When it comes to the world of natural healing and methodologies that have come out from Japan, one has come into focus of late and many people have begun to question of Reiki and its history. What is Reiki? Before we delve into the world of life energy and healing of this Japanese alternative medicine, we must first look at and understand the world of natural healing.
Natural healing has been around in the world for many, many millennia, and it would come as no surprise to us that it was considered a viable method of curing ailments before the idea of modern medicine has come about. Even in the modern world we live in today – there are many proponents all over the world who look to this type of treatment to address many modern and age old diseases. The desire for this comes from a simple need to avoid the use of drugs and chemicals that have proliferated the market and caused a pharmaceutical upheaval and a distinct coping mechanism in human society.
The basis of natural healing is very attractive because it leaves no trace within the human body. There are no expensive medicines to be bought, there are no experimental chemicals to be ingested or injected into the body. There isn’t much specialised equipment to be bought and natural healing, especially Reiki, can be done anywhere and at any time. The barriers to entry are small and only dependent on the level of dedication of the person who wants to learn, who wants to impart and who wants to help those who are in need and look for a main or supplementary way to ease their afflictions.
So how does indeed does Reiki work? Reiki treatment is founded on those very principles because it looks to universal life energy as the primary ammunition for its assault on many of the human afflictions that permeate modern society. Mental, physical or even emotional, there is no landscape within the human body that Reiki cannot penetrate and soothe, and this has been proven over and over again. Invented and perfected in the early 20th century by Japanese names Usui, Reiki can be said to be an amalgamation of the teachings of spirituality, Buddhists meditation, shamanistic mountain rituals in once cryptic parts of Japan, and a keen understanding of spirituality and the alternative energies that flow in and around us, every day.
They key behind Reiki (and how it works) is this energy – a nourishing and self-sustaining well spring of spirituality, the bloodline of the universe, the essence of all natural living things. According to its texts, this energy, if flowing uninterrupted, will give us a sense of peace and balance. It promotes our well-being and keeps the human body in harmony with the mind, the soul and the rest of the universe. It is only when this flow is disturbed that the human body responds and goes into emotional and mental distress. In fact, this can even manifest itself in many physical signs of pain, which in turn, can develop into many of the modern diseases that we know of today. The main job of the Reiki practitioner is that he must reroute the flow, bring balance and harmony back to the body, and hopefully, ease the pain and suffering of the patient.
Reiki can be split into two main branches and schools of thought, and they have developed over the years because of the popular spread of its teachings from Japan to the West. There is the traditional arm of Reiki, which is grounded in many of its original Japanese principles. The distinct difference is that it is a very reactive and intuitive treatment. Much of the time, the practitioners often ‘feel’ using their trained instinct, identifying where the areas they need to address on the patient. There is no set procedure or stratagem to follow. Much of the treatment can be impulsive, like a hunter looking for its prey in the wild jungle.
Western Reiki, or modern day Reiki as it is called, is grounded in the very Western principals of systematic treatments and prognosis. Practitioners who treat their patients using this school of thought often follow a set system of hand placements to treat various diseases. If this is the ‘book’, then the traditional system is the ‘word’. Both however have the ‘will’ – the discipline needed to tap into the spiritual well and channel that into the human body.
Students of this natural healing treatment who want to learn must earn their stripes, and that is the common denominator that binds both schools of thoughts. There are three degrees of mastery that must be overcome, and each level has its own set of skills and techniques that must be learned.
If one were to look at the history of Reiki, one could find similarities in many other disciplines that include Shiatsu, meditative treatments, therapeutic touch, Asian prayer healing techniques and even Acupuncture. Formed from the crucible of meditation, prayer, chanting and fasting, Reiki is a potent method of healing, with many supporters across the world today.
Briefly looking at the timeline of Reiki, we can see that although it was developed historically late, it has amassed quite a following in Japan, the United Kingdom and parts of the United States. What must be understood about this is that, as a treatment option, it is not presumptuous and does not force patients to give up any treatment that they have been receiving for any ailments they might have. It is a supplementary method designed to help, augment and accelerate the healing process. It promotes calm and well-being, and a sense of peace – emotional states that have been proven scientifically to re shape the brain and promote healing within ourselves. A marked reduction in emotional stress, levels of worry, negative emotions and an afflicted mental state is the catalyst needed to put patients on the road to recovery. So for those who ask – does Reiki work? Reiki is not a mystical unfathomable method. It is not cryptic in its assertions. It simply wants to maintain balance.