The Uniqueness of Reiki
Reiki is often thought of as a therapy and is therefore compared with other therapies as a means of bringing about healing. I am suggesting that this is a bad way of thinking about Reiki which is primarily a Japanese spiritual discipline. Mikao Usui considered the healing properties of Reiki to be very much secondary to the promotion of spiritual development. In this light Reiki should be considered from the point of view that it can promote healing in ways that therapies, both complementary and allopathic, cannot. Reiki has unique properties which could easily be made available via such organisations as BUPA, Westfield and the NHS for the healing of their clients.
Reiki requires no diagnosis
There is no need to know why a client has come to be treated. There is very little need to take notes. There is no need to send a client for tests prior to treatment. Reiki treatments are applied in two different ways depending on the training of the practitioner. A full Reiki training program will cover both of these approaches, at every teaching level, allowing the practitioner to adapt as necessary to any situation. The basic western method of giving a Reiki treatment involves the practitioner placing their hand on, or a short distance from, the client's body in twelve standard positions for five minutes in each position. During this time Reiki energy is channelled by the practitioner and made available to the client. The Client will, subconsciously, take as much or as little of this energy as is required in each position from the practitioner. The basic Japanese method of applying Reiki is intuitively based. The energy is made available to the client and controlled in the same way, but in this method the practitioner does not use any standard hand positions or strict timings. Instead they are trained to tune into the energy body of the client and to optimise the position of the hands in the best positions to address their findings. The practitioner is working with the source of the clients problems, directly with the energy body and not with the symptoms. There are several ways that the positions and timings are arrived at which are not necessary to the subject of this article. In both of the above methods the practitioner is able to commence treatment immediately, once the client has relaxed and has had any relevant questions answered.
When working intuitively with Reiki it is very helpful if the practitioner can focus on the total wellbeing of the client, ignoring any specific outcomes. A knowledge of the client's history or diagnosis will colour this intent and can dissipate the effectiveness of the Reiki energy. In a similar way a detailed knowledge of anatomy and physiology can unfortunately lead the practitioner to focus on specific outcomes from the treatment instead of the client's highest good. An effective Reiki practitioner will get their mind out of the way and allow the energy to direct the proceedings.
Reiki can address problems which allopathic medicine cannot
There are many cases where current allopathic methods are not able to affect healing for their client's problems. With complaints such as arthritis the NHS appears only to be able to prescribe pain killers and appears to want to wash their hands of such cases. They do not appear to be able to help many of their clients with such complaints. As an illustration, I was approached by a local man around four years ago who had been in a lot of pain and was diagnosed with osteo-arthritis. The NHS had prescribed him strong painkillers, which gave him some unpleasant side effects, and had told him to get himself a wheelchair as he would be needing it very shortly. He approached me in order to see if Reiki would benefit him. I began a series of weekly treatments and after a few weeks he had thrown his painkillers away totally. He had also been suffering from IBS which had not troubled him after the first Reiki treatment. Now, over four years later, I give him a Reiki treatment around every two weeks. He still does not need his painkillers, he digs his own garden, daily walks his dogs, he spends a lot of time rolling around on the floor playing with his grandson and he has still not yet got round to ordering his wheelchair which it appears he will not need for a long time, if ever. This client has chosen to use the Reiki treatments to let him live a full and normal life in which he can push himself to his limits. If he were to choose to live a quieter life then I am convinced that Reiki could alleviate his pain totally and he could manage with a lot fewer treatments. This is an example of how Reiki can accomplish what allopathic medicine apparently cannot. The limitations of Reiki have yet to be found. Reiki can be applied to mental, emotional and spiritual complaints as well as the obvious physical ones.
Reiki can heal undisclosed problems
A Reiki healer's intent during a treatment should be for the highest good of the client. By not focussing on specific outcomes the practitioner is able to achieve a fuller healing. As an illustration, I had another client who approached me with arthritis and requested a treatment for relief of his pain. I was only able to treat this client once as he was due to emigrate to France in a few days. I treated my client wholistically with no specific outcome in mind and he was pleased with the treatment. A few weeks later I received a communication from him saying that, following a car crash, he had suffered from whiplash injuries for the past couple of years (unbeknown to myself) and that since the Reiki treatment the pain had totally left him. This is an example of how Reiki can work. It does not need to be directed in any way, in fact it works better if the diagnosis is not known, Working to heal a specific condition can very much limit the effectiveness of a Reiki treatment. In a similar vein, the client in my first example above had been sufferring from IBS. I was not, however, aware of this until he told me that it had apparently been cured.
Reiki is natural and has no side effects
One very attractive feature of Reiki is that it is totally natural. In using Reiki you are just following your natural instincts. Think of the situation where you, for example, bang your head or your leg. Your first instinctive action is to grasp the area with your hands. Everyone has some ability to heal in this way. A Reiki practitioner, as part of the training, is attuned to a specific form of healing energy and can channel this energy in sufficient quantities to affect a significant outcome in the client. Reiki involves the use of no additional equipment other than your hands. This feature makes Reiki a very attractive form of treatment. In a similar way, there are no side effects from a Reiki treatment, other than an improved sense of well being and usually a much sunnier outlook on life.
Reiki promotes wellbeing on all levels
Reiki can work not only on the physical level but also on emotional, mental and spiritual issues. It is very effective in reducing stress and anxiety, leaving clients free to address more important issues. I have many clients who came to me having been prescribed anti-depressants by their GP who have chosen to dispense with these following a couple of Reiki treatments as they no longer needed or wanted to take them. Reiki can, in this way, allow clients to deal with their problems in a natural way that is not available in allopathic medicine.
I should make it clear at this point that a Reiki practitioner should never suggest that a client changes the dosage or use of anything prescribed by a GP. In my own experience it is the clients who have made this choice. I always stress to them that they should only do this in consultation with their GP, but ultimately it is their choice what they put into their body.
The client is able to take more responsibility for their own condition
The mechanism that governs the use of Reiki allows the client to control the use of the energies. During training, the practitioner is always taught to strive to emulate a hollow bamboo, allowing the energy to flow without being directed in any way. The practitioner is merely a channel conveying the energy to the client. The energy is then controlled by elements of the client's sub-conscious self in the way that it is distributed around the body and how much energy is called for. I can illustrate this with a recent case of a young man with anorexia. For the first few treatments there was a large amount of energy flowing and he appeared to get a lot of benefit from this. Then I noticed that the energy flow dropped quite considerably. On day my client fell asleep and the energy flow was greatly increased. It transpired that when he was awake the flow was small and when he fell asleep the energy flow was high. This puzzled me until I realised that anorexia is usually about control issues. I suspect that, whilst awake, he felt that he needed to be in control and was restricting the energy flow. Once asleep, his subconscious took over and started to work for his highest good and allowed a lot more energy to flow.
It is hoped that this article has shown an insight into some of the possibilities that Reiki can offer as a unique means of healing and some indication as to the way it is applied. It is interesting to note that Mikao Usui who put together the Reiki system considered it to be primarily a means of spiritual development and that it's healing properties were only secondary. I feel that he was thinking of the greater need for humanity, of being healed on a spiritual level and to make ourselves closer to our perception of God, whatever that may be. On this path the physical is considered a much lesser importance. This does not however prevent our being able to use Reiki for all levels of healing. Reiki will work irrespective of your religious beliefs or lack of beliefs. It is available to everyone and we should all be using this to heal each other on all levels.
Richard Jones. January 2003