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 which suggests that it can be effective for a variety of conditions, including pain, nausea, anxiety, and depression.
What should I expect during a treatment? We recommend that you wear natural fiber clothing for treatment. Before your first treatment, you’ll be asked about your health, any special needs you may have, and your expectations of treatment. Clients are fully clothed and normally lay on a padded massage therapy table, with blankets or pillows for comfort. We recommend that you remove shoes, watches and jewelry before treatment, though if you have a piece of jewelry you do not want to remove, it should not interfere with your Reiki session. The therapist may go through some self-preparation and a short meditation before beginning. The practitioner places his or her hands in various places on or above a client’s body, some of which correspond with the chakras. You may feel warmth, prickling, or other sensations as the energy moves. Please tell your therapist if you are not comfortable being touched; Reiki will work whether the therapist touches you or not, though you may experience more sensations if the therapist places hands directly on your body. 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 a client’s 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.