Reiki as an Alternative Healing Method

A Brief Summary of Origin of Reiki

The term reiki is a Japanese word meaning “Universal Life Force Energy” and is a system for channeling power into the body for the purpose of healing. This is accomplished by the laying of the hands on the recipient in certain positions by a reiki practitioner. Reiki is considered as a less aggressive form of healthcare, bringing the body more into harmony with the forces of nature, as opposed to the Western approach of aggressively treating symptoms. The art of reiki has its origins in Buddhist philosophy and was practiced in several areas in the Eastern World, including Japan, India and China. However, in the period leading up to World War II in Japan, much of the physical documentation of the process was lost.

The rediscovery of the lost art of reiki is attributed to three individuals, Dr. Mikao Usui, Dr. Chujiro Hayashi and Madame Takata. Dr. Mikao Usui headed a Christian Mission in Japan (although some maintain that Usui was Buddhist.) Using Bible scripture as his guide, Usui began an investigation into the miracles that Jesus performed to find evidence of his healing methods. Unable to find answers, Usui then turned to Buddhist philosophy and contemplation. According to popular accounts, Usui spent 21 days fasting and meditating on a Tibetan mountain. After finishing his vigil, he was able to impart the power of healing through his hands, curing a variety of ailments from starvation to broken toenails. It was said that Dr. Usui would stand in public places with a lit torch as a means of attracting attention to his message. It was on one of these excursions that he met Dr.Chujiro Hayashi, who then passed on the practice to Madame Takata.

Madame Takata, originally from Hawaii, is attributed with bringing the art of reiki to the United States. Suffering from numerous ailments and frustrated with traditional healthcare methods, Madame Takata turned to alternative options. While visiting her family in Japan, Madame Takata was introduced to Dr. Hayashi, who then taught her the art of hands on healing. However, Madame Takata did not become a full reiki master until shortly before WWII. Only a practitioner with master status can teach others how to apply reiki. Fearful of losing the art, Dr. Hayashi passed leadership of reiki to Madame Takata, who continued to spread the message throughout the United States.

The Eastern & Western Approach to Healthcare

The art of reiki is typical of the Eastern approach to healthcare. Reiki is essentially a preventative measure, redirecting the flow of energy to vital organs to increase health and vitality. Reiki can also be corrective in the sense that rectify the energy flow causing certain condition. One of the main strengths of the Eastern approach to healthcare is that is less traumatic, gently promoting the harmonious flow of energy through the internal pathways of the body. Reiki and other eastern methods such as acupuncture may greatly assist in rectifying conditions that are not internal such as sports injuries. If a reiki practioner were to lay hands on the affected muscle, the recipient would feel an immediate lessening of pain and a warming sensation. In addition, those who suffer from idiopathic ailments (ailments whose cause is unknown) such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can also benefit from a reiki session.

The main difference between the Western and Eastern approach to healthcare is that Western medicine tends to treat the manifestation of symptoms, although there are new strides being made in preventive healthcare in terms of diet and exercise. In contrast, Eastern medicine addresses the ki or energy contributing to those conditions. In some circles, there is a strong effort to combine Eastern and Western healthcare methods to present a more unified system of care.

Experiencing Reiki as a Healthcare Alternative: What to Expect

As a recipient, you may receive a group session from several reiki practitioners while sitting in a circle. Or, you may receive a session from an individual practitioner. The reiki experience differs for each person. However, many recipients may feel warmth, tingling and the experience of energy coursing through their bodies. Although there are certain prescribed positions, the practitioners may linger on a specific problem area. It is also important to note that reiki has a very significant spiritual component and many recipients feel that they are better to sort through complex personal issues after experiencing a session.

Reiki may address your discomfort in ways that traditional healthcare options cannot if you are experiencing a chronic or acute illness. However, you do not have to be ill benefit from reiki. If you are looking for greater well being and clarity of mind, the practice of this art is well worth investigating.

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