One of the first things that you might ask is: How does a Reiki session work?
In order to understand Reiki, it helps to first understand some general concepts about energy.
Everything that exists in the Universe is made up of energy. Energy is so consistent that there are scientific laws created to explain it. As an example, the First Law of Thermodynamics states, energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only altered in form. As such, this law acknowledges that energy is permanent and accessible and never goes away – it changes state. Some of those states include forms of, solids, liquids, gases, magnetic, thermal and chemical. You may note that in this list, some of the items are obvious to see and feel and others are more abstract; they obviously exist, but are much more subtle. How we perceive energy is also varied. Some energy can be perceived visually as light, auditory as sound, as heat, as pressure, or as a chemical reaction in the brain as emotion or thoughts. In some cases, depending on the energy source and the particular receiving ability or inability, aspects of energy may be imperceptible. Energy exists all around us and within us. Every cell in our bodies is based on these same, consistent, energetic principles. This is the foundation of life.
Eastern theory has long observed this energy based concept and embraced it is an inherent aspect of life.
It is so well acknowledged that many non-Western medical models treat meridians, marmas, or tsubos for imbalances or blockages. These concepts form the basis for methods such as Acupuncture, Acupressure, Shiatsu, Thai massage, or other energetic techniques such as Reiki. One of the most prevalent models of energy explanation is that of the Chakras. Chakras are commonly thought of as 7 major energy centers in the body that play a vital role in our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. These concepts and systems of “treatment” have been around for thousands of years.
While Western Medicine has not begun treating these specific systems in a direct fashion, there are a range of tests that tap into and leverage this concept of the internal presence of energy. Some of these tests are very well known and unquestionably recognized, even in our conservative medical model. Examples include: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electroencephalograms (EEG), electrocardiograms (EKG), or electromyogram (EMG). The very reason that these validated tests are used and work is testament to the fact that our bodies receive, give off, and store energy in various forms.
Bringing all this back to us as individuals; we use the word energy to describe a range of concepts including how we feel physically, emotionally or spiritually. We may feel energetic; we may feel wiped out; we may feel uplifted; we may feel depressed; we may feel on track; we may feel lost; we may feel sad; we may feel elated. All of these perceptions and feelings are, at the root of origin, energy based. Our overall sense of being is manifested as a direct reflection of our personal energy flow. We are optimal when energy is flowing well and we are less than optimal when there are stagnations or restrictions to this flow. Good flow equates to health and wellness. Impaired flow represents “dis-ease.” Finding a way to remove these imbalances and optimize our energy allows our body return to a state of wellness.
That is probably more information about energy than anyone cared to know, but it sets the stage for easily describing Reiki. Reiki is simply a word that describes a concept and model of universal energy. This universal energy is the energy that defines life. Like all energy, Reiki is intelligent. Just as all of our cells inherently know what to do, as the sun knows how to shine, as plants know how to grow; Reiki defines the universal life force that knows how to support comprehensive well-being. A formal definition of Reiki is that it is a Japanese style of mediation and focus that promotes wellness and health. As with all energy, it is present. It knows what to do. As a magnifying glass can focus the sun’s rays or as an ultra-sound device can focus energy to break up calcified deposits in the body; Reiki techniques can be used to focus energy to promote optimal energy balance and flow. With a blend of intention and techniques, the Reiki practitioner can bring an energetic awareness to the body thus allowing the body to relax and improve energy flow. The body has an amazing ability to heal itself when given the opportunity. All true healing comes from within. Reiki helps optimize this wellness process.
As can be seen from the previous description, Reiki is a model to focus and use energy. It is simply a method or construct, as such, it does not have a particular religious or spiritual affiliation. Reiki may certainly be spiritual in nature and have spiritual impact, but it does so consistent with each individual’s belief system. Therefore, Reiki is supportive and consistent with all well-intentioned belief systems, religious or spiritual paths.
Reiki sessions are performed fully-clothed and can be done either in a seated or reclined position. At the Center we prefer to use a reclined position as it promotes an increased level of relaxation. There are various techniques that can be used as part of a Reiki session. Depending on your immediate needs and desires, and the degree and style of training of the practitioner, these techniques can include: light touch to the body, breath work, imaging, chakra clearing, aura clearing guided imagery, chanting, toning, aromatherapy or other techniques.
The purpose of a Reiki session is multi-faceted and based on your specific needs. A session may address a specific issue(s) such as a: stressor, emotional issue, wellness concern, energetic or chakra imbalance; or general enhancement of relaxation and wholeness. If there is a specific issue that you want to address, it is not necessary for you to divulge any details. Specific personal issues are handled metaphorically and at a conceptual or energetic level.
In preparation for a Reiki session, in order to optimize the benefits of Reiki, you may want to fast for several hours prior to the appointment. Increased water intake is also recommended. You should avoid consuming caffeinated beverages or high amounts of sugar within the 24 hour period prior to your appointment. You should also wear comfortable, non-restrictive clothing and jewelry should be minimized. Feel free to bring any artifact or token that you may feel assists you with focus and relaxation such as a crystal, rock, feather etc. Specific music is played to assist with the session process.
Most clients feel very good, refreshed and rejuvenated after their Reiki session. However some clients do not have such a good, immediate response. Depending on what is going on with you, there may be a period of time, post session, where they feel tired or out of sorts. Although this is instigated by the Reiki session, it is not due to the Reiki itself. As our bodies shift from a point of imbalance to balance there may be a period of time where the body does what it needs to do to seek that equilibrium. Sometimes this is known as a “healing crisis.” If this occurs (it is rare) it does not typically last for a prolonged period and subsequently there is a very discernable sense of release and clearing that occurs. Although that clearing process may be minimally uncomfortable, it is very healthy to promote this shift from stagnation to movement. Session outcome can be optimized by following the pre-session suggestions and making sure that post session, you allow time to relax and process what has occurred. Additionally, it has been found that water (clear water – not just any kind of beverage) helps encourage the process of clearing.
Sessions are scheduled by appointment. Due to the energetic nature of a Reiki session and the need for practitioner preparation, walk-ins are not encouraged for Reiki sessions. Should you choose, you may visit the Forms page in order to download a client intake and a consent form and fill them out in advance.
To learn more about our Practitioners, please visit our Bios page.
For more information about Reiki please visit our sister site at: Northern Illinois Reiki