is a natural pain and stress management technique developed by Mikao Usui and based on the principles of Buddhism and Shintoism. Reiki, from the Japanese words “rei” (spirit) and “ki” (energy), accesses the universal life force through the practitioner, who channels healing energy through the patient by the laying on of hands. The Shinto religion believes that energy (kami) flows from both animate and inanimate objects while the Buddhist tenets that Usui followed involved chakras, or energy sites, in the body that can be activated by practice, just as in yoga.
A typical reiki session is conducted fully clothed, and the patient may end up asleep on the table, moving in and out of consciousness, during the session, in a relaxed state. The reiki practitioner may actually touch the patient or hold his hands several inches above the chakra areas of the body, such as the base of the spine, the navel, the chest or neck. The reiki practitioner summons energy from the crown (head) and root (spine) chakras and directs this energy through the palm and into the patient’s chakra areas. The body has many minor chakras, which correspond to joints, which make the palm a prime energy outlet.
There is no set pattern when it comes to activating the chakras during a reiki session; after speaking with the client and ascertaining the purpose of the visit, the practitioner will have a sense of where energy needs to be dispersed and attunes the release of healing in the treatment process. Patients report a variety of feelings while experiencing a reiki session, from a tingling sensation and warmth, to complete relaxation and peace. With the concept of energy coming from a higher power outside of oneself, the practitioner innately knows where and how much energy the patient needs. The union of the mental, spiritual and physical in reiki allows the practitioner to channel energy from an aural field that extends two to three feet beyond the body. Patients, after a reiki session, report a sense of stress relief, similar to that experienced after a massage.