What is Reiki?

This month, I am teaching a Reiki Level 1 class and I thought it would be helpful to write a blog explaining this healing modality. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It treats not only the physical body but the emotional and spiritual as well. It is a modality that is interested in working on many levels to create increased well-being. Reiki is not religious many people around the world of different religions, cultures and beliefs practice this gentle and powerful healing modality. 

The idea of a force that connects us all (cue Star Wars music) is nothing new. In India, yoga was created to aid meditation so that we can connect with this universal life energy, referred to as Prana, that connects everything in the universe. Chi or Qi is the Chinese term for the same idea. We are simply space and dancing atoms according to some, but whether you're a yogi or a scientist, the idea is the same. We are walking, talking energy beings that are connected by the very energetic matter we are made up of.  

Reiki is often credited to Dr. Mikao Usui who in the . He was a Buddhist monk who during one particular meditation of 21 days on Mount Kurama in Japan, was awakened through a mystical experience to the energy of Reiki and from this he developed his Usui Reiki Ryoho. Reiki, however, is believed to have existed for thousands of years before Usui has his experience and at least four styles of Reiki were in existence when Mikao Usui began his own development of the modality. Usui Reiki is currently the dominate form, however, due to conditions in Japan after WWII as well as his student Hawaya Takata bringing it to the West. Usui opened a school in Tokyo in the early 20th century and it's purported that he trained over 2000 people. At the school they would offer free treatments to the sick and after a terrible earthquake in Japan, Usui and his students were at the forefront of offering their healing knowledge and skills to those in need. This created wider acceptance and understanding of Reiki and allowed Usui's practice to grow. By the time he died at age 65, his style of Reiki had spread to the West and now it is practiced all over the world.

Receiving Reiki is an incredibly relaxing experience. Some people feel lighter in their bodies or experience a sensation of warmth throughout their limbs. For me, when I offer Reiki, my hands becoming hot, as though I've been holding them around a steaming cup of tea. When I receive Reiki I always feel calmer and more grounded and relaxed. Reiki assists me with focusing my meditations, reducing anxiety and fear and creating a sense of peace and well-being in my daily life. It's a wonderful practice that compliments massage, reflexology and other healing modalities.

What is your experience with Reiki? Would you ever give it a try?

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