A woman walks into a clinic she’s tired and desperate. She tells her story: Western medicine has diagnosed her with chronic fatigue but after years of treatment, countless MRI exams and tens of thousands of dollars she hasn’t improved. She spends days in bed barley able to move. When she asks for answers the doctors shrug their shoulders and offer another round of MRI exams. Frustrated she turns to Reiki: Four months after beginning her energetic therapy she’s cured.

Is it a miracle? Mind over matter? Or is it a return to an age-old healing practice that cures disease by reconnecting us with the source of all creation? No one can say for sure. One aspect of this question is clear: Energetic medicine is effective and its popularity is quickly spreading across the American landscape with Reiki leading the way.

Like most other ancient healing modalities, the origins of Reiki (pronounced Ray- Key) which translates as Universal Life Force Energy, are unclear. Reiki is believed to have begun in either India or Tibet several thousand years ago before it was rediscovered by Dr. Mikao Usui, a Japanese Christian educator in Kyoto, Japan, in the mid- to late 1800s. Dr. Usui’s methods are based on sounds and symbols that are linked directly to the human body and nervous system and activate the universal life energy for healing. Usui called this form of healing Reiki and taught it throughout Japan until his death around 1893. It was handed down from master to master arriving in the west in the mid 1970’s.

“Reiki changed my life and the lives of everyone around me, ” states Joyce J. Morris a Reiki Master Teacher and founder and Director of the Reiki Center of Los Angeles.

Joyce was an alcohol and drug therapist working in Dayton Ohio in the seventies when she received a series of Reiki initiations. Morris states that once she received the Reiki empowerments she was able to make breakthroughs with her clients that were truly amazing.

She goes on to cite one of the many examples of Reiki’s curative powers “Julie was playing softball when another player slid into her with cleated shoes. The baseball size lump on her shin made it impossible to walk or put any weight on her legs. Friends helped her into my living room and onto the sofa. For the next hour or so I held my hands over the injury. The pain left within 5 minutes, and the swelling went down gradually. When we checked her shin in about an hour there was no sign of the injury at all”.

How does it work? The system in and of itself is fairly simple. The Reiki practioner opens themselves up to the universal life force and transmits that life force into the patient. By focusing their intent on healing the patient, the practioner brings in a pure healing energy. The healing energy then balances out the aura field and chakras of the patient. The number of treatments necessary to fully balance the aura depends on the severity of the illness as well as the ability of the healer to channel the healing force.

Illness is seen as an imbalance in the auric field or the energy field that both surrounds and runs through the body. In the case of Julie the injury to the shin would have manifested both in the auric field in the area near Julie’s shin creating an energetic imbalance. Once the practioner placed their hands on Julie’s injured area focusing their own energy with the intent to heal, Julie’s energies began to shift from a state of imbalance to a state of balance. Once the energies balanced the physical body follows.

The concept of energetic balancing in Reiki is no different than the methods used by acupuncture as well other energetic systems. In fact the energetic systems developed independently of one another from Native American Shamanism, Australian aboriginal healing, as well a Celtic energetic healing all use the same concepts of energetic balance.

Physics states that all matter including the matter of the human body is made up of both positive and negative charges. Recent findings in medical research bears out the claim of a human energy field by confirming that there is indeed a electrical charge inside the body that is constantly moving and adjusting itself to every movement of the body as well as the mind. .

Western science has in recent years begun to study the effects of energetic medicine. The International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine other wise known as ISSSEEM is one of the leaders in the effort to synthesize traditional wisdom and shamanic knowledge about subtle energies and energy medicine with scientific theory and study it with scientific method. ISSSEEM has on it’s board of directors Leonard A. Wisneski, M.D., a Clinical Professor of Medicine at George Washington University Medical Center as well as a number of equally well credentialed western minds. In addition to ISSSEEM energetic medicine is being carefully studied at such esteemed schools as Harvard Medical, Stanford and UCLA

Why chose Reiki? “Because it’s simple and effective” states Foster Ryan L.ac an acupuncturist and Medical Qi Gong therapist in southern California, Ryan went on to state: “While Reiki uses the same basic principle as QiGong, Pranic healing and other types of energy work. Reiki is a simple to learn method that can give a person a powerful set of self healing tools without having to commit years to leaning it”. “When you consider that the model for the cause of disease in ancient cultures was disconnection from the creator, when energetic healing works it literally brings you closer to god”.

Western science has yet to develop a model of what might be the proper energetic alignment for optimal health. However, when one considers the exploding interest of energy work in both popular and academic circles, the day your western MD hangs a Reiki healing certificate next to their medical school diploma might be closer than you think… In fact it might have already arrived.


© Melt Magazine 2001