“Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear?” Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Reiki is a Japanese word, which refers to the active "life force energy" of the universe. For millennia it has been acknowledged by various eastern and ethnic cultures, that the universe is not just empty space, but that it is filled with a dynamic, conscious energy. This is now also established to varying degrees by quantum physics. Names given to this energy include "Prana" in India and Tibet, "Ki" in Japan, and "Chi" in China. Nearly every known culture has healing traditions and practices based on this life force energy. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words - Rei which means "Universal Wisdom or the Higher Power" and Ki which is "life force energy" - Reiki is actually “Spiritually guided life force energy."
Throughout history, there have been those who have had the ability to channel this energy through their hands to assist healing. These people were often known as spiritual healers, or shamans. They claimed that it was not they who healed, but the result of the healing life force that flowed through their hands. In the early 1900's, a Japanese Buddhist man named Mikao Usui, developed what we now practice as Reiki (healing, by the channelling of the Universal Life Force Energy through the hands). He developed practices and a systematic approach to understand prana and applied these practices to his patients with great success, and taught other committed people to do the same.
Reiki helps to heal mind, body and spirit, by accelerating the body's own ability to heal itself physically, and by opening the mind to the emotional and mental causes of disease and pain. Reiki energy, is accessed by the practitioner during a treatment. It enhances the body's natural healing ability and promotes well-being.
Reiki treatment stands on its own as a healing practice and is also safely used to support orthodox and complementary medicine. Reiki does not interfere with or diminish the intended effects of other health or medical practices. Reiki treatments are increasingly accepted in health and community care facilities including hospitals, hospices and cancer support units.
There is ongoing research into the effectiveness of Reiki. The National Institutes of Health USA and other researchers conduct trials to investigate the effect of Reiki on stress, fibromyalgia, AIDS, prostate cancer, painful neuropathy and cardio-vascular risk factors and others parameters. Pamela Miles, author of Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide and leading US exponent on the integration of Reiki into mainstream healthcare facilities, writes: "… studies that have been done so far have showed promising results for using Reiki to reduce stress, anxiety and pain. The data include objective measures (decreased stress hormones, improved immune indicators, decreased heart rate and improved blood pressure) as well as subjective improvements in anxiety and pain."