Energy Medicine — Reiki

Reiki is an ancient, gentle hands-on healing technique that originated in Japan in which a Reiki practitioner allows energy to pass through him/her to another person, for the recipients higher good. This energy flow can realign, recharge and rebalance an individual’s energy field, which creates the conditions needed for an integrated functioning of the body's healing ability. The word Reiki is made up of two Japanese words, Rei, “God’s wisdom or Higher Power,” and Ki, also known as Chi or Qi “life force energy.” The two words together mean “spiritually guided life force energy.”

Dr. Mikao Usui, a Japanese Christian monk, based his healing therapy on ancient Sanskrit texts. In the 1850’s, Dr. Usui decided to meditate for 21 days on Mt. Kurama where he received the ability to do Reiki treatments. The foundation of Reiki is that all living things are made of energy. However the flow of energy can be blocked. Reiki practitioners are trained to “tune into” the energy surrounding them, functioning as a conduit for the surrounding energy. Reiki has a unique attunement process based on the Sanskrit texts which allows the practitioner to tap into the life force energy. Dr. Hayashi also developed the placement of the hands in which the energy is channeled through the practitioner’s hands releasing blocked energy and increasing the potential for healing.

Mrs. Takata trained under Dr. Hayashi and later brought Reiki to the West. Currently Reiki is used in many hospitals, and research is being conducted to test the outcomes and efficacy of Reiki healing. Reiki is learned from a Reiki Master. Training sessions usually last 8 hours and the sessions can be divided over several days or combined into a single session. Reiki does not follow a religious belief system.

Potential Application for Children with Cancer

Reiki promotes relaxation, eases pain, and reduces anxiety and stress. It assists the body in cleansing toxins, balancing the flow of subtle energy through the release of energetic blocks and aligning and recharging the chakras. Reiki treats the whole person. It works in any setting, has no known contraindications, and works in conjunction with medical and therapeutic interventions.

Offering Reiki to someone else restore one’s own energy. The receiver of Reiki is always in charge and the intention is always for the “highest healing good.” The practitioner is never depleted of his own energy as the energy is from the “universal life force.” Most people report a tingling or heat sensation when receiving Reiki. Afterwards people state that they feel calmer, less anxious and have diminished pain.

How is Reiki used in the hospital and outpatient clinic?

Reiki sessions can last anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour. In our hospital, sessions usually last 15 minutes. During a Reiki session, the practitioner will gently place their hands on the patient's body. Hand placement can be anywhere that's comfortable, often on the shoulders, mid-back or thigh. The Integrative Therapies Program has trained many children and family members in Reiki. When using Reiki, parents often report feeling empowered because they have tools to help their child relieve anxiety and pain. Reiki is easy to learn because it does not require "learning" but rather a passing on of the ability from Reiki Master to student. Practitioners are available to provide Reiki Monday thru Friday, 9am-5pm. Practitioners are also available to attune patients and parents in the practice.

Last updated: October 13, 2009