Reiki… Ancient Spiritual Healing for a Modern Society.
Complimentary Medicine or Pseudoscience?
More of us than ever before are searching for ways to reduce stress and improve our health. This may mean incorporating things like meditation or yoga into our daily routine, and it may also mean weeding out such things as caffeine or nicotine. We begin to look for balance… a healthy balance in which we can find happiness and harmony with ourselves and with others. This can be quite challenging if we are used to a fast paced, hectic lifestyle. Many of us, in order to find that healthy balance, realize it’s not just a matter of healing our physical body, but healing our emotional and spiritual self as well. Complementary and alternative treatments, some of which are spiritual in nature, offer that balance, not only to heal but to prevent illness.
Modern science has been steadily moving towards an understanding of the link between our mind and our body. There have been numerous studies over the past couple decades citing the connection between the power of thought or prayer and such things as stress, ulcers, pain, our immune system and more. A well known example of this connection would be the placebo effect which has been documented for decades. Patients given sugar pills can do as well as those given medicine… when they believe they are receiving actual medicine. When they truly expect to get well, they often do. It can also be as simple as waking up in the morning and putting a smile on our face and stating that we’re going to have a great day. It sets the tone, as does waking up in a bad mood and expecting a rotten day. All aspects of our life go hand in hand; our state of mind, our emotions, our lifestyle all affect us. Being upset, worried or angry can cause a number of physical reactions such as tension, headaches and a rise in blood pressure just to name a few. Negative words, attitudes and even thoughts can have a negative affect not necessarily on those to whom we express them, but on our self.
Reiki, a Japanese word, means in essence… spiritually guided life force energy. When physicists break down the tiniest forms of matter, the result is energy. It is what our living earth and all of her inhabitants are made of; it is what we are made of. Reiki, spiritually guided life force energy, is in every breath we take and every thought we think. When we sit in quiet stillness, find our center and connect with our Higher Self, we can consciously experience this energy within our being and also outside of our self, as we recognize our oneness with All that is. It is the divine nature of our sacred self.
When we experience happiness and inner peace, our very being expresses gratitude, joy and love. The spiritually guided life force energy of the universe is love… nonjudgmental, unconditional love. Love not being some thing to be given or received, for when we live in harmony and acknowledge our oneness with All, we simply are love.
Reiki is often referred to as “energy healing.” A Reiki practitioner is not a healer but rather directs and offers the energy to a recipient. It is their choice to accept it themselves… or not. The calming, balancing and healing effects may be physical, emotional or spiritual and may be conscious or subconscious. Although anyone can be taught how to become aware of the energy by a Reiki Master teacher, not all teachers see Reiki as a spiritual discipline. Some consider it a physical act. Reiki, however, is not something we do, Reiki is what we are.
Reiki is criticized by some as being pseudoscience, including many who are part of the medical community. The primary reason expressed seems to be the fear that people will choose to receive a Reiki treatment as opposed to what is considered modern medicine. Acupuncture is still considered pseudoscience by some medical professionals, yet there are insurance companies that cover it, along with massage therapy, chiropractic services and naturopathy. Reiki is safe and beneficial as complimentary/alternative medicine and it is offered in a growing number of hospitals, yet there are those who reject what they don’t have an understanding of. There are also many in the medical community that do understand, but the reality is some simply don’t want to see complimentary medicine cut into their source of income.
Hospital and doctor errors are one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. due in part to misdiagnosis and prescription errors. This is either because the wrong medication was prescribed, or the handwriting on the prescription was not legible and the wrong medication or dosage was then given by the pharmacy. Tens of thousands of deaths occur annually and on any given day, one can find a listing of the many recalls and warnings, along with side effects, posted on the Internet relating to pharmaceutical drugs. Errors also include amputations of the wrong body part, infections acquired while in the hospital, and more.
Reiki is not for everyone, but everyone has a choice. For those who have a desire to reach inside themselves, to feed their soul, the results are tangible. Reiki is something each of us has the ability to experience if we but open our hearts and minds to the energy of this universe… if we but open our hearts and minds to unconditional love.