In my previous post, I described how I set up a complementary therapy business in early 2020.  Below I explain more about my specialism – Reiki.

Complementary therapies, such as reflexology, massage and aromatherapy, used alongside western medicine, tend to take a more holistic approach to wellness, considering the person on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level.  Such therapies are becoming more available in salons and workplaces, as well as in clinical settings, such as cancer care centres and hospices, because there is growing acceptance that a more integrative approach is beneficial for people.  Reiki is a system of natural healing that fits into this category.  It was developed in Japan in the early 1900s and can be translated as “universal (Rei) life force energy (ki)”.    It’s a form of energy healing using the hands.

Although spiritual in nature, Reiki is not aligned with any religion and is suitable for everyone.  Some use it to help them manage or cope with a specific physical, mental or emotional problem for which they are already receiving conventional medical care.  Others use the therapy as a means to support their management of stress or anxiety, maintain resilience, good health and a sense of general wellbeing.  Potential benefits of Reiki include feelings of deep relaxation, improved mood and sense of self, so it is perfect for helping busy people to rest, reset and recharge.

Reiki is based on the concept of the human energy field, or aura, (sometimes called the biofield).  If you’ve ever walked into a room and been certain that there had just been an argument there, felt in your body that there was going to be a thunderstorm, or been aware of someone’s “vibe”, then you’re picking up on subtle energy fields, which is a natural human ability.

The practice of Reiki acknowledges the link between the energetic body and the physical body.  When we suffer from trauma or stress, our bodies register and hold on to negative emotions, resulting in pain or illness, unless we learn to release them.  Reiki works on the understanding that stagnant or blocked energy can be aligned by a practitioner engaging with this energy field.  This is done by the practitioner channelling through their hands the positive life force energy (reiki) that surrounds us all, to allow it to flow into the client.

How can they possibly do this?  While Reiki, as energy, is universally available, the ability to work with Reiki has traditionally been passed on through teachings from master to student.  An integral part of the teachings is receiving a series of attunements from a Reiki Master, which aligns the student with the frequency of Reiki and allows them to channel it from then on.  This is a mystical element of Reiki that recognises the power of intention and requires an understanding that there is more to us than can be seen or measured.

Because of this spiritual dimension, Reiki is sometimes chosen by clients as a way to connect to something beyond the self.  Often, the only way to fully understand Reiki is to experience a treatment.

The main objective of a Reiki session is to stimulate the client’s innate ability to heal on any level and bring balance to the entire organism.  Clients sit or lie down, then the therapist enters a calm state, before working through a standard series of hand positions, holding the hands on or just above the body.   Therapists may feel energy flowing from their hands and may experience tingling or heat or a subtle resistance from the energy field.  Typically, some gentle music is played, and the therapist will not talk once the session begins while they hold a healing space for the client.

Clients will become very relaxed, and it’s during this state the nervous system is calmed, and the body is able to heal. Some people quickly fall asleep, others report seeing colours or visions in their mind’s eye, feeling very heavy or very light, or feeling waves of energy or areas of heat and tingling. Reiki is an empowering therapy as it places the power to heal directly with the recipient, not with the therapist, who is just a facilitator for the process.

Sheri Werner is former City HR professional-turned-fully qualified and insured Reiki practitioner and founder of Seven Jewels Therapies.