Saturday, June 7, 2008
Reiki: Rei - spirit , ki - life force.
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and healing. It is administered by the "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that the universal life force will flow through the person, through his or her hands, and into the body of the person who is receiving treatment. The healer acts as the channel for this energy, and helps direct it. It is believed that if our life force energy is slow, we become more susceptible to illness, and if the energy is high, we can be happier and healthier.
Supporters of Reiki claim that it is useful in treating every known ailment, and can be used in conjunction with more Western treatments. Reiki is also a very popular subject in the Pagan community. Many Pagans/Wiccans/Witches are interested in healing, so there is a fair amount of interest in Reiki, herbs, and holistic health. In fact, you can find practitioners of Reiki and sometimes even workshops at your friendly local Pagan gathering or festival.
Reiki takes some studying. Unfortunately there is no "instant Reiki master or "natural"/family trad master. When one decides to study Reiki, one must memorize a series of points on the body, their correspondences, and proper hand positions. The hand positions themselves are simple enough, but the practitioner must have the discipline to actually focus on the task at hand.
Receiving attunements is how one trains and eventually becomes a master, giving one the freedom to train others. Now, if this divine life force energy is around us and in us at all times, don't we all have the ability to use it? Apparently not. Instead, one must receive the attunements from a master. There are three levels, each one costing a bit more than the last. Cost? Yes, these attunements cost hundreds of dollars.
To be honest, I don't tink all practitioners of Reiki have gone through all of the levels and paid someone else a few hundred dollars to attune them to this energy. It is very likely that many people simply visit websites such as http://reiki.7gen.com/index.html, practice the hand positions, and voila! A Reiki master is born!
Some Pagans and Wiccans are interested in Reiki as a means of adding to their cache of mystical powers. Others truly want to help alleviate other people's suffering and have studied Reiki in addition to other alternative methods of healing. Whatever the motivation, if you are amongst a group of Pagans and someone mentions a headache, toothache, ingrown toenail, athlete's foot, or any other malady, be sure to ask them if they have tried Reiki. This could lead to an impromptu discussion or, if you're really lucky, a demonstration! Just hope they don't ask you to demonstrate unless you've done your homework.