Reiki – May the Force be with You

may-the-force-be-with-you-paranormal-magazine-may-2007The following article, originally written in 1998, was finally published in Paranormal Magazine May 2007. 

One of the fundamental principles underlying many alternative therapies is the idea of a biological life force energy. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is called ‘chi’, in Ayurvedic medicine, it is known as ‘prana’, and Russian researchers gave it the rather grandiose title ‘bio-plasmic energy’. Others simply refer to it as Light or Love. This life force energy, which is said to animate all living things, flows around our bodies through meridians (or pathways) and the chakras (energy centres). When this energy becomes blocked, illness follows. Reiki – which is a Japanese word meaning ‘universal life force energy’ –  is a system of channelling this energy through the hands of a qualified healer to the patient; accelerating the bodies ability to heal physical and emotional disorders.

Reiki’s spread to the West in the 1970’s, it has become one of the most widely acclaimed therapeutic systems available. It can be used for chronic ailments, pain, stress, anxiety, combating addictions, improving the quality of life for the terminally ill and simply for an increased sense of wellbeing. In some areas of the country, through Social Services funding it is being used very successfully as a part of drug rehabilitation programmes and for curing people of alcohol addiction. In others, it is being used with remarkable results for the alleviating and curing of symptoms associated with M.E. and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It’s most immediate and powerful results, however, seem to be in the area of relief from stress related problems. In fact, there are no problems that cannot benefit from Reiki and it can be used in tandem with and to enhance any other treatment; whether they be conventional or complimentary medicines or therapies.

In the USA and Canada, where Reiki is more widely known it is being used extensively in some hospital and hospice environments, by trained medical staff as well as by alternative practitioners. Reiki is being used in a variety of situations, such as that of the lady who was recuperating from a hysterectomy. After being discharged from the hospital, she developed a bladder infection which led her to suffer intense pain. The debilitating effects of the pain prevented her from urinating and she had to use a catheter. Her sister suggested Reiki. After a few minutes of Reiki from her sister, the lady began to breathe deeply and drifted off to sleep. The Reiki treatment continued for another forty minutes. The next day the lady’s husband phoned his sister-in-law in disbelief. Not only was his wife comfortable when she woke up but she was able to urinate properly for the first time in two weeks. She remained pain-free and the hospital confirmed that the bladder infection was gone. She healed quickly from that point on.

Pregnant women also find that Reiki helps them to cope with their pregnancy better and often reduces the feelings of discomfort, leading to a much greater chance of a successful and pain-free birth. This is on top of the benefits received by the unborn child through the input of universal life force energy.

Whatever the reasons for having a treatment the recipients of Reiki treatments almost invariably report an increased sense of well-being, a feeling of being enclosed in a fine sheath of energy or the sense that they are being surrounded by unconditional love. Often Reiki will send the recipient into a meditative state where strong emotions can be released. This will only happen if the problem being treated has an emotional basis and it is necessary for those emotions to surface and be dealt with as part of the healing process.

The unique thing about a Reiki treatment is that the energy has an intelligence of its own, and will always go to wherever it is needed the most. This means that whatever the problem, be it a migraine or the after effects of chemotherapy, the Reiki energy knows what the precise healing needs of the individual are.

This of course, means that Reiki will not always bring about the expected or the desired result straight away. Often underlying causes have to be dealt with before the symptom disappears. So if you develop a stress-related illness as a result of your boss giving you a hard time at work, Reiki isn’t going to simply get rid of the physical problem. What needs to happen in this case is that you need to develop a better way of either relating to your boss, or a way of removing yourself from that stressful situation – either physically or emotionally. This is where Reiki will help. By working on your mental state, and the way you are affected by other people, the energy will restore in you a state of balance that would enable you to have a peaceful coexistence with your boss. The stress therefore disappears and Reiki can then work on removing – for good – the illness that you manifested.

The practicalities of receiving a treatment are simple. The Reiki recipient lies fully clothed on a treatment table and simply relaxes, whilst the practitioner places his or her hands in a series of defined positions on various parts of the body that correspond to the major organs, endocrine glands and the seven major chakras, stretching from the Crown at the top of the head to the Root at the lower abdomen. Each position will be held for about five minutes whilst Reiki energy is channelled directly into the body.

So how does the practitioner know how much energy is needed in any particular place, and what if too much is given? The answer is that the practitioner doesn’t know how much energy is needed, nor is there a need to know. The subconscious mind/higher self of the recipient draws the energy in just the quantities that are required. The practitioner actually does nothing other than make his/her hands available through which the energy can be drawn. For this reason, it is never possible to have too much Reiki.

At the end of this series of twelve standard hand positions the practitioner may feel that it is necessary to work on other parts of the body, depending on where an illness or problem seems to have its source, or they may wish to return to one of the previously worked on points.

