What is Reiki? Reiki has been defined as a spiritual practice created by Dr. Mikao Usui from Japan, which involves the flow of universal Energy through the practitioner to the client. Since the energy is divinely guided it flows to the places where it is needed in the body. (I like that definition, but I also personally feel that Reiki energy exists within everything & is all around us & practitioners help to activate, focus or strengthen the Reiki already present & available to all. We reinforce the sense of this energy. I also feel Reiki is a lifelong journey of self awareness & connection to all-seeing,sensing, being the energy). 

History of Usui Sensei~I have searched the internet & bought a few books to try to obtain more detailed information about Usui & his history, family & inspiration. It's said that Usui Sensei was a lay Buddhist.  The most informative, enlightening & intriguing information that I've found, have come from a website that was created by Asunam (a Shingon Buddhist Monk). Books that I found to be informative with regards to the Eastern traditions and which elaborate more on the history, influence & practice of Usui were derived from The Japanese Art of Reiki-A practical Guide to Self-Healing, The Three Secrets of the Reiki Tao Te Qi, The Reiki Bible. I appreciate the traditional Japanese Reiki style, which honors the intuitive capacities within.

What happens during a session? Reiki practitioners use their hands to direct "Ki, Chi, Qi" energy to the client while they lie fully clothed on a massage table. The hands may be a few inches above the person or placed lightly on their body. In particular instances the client can also be seated comfortably in a chair during a session. Some people may see colors, feel heat or cool sensations, tingling or vibrations, but most simply feel a state of deep relaxation or fall asleep. Occasionally some people may feel floaty or a little out of sorts and this is said to be attributed to the body shifting to a higher state or moving or clearing toxins. A few highly sensitive people (myself included) may get mild nausea or floaty sensation or may get a light headache or possible pressure in the third eye area the same day or possibly into the next day. Drinking plenty of water and resting after a session would be ideal & patiently allowing the body to adjust to the Reiki energies. Each session is unique to the individual, and so far, all of my clients have reported feeling better immediately after the session. One of my "migraine" sufferers did report a mild headache the next day, but felt fine after & has returned without headaches. Most felt spiritually & emotionally elevated & reported a greater sense of peace. One client did report a mild headache when I was at the crown, but the sensation dissipated totally as the energies were redistributed during the session & they left feeling rather exuberant & light. So please do speak up. I often "feel" or see colors intensely & usually adjust accordingly,but please speak up if you need me to adjust the energy flow. On a few occasions I've actually seen aura energy on clients after reiki & it looks like a golden/white light about 2-5 inches off the body. 

Backgound & conceptual framework: The session is often referred to in the general community as "palm healing, energy healing, or laying on of hands healing".  The belief is there is an infinite source of Divine/Universal energy available & thru intention, meditation & love we can help direct those energies to strengthen and build our inner reserves. It's also believed that through daily practice of remaining centered and setting positive intention, that one can increase their personal "Ki" energy to help maintain an energetic balance, which in turn provides a state of inner harmony & well-being. This sense of balance helps to reduce stress, and enhance overall relaxation. As relaxation is achieved, the mind, body and soul can return to and maintain their natural states. The concept of Ki is well understood in martial arts, Qigong & tai chi practice.

Is it safe if I'm under medical treatment? Yes, Reiki is a safe and effective system of energetic balancing & is considered a spiritual, emotional, energetic complement to traditional medicine. People of all ages and even plants & animals are said to benefit. Several major hospitals now offer Reiki as part of their well-being program for patients and staff or as Integrative/Alternative Medicine.

Is it religious or do I have to belong to a certain theology or belief? Reiki is a spiritual and meditative practice used for self healing and helping others. It's not religious & anyone from any background can practice Reiki & benefit from the energies available. All that is required is a desire to feel a greater connection to your highest self & the intention to increase this sense of loving energy. The influences of Reiki in Japan are deeply associated with Dr. Usui's experience with esoteric Buddhism and may have some influences from Shintoism as well, but an individual does not need to be religious or have any particular philosophy. I personally chose Reiki, because it resonates with me and is respectful of all other faiths or beliefs. Since my ancient Japanese relatives may have been both Shinto & Buddhist, I have recently decided to look into Buddhism philosophies & may also research Shintoism. I personally am non-denominational. I respect any belief or non-belief my clients may have. Reiki is about setting our Egos/thinking minds aside and connecting with the energies available for self healing. Personally, Reiki is about enhancing the Universal, Unconditional Love energy. So whether you are Atheist, Pagan, Shamanistic, Animistic, Muslim, Hindu, Catholic,Wiccan, Christian or any other classification we use as humans to identify ourselves, I feel Reiki is beneficial for you. Reiki is about healing, love energies. All humans benefit from the energy of LOVE & COMPASSION. Reiki for me feels like an energetic interaction & synergistic collaboration. It seems to transcend typical human expectations or conditions. Reiki is pure love & I find in my sessions that some people like to share or release their worries, anxieties, stress, or concerns. If I can help you connect with your inner healer, help you feel more relaxed, self-empowered & centered, then I'm pleased & we do this as a team. I continue to tell my clients that I serve merely as a reminder that you are an energetic being & that you can do much on your own self-healing or self-connecting journey. Often these sessions trigger greater interest in healing & spirituality. I encourage you to find a reiki practitioner who resonates with you. 

Detailed information from ICRT:  http://www.reiki.org/faq/whatisreiki.html

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