What is Reiki and how woo-woo is it?

Reiki (pronounced Ray-key)  is a method of healing which works by balancing the body’s energy system. It originated in Japan and was taken back to the wider world by an American woman who was trained in the 1930s. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means Wisdom or Higher Power and Ki which is life force energy. So Reiki is actually spiritually guided life force energy. It isn’t a new age hippy thing. You don’t need to burn sage, use crystals, tuning forks, or a singing bowl. You can if you want, and some people do, but everyone taps into Universal energy for the client’s healing, balance and deep rest.

Reiki works on the chakra system. The person giving the reiki puts hands on the person receiving, in the positions where the chakras are in the body. There are seven chakras, six in the body and one at the top of the head, called the crown chakra. The practitioner begins at the head, cupping the head with his or her hands and passing over the torso working the crown chakra, the third eye, the throat chakra, the heart chakra, the solar plexus chakra, the root chakra and  base chakra. These all have Indian names too but they are hard to pronounce and don’t impact on your treatment if you don’t know them.

There are some places where the practitioner will hover the hands over a spot, generally chest area for women and groin area for men. Just because that is polite. The energy still transfers and can be felt as a warm relaxing heat.

When you learn Reiki you become attuned by a Reiki Master, they trace their lineage to either Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Tibetan, Indian or somewhere else depending on the system they follow. I learned from a German couple in Sydney who studied a Japanese technique. Call it what you want, it’s all the same -universal energy. There is also a form of energy healing practiced in some churches, called hands on healing. Whatever you call it – you are using universal energy to balance, energise, relax and often heal the person.

What is a session like?

Reiki sessions are often like the personalities of the people who deliver it. They can be diverse and varied. All I can tell you, is what my sessions are like. My first ever reiki experience was with a Dutch Naturopath in Sydney who learned her technique from an American Indian Shaman. It was complicated. She burned sage in a mother of pearl shell, swooped over me with a huge eagle’s feather to clear my energy, danced around my head with a tuning fork which freaked the hell out of me and also beat a handmade drum. Weird. I couldn’t relax because I had an eye pillow on, I had  crystals on my forehead and body so I couldn’t see  anything and had no idea what she was going to do next. There was no re-booking or follow up session for me. Sometimes you discover what you like by first working out what you don’t like.

I generally dim the lights or put the salt lamp on, lay you on a massage table and cover you with a light cloth in case you get cold. We begin with hand placement, and may talk or not, depending on your needs. I play music, some people fall asleep, or become really relaxed and have a deep, peaceful rest. Some people use crystals to increase the energy vibration, I find that my clients may take a deep breath, the crystals fall off and they then panic or think that it won’t work. I prefer less distractions. I will have crystals in the room somewhere, but it is more the acceptance of the treatment and the intent of the practitioner which allows the energy flow and healing, not the added bits.

Normally a reiki session takes up to an hour, but sometimes can be longer. Often I incorporate some reiki into a massage, if I feel the person needs it. Yesterday I incorporated reiki into a counselling session as we needed to physically shift some old thoughts and emotions. It can be a nice thing to blend or add to sessions. I have dogs who come running to me after I pat them and they feel the reiki energy from my hands. They remember.

So there you have it, not so much woo-woo, just a Japanese practice of energy balance. Reiki can be restful, restorative and healing. If you want it blended up with a bit more woo-woo, just ask.  I can dig out a Tibetan chanting CD somewhere from back in the 90s and I’m sure my neighbour would let me borrow her Tibetan singing bowl. Let me know, mostly people are happy just to lie down in the semi darkness with some relaxing music and have a rest, whatever you want to call it, that is a nice enough thing in itself.

Rachel Wilkinson is a Holistic Counsellor, Massage Therapist, Reiki and Energy worker. She has been practicing reiki on herself, family, friends, clients and Jasper the Cavoodle for a number of years.

Rachel works on Monday, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday by appointment at Wellington Point. To make an appointment text 0402 329 259 or email info@rachelwilkinson.com.au.

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