Reiki is a technique that helps reduce stress, initiates relaxation and also promotes healing. It was developed by a Japanese Buddhist, Mikao Usui, who lived in the early part of the 20th century. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through all of us and that it is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, while if it is high, we are more capable of being healthy and happy.

The word Reiki is made up of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom” or “the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So the word Reiki in Japanese translates roughly to “universal life force energy.”

Everyone has the potential to access the universal life energy, but over time most people’s systems become blocked and the energy becomes weakened in them. A Reiki practitioner is trained to be able to detect these blockages, and will use his/her hands, thoughts, and universal energy to improve the energy flow in a person.

According to the original principles of Usui, the recipient must also have a proper attitude for Reiki to work most effectively. The person must take responsibility for his/her own health, and must want to be healed.

Reiki sessions can take various forms, but most commonly resemble typical bodywork appointments, where the receiver lies clothed on his or her back on a flat surface or massage table. A session generally lasts from an hour to an hour and a half. Reiki is a simple procedure, consisting of calm and concentrated touching, with the practitioner focusing on healing and giving energy to specific areas on the receiver’s body. Practitioners place their hands over positions on the body where the organs and endocrine glands reside, and the areas that correspond to the chakra centers. Practitioners also use mental visualization to send healing energy to areas of the receiver’s body that need it. In special cases or with injuries, a no-touch technique is used, where the practitioner’s hands are sometimes held just above the body without touching it.