Body Sense

Spring | 2014

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4 Body Sense The Healing Power of Reiki By Lisanne Elkins WHAT, EXACTLY, IS REIKI? It is perhaps more constructive to begin by saying what reiki is not. It is not a religious practice, or tied to any religion, though many consider it a spiritual practice. Mikao Usui, a 19th century Japanese scholar, developed this modality following a prolonged meditation session that awakened his innate healing abilities. 1 In a reiki healing session, the practitioner, who is trained to access and serve as a channel for life force, or chi, places her hands on or just above the client's body in order to activate healing energy within receptive points on the body. The practitioner's hands move progressively with a passive touch through 12 positions on the body, remaining in each position for several minutes. As a harmonic flow of energy is strengthened within the client and practitioner, healing occurs through the return of physical, mental, and spiritual balance. 2 Reiki is an exceptionally effective tool for bodyworkers, massage practitioners, and other types of therapists. It is especially appealing because of its simplicity and convenience—it can be performed anytime, anywhere, and clients can remain fully clothed during the treatment. Reiki can be used for self-healing, the healing of others, and, more comprehensively, healing the world in which we live. Reiki can also be administered to one's self. In fact, an intrinsic part of reiki is healing the self through facilitating the flow of universal energy, learning mindfulness, practicing guided meditations, and following five simple precepts. These precepts are: Just for today: • Do not worry. • Do not anger. • Be grateful for your many blessings. • Do your work honestly. • Be kind to yourself and others. The word reiki literally means "life energy": rei means "life force" and ki means "energy." There are many other words for this life-force energy. They all describe the universal energy field that surrounds every living thing and

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