This is an article written by Bronwen and Frans Stiene for Options magazine
Many people have heard of the word ‘Reiki’ but have no idea of what it actually is. Is it a religion, a massage procedure or could it even be dangerous? ‘No,’ is the answer to all three questions. It is neither a belief system nor a physically manipulative technique and it is completely safe.
In Kyoto at the turn of the 20th century…
Around 100 years ago a Japanese martial arts practitioner developed a spiritual system based on working with energy. His name was Usui Mikao and he believed that by clearing the body energetically it was possible to feel more connected to life, more relaxed, less unbalanced emotionally and physically healthier.
The techniques he developed to do this included meditation and actual hands-on-healing and became known as the system of Reiki. Though this began as a personal self-development tool it has evolved into a method that can help others too.
This article will look at what constitutes the system of Reiki, how energy works in the body and what the resulting benefits are.
The system of Reiki uses energy to promote healing in the body on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. The energy used can be translated from the Japanese word ‘Reiki’ to mean ‘Spiritual Energy’ or in the West it is more commonly called ‘Universal Energy’ – the energy of everything.
It is a unique system as it makes good health and balance possible for both the self and others. You can visit this link to understand more about this form of treatment. Therefore not only treatments but also courses are available for those interested in the system.
During a Reiki treatment the client remains fully clothed at all times. No private parts of the body are touched and hands are placed on or just off the body. Sex, age and condition are of no concern, as the client’s own body controls the process. During the treatment the client’s body draws the amount of energy it requires at either a physical, mental, emotional or spiritual level.
Traditionally, there are 3 levels of study within the system of Reiki and they are all independent of each other.
The first level will teach you how to use Reiki on yourself and others. The second will give you tools to work with in the system and looks at becoming a professional practitioner. The third, and last, will teach you how to become a teacher or simply how to further your own interest in Reiki and is often called the Reiki Teacher level or Shinpiden ‘(inner teachings’ in Japanese). Since the system came to the West many individuals have added New Age beliefs and techniques – altering the system. In recent years there has been a backlash and the more traditional Japanese methods have resurfaced with the discovery of traditional teachers still practising in Japan.
To learn the system of Reiki five essential elements are taught throughout the 3 levels. These are:
• Physical hands-on practice on the self and/or others for the purpose of healing
• Spiritual and Mental development using 5 Precepts
• Techniques/Meditations for building inner energy in the practitioner
• Four Mantras and four Symbols
• Attunements or Reiju (blessing performed by the teacher)
Practitioners are taught to draw on the energy from around them as well as to cultivate their own inner energy. They can then enjoy a stronger natural connection to the universal flow of energy. Hands–on healing is also taught for the self and others as energy is channeled through the practitioner’s body allowing it to be drawn on.
To understand the role that energy plays in this form of healing it must be understood that everything has energy or ki in it – even a piece of paper or a plant, every item in the room, the building itself, the city, the country, the world, the universe and on and on. Gradually, comprehension dawns that there is an unlimited amount of energy. This energy may seem invisible, or elusive but it is, instead, all encompassing. It is this energy that makes, not just humans, but worlds function. It is the fuel that drives humans and gives ultimate structure and purpose in life. This is Reiki, spiritual energy.
Occasionally, humans get a bit of dirt in the fuel line or a better way to explain it is perhaps by envisioning a free flowing river. This beautiful river is like energy flowing easily down through the body. Occasionally a pebble, or even a rock, will fall into that river making the flow of the water a little more difficult. These pebbles are human worries, fear, anger, and each pebble builds on top of the other. Soon there is only a trickle of water running in that once beautiful free-flowing river. And so it is with energy in the human body. At this point physical pain may also be experienced. By practising Reiki more energy is offered to the body with the body naturally drawing on this resource and taking it to where it is needed. This extra energy is like a flood that washes down through our energetic rivers removing and dissolving obstacles in its way.
One of the most wonderful aspects of working with Reiki is that it is safe. It cannot harm and has no dogma attached to it. This is the energy of everything and everything has its own natural flow. Practising Reiki helps remind us of our natural connection and gives us the faith to let go and to reap the benefits of being in the natural flow of life.
The tangible benefits of Reiki are that it not only speeds up the physical healing process but it is also energy for the spirit. When the spirit is energised the body responds positively in all other areas (emotional, mental and physical). Reiki allows the body to clear itself leaving you feeling lighter, healthier and happier.
If you would like to feel more balanced in life and are interested in a course why not first try a treatment. Professional Reiki schools offer student clinics where you can try a treatment before booking a course.
Bronwen and Frans Stiene are the co-founders of the International House of Reiki and co-authors of The Reiki Sourcebook, The Japanese Art of Reiki, Your Reiki Treatment, The A-Z of Reiki Pocketbook and the Reiki Techniques Card Deck. Bronwen and Frans teach in the USA, Europe and Australia. Visit the Courses page to find a course near you.