Reiki is a Japanese technique that reduces stress and increases relaxation which allows the body to heal itself. The technique is non-invasive or manipulative and is based on the idea of working with “life energy” also known as Ki (pronounced chi). Ki is unseen and flows through every living thing; the life force. It is said that if your Ki is low or stagnant then the likelihood of stress, poor quality of sleep, even disease are present; and the opposite is true when Ki levels are higher and flowing more freely through the body.
Reiki has gained popularity in the past decade or so. Many people (insurance companies included) don’t put much stock into the healing that energy work can provide. Individuals who need a boost in energy or even a means to “cleanse” the negative energy are on the rise. Prior to my career in massage I was one of the skeptics who didn’t believe in energy work. It wasn’t until I was in massage school and I started feeling more intuitive of my classmates’ feelings/energy and how they affected me did I realize that there is a possibility for transference of energy during massage to occur. Whether it’s the patient picking up the energy of the massage therapist or the other way around; it happens.
More research is needed and unfortunately it’s difficult to provide conclusive results, especially when the effects of Reiki can create a placebo effect. I do encourage those who are curious to give this treatment a try. I recommend of course doing your own research to find a provider who is credentialed and to keep an open mind during the session. Just because something is not well understood doesn’t mean there is no validity to it.
Jennifer Roldan, massage therapist at Northwest Wellness in Federal Way, WA