A Little About Reiki
Reiki is a type of hands-on energy work. It originated in the 19th century in Japan. Its founder was Mikao Usui. The history of reiki is disputable, and has changed over the years. Most American practitioners can trace their lineage back to Hawayo Takata, a Japanese woman who lived in Hawaii. Since her death in the 1970s, reiki has split into hundreds of different systems and subsystems, each one claiming to be an improvement. Other systems such as Barbara Ray's Radiance Technique and Therapeutic Touch, practiced by many nurses, resemble or have reiki roots.
During a reiki session the practitioner taps into a "universal energy" and acts as a conduit guiding it into the client. The energy itself is allowed to go where it is most needed, without concious guidance. This is in contrast to other techniques such as external qi gong healing, where the practitioner often has the intent that the energy flow into a specific area or for a specific purpose.
Because reiki energy is external to the practitioner, it is possible to do self-treatments. This is one of the things that makes reiki so popular. Many people, especially with chronic illnesses, learn reiki to help themselves.
During a reiki session the client remains fully clothed. All that is necessaryis to remove metal jewelry and to loosen any tight or restrictive clothing. The practitioner moves through a series of hand positions over the client's body, spending a few minutes on each spot. The hands usually maintain light contact, but reiki may be done without any contact, according to the client's preferences. The whole session lasts 45 - 60 minutes.
Most people find a reiki session to be both relaxing and energizing. Reiki is especially good for helping stress related problems. Reiki may be combined with other therapies such as massage or aromatherapy.