The word Reiki comes from Japanese terms that translate as “universal life energy.” Reiki is based on the belief that spiritual energy can be channeled through a Reiki practitioner to heal the patient’s spirit. This is thought to help release the body’s natural healing powers.
Reiki is said to promote relaxation, decrease stress and anxiety, and increase a person’s general sense of well-being. Patients who are resistant to receiving the proven life-saving treatments of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are much more likely to accept these traditional treatments when they are being offered in partnership with alternative healing methods, thereby increasing their chances for survival from their disease.
Reiki treatments involve the systematic placing of hands in 12 to 15 varying positions. Hand positions are held for approximately 2-5 minutes each. Hands may be placed directly on a clothed patient or held one to two inches above the skin. The practitioner’s hands are positioned palm-side down with the fingers and thumb extended. The timing of the hand positions may be cut short if the practitioner believes that he or she senses energy flow. All of the body systems can be covered with the hand positions within 30 to 60 minutes.
Patients have reported feeling different sensations during Reiki sessions such as warmth, tingling, sleepiness, relaxation, or invigoration. Practitioners have reported tingling in their fingers, heat, cold, or pulsing while administering Reiki.
Principles taught in Reiki include: “just for today do not worry,” “just for today do not be angry,” “just for today give thanks for your many blessings,” “honor your parents, teachers and elders,” “earn your living honestly,” “be kind to your neighbors and every living thing,” and “show gratitude to everything.”