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Acupuncture Today – April, 2006, Vol. 07, Issue 04

Reiki - What Is It?

By Sheldon Ginsberg

To answer the question of what reiki is, we first have to begin by looking at what reiki addresses.

The body's health can be reduced to a triad of mental, physical and emotional elements.

When these elements are in harmony, the moment-to-moment experience of our lives reflects this, and we experience inner peace and flow regardless of outer circumstances.

However, it's becoming increasingly clear that when one or more of these elements is out of balance, the others also lose their balance. The result can be confusion, negativity, discomfort, pain and ultimately, disease.

Reiki is a method of helping the body and mind return to a state of equilibrium and harmony. How does reiki work? My best explanation of reiki is the following:

Imagine going into a room where there is tension. As soon as you walk in, you can feel this tension in your body. Now imagine walking into a room where everyone is relaxed. You also would feel this in your body. This feeling of relaxation is similar to the effects of reiki on your body/mind.

How Does Reiki Work?

The basic premise is that all molecules vibrate and spin. Since we all are made of molecules, all of us are constantly vibrating and spinning at different rates or frequencies. Different emotional and mental states produce different frequencies of vibrations. Sleep produces one vibration, running produces another, anger yet another.

Reiki simply is a vibration or frequency the practitioner has learned to "tune" into. It's not so different than when you tune into a memory of a pleasurable experience you had which, upon recollection, you can feel this pleasure in your body. The difference here is that the reiki energy always is present, while the memory you access is part of your past. Reiki energy is a "universal" energy.

What is meant by "universal" is that all of us have access to this energy. Most of us have accessed this energy in our lives at one time or another. Whenever you have been injured, you have automatically put your hand over the area of the body in pain, not only to protect it, but also to provide some comfort. This is energy healing in action. An individual attuned to reiki merely has practiced this form of "hands-on healing," and therefore the results are magnified.

A typical reiki session consists of the recipient lying down, fully clothed, on a table and the reiki practitioner either laying their hands above or on the body. Next, the relaxation energy flows through the practitioner into the recipient. Recipients are encouraged to breathe deeply and allow the energy to flow without resistance.

An experience with reiki can provide deep relaxation, emotional calming and mental clearing, peace, warmth, tingling and other body sensations.

Over the years, I have found different responses to reiki as I introducedit. One of the more common responses is, "It won't work on me, because I don't believe in it." Reiki does not need belief in order to work. However, what is required is that the recipient be open and willing to have the experience for themselves.

One way you can experience energy flow is to begin to clap your hands together. Keep clapping for one minute. When you are finished, face each palm toward the other, keeping your fingers of each hand together. Slowly bring your hands closer to each other, but don't touch them. See if you can feel anything between your hands. What you might be experiencing is a feeling of warmth, tingling or a slight pressure pushing against your hands. This is your body's energy flowing.

In our world of information and science, we rely very heavily upon what can be proved and understood on certain mental levels. Not only that, but we also seem to prefer to believe something only if more than one individual agrees with the findings. However, what has been lost is our trust in our own experiences. Reiki is about trusting your own experience - not based upon mental understanding, but upon going through the experience and learning what there is to be learned for yourself.

So, Once Again - What Is Reiki?

Ultimately, reiki is about receiving. Many of us have difficulty receiving from others because it requires us to let our defenses down and trust another to keep us from harm. This is why it's important for the reiki practitioner to have a clear sense of their own energy field, as well as a high degree of integrity.

Reiki originated in ancient Tibet. Reiki is an aid towards attaining peace and harmony in your life. Currently, reiki is being used in hospitals and clinics throughout the world. It has been used to help relieve stress-related disorders (such as headache and insomnia), serious disorders (such as coronary heart disease and cancer), emotional problems (such as depression), skin problems, low immunity and chronic pain.

In this life, we seem to be provided with opportunities to experience many different things. The culmination of our experiences influences the choices we make in the future. It is my belief that the more willing we are to embrace new things, the more likely we are to benefit in some way. Reiki is simply an access to greater degrees of understanding. For me, the question always returns to what is it that I am looking to experience and how can it benefit others as well as myself.

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