Healing approaches

Reiki: Healing with universal life force energy

Reiki
Reiki symbols

Reiki, in case you are unsure what it is, is energy healing. The word Reiki comes from the Japanese word, rei, which means ‘universal life’ and ki, which means ‘energy’.

At its simplest, Reiki is the transfer of life force energy from one person to another in a process that promotes balance and harmony in the spirit, mind, emotions and body, thereby stimulating wellbeing in the recipient.

While I appreciate that this may sound a bit ‘woo-woo’ to some or a bit out there and strange to others, please bear with me. As an energy healer, I am often met with curiosity, fascination and a bit of scepticism when I tell people what I do for a living.

But for millions of years, ‘traditional’ cultures have defined the human body as a ‘wholistic’ energy system with the innate ability to heal itself. From shamanism, which is thought to be one of our oldest spiritual practices, to India’s ancient spiritual tradition that is more than 5,000 years old, people spoke of a universal energy. Called ‘Prana’ in Sanskrit, it is the breath of life that moves through all forms of existence and gives them life.

The Chinese, in the third millennium BC, meanwhile, also referred to the existence of a vital energy that they named Ch’i. All matter is composed of this universal energy, which consists of two complementary forces: yin and yang.  When the yin and the yang are in balance, a living system exhibits physical health.

Even in our own culture, spiritual healing has been around for many centuries too.

But let’s start at the beginning. Reiki was first developed as a healing system in Japan early in the last century by Mikao Usui (1865-1926). Usui was a seeker of knowledge and spiritual understanding. He studied history, religion, medicine, psychology, and metaphysics, and broadened his worldview by travelling to Europe and China.

Although he faced many challenges in life, he is said to have met them always with equanimity and perseverance. Students described him as a gentle man who was always smiling.

Kurama, Japan
Kurama, Japan

Spiritual method of healing

Usui was a lifelong follower of Tendai Buddhism and Shinto, but also underwent three years of Zen Buddhist training later in life too. It is believed he first received Reiki energy in 1922 while meditating on Mount Kurama, a mountain sacred to both Buddhist and Shinto practitioners. He is said to have achieved enlightenment, or ‘a state of no fear’ at this time.

Although Usui declared Reiki to be a spiritual method of healing, it is not associated with any single religion. In fact, today it is practised throughout the world by people of many and varied faiths and cultures.

But Reiki is slightly different in nature to the spiritual healing that you may have come across elsewhere – even though both harness life force energies and both depend on a ‘healer’ to serve as a channel. Here are a few of the main differences:

  • Reiki practitioners undergo special training to learn the various philosophies, techniques and rituals that are part of the practice. Spiritual healers are intuitive healers who heal through their own connection to spirit;
  • A Reiki practitioner goes through a prescribed process of connecting with the energies, while spiritual healers follow a personal process based on their own experience and how they feel inspired;
  • Reiki is based on a defined approach, which involves asking a patient to lie or sit down. Spiritual healers do whatever they feel is appropriate in that moment.

As a Reiki energy healer, I strongly believe that all matter is composed of universal life force energy and, when this energy flows uninterruptedly through the body, balance is restored and individuals display physical, emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing.

Indeed, science is finally catching up with what ancient cultures have known for years by uncovering scientific evidence to support these ancient concepts. Quantum physics, for instance,  puts forward the idea that human beings have energy fields. As a result, modern technology has developed equipment and techniques to measure the electromagnetic field emanating from the physical body.

Scientist Albert Einstein, meanwhile, was able to prove that all matter, which includes human bodies, are made up of atoms – which are nothing more than interacting fields of energy. In other words, energy healing is not a new age fad – it has stood the test of time and has, in fact, been around for centuries.

Life force
Life force

Good vibrations

Without consciously knowing it, we transmit and absorb energy all the time. When you say someone “feels good to be around”, you are really talking about their vibrational energy. Happy people vibrate on a higher energy frequency, which means you can feel their positivity.

Have you every walked into a room in which a confrontation has taken place only moments before? Did you experience a dense or negative feeling that made you want to leave right away?

Or if have you been on a trip to the beach recently, can you remember how good it made you feel? Air by the coast has a light energy due to the salt it contains, which is a natural energy cleanser. The fact that the air tends to be moving also means it vibrates at a higher frequency and that helps us to feel good.

Another interesting point is that, as humans, we unwittingly use our hands to help either ourselves, or others, all the time. It is a very natural, instinctive thing to do. For example, if you experience back pain, your hands immediately go to touch the affected area. If a child falls over and hurts their knee, you instinctively rub it gently to make it feel better.

The same instinct to touch applies when you meet someone you know and like, and you give them a hug. At work, you may shake someone’s hand or pat them on the back to acknowledge a job well done. Pregnant woman likewise tend to rub their tummies to connect with their babies.

So one way or another, we all enjoy touch, but why? It is because, in using our hands, we transfer energy, which helps us, or someone else, to feel better. It is an instinctive reaction, an innate and inherent ability that we all have.

Reiki then is simply an exchange of energy but of the highest kind – and as it is transferred with positive intention, it intensifies and amplifies the power of touch. This means that Reiki increases balance, harmony and wellbeing emotionally, physically, spiritually and intellectually.

It is a simple, natural and safe method of healing that can be used to complement all other medical or therapeutic techniques, benefitting not only people of all ages but also our four-legged friends.

Debbie Walmsley

Debbie Walmsley has been a natural healer all her life, having first discovered the power of healing in her teenage years. She has studied various forms of energy healing, which included spending a month in Peru with a shaman. Debbie is a Reiki practitioner, master hypnotherapist and Three Principles facilitator. She is also a member of the International Alliance of Holistic Therapists and the Complimentary Medical Association.

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Everything is energy, and energy is everything

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