Reiki is a very ancient healing practice that was first introduced widely in Japan in the early 20th century. It is based on Chinese traditional medicine and the concept of life force (chi) and can also be found in Buddhist and Hindu thinking. It’s possible that a form of Reiki was used in ancient Egypt – the Egyptians certainly used stones and crystals to ward off sickness.
Reiki healers work by concentrating the energy of the universe and focusing it onto the patient, thus promoting healing. It is usually done without touching the patient – the hands just hover over the affected place, or may lightly touch the body. Practitioners can also work at long distance, even very long distances – as far as the other side of the planet.
When you receive Reiki healing, you may experience a feeling of warmth on the part of the body which needs healing, and the Reiki healer may also experience their hand feeling warm or even hot.
Although it is a spiritual based practice, it doesn’t require religious belief. Many people who are quite skeptical of the whole process, and who have only turned to Reiki to please a loved one who insists that they try it, have experienced relief from pain, and even complete healing. It doesn’t seem, then, that it is necessary to have any form of belief on the part of the patient for Reiki to work.
Crystals are often used in Reiki healing, and practitioners feel that they help focus and concentrate healing energy. Other non-crystal stones are also used. Some of the main crystals that are used are amethyst, topaz, and aventurine. Crystals are used when the patient is present, and are laid on key points of the body, known as chakras. These key points can be found at the genitalia, the chest, the head – especially the forehead – the stomach, the abdomen, and the throat.
Sometimes the colour of the stones corresponds to the organ which is being healed, for example, red crystals may be used for healing the liver, the heart, and the kidneys. Amber is often used for relieving pain. The crystals are believed to aid in drawing out bad energy and pulling in good energy.
People sometimes ask whether Reiki is non-Christian, non-Islamic, or even demonic. Reiki can, and perhaps should, be accompanied by prayer. One of the leading Reiki practitioners I know is an ordained priest in the Anglican Church.
It’s true that there is a great deal of skepticism about this alternative therapy, but it is non-invasive, harmless in itself, and many users do report good effects. Reiki healing is one of the most popular forms of alternative medicine.
As always, it’s a good idea to find a licensed practitioner. Do your research, and find out which are the credentials to look for. A good practitioner will not feel challenged by working alongside conventional medicine – indeed, university hospitals like Johns Hopkins in the US themselves offer alternative healing including Reiki. In the case of a very serious disease, it should be considered for use as a supplementary treatment alongside conventional medicine. For a mild, non-life-threatening condition, it can be helpful in that it induces relaxation and helps the body heal itself.