It seems like there are countless methods of alternative healing out there. From ancient Chinese medicine to western homeopathy to acupuncture, there are dozens of ways to treat any one condition or illness. One of the strangest –and most popular– of these is Reiki. Reiki is a practice invented by the Japanese which, according to experts, works to reduce stress and aid in healing. The word comes from the Japanese “Rei,” referring to God or a Higher Power, and “Ki,” which means life force energy; the combination of the two means, essentially, “spiritually guided life force energy.”
But if you’ve never tried it, the real question is: what is Reiki, and does this non-invasive treatment actually work?
How It’s Administered
Simply put, Reiki is performed by “the laying on of hands.” This process effects a person’s “life force energy,” which in turn affects how they feel.
According to Reiki and other similar practices, the energy or the body concentrates itself in seven specific areas. These areas, called your Chakras, are where the energy for different areas of your body or your existence are managed. The seven Chakras are the top of your head, between your eyes (your third eye), your throat, your heart, your upper abdomen, your lower abdomen, and your lower back. How the energy in your body moves between these seven Chakras is supposed to have a huge influence on whether that energy is balanced or imbalanced. And that, in turn, affects how you feel, as well as your overall health.
If you’re not well-versed in alternative medicine, all of this might sound a little hokey. But the fact is, everything in the world –everything in the universe– is made of energy. So the concept that affecting this energy will affect how you feel isn’t so strange. Not after you know that the energy is there.
During a Reiki treatment, specific Chakras are treated by a specialist, who lays his or her hands upon your body to manipulate its energy. This “healing touch” is acquired through extensive training, and will create a feeling of warmth or radiance, or may not create any sensation at all. Its effects are supposed to be immediate, creating feelings of peace, relaxation, and wellness. And while Reiki is not something that’s been widely embraced by Western medicine, it’s a practice that some claim can work near-miracles.
Though it originated in Japan, anybody can become a Reiki practitioner. In fact, “Reiki Practitioner,” is a label that you might run across fairly often on internet dating profiles or social websites like Myspace. “Reiki Master,” on the other hand, is a level that takes quite a lot more training to reach.
Reiki training is generally given in three separate levels, each including a special Reiki treatment called “attuning” that is administered by a Reiki Master. During each level of training, the student will learn about Reiki concepts and the practice of Reiki healing. In order to become a Master, provide attunements, and teach others to perform Reiki, a student must go through all three levels of training.
The process of learning and administering Reiki is completely non-invasive and natural. And while many criticize the practice as silly, ineffective, or even deceptive, there are many documented cases of Reiki patients seeing huge improvements in their condition. So whether Reiki is actually all it appears to be or not, even skeptics have to admit that there seems to be something about the practice that affects the human body. Which is why Reiki is one of the fastest-growing branches of alternative medicine in the world.
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