What Is Reiki?
Reiki can be explained in 3 ways: as a word, as an energy, and as a holistic healing system.
Reiki As A Word
Reiki (pronounced “Ray Kee) is a Japanese word which is most often translated as “universal life-force energy,” although this could just refer to the second part of the word, Ki, so perhaps a more precise translation is “spiritual energy.” Rei can be translated as “soul,” “spirit,” “wisdom,” “divine,” “essence,” and “sacred” or “mysterious power,” while Ki usually refers to “life-force energy”, although it is sometimes translated as “cosmic” or “universal energy.”
Reiki As Energy
Reiki is “spiritual energy,” as referred to above, but what does this mean? The second part of the word, Ki, refers to life-force energy, and you may have heard of other versions of this word from other languages, such as “Chi” or “Qi” in Chinese (as in Tai Chi or Qi Gong), or “Prana” from India, where it is the central concept in Yoga and Ayurveda. These words all signify a vital, life-sustaining energy which is believed to flow throughout the human body (and trough all living things) through a network of fine subtle channels called meridians, as well as flowing outside the physical body as an energy field called an aura. This “Ki” is an energy which operates at high vibrations and fast frequencies, which makes it difficult to see, but it can be detected by various forms of electromagnetic equipment, and identifying and removing blockages in its flow has for centuries been central to acupuncture. Most complementary and alternative therapies work at an energetic level—indeed the physical body is energy, but vibrating at a slower frequency which is denser, and therefore visible. Reiki, as a spiritual energy, operates at an even higher and faster vibration than the Ki that is present in the physical body and the aura, so it can move through all parts of the human energy field to break through energetic blockages and promote healing. The source of this high spiritual energy can be described in various ways, depending upon what you are happy to accept—God, the Source, the Great Mystery, Infinite Intelligence, the All-That-Is, the Universe—or you can think of it as part of your Soul or Spirit or Higher Self that you can access to help you.
Reiki As A Holistic Healing System
What we call Reiki in the West refers to a holistic healing system originally devised by a Japanese priest, Dr. Mikao Usui, in the early part of the twentieth century. The most common way of experiencing Reiki for most people is by receiving a Reiki treatment from a Reiki practitioner, where the recipient remains fully clothed and lies on a massage table or sits on a chair and relaxes. The practitioner gently places heir hands non-intrusively on or near the body, in a sequence of positions. There is no pressure, massage or manipulation and the whole person is treated rather than specific symptoms. Reiki is “holistic” because it effects the whole person—body, mind and spirit—encouraging deep relaxation and a sense of well-being, and assisting the physical body’s own healing ability to operate more effectively and efficiently.
Source: The Reiki Manual by Penelope Quist with Kathy Roberts
Featured Photo: Gilbert Garcin – The Unconscious, 2002