Reiki

Reiki as practised today was founded in Japan in the mid to late nineteenth century by Dr Mikao Usui. However, it’s origins probably date back thousands of years as Dr Usui founded Reiki upon his studies of ancient texts from India and Tibet.

The word Reiki literally translates as ‘Universal life force energy’. Perhaps a more helpful translation is to interpret Reiki as the energy of unconditional love. This is an experience that is familiar to everyone; it is the feeling you get when you think of someone or something that you love with all your heart. When giving a treatment Reiki practitioners are focusing on this feeling and passing it on to their client. When receiving a Reiki treatment the client often experiences this as a sense of deep calm and peacefulness. However, everyone’s experience of receiving Reiki will be different. Whether or not you experience distinct sensations does not reflect the degree to which the Reiki is working.

A Reiki treatment has many health benefits as it promotes the body’s natural ability to heal itself. There are no contraindications for Reiki and it is safe to use alongside conventional medications and treatments. Reiki is not a religion, cult or belief system neither is it a form of mind control or hypnosis.

What to expect from a Reiki treatment

·         You remain fully clothed throughout a Reiki treatment and should therefore wear something in which you will be comfortable.

·         You will normally be asked to lay down on a treatment couch.  Treatments can last for 45-60 minutes so you will need to make sure you will be able to lay in comfort for the duration of the treatment.  For example, if you have lower back problems it may make you more comfortable if a pillow or two is placed under your knees. You may also want to be covered with a blanket to keep you warm. Reiki can also be given from a seated position if you would prefer or you can lay on the floor. Comfort is a very individual thing so make sure you make your needs clear to your therapist.

·         Reiki can either be given ‘hands on’ or ‘hands off’. If is is given ‘hands on’ the therapist will gently rest their hands on various parts of your body. Reiki is very different to massage; although the hands will move from one position to another they tend to stay static at each position. Some practitioners choose to work ‘hands off’ which means that they hover their hands a few centimetres above the body. Different practitioners have different preferences but all practitioners can work ‘hands off’ if you would prefer. You can discuss this with your therapist.

Paying for Reiki

Reiki is not generally available on the NHS however some charities do offer treatments such as Reiki for free or at a reduced cost. Some therapists will offer a discount to those on a low income so it is always worth looking around. Anyone can train to give Reiki so if you try Reiki and enjoy it but cannot afford to go for regular treatments it might be worth going to an ‘attunement’. This will enable you to practise Reiki and costs around £150. Once you have been attuned you can practise Reiki upon yourself. You can also attend Reiki ‘Shares’ where Reiki practitioners take it in turns to give and receive Reiki; these are often free or cost only a nominal amount towards room hire.

H. Simpson

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