What is Reiki ?

While commonly referred to simply as "Reiki" or "Reiki Therapy", the system of healing and self-development is more formally called "Usui Reiki Ryoho" - that is: "Usui Reiki Healing Method" or "Usui Reiki Treatment"

Reiki Therapy was introduced to the West under the title: Usui Shiki Ryoho (Usui-style Healing Method [/Treatment])

At different times, various expressions of the system have been known as: Usui Do (the 'Do' refers to a spiritual or philosophical 'path', or 'way') Usui Teate ('Teate' - means 'treatment', 'therapy' or 'hand-healing' )and
Usui Reiho (Spiritual Method) [some people seem to think Reiho is a contraction of 'Reiki Ryoho']
Simply stated, Reiki Therapy can be said to be a synergistic combination of 'spiritual healing' and 'energy healing' techniques, and self-developmental practices.

While the system has been influenced by spiritual and therapeutic discipline, practice and ideals found within Shinto, Buddhism (and possibly Taoism), Reiki itself has no specific religious affiliation. Reiki - a generic term off latter years, however, the word 'Reiki' has, it seems, achieved generic status.

Much as the word: 'Biro' has, in many places, come to mean any ball-point pen, or: 'Hoover' is used to refer to the vacuum cleaner in general - no matter what particular form or style or manufacturer - so, the word: 'Reiki' has (erroneously), at various times, been applied to all manner of forms of 'energetic' healing.

It has been used to refer to the hands-on practices of certain South American Shamans, to forms of western Spiritualist Healing, to high-level Chinese Chi Gung healing practices (and has even been cited by some as the means used by Jesus, Buddha, and many other religious figures to enact healing miracles).

Admittedly, many people - having undergone Reiki training - have taken the essential phenomenon that is at the very core of Reiki Therapy and successfully integrated it into various spiritual, cultural and esoteric belief-systems and practices.

This has resulted in the manifestation of numerous viable and effective new 'styles' of Reiki, or what at least may be referred to as 'Reiki-derived' or 'Reiki-influenced', therapeutic modalities and systems of personal development.

Reiki - Energetic Radiance

Technically, the term "Reiki" is properly solely used to indicate the therapeutic and self-development system created by Mikao Usui (i.e. 'Usui-Sensei').

More specifically, the name "Reiki" identifies the wonderful therapeutic energy radiance, or phenomenon, which lies at the heart of this natural healing system.

The "Rei" part of the name is often translated as "Universal*", and in essence, it refers to something Spiritual or Sacred, and can mean "Soul".

"Ki", is often translated simply as "Life-Force Energy", yet also implies 'Spiritedness' or 'Feelings'.

Thus, depending on ones perspective, Reiki can be understood as: "Universal* Life-force Energy", "Spiritually-influenced life-force Energy", or even as "Charismatic Healing Radiance".

* 'Universal' in this sense, originally being a contraction of: 'the Universal' - an alternative (and intentionally less religious) term for 'the Divine', 'Numinous', 'God''.

Reiki - a gentle therapy

Reiki is a gentle, yet profound, non-invasive therapy, which can facilitate stress-reduction and relaxation, support effective immune-system function, enhance the body's self-healing mechanisms, and replenish and nurture vitality.

Reiki can be effectively used in combination with other therapies - both allopathic and 'alternative' - and has been shown to effectively stimulate the relaxation response.

Rather than acting solely on a physical level, Reiki is holistic in its effect - eliciting a healing response across the entire spectrum of ones being - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

It can prove beneficial in the resolving of physical disorders, nervous conditions and emotional issues, and help nurture a greater sense of balance, well-being, and wholeness in ones life.

The gentle Reiki phenomenon has no negative side effects, and does not require any concentration on the part of the client.

The Reiki Principles

Central to the Reiki system of wellness and self-development, is a set of 5 guiding Principles or Precepts - referred to in Japanese as the gokai.

These principles - affirmed morning and night, and kept in ones thoughts throughout ones daily activities - are intended to assist in transforming ones attitude to life, and bring the soul/self into balance, enabling one to respond with compassion in all situations.

There are many slightly different translations of the Reiki gokai, yet they all express the same sentiment.

One version reads:"The secret method of inviting blessings, the spiritual medicine of many illnesses:

Just for today ...
(1) Do not rise to anger
(2) Do not succumb to worry
(3) Express Gratitude for all your blessings
(4) Apply yourself diligently
(5) Manifest compassion to all beings

Mornings and evenings sit in the prayer position and repeat these words out loud and in your heart, for the improvement of body and soul… "
All Credits for this article go to James Deacon aetw.org
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