by Amanda Coleman
As we discussed previously, Reiki is a healing technique based around the principle of channeling energy to activate the natural healing processes within the body. The origins of Reiki are unknown, but Reiki as we understand it today can be mainly credited to three individuals. Dr. Mikao Usui, Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, and Mrs. Hawayo Takata.
It's said that Dr. Mikao Usui rediscovered Reiki during a period of fasting and meditation in the early 1900's. His first school/clinic was opened in Harajuku, Tokyo in April of 1922. By 1925 Dr. Usui was in such high demand he opened a larger school in Nakano. In the years that followed Dr. Usui is believed to have taught over 2,000 people with only 15-17 reaching the highest level (what is known now as “Reiki Master”).
Dr. Chujiro Hayashi started his Reiki training with Usui Sensei in 1925. It is believed he was one of the last Reiki Masters trained by Usui and is credited with the further development of the Reiki hand positions that we now use in the West. One of his last initiates, Mrs. Hawayo Takata, brought her knowledge and training to Hawaii, introducing Reiki to the United States.
Reiki is normally split into 3 levels: Reiki 1, Reiki 2 and Master level, each with their own “attunement” or initiation. The attunement ceremony isn't easily explained, but it is commonly described as the Reiki Master channeling and sharing reiki energy with the student. Once this channel has been opened, the student can then practice and learn to use this energy for themselves and other people. Attunement is given at each level, can be given many times, and is usually a powerful experience for both the teacher and student.
Coming Soon! In Part 3, we'll discuss what to expect during a treatment.
By Amanda Coleman
Since I've just recently joined the team here at Oasis, my familiarity with the world of alternative medicine extends only as far as I've read, and Reiki is something I've always wanted to know more about. When talking about “energy work”, Reiki seems to be one of the first things to come to mind. These days, Reiki is very commonly paired with massage, as the styles of treatment complement each other and work towards a similar purpose. I did some more reading on the subject, and thought I'd share with you some of the interesting things I found.
The word Reiki comes from a combination of the Japanese words Rei, meaning God's wisdom, or the Higher Power, and Ki, meaning life force energy. When combined, Reiki means “spiritually guided life force energy.” And though Reiki is based on this spiritual energy, it is not a religion and does not require any specific religious beliefs. By definition from the Oxford Dictionary, Reiki is “a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body and restore physical and emotional well-being.”
Reiki is a holistic therapy intended to:
One of the most impressive, and unique qualities of Reiki, is that there are no side effects or adverse reactions, and no contraindications. Which means trying Reiki is completely risk free in the sense that even if it doesn't work, there's no risk of negative side effects or unintended consequences. Very few things in life are so safe to try. So really it begs the question: Why not?
If you'd like to learn more, keep an eye out for our next section of this series: Origins and the Attunement (Training) Process.
by Pallas Hutchison
Reiki training is done in three levels or attunements. With each attunement, the amount of energy goes up. This is similar, in my mind at least, to the wattage on a lightbulb. My hands are still how I make my living but I have performed no miracles using Reiki. (I say this tongue-in-cheek but cannot discount the many documented stories of miracles performed by energy workers.) However, my life has changed dramatically since I began this journey into energy work.
A few months after the first attunement, I discovered and connected with an older brother, five years older than myself. We have more in common, both in personality and appearance, than the siblings I was raised with. Despite having several siblings already, I have never been especially close with any of them until this newest member of my family. I won the sibling lottery. Although this is an inspiring story from an objective standpoint, I didn't attribute this to Reiki.
However, I had the second attunement for Reiki and again my life drastically changed. I won a housing lottery through Habitat for Humanity that will make me a homeowner much sooner than I had ever expected. I can't say these changes are a result of Reiki. After all, correlation does not equal causation. Perhaps it is a case of "physician heal thyself." Before I can perform miracles, I must first have a healthy position for my own life. It could be coincidence. It could be kismet. But I can't wait to get the third attunement just to see how my life changes next.
by Pallas Hutchison
Reiki is a Japanese energy therapy that, at first glance, may seem a bit out there. As someone without a strong base in traditional religion, it's hard for me to believe in something I can't see or touch. This modality is far outside the comfort zone of my science and research-based massage practice. My instructor used electrons and electricity as a parallel concept, which I easily got on board with. With each attunement, I will share my experiences.
What is Reiki?
The literal translation of Reiki is universal life energy. Once attuned, a Reiki practitioner may channel the energy that surrounds them through themselves and into a client or patient to promote healing on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. This can occur through a laying on of hands, through pendulum work, or through chakra balancing. Similar concepts of universal energy or life force energy exist in most eastern philosophies. In Thailand, prana flows along the sen lines. In China, qi flows along the meridians.
As with many things, there are different levels. My mother has received two Reiki attunements, allowing her to channel more energy than I can with only one attunement. I think of attunement as wattage for a light-bulb; the higher the level, the brighter the light and the more energy involved. She jokingly refers to the practice as "beaming" people.
Why get Reiki?
Reiki has been used to manage chronic pain, to mitigate the side effects of chemotherapy and other medical treatments, to speed up recovery from surgery, and to enhance a sense of well-being and spirituality.
One of the many benefits is that there are no contraindications, meaning no risks; the energy goes where it's needed. People that have severe medical conditions that may not be able to safely receive other types of bodywork may safely receive a Reiki treatment.
What to expect during a treatment?
As a massage therapist, I practice Reiki by going through a series of hand positions with my client on a massage table. Clients remain fully clothed. Actual touch is not required; sometimes I simply hover my hands over an area.
What does it feel like?
A few people have seen colors, similar in description to an aura, during a treatment. Some have reported a buzzing or tingling sensation. The most common sensation is heat from the practitioner's hands. When I'm giving a Reiki treatment, my hands get warm and tingly. Sometimes I feel a pulling sensation similar to if I put my hand over a vacuum hose; that tells me that the body needs focused work there.
I still don't feel that I can truly explain Reiki. Science has not yet proven its efficacy with research. However, countless stories of miraculous events make it impossible to truly discredit. My personal experiences with the miraculous are limited to one client; I helped to restore pain-free movement to arthritic hands. With time, I hope to add more stories.