FAQ: Will Reiki Interfere With My Religious/Spiritual Beliefs ?
We hear this question all of the time. It’s a big concern for a lot of people. It is extremely important to understand that Reiki is not a religion and it is nondenominational. It is not a cult, it is not witchcraft, it is not a belief system.
Reiki is simply a universal energy. The word “energy” often scares people away as well. There are only two substances in the universe: energy and matter. Everything in the universe is made up of these two things. Your body could not function without “energy”. The universe could not exist without “energy”. Reiki is a specific frequency of energy. It is a healing, loving energy.
There is ongoing research about the healing affects of Reiki, and it is used all over the world in hospitals and other medical centers to aid in recovery. Only good can come from it and it is only used for healing.
The most important thing to understand is that Reiki does not require you to change your belief system in any way. This energy connects you to the highest power of love and light. Reiki opens you up to your true self, your divine light, increases your body’s ability to heal, gives you a tool to help others, and whatever your belief system is – you will become closer to it.
If you have concerns about Reiki and religion, please see this great website for more information: http://www.christianreiki.org/frequently-asked-questions/
What Is Reiki?
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.”
A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and well-being. Many have reported miraculous results.
Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.
An amazingly simple technique to learn, the ability to use Reiki is not taught in the usual sense, but is transferred to the student during a Reiki class. This ability is passed on during an “attunement” given by a Reiki master and allows the student to tap into an unlimited supply of “life force energy” to improve one’s health and enhance the quality of life.
Its use is not dependent on one’s intellectual capacity or spiritual development and therefore is available to everyone. It has been successfully taught to thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds.
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. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not. Because Reiki comes from God, many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their religion rather than having only an intellectual concept of it.
Using Reiki to Help PTSD
At some point in the life of a human being there is a likely chance in today’s fast-paced world that an individual will experience some sort of trauma, whether it be physical or emotional. More often than not the effects of the traumatic incident will pass, if not immediately, then days, weeks or months later. For some individuals though, the darkness of the trauma will last for years, affecting their everyday life as well as the lives of those around them. Learn how Reiki can help reduce the emotional pain of trauma.
The wounds of physical trauma may eventually heal, but the unseen wounds of emotional or psychological trauma can last a lifetime – resulting in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an emotionally disabling condition. Left untreated, they may experience intense bouts of prolonged depression, explode unexpectedly in anger with little provocation or constantly be on edge. A person with PTSD may bounce from job to job, or even remain jobless for years. In extreme cases many end up homeless, without friends or family to support them.
Many forms of bodywork have been found to assist in restoring balance to individuals with PTSD. Various hands-on techniques help to reduce stress and lower the body’s production of cortisol. Cortisol production increases with prolonged stress and affects blood pressure, insulin levels, immune function and the body’s inflammatory response. In individuals with PTSD the result is a constant “on” of the sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system.
Someone with PTSD may not be open to certain forms of massage therapy. He or she may be reluctant to take his or her clothes off for Swedish massage for fear of being vulnerable. This is especially true of those who have suffered sexual abuse or domestic violence. For them, the answer may be to start with work that is less intrusive. One such modality is Reiki. Reiki is done with the client fully clothed and can be done seated or lying on a massage table. The practitioner may place his or her hands lightly on the client’s body, or hold them three to five inches away.
Reiki in the Military
The practice of Reiki has even found its way into the military. In July of 2007, Dr. John Fortunato, a Vietnam veteran, clinical psychologist and former Benedictine monk started the Fort Bliss Restoration and Resilience center in Texas. The center, which offers meditation, yoga, massage and Reiki in addition to other holistic healing methods, was praised by both the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (in office 2006 – 2011) as well as Army Chief of Staff General George Casey (in office 2007 – 2011) who has been quoted as saying the program, which treats soldiers returning from deployment and diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), should be replicated throughout the military. The current program is for soldiers who have returned from Afghanistan and Iraq, experienced PTSD or other trauma and want to stay in the Army. Statistics indicate that more than 40,000 soldiers who have served in those arenas have been diagnosed with PTSD.
In addition to what the military is doing, other organizations, such as Honor-a-Veteran.org offer Reiki as well as other mind/body services to veterans and their families, usually either for free or for a discounted price. Massage therapists and other practitioners can sign up with this organization to become involved in this program.
Other Forms of Trauma Benefit from Reiki
The body and mind can suffer from other kinds of emotional trauma as well. For example, when a person learns they have a serious disease, or is scheduled for surgery, his or her body and mind may react to the information in such a way as to create a kind of unbalance in his or her energy. Administering Reiki before and after such an event can help to maintain and restore balance. This then allows the body and mind to heal itself through the use of positive energy.
Many hospitals throughout the United States are now using Reiki as an adjunct therapy for their patients because of the benefits – especially pre- and post-surgery.
Reiki is a gentle, non-intrusive powerful form of energy work that has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress, which in turn activates the body and mind’s natural healing abilities.
Editor’s Note: While Reiki has been shown to be safe it should not be used as a replacement for proven conventional medical care. For serious conditions always seek the help of a licensed physician or other healthcare professional