With an estimated 38% of American adults using some form of complementary and alternative medicine, it is clear that we are once again opening our minds to long-forgotten practices from the past in our efforts to improve our health. Of these, one common practice that is once again gaining attention is the use of Reiki or healing with your hands.
While we are still highly dependent on modern medicine in our attempts to keep ourselves safe and healthy in today’s world, we have seen a growing interest in the study of alternative medicine not only in relation to our physical health but also our mental and spiritual well-being. For those that believe in the healing power of the Universe, the idea of always relying upon chemicals and medications may seem ‘off’. This isn’t to say they don’t have their place, modern medicine affords us some effective options to manage and cure many different ailments and diseases, but it’s not the only option available.
Everything around us contains energy, an energy that connects us with the greater Universe. It is this energy that allows us to connect with one another, with the plants and animals around us as well as with the higher powers and spiritual beings that work with us and through us towards a grander plan. When we turn to alternative forms of healing, we harness this energy and use it in order to encourage our own natural ability to heal.
The practice of Reiki can be traced back to the ancient Japanese healers, ‘laying hands’ on those who were sick or ill in some way, boosting their ‘life force energy’. This energy is known as our Ki-energy. Interested in better understanding how this energy works in our bodies, as well as our ability to transmit and transfer energy to those around us, a team of researchers studied the practices and students of Japanese Ki-expert Kozo Nishino. They concluded that “Ki-energy had distinctive biological effects. When aimed at other individuals, Ki-energy had a significant effect to induce bodily motions.” However, the researchers did advise that further research is required.
The practice of Reiki is relatively simple in theory, however, in order to make it work, you must tap into your own spiritual power. Begin by focusing on the palm of your hands, feeling the energy from your body flowing forward and gathering in that specific area. If you notice that your hands feel warm from the energy flow, or if, as it gathers, you notice a tingling sensation or the feeling of pins and needles in your palms and even traveling along into your fingers.
Once you feel this energy collecting, hold your hands over the person that you are looking to assist in healing. Feel this power moving through your body, from your hands, and into their body. Some people find that closing their eyes and envisioning this transfer helps.
The information about Reiki is still limited as we continue to study the practice in an effort to better understand. “Reiki appears to be generally safe. In studies of Reiki, side effects were no more common among participants who received Reiki than among those who didn’t receive it,” explained the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
They went on to issue this important warning: “Reiki should not be used to replace conventional care or to postpone seeing a health care provider about a health problem. If you have severe or long-lasting symptoms, see your health care provider. You may have a health problem that needs prompt treatment. Tell all your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.”