Reiki is a term for the well known (Japanese in origin) channelling therapy practiced by, it seems, everyone’s sister or friends’ friend. Everyone has heard of it, even those who seem to live their entire lives in either the office or coffee bar or club.

Reiki means Universal Life (Rei) Energy (Ki). It has its roots in ancient Buddhist teachings. As such, it is a spiritual healing system whose founder, Dr Mikao Usui, found information about it in 1922 whilst meditating on a mountain – and also by reading Sanskrit texts.

Reiki practitioners believe that we can strengthen the Ki (or life energy) of others by using our own ability to connect to our own healing energy and use it for others. The body’s natural ability to heal itself is activated when the Reiki practitioner channels the Ki puts his or her hands on the client – or slightly above – and then channels the energy into the person, through their hands to the recipient. The body and mind are in a positive state of health when a person’s Ki is strong and flowing freely. However, symptoms on a physical or emotional level develop when the vital energy become weak or blocked.

To do Reiki, you need someone who is a Reiki master to attune you – open up your channels – and this can be taught in a short space of time, even over few weekends. The practitioner then can practice immediately.

The recipient often feelings tingling, warmth and a pleasant feeling afterwards, but no miracle cures are usually effected. If there is a chronic problem, up to 10 treatments are performed. The practitioner is using a non-diagnostic method here and the result is that the energy is seen as the intelligent part, whilst the practitioner is a mere channel.

It is also possible to do absent healings, where healing energy is sent to the recipient and the practitioner can use symbols they have learnt to do this.

A Reiki practitioner will have received ‘attunements’ to open their healing channels. The guidelines for the practice of Reiki are concerned with ethics and behavior and include living in harmony with others, taking responsibility for one’s own health and happiness, helping others, and being positive about all things.

My feeling about Reiki is that it’s based on very sound principles, but that I know of more than a few practitioners who have become seriously ill doing it, and one even died. I believe this is because they took the negative, bad energy from their clients and didn’t t clean it up properly. Whether that’s because they didn’t have the correct knowledge, skills, or teachings, I cannot say. It helped me understand some things about myself, and also made me feel better, but I cannot say I felt some huge healing shifts. Its beauty is that it is so simple and direct and surely helps people feel much better. If it gets to the roots of problems, I very much doubt, because that’s really due to life style choices and behaviour…and personally I would choose to do energy healing for this reason alone – because energy healing can help you get to the roots of your illnesses and problems. But, also, energy healers can more easily avoid the negative effects of healing.