Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by laying on hands and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words - Rei which means "God's Wisdom or the Higher Power" and Ki which is "life force energy". So Reiki is actually "spiritually guided life force energy."
Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit, creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing.
Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It also works in conjunction with other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.
Is Reiki a Religion?
While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki, although many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their religion rather than having a strictly intellectual concept of it.
Personal & Spiritual Development through Reiki
Although Reiki is not a religion, it is still important to live and act in a way that promotes harmony with others. Mikao Usui, the founder of the Reiki system of natural healing, recommended that one practice certain simple ethical ideals to promote peace and harmony, which are nearly universal across all cultures.
During a meditation several years after developing Reiki, Mikao Usui decided to add the Reiki Ideals to the practice of Reiki. The Ideals came in part from the five principles of the Meiji emperor of Japan whom Mikao Usui admired. The Ideals were developed to add spiritual balance to Usui Reiki. Their purpose is to help people realize that healing the spirit by consciously deciding to improve oneself is a necessary part of the Reiki healing experience.
In order for the Reiki healing energies to have lasting results, the client must accept responsibility for her or his healing and take an active part in it. Therefore, the Usui system of Reiki is more than the use of the Reiki energy. It must also include an active commitment to improve oneself in order for it to be a complete system. The ideals are both guidelines for living a gracious life and virtues worthy of practice for their inherent value.
Adapted from The International Center for Reiki Training: http://reiki.org
The Five Reiki Principles
Just for today, I will not worry
Just for today, I will not be angry
Just for today, I will be grateful
Just for today, I will do my work honestly
Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing