Reiki-The Ancient Art of Touch Healing
"My first experience
with Reiki was a hands-on one, " says Maggie Chambers. " I
had a dear friend who came and did Reiki on me right after my fourth
baby had been born. I never felt what I felt when she put her hands
on me. It's hard to describe. It's almost as if we don't have the language
to describe this. Heat is a very frequently experienced sensation, but
it's not heat, it's different. It's this deep, liquid, delicious, radiant
feeling that goes through you, and certainly relaxation is part of it.
But I think probably, truly, it is the experience of being infused with
universal life force, and it's hard to describe what that feels like."
Chambers is now a Reiki Master, so compelling was her introduction to
the ancient touch therapy. So, too, is Libby Barnett, and together they
conduct Reiki classes at the Reiki Healing Connection in Wilton, N.H.,
as well as at hospices, medical centers, and medical schools throughout
the U.S. They are also authors of the book, Reiki Energy Medicine:
Bringing Touch Into Home, Hospital, and Hospice.
ray-kee) is a Japanese word that has no English equivalent but
is most often translated as "universal life force." It is
a hands-on healing art thought to have originated in Tibet 2,500 years
ago and then rediscovered in the 1850s by a Japanese Christian educator
in Kyoto investigating ancient Sanskrit texts.
The practice of
Reiki involves the laying on of hands along what practitioners often
refer to as the body's energy doors or chakras--the Sanskrit word for
wheel--to promote healing, manage pain, reduce stress, or
to enhance a feeling of well-being.
a client comes to receive Reiki, they usually get on a table, and it
looks like a typical massage table. They're fully clothed. I'll often
cover them with a light sheet. Sometimes there's a temperature change
when you're receiving Reiki. But generally there will be this sense,
as I move my hands from positions on the head to the side of the body,
then gently laying my hands in different patterns on the body, and often
down to the knees and sometimes to the feet, there will be this increasing
sense of relaxation," says Libby Barnett.
"As my hands
are resting on these different places on their body, it's an invitation
for their cells to pull in more life force, more of what they're made
of, and then that stimulates the natural healing resources of the body
and the body moves that being toward more health, toward more well-being."
The concept of universal
life force is one that is unfamiliar to most Westerners, and yet the
discovery by quantum physicists that all substance is composed of energy
fields seems to mirror what the ancient cultures of India, China, Japan,
and Egypt understood; that the human body is made up of dynamic--albeit
unseen--energy systems that are a vital part of us and our sustenance.
Libby Barnett acknowledges
that such energy fields are difficult to talk about, nor are there instruments
to measure them, but they are palpable. "The life force is something
that's all around us. We are swimming in it. We breathe it. So, even
though most of us can't see it, and certainly we can't perceive it with
other senses usually, it is there, all around us, and we become conduits
for this universal life force when you learn how to do Reiki. That's
what a Reiki practitioner is. It's almost like becoming a straw, so
that whenever you put your hands on someone else or yourself, it's an
invitation for those cells to pull in more of what they're already made
up of. It's what you are intrinsically."
Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Reiki:The Ancient Art
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