Western medicine recognises that the body is permeated by electric fields, communicates by electrical signals running along nerves, supports consciousness by electric messages passing between the billions of ganglia in the brain and nerve plexuses.
Eastern healing traditions have developed an understanding of human beings that describes an energy system as essential to how we live and function, in parallel with the more familiar blood, lymph and nerve systems.
This understanding is built on centuries of observation, intuition and therapeutic practice, and for the traditional Eastern healer is a settled fact.
Some Western science supports some parts of it: for example, the pain-relieving capacity of acupuncture is proven beyond serious question. Hard science has detected and measured certain body energies, as mentioned above, but it is not scientific practice to leap from specific observations to a holistic theory. Western medicine does not have enough data for there to be an encompassing Western model of the flow of energy in the body.
This is a good perspective for a medical scientist: to accept only what can be proven. For we normal human beings, however, if a system is known to have worked for millions of people for centuries, it’s worth considering – especially if it has no risks.
The body’s energy system has many names in its various traditions, and is described in terms of the cultures and religions within which it developed. These perspectives, though interesting, can be alienating to a person brought up in the European tradition.
Essentially, it can be thought of like a version of the blood system, but carrying electricity and perhaps other forms of energy around the body, in channels that parallel the arteries and veins. Energy flows into and through all tissues by virtue of this system, and the movement of energy is essential to the health of the body as a whole, enabling communication between each organ and tissue.
Happily, blood flow is entirely contained within its system, but as we all know energy flows create fields that extend outside the physical object holding the energy. Magnetic fields are generated in the space around a magnet or a coil of electric wire; we can use them in EMR machines to resonate with the tissues of our body to make diagnostic images; we can use them to charge our phones or cook our dinners with induction systems. In parallel, our body’s energy flows affect the space around us, and can be detected there.
Several therapeutic traditions are based on this understanding, including of course acupuncture and acupressure. These techniques focus on stimulating key points in the energy system, on the basis that the flow may become blocked or reduced; they seek to improve the flow by this stimulus, as a knotted muscle may be eased by massage.
Reiki is another approach to supporting the energy system. Its concept is that the overlapping energy fields of two people can be used to strengthen and unblock the healthful flow, and that a practitioner can learn to make this effect consistent and beneficial. There is no suggestion that Reiki can or should replace medical treatment.
Reiki emerged in its modern form in Japan in the 1920’s by Mikao Usui. His Buddhist background still influences the terminology and trappings of Reiki, but its growth in the West has been largely an American phenomenon.
Its name derives from the Japanese phrase reiki (霊気), combining terms meaning “soul” and “vital energy”. Ki is similar to the Chinese term for vital energy, Ch’i.
Reiki training is by tradition passed from master to student, establishing a lineage of the craft. All lineages lead back to Mikao Usui. We were trained in Melbourne, Australia by Sara Brooke.
Our full lineage is:
- Mikao Usui
- Chujiro Hayashi
- Hawaya Takata
- Denise Da Tayna
- Russell Carlon
- Vicky Vuat / Leondas
- Martine Salerno
- Sara Brooke
What happens in a Reiki session?
A typical Reiki session is like this:
In a calm and relaxing environment, the practitioner invites you to lie on a massage table. You keep your clothes on, and may be covered with a blanket. You close your eyes, and perhaps have a light cloth or mask placed on them to reduce the effect of light. There is a pause while the practitioner focuses his or her thoughts on the process, and then gently places their hands against a series of points on, or above, your body.
This normally starts with the back of the head and progresses down to the soles of the feet, taking in the chakra points that are familiar to most of us. Each position is held for three to five minutes, and there may be often sensations of warmth, or cold, or pressure, or vibration that will vary from point to point. Sometimes the contrast will be surprising – from very cold to very warm in a moment. Or you may not feel any marked physical sensation, just a feeling of relaxation.
People who do not like to be touched do not need to be. The practitioner’s hands can hover close to the body without touching, if that is preferred.
The energy is not directed at a particular place or made to focus on a specific problem. Your own system is being supported, and your own body will make use of the additional support as it determines.
You can be sure of a sense of wellbeing and safety at the end of a session, with reduced anxiety and – of course – more energy.
Reiki is safe, relaxing and beneficial: it is used in hospitals and other medical settings around the world to support patients with a range of illnesses and conditions. It makes no specific promises about healing, but works just as other modalities such as meditation and massage do to soothe and stimulate blood and energy flow and help your relaxed body heal better.
Counterweave Anima makes no specific claims for the healing benefits of Reiki: please read our Terms and Conditions before booking a session with us.