About Reiki

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese holistic, light-touch, energy-based therapy. Working as a support mechanism to the body, Reiki re-establishes a normal energy flow of ki (life force energy) throughout the system, which in turn can enhance and accelerate the body's innate healing ability. Through a series of hand positions either directly on or just above the body, the energy worker allows for the flow of energy through their body. The client’s body then draws off the amount of energy that is required. The simplicity of a Reiki session may raise some skepticism, however, after experiencing it, many clients keep coming back for more of those relaxing feelings.

Reiki is a system to help promote healing and to maintain good health. It is a non-intrusive method of providing healing so there is no risk of aggravating any existing physical injury. It is NOT massage therapy! The premise of reiki is that the healing energy travels to you, the recipient, through the practitioner’s hands. Reiki means "universal life-force energy" as well as refers to the healing system.

Reiki is simple and produces measurable results. It is power, light and love. Reiki transcends the man-made divisions of religion, economics, location, gender, and race. You don't need to believe in it, for it to work.  It will work with or without your belief.

What is the history of Reiki?

It has only been in the last 10-15 years that members of the Reiki community in Japan have opened their hearts to us in the west and supplied us with truthful information about how Usui Reiki came to be on our planet. Prior to this time, the facts were either distorted or not disclosed and we were left in the dark.

Here is the history, in a nutshell…
Mikao Usui was born on August 15, 1865 in Taniai, Japan. He was always a spiritual seeker. He practiced Kiko, which is similar to Qi Gong or Chi Kung. Kiko consists of breathing exercises, meditation, and movement. It could be described as a ‘moving meditation’.

He studied medicine, psychology, religion, and spiritual development. He was a member of a metaphysical group called Rei Jyutu Ka. Mikao Usui became secretary to Shinpei Goto (the head of the Health and Welfare Department who went on to become the Mayor of Tokyo). Usui sensei started a business, which failed.

In 1914, at the age of 49, he decided to become a Buddhist Monk. In 1922, he went on a 21-day retreat of meditation, prayers, chanting and fasting at Mount Kurama in Kyoto, Japan. While standing under a waterfall, he did a meditation designed to open and purify the Crown Chakra. This caused him to have a spiritual awakening on the final day of his retreat. A powerful light entered the top of his head. His awareness was expanded and he realized a great power had entered him. He intuitively knew he could now heal others without depleting his own energy, as he had when he practiced Kiko.

Mikao Usui moved, with his wife and children, to Tokyo in April 1922. On the basis of his lifelong spiritual journey and his more recent spiritual experience, he developed “The Usui System of Natural Healing”. He then started a healing society named "Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai". Shortly afterward, he opened a clinic in Harajuku and began doing Reiki sessions and teaching classes.

Just before noon, on September 1, 1923, the great Kanto earthquake struck with a force of magnitude 8.3 and killed over 140,000 people, leaving thousands more injured and homeless. Usui sensei and his students grieved for their people and decided to take Reiki to the survivors. They worked day and night, giving Reiki to help as many as they could. The need for healing continued for many years, as you can imagine. The Meiji Emperor honored Mikao Usui for his dedication and contribution to their country.

At the age of 60, in 1925, he opened a larger clinic in Nakano and then began traveling and lecturing until he crossed over from a massive stoke on March 9, 1926. In four short years, he taught over 2,000 students and trained 16 teachers. He wanted this simple technique to be available to all people worldwide.

Mikao Usui is buried at Saihoji Temple in Suginami-Ku, Tokyo. A large memorial stone was erected by his students, describing his life and work with Reiki. We all owe Mikao Usui a deep debt of gratitude for what he has done for our world.

What can I expect before and after a treatment?

You will be taken to relax in a softly lit room, on a couch, either sitting or laying, while you listen to gentle music and/or nature sounds. If you are able to get on a floor mat, you may also lie on a floor mat. The essence of the position is that any position will work as long as you are comfortable. It is recommended that you remove restricting items such as glasses, shoes, jewelry and belts during the session. A full Reiki treatment can be experienced while seated in a wheelchair.

I will begin a session by briefly explaining Reiki energy therapy and the treatment process to the client, and I will provide an informational paper to explain in writing about the therapy. You will be asked to read and sign a waiver. Then I will begin treatment.  I will ask you to relax and just simply let the energy flow. Most therapists begin a treatment with the client resting on their back. The basic hand positions begin on the head, and end at the feet.

Starting with the first hand position, you can expect to experience a range of feelings. You may fall asleep, and sleep throughout the entire session (and that's ok!). You  may feel heat from my hands  and you may experience tingling, waves of energy, tapping, bubbles, stomach gurgling, laughter, tears, sighing, deep breaths, or just feel very relaxed. It all depends on your personal physical and emotional situation. However you experience the treatment, it is unique for you. As you become more experienced with Reiki treatment and a relationship builds between us, variations of the treatment can develop. I can focus on specific body placements or work in the aura - the energy field surrounding the body. During any treatment you may specify an area that you would like to have addressed.

It's important to remember that, whatever is troubling us, 'we didn't get this way overnight’ and we won't 'recover overnight’, either. Reiki is not any more magical than any other modality or homeopathic medicine. Healing takes commitment and it takes time... one moment at a time.

Directly after a Reiki session, you should allow yourself time to come fully back into your awareness. You may feel so relaxed that you are spaced-out. It is suggested to sit for 15 minutes and sip a cool glass of purified water. Becoming in touch with the soles of your feet and their placement on the floor also helps a great deal.

Over the next little while, you may notice that you are de-toxifying the waste that has built up in your system.  You should increase your water and/or herbal tea intake so that the toxins are flushed out more readily. You may want to rest more, so allow time for that.

Most people feel an immediate improvement in their level of pain. Energy and alertness increase daily and a feeling of overall well being may be noticed.

Anything else I should know?

It is strongly recommended that you do not discontinue any medications or session plan your medical practitioner or other holistic healer has deemed necessary, unless you first speak with them personally. Reiki energy works in concert with all other forms of therapy. It is a wonderful complement to other treatments. We can all work together to get you feeling healthier, happier and more whole. This is the holistic approach.

The Reiki energy goes to exactly where it is needed so a Reiki Practitioner never needs to diagnose nor prescribe – nor does ethics or law allow us to. I am NOT a licensed doctor or physician of any kind. Persons with serious illnesses and ailments should seek the advice of a professional medical practitioner.

The obvious benefit of reiki is healing on all levels. For some, the healing may take a longer time than expected, but healing will occur. I believe that the best healing is gradual and not rushed. Reiki also provides a balance and wellbeing in life. In the long term and with continued use and treatment, it can provide enlightenment. For a practitioner, reiki provides inspiration, peace, tranquility, and a sense of fulfillment. For both a recipient and a practitioner, reiki is a connection to a higher source, something greater than this world.

Some Content © Canadian Reiki Association 2003 - 2010 

Kristen Waters DBA Healing Hands Therapy ©2010 


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