Reiki, loosely translated from Japanese, means “universal life force energy”. This energy is everywhere in the universe, and it can be channeled by trained Reiki practitioners. In humans, life force energy is sometimes referred to by medical professionals as the biofield. A Reiki practitioner works with universal life force energy to gently manipulate and balance the human body’s biofield and chakras (energy centers), which promotes relaxation and wellness and maximizes the body’s potential to heal itself. Reiki is in use in many hospitals in the US and abroad, and there is a growing body of scientific evidence to suggest that it can be effective for a variety of conditions, including pain, nausea, anxiety, and depression.
What should I expect during a treatment? I recommend that clients wear natural fiber clothing for their sessions. Before your first treatment I’ll ask about your general health, any special needs you have, and what you’d like to focus on during your treatment. Clients normally lay on a padded massage table with blankets or pillows for comfort, but Reiki can be administered in any position if you’re not comfortable laying down. Before the session, I may offer a short guided meditation to help you relax. During the Reiki session, I’ll place my hands in various positions on or above the body, some of which correspond with the chakras. Many people report warmth, prickling, or other sensations as the energy moves, but even if you don’t have that experience, Reiki is still flowing and will go where it is needed. Sometimes strong emotions come up; this is normal and means that energy is moving. Reiki therapy is generally very relaxing though, so you may need some time to recover before driving, operating machinery or making important decisions. Treatments typically last about 60 minutes, but can be varied according to your needs.
The five Reiki principles, or Go-kai, as translated by Hiroshi Doi in A Modern Reiki Method for Healing (2014):
Today, do not be angry.
Today, do not worry.
Today, be thankful.
Today, do what you are meant to do.
Today, be kind to others.