Reiki in a Nutshell

reiki-in-a-nutshell-bca-chronicle-december-2016The following article originally appeared in the BCA Chronicle December 2016

From 6th October to New Cairo, from Mohandiseen to Maadi, and everywhere in-between, people are signing up for classes to learn the art of Reiki. Just as it has done in much of the rest of the world, Reiki is surging in Cairo. 15 years ago, there were one or two Reiki teachers in the country, now they seem to be hiding around every corner. But what exactly is Reiki, and why is it so popular?

Reiki is the fastest growing complementary therapy in the world today. It’s a healing method that is having a profound impact on the lives of significant numbers of people and can instill a deep sense of peace. But it’s main claim is as a method for healing physical and psychological problems. There are no conditions, illnesses or disorders, that Reiki can’t help alleviate. In some instances, it can affect a complete cure, even if the problem is very deep-seated or life-threatening.

According to the International Association of Reiki Professionals, Reiki is “…a spiritual healing art… It is not massage nor is it based on belief or suggestion. It is a subtle and effective form of energy work using spiritually guided life force energy.” That’s right, Reiki has nothing to do with belief. Much the same as when you turn the key in your car’s ignition, the engine starts without you having to recite mantras, do yogic breathing, or pray to many Gods for the wellbeing of your vehicle etc. Reiki’s like that. It works, even if you don’t believe in it.

The system was developed by a Japanese Tendai Buddhist called Mikao Usui, a little over a hundred years ago, but it has its origins in a much older practice called ‘Buddho’ that dates to the historical Buddha, some 2,500 years ago. According to the International Centre for Reiki Training, there are now estimated to be more than four million people worldwide, who have taken some form of Reiki training.

Reiki works by bringing the body and mind, to a state of deep relaxation, enabling the body’s healing mechanisms to work at optimum capacity. The practitioner channels subtle energy through their hands to the recipient, and it is this energy, flooding the body and mind, that creates the circumstances for deep healing to begin. There are no special aids or devices involved, no prayers or mantras, no meditative alpha or theta state needed for it to work, and anyone can learn it.

Some years ago, I gave an interview on BBC radio about Reiki. Following the broadcast, I received a phone call from a lady in her late 50’s wanting treatments for a severe case of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. She’d been suffering with the condition in various stages of severity for the previous 30 years, and was only days away from being in a wheelchair. After several treatments that helped reduce the pain that she was feeling, she decided, along with her husband, to learn the method for herself. That decision was a critical moment in her life.

Three months later she contacted me to say that her last blood test had revealed not a trace of her crippling arthritis. The condition was eliminated and her stunned doctors had no explanation for it.

In another case, a young man was rushed to hospital with a perforated colon that was allowing bile to leak through his system. He was in a coma with a temperature of 109 degrees and a prognosis of imminent death. He was given Reiki continuously for 2-3 hours. At the end of that session, he came out of the coma, the bile purged from his system and he had a normal, restful night’s sleep. The following morning, he was back to his normal self.

‘Miracles’ such as these, are not common, but they do happen. There are dozens of stories from around the world, testifying to the fact of Reiki’s miraculous healing ability.

As well as such anecdotal evidence, there’s also hard scientific evidence to support the claims made by Reiki practitioners. Medical research has shown that the range of frequencies that promote healing in the body are precisely those that are found in the bio-magnetic fields that manifest around the hands of those using therapies such as Reiki. Specific frequencies being beneficial for different tissues.  Placing an electrical coil around a fracture is a well-known method of stimulating bone repair. Ultra-sound is used to break up kidney stones and to clear blocked arteries, and soft tissue is encouraged to re-generate with the aid of physiotherapy equipment that utilises the healing effects of specific frequencies.

Reiki is now available within hospital and other health-care settings around the world. According to The International Centre for Reiki training, by 2007, over 800 hospitals in the US were offering Reiki as a normal part of patient care. This is mirrored in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and elsewhere, where it is being used to treat sufferers of cancer, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis and a multitude of other serious conditions. It is being used to help speed recovery from heart surgery and by Dr Sheldon Feldman, head of breast surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Centre, directly in the operating theatre.

But the beneficial effects of Reiki, don’t stop at the health needs of human beings. Dr Barnard Grad of McGill University in Montreal conducted an experiment in which he tested the effects healing energies have on plants. With elaborate double-blind procedures in place, a set of barley seeds were fed with water that had been held by a healer for 15 minutes in a sealed container. A second set of seeds were fed untreated water. The seeds fed with healer treated water grew faster, were healthier and produced 25% more weight and had a higher chlorophyll content.

It’s important to remember however, that regardless of other’s experiences, and regardless of what the scientific community may have to say, the only real proof worth giving credence too is one’s own direct experience. Reiki can manifest results in many seemingly mysterious ways. Some of these can be scientifically validated, whilst others cannot. Ultimately, if Reiki improves the quality of your life, as it has done for so many thousands around the world, then this is the only measure that matters.

Give Reiki a try. It will change your life.

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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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