What is Reiki?
Reiki is a spiritual, vibrational healing practice used to promote balance throughout the human system. Reiki does not involve physical manipulation or the ingestion or application of any substances, but works with the subtle vibrational field thought to surround and penetrate the body. (Reiki is commonly translated from the Japanese as "universal life energy".)
Reiki treatment is usually facilitated by light, non-manipulative touch to a clothed recipient. People receiving Reiki often express a sense of connection to their own innate spirituality,
or inner source of meaning. There is, however, no religious belief system attached to Reiki.
Some people practice or receive Reiki to strengthen their wellness; others use it to help cope with symptoms such as pain or fatigue, or to support their medical care, even in the case of chronic illness or at the end-of-life.
How does it relate to other complementary therapies?
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) describes Reiki as a complementary and alternative medicine practice that uses energy fields, or biofields, to affect health. Energy biofield therapies "generally reflect the concept that human beings are infused with subtle forms of energy," which are believed to surround and interpenetrate human form. Energy therapies, such as therapeutic touch and Healing Touch, are believed to balance these subtle energy fields.
Reiki energy in the practitioner's hands arises spontaneously in response to the individual recipient's need for balance at that particular time. In this way, each Reiki treatment is automatically customized to the immediate need of that particular recipient, even though the practitioner may use the same sequence of hand placements for each treatment.
Reiki is optimally given in a full treatment format but can also be administered in abbreviated treatments to a specific area or areas of the body. In urgent situations, even moments of Reiki touch can be soothing.