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Reiki, An Intelligent Force for Healing
Our Physical, Emotional, Mental & Spiritual Selves
by Arline Rowden, Reiki Master Teacher © 1997 (Revised © 2009)
Reiki is an intelligent force for healing our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual selves. The word Reiki (Ray-key) is Japanese and means "Universal Life Energy" which is literally the life force of the universe. The Light, The Force, God, The Christ, Buddha, Goddess, The Great Spirit, Mohammed . . you can call Reiki whatever you are the most comfortable in saying. Reiki isn't a religion, it's a spiritual healing modality and usually blends well with the individual's religious beliefs.
The system of Reiki Natural Healing was brought into existence by Mikao Usui in Japan around 1920 or shortly before that year. In recent years, the “Traditional Dr. Usui story” has been revised based on new information coming out of Japan. (Revised 6-12-09.)
You can go for Reiki sessions to experience this healing energy and/or become a Reiki student. Once a Reiki student has completed the first level class they can be a Reiki practitioner. A Reiki practitioner transfers this energy by the touch of his or her hands or sends it as absentee healing (Level II student) using symbols. A Reiki Master Teacher has completed all three levels of Reiki before beginning to teach Reiki classes.
During a session the client (fully clothed except for shoes) usually lies on a massage or similar table. There are a series of hand placements (these may vary with each practitioner) that are used on the front and then the back of the body. For example, while the client lies on his or her back, the practitioner usually places hands on the area of the eyes, then ears, chin and jaw, shoulders, heart center, etc. down the body. A Reiki session usually lasts for about 40 to 50 minutes of a one hour session.
Since the Reiki energy is intelligent, the exact hand positions are not critical because the energy knows where to go and what to do. The energy does the healing not the practitioner. Also, the hands of most Reiki practitioners become quite warm when working with this energy. Often a client may believe that a practitioner is working on more than one area at a time because they feel warmth in several locations at the same time. This happens because this intelligent Reiki energy flows where it is needed, not just to the area under the practitioner's hands.
Human beings need safe nurturing touch for optimal physical, emotional and mental health. It's been know for a long time that hugging triggers endorphins, a substance produced in the body which naturally relieves pain. I believe the respectful touching during Reiki does the same thing. With the level of stress that most people live with, it's very important to find ways to relax. Reiki sessions are wonderful for relaxation, the client may even fall asleep during the session. Chronic physical pain is often greatly reduced by relaxation, too.
Massage therapists also find that Reiki blends very well with massage. Their clients, when open to the combination, greatly benefit from the overall healing and relaxation from the Reiki, while they receive the deep physical benefits from massage. The massage therapist benefits from this energy, too, since the Reiki energy always flows through the practitioner to the client. Reiki practitioners receive a healing as they give Reiki to another. It's a wonderful lesson in caring for ourselves so we can give to others.
Some expectant mothers have decided to take a Reiki class and use this energy throughout their pregnancy. They have found it very helpful during natural childbirth. It's much easier to stay focused on their breathing and to ease the discomfort of the contractions when using the Reiki energy. Then, after the birth, they find it very rewarding and natural to do Reiki on their baby. I also feel that it would be very helpful for the expectant father to take a Reiki class with the expectant mother.
Reiki can be complementary to traditional medicine by enhancing the healing process for patients with varied illnesses. There have been studies recently showing the power of prayer in the healing process. Prayer is simply asking a power greater than ourselves to send us healing. Reiki can be a form of prayer. When patients are open to Reiki, it's very helpful in the area of stress and pain reduction, too.
Emotional healing such as in the process of recovery from addictions, compulsions, trauma or the effects of a dysfunctional home is very important. At times so much energy is used to resist strong feelings that individuals may feel tired and depressed most of the time. When an individual experiences suppressed emotions surrounding a past experience during a Reiki session, gentle support is provided by the energy and the practitioner as the client releases these emotions. Many people have discovered that it's easier to contact one's inner child and to communicate with it when they use Reiki.
When an individual is in the process of psychotherapy, Reiki can be a complementary healing modality. Even therapists, in a profession that has a high "burnout" rate, have greatly benefited from Reiki, since it enhances their overall health. The ability to be detached but compassionate is very important to all medical professionals, and Reiki can help them accomplish that goal.
Since our belief systems color our experiences in this world, the mental healing possible with Reiki can be very dramatic. Changes in attitudes can free individuals to experience life in a more joyful way. For example, you may have a belief about the way to help others which keeps you feeling weighted down with the problems of others. Reiki can help you detach with love and to let go of codependency in relationships. As you experience your God Within, you realize that others also have their God Within to draw on.