At each hand position, the recipient can feel a number of physical sensations. Most commonly heat of varying intensities is felt, or in some cases, it can be coldness. It is not uncommon for people to feel energy waves rushing through their body, or a ‘tingling’ feeling or see in their mind’s eye brilliant colours or find themselves on exotic journeys or in beautiful landscapes of a visionary nature. Each person’s treatment is unique, as are the experiences of that treatment. One thing is certain, however, Reiki does bring a deep sense of peace and wellbeing to whoever comes into contact with it. Many people find that Reiki transforms their lives, and go on to learn it for themselves so that they can continue with self-treatments. You don’t need to have anything particularly wrong with you to benefit from Reiki. All you need is a commitment to bringing peace and harmony into your life, and Reiki can be there to make it happen.

Some people question whether it is necessary to believe in Reiki before anything will happen. Whereas Reiki is a form of spiritual healing, it is not faith healing and it is entirely non-denominational. Anyone, regardless of race, creed or religious beliefs can experience the effects of Reiki. Although it is better to have a positive mental attitude towards the treatment, Reiki will work if you are simply prepared to give it a go and find out for yourself. I have known many instances where Reiki has also had a powerful effect on those who are quite adamant that Reiki is no more than superstitious nonsense. Belief is simply not a factor in Reiki.

A full Reiki treatment can last up to an hour and a half and will cost you anything between £10 and £40. Depending on the problem to be treated a full course of treatments might mean several visits. For more serious problems expect to need ongoing and extensive treatment. Price is not an indication of quality in Reiki. Because Reiki training is so accessible, and there being very little in the way of professional guidelines for Reiki practitioners, there are a number of unscrupulous people charging over the odds for less than satisfactory treatments. Always look for someone who’s level of integrity and truth you are personally satisfied with. Find out how long the practitioner trained for – there are some Reiki Master currently practising and teaching Reiki who took less than two weeks to do all of their training! Ask whether the practitioner can give you their training lineage back to Dr Usui. Anyone involved with Reiki should be able to do this, as it is a point of honour embedded within the system.

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About Steve Gooch

Steve Gooch was born in March 1962 in Rugby, Warwickshire in England and grew up there with his two brothers and sister. He moved to Corsham in Wiltshire and attended Bath Academy of Art, where he studied sculpture and printmaking, before going on to work on projects for the artists Joe Tilson and Nick Pope. He also helped with the publication of a limited edition folio of Paul Eluard’s poetry. Steve moved to London to study for a postgraduate teaching certificate and then worked as a teacher of art in the UK. He gained his MA in Education with the Open University and also studied the discipline of Reiki with his Reiki teachers in Newcastle upon Tyne. His daughter Marianne was born in 1994. For a period of time, Steve devoted himself to teaching Reiki in his hometown of Rugby, before moving to Egypt, where he resumed his career as an art teacher, becoming the Head of Art in a prestigious British International School in Cairo. He continued to teach Reiki, introducing the discipline for the first time to Egypt. He also wrote extensively on the subject for various Egyptian English-language magazines. Returning to the UK, Steve’s son Sam was born in 2004. Not wanting to go back into the teaching profession, Steve took a job as a chef in a vegetarian restaurant and wrote his first book ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do: The Way of Compassion & Wisdom’. It was the world’s first book on that particular tradition of Reiki and is still considered to be the standard reference work on the subject. Steve them moved to Sudan, where he was again Head of Art at the prestigious Unity High School, and built an online living history for the school, called 'The Unity High School Archive'. It was in the process of building this archive that Steve uncovered a major scandal involving senior members of the Anglican Church, local dignitaries, and members of the faith communities. As a consequence, he got to know the head of the Secret Police in Khartoum quite well and then promptly left the country. Steve moved back to Egypt and took up a post as Head of Art in a school in Alexandria. Very much involved in the Reiki community in the UK, however, he founded the national organisation ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do UK’ and became the editor of ‘Focus: The Journal of Reiki Jin Kei Do UK’, and then set up the global ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do International’. He also set up the global video-arts project '12seconds for Peace'. The concept grabbed the attention of a number of big names in the peace movement, including Nobel Peace Prize nominees, and threatened to go viral. Circumstances (revolutions and social unrest) put it on the back-burner. Likewise, a major peace initiative called the 'Global Concert for Peace', scheduled for the summer of 2013, which would have been the world's biggest musical event, also went on the back-burner. Steve moved to Saudi Arabia for a little over a year in 2014, before returning to Egypt to take up a senior management position in another British International School in Cairo. Finally, after a year of professional purgatory in which he realised that there is no such thing as a good British International School in Egypt, he decided ‘enough is enough’ and quit the teaching profession for good to focus on his writing, art and Reiki classes. He is currently living in Cairo and writing ‘The Temple of the Djinn’, which is loosely based on the events that he uncovered during his time in Sudan. He is also teaching Reiki and working freelance for a variety of Egyptian magazines. He misses the UK and is looking forward to spending more time in his home country with his children. He'd also like to find time to paint and make sculpture.
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