Reiki, pronounced ray-key, literally means universal life force energy. It is an energy medicine practice that originated in Japan. Reiki practitioners channel this energy, which is believed to be a life force energy, to heal physical/mental ailments.
Energy medicines deal with two types of energy fields
Veritable – that can be measured, hence verifiable (electromagnetic fields)
Putative – that can not be measured with traditional measuring tools, hence unverifiable (biofields, auras). Reiki belongs to this category.
Therapies using putative energy fields are based on the concept that a ‘subtle energy’ permeates human beings. This energy is known under different names in different cultures.
Available literature on this subject suggests that illness or diseases occur when the flow of KI (as this subtle energy is commonly known) is interrupted or blocked.
Therapies involving putative energies are controversial as there is no quantifiable evidence in support of such therapies.
Some researchers have claimed to have detected changes in receivers before and after treatments, but, these claims have not been validated by reproducible methods. This is the reason that these therapies are not yet accepted into mainstream health care system.
Reiki is primarily delivered through hands. It is supposed to raise ki (life force energy) in the receivers body.
Usually 12 to 15 different points are covered in a reiki session. Hands are positioned with palms down over these points to transmit healing energy.
Traditional reiki training follows the famous Guru – Shisya (master – disciple) Parampara (tradition). You can learn reiki from a reiki master who in turn learned it from his/her own reiki master. This way your chain of teachers must be traced back to the orginator – Dr. Mikao Usui. This chain is called ‘reiki lineage’.
Reiki is not ‘taught’ in the strict sense of the word. Rather, the ability to transmit reiki is transferred from teacher to student through a series of initiations or degrees.
There are three such degrees.
Reiki first degree usually takes two to three days and two initiations by a reiki master. These two initiations enable the student to transmit healing energy.
The second reiki degree enables students to do distant healing, a process where one can send healing energies to any object anywhere without being physically present on that location.
The third degree imparts an ability to initiate other people to reiki. Students become masters after this level.
While reiki has not yet been accepted to mainstream health treatment system, it has become a popular alternative healing practice, thanks to the efforts of its devoted practitioners and followers over the years.