On the spiritual level, Reiki helps the individual to be open to their intuition and to connect with what I call their Inner Source of Wisdom and Guidance or the God Within. Many people experience a new sense of purpose and direction in their lives. Reiki can open the door to new levels of enlightenment.
Many people decide to take Reiki classes for their own personal and spiritual growth. Others have a strong desire to become a Reiki student so they may share this energy with loved ones. Some students know they want to have a full or part-time business as a Reiki practitioner and eventually as a Reiki Master Teacher. There are many reasons to decide to take Reiki classes.
Reiki classes usually begin with some sharing time followed by a meditation which helps the student to be as open and receptive to the attunement as possible. Then a Reiki Master Teacher, using special symbols and an energy transmission procedure, opens the student's chakras to the level of Reiki (I, II or Master) for that class. These openings are referred to as Reiki initiations or attunements and give the student access to a greater flow of universal life energy.
Instruction and practice time are an essential part of each Reiki class. Also, most teachers include Reiki class manuals with the class. The student usually receives a certificate of completion for each Reiki level completed.
Reiki I opens your crown, third eye, throat and heart chakras to the first level of Reiki. Then you can do healing on yourself, and as you do Reiki on others, you receive a healing, too, as the energy restores balance and harmony on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels.
Reiki II opens your crown chakra to a greater degree and initiates your hands to use Reiki symbols and to do absentee healing. Several symbols, including one for mental healing, are taught at this level. Reiki III or Master Teacher opens the individual to the level needed to attune others to Reiki. Then you receive instructions on how to attune others to the three levels of Reiki.
How do you decide which Reiki practitioner is best for you? Find out how the practitioner works with a client. Many practitioners have group Reiki demonstrations periodically or will take time to answer the questions of a new client in the first session. Ask how has Reiki enhanced his or her life and personal and spiritual growth. Do they have knowledge and experience in the areas that you want healing? Are they comfortable with you experiencing a wide range of emotions? Are they accepting of belief systems other than their own? The more issues that the practitioner has worked through and the more he or she works with Reiki, the clearer and more effective channel he or she will be for this energy. But don't insist on perfection from the Reiki practitioner, since part of being human is to be in the process of resolving life's issues.
Now you know some of the basics of Reiki, and you have decided you want to experience this energy. How do you find a Reiki practitioner? Check NEW AVENUES Magazine or similar publications for ads for Reiki practitioners in your area. If you don't find any in your area, you could call the ones you do find and ask if any of the Reiki Master Teachers have students in your area. You may want to visit your local metaphysical book store or health food store to see if they have information racks or if the employees may know of some Reiki practitioners. Once you have some names, then you can use the suggestions in this article, along with your own questions, to decide who's right for you.
If you are interested in taking Reiki classes there are additional questions you may want to ask. If a teacher belongs to a Reiki association, you could request information about their code of professional standards and how being aligned with that association affects their teaching of Reiki, etc. But many Reiki teachers are independent teachers and do not belong to a Reiki association. So Reiki consumers need to request information which will enable them to make a wise choice when it comes to choosing a Reiki teacher.
In other words, ask the Reiki teacher a lot of questions such as these about their teaching and classes: When did you take your Reiki I, Reiki II and Reiki Master classes? Who was your Reiki teacher(s)? How long have you been teaching Reiki and about how many classes of each level have you taught? Do you teach individual and/or group Reiki classes? Do you limit the number of students in a class? If so, what is the class size limit? How long is each level's class? What do you teach and include in each level's class? Do you include a class manual and certificate of completion for each class? What do you charge for each level of Reiki? If the charge is quite different from others in the same area you may want to ask, why is your charge so much more or less than others? Do you offer Reiki sharing for your students?
If you feel comfortable with the answers that you receive and feel comfortable talking to the Reiki teacher, then you may want to schedule a Reiki session next. By meeting the teacher in person and experiencing a Reiki session from the teacher, you can gather some additional information to use in your decision making process.
Even though Reiki is a spiritual process, it's appropriate to use your logical skills while choosing a Reiki teacher. And definitely use your "gut" feelings during the process.
I invite you to take a step on your spiritual path by experiencing a Reiki session or becoming a Reiki student. May the Force Be With You!
(Published in New Avenues Magazine in 1997.)
Email Arline Rowden at firstname.lastname@example.org