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What is Reiki and How Does it Work?


Hi, I'm Robert a qualified Reiki energy practitioner who was recently asked to describe what Reiki is and how it works. Reflecting on my studies, research and way of working with Reiki Energy, I summarised Reiki as being an ancient practice and natural way of working with universal energy, based on the principle that we are much more than our physical bodies and the belief that universal life force energy flows through all living beings.


While my answer may sound great, I was left thinking, what does Reiki mean to you? After all, what’s most important here, is your basic understanding of what Reiki is, so you can make an informed choice about whether Reiki is something you would like to experience.


So, without any further delay, let’s find out what Reiki is and how it works.


Where did the word Reiki come from and what does it mean?


While the exact date of the creation of the Japanese word Reiki is unknown, the historical understanding of what each word means, ‘Rei and Ki’ was documented during the Han dynasty, (206 B.C.–220 A.D) which read ‘The energy of life that is being guided by the great Universe’. During this period, the shared understanding of good health was based on Taoism, a Chinese philosophy and religion that instructs believers on how to exist in harmony with the universe, using the flow of Qi or ‘vital energy’, to create a continuous and harmonious energetic balance between the body, mind and spirit for continued good health. 


The beginning of Reiki Therapy


In 1914, Mataji Kawakami, a Japanese body practitioner, began to practice a form of hands-on energy healing which he named Reiki Ryoho, (Reiki Therapy). This new style of Reiki energy therapy incorporated the original philosophies of Taoism, blended with the Eastern and Western philosophies and various spiritual practices of that time and became a recognised form of energy medicine, approved by medical and educational experts. Towards the end of 1919, the teachings of Mataji Kawakami were published in a book titled ‘Reiki Healing and its Effects’, which created far-reaching interest in the history and practice of Reiki Therapy.


Mataji Kawakami's teachings were so inspirational, that they influenced the development of many different styles of Reiki Therapy, including the one most recognised today, Usui Reiki Ryoho, developed by Mikao Usui in 1922.


The development of Usui Reiki Ryoho


Following his many years of intensive study, travel and teachings in the philosophies of Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity and other Eastern and Western philosophies and various spiritual practices, Miako Usui ventured on a 21-day spiritual pilgrimage to Mount Karamu in Northern Japan in 1922. His spiritual initiation to Reiki Energy saw Usui receive six Reiki energy symbols and five Reiki precepts. The symbols would help future practitioners connect to and enhance the flow of Reiki energy and the precepts would help everyone lead a simple, peaceful and fulfilled life.


Following his initiation, Mikao Usui introduced over 2,000 people to the art and history of Reiki Therapy which continues to be practised and recognised worldwide as a holistic therapy.


How Reiki is practised today


The practice of Usui Reiki Ryoho continues to be practised by qualified and initiated Usui Reiki practitioners, who thoughtfully and intuitively place comforting Reiki hand positions on and over the clothed/covered body in a specific sequence, while initiating the flow of Reiki energy through their hands through the body and the several main energy centres, to create a continuous and harmonious energetic balance between the body, mind and spirit for continued good health and wellbeing.


I hope by sharing this basic introduction to the rich history and practice of Reiki, you have enough of an understanding of what Reiki is, to make an informed choice about whether Reiki is something you would like to experience.


Feel free to visit my Reiki page to learn more about me and my Reiki therapies.


Let me know if you found this blog post helpful as well as with your favourite self-care rituals in the comments below.


Chat soon,


Robbie


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