Most of us here at Balanced Bodywork practice reiki, or some form of energy and chakra work. Many massage therapists quickly discover that there is more to bodywork than just the physical body. We learn about reiki or other energy work practices, such as healing touch, while we are still in massage school. We bring this awareness of the body's energy systems, and how these energy systems interact with the physical body, into each and every session we provide.
What is Reiki?
First of all, let us begin by learning what reiki is not. Reiki is not a religion, nor is it affiliated with any religion. Many people do consider reiki to be a spiritual practice, and reiki may be practiced by persons of any religion, or none at all.
Reiki (ray-kee) is a complementary health approach in which practitioners place their hands lightly on or just above a person, with the goal of facilitating the person’s own healing response. Reiki literally means “universal life energy”. It is a Japanese healing technique based on the energy systems of the body and principle that the therapist facilitates the quality and movement of that energy to activate the natural healing processes. Reiki treats the whole person, creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and well-being.
How does Reiki work, and what does it feel like?
Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method that everyone can use. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery. Most commonly, Reiki is offered through light, non-invasive touch with the practitioner's hands placed and held on a series of locations on the head and front and back of the torso, as well as arms, legs, hands, and feet. A complete Reiki session is offered to a fully clothed recipient who is lying on a treatment table or sitting comfortably supported in a chair.
The experience of Reiki is subjective, changeable, sometimes very subtle, and unique to each individual. People often experience heat in the practitioner's hands, but sometimes the practitioner's hands feel refreshingly cool. Other common experiences are subtle pulsations where the practitioner's hands are placed or cascading waves of pulsations throughout the body, sometimes the feeling of bubbles being released. Many people report that they feel as though they have been hovering in a state between waking and unconscious, a deep, sleep-like meditative state. Most people experience Reiki as a very comforting, relaxing experience.
Every reiki practice is grounded in five simple precepts:
Just for today....
Do not worry.
Do not anger.
Be grateful for your many blessings.
Do your work honestly.
Be kind to yourself and others.
Reiki can also be performed on one's self. An integral part of of reiki is learning to become aware of the energy systems and facilitating the flow of universal energy for the healing of ourselves, others, and the world in which we live.
Everyone has their own personal needs and reasons for receiving reiki, and almost everyone leaves their session feeling more comfortable, centered and grounded, and with a greater sense of well-being. We hope that you will give reiki a try, and we are honored to be a part of your healing journey.
Originally published May 2014.