe that it aids with sleep problems and can also help to reduce high blood pressure. Reiki might help to increase vitality and immunity as well as raise the body’s vibration frequency, which can help with spiritual growth.

Reiki healing is similar to a massage, because the recipient usually lays fully clothed on a massage table. The atmosphere typically is spa-like, with dimmed lights and soft, relaxing music in the background. During the holistic healing session, the practitioner places his or her hands lightly on different parts of the recipient's body and leaves them there for several minutes. Some healers have systematic processes, and others freely move their hands in a manner that depends on the recipient’s energy flow.

Although it is spiritual in nature, Reiki healing is not a religion. Recipients can come from any cultural or religious background, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be believed in order to work. For example, some practitioners might think of a person or animal and visualize sending healing energy to that person or animal from a distance. Proponents of this type of healing believe that the energy flow is received without the recipient even knowing that it was sent.

Reiki healing is practiced in many locations, including clinics, home businesses, spas and yoga centers. Practitioners typically do not advertise in traditional mediums. They tend to gain new clients by word of mouth and by placing information in alternative health settings, such as organic food markets, metaphysical stores and local colleges.

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