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  • Riding the Reiki Wave
    Eastern medicine centers around a belief in the body’s “life force energy” that has the ability heal itself. Low energy can contribute to illness and stress, but when the energy is high, you’re healthier and happier. Read on to learn what Reiki is and if it’s something you should try. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Riding the Reiki Wave

This complementary health approach claims to promote the healing of pain, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. But does it?

Many people prefer alternative forms of medicine before resorting to conventional health care. While sometimes it’s ineffective, other times it works, and that’s why it’s so popular. A Japanese practice called Reiki is one such form of medicine. Could it help bring relief for those who suffer from pain, fatigue, anxiety, or depression?

The word Reiki comes from the Japanese word “rei,” which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power,” and the word “ki,” which means “life force energy.” Eastern medicine centers around a belief in the body’s “life force energy” that has the ability heal itself. Low energy can contribute to illness and stress, but when the energy is high, you’re healthier and happier.

Chances are there’s a spa or wellness program near you that offers Reiki. Read on to learn what Reiki is and if it’s something you should try.

Laying on of Hands

During a Reiki session, a practitioner uses his or her hands to transfer energy and guide a patient’s “life force energy” to bring relaxation and to encourage the body to heal itself. Also known as energy therapy, palm healing, or hands-on healing, Reiki treatments seek to improve the flow of energy around the body in places where injury or illness may block or slow it down.

A session typically takes place in a peaceful setting with or without music. (It’s up to the patient.) The patient remains fully clothed and either sits comfortably or lies down. The trained practitioner then places hands gently on or slightly above the patient’s body to transfer energy. Using various hand shapes, the Reiki practitioner spends between two and five minutes on different parts of the body.

His or her hands are left in place until it’s determined that the energy or heat stops flowing. Then, he or she moves on to another area. Patients report practitioners’ hands feel hot, cool, tingling, or like a pulsing wave of energy.

Various Reiki techniques include centering, beaming, clearing, infusing, smoothing, raking, or extracting. Crystals or wands may be incorporated into the session, especially if performed over long distances.

The Science

Do you believe in the unseen? Science is all about what can be experienced or measured with the senses and finds no evidence of “life force energy.” This makes Reiki a controversial form of healing with little scientific evidence to back its claims. Proponents say you may not be able to scientifically measure the energy, but you can feel it if you’re in tune with it.

A few studies have been undergone to evaluate the effectiveness of Reiki. Some studies have found the practice helpful in relieving pain, but not in healing disease. As with any form of alternative medicine, it should not be used as a replacement for conventional medicine when there’s a true medical concern that requires attention. Be sure to tell your doctor about any forms of alternative medicine you use.

Because of its popularity and stories of success, Reiki is now offered at some hospitals, though insurance rarely covers treatments.

The Results

People have used Reiki to help treat a variety of different health conditions including anxiety, depression, cancer, heart disease, pain, infertility, Crohn’s, fatigue, and even autism. Patients report the sessions help them relax and think more clearly. Lonely, tense, or fearful people have noted feelings of comfort and peace in the soothing touch and gentle approach of the practitioner.