Bodywork 101: What Is Reiki?

This ancient healing practice can increase energy as well as ease pain, anxiety, and stress

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Are you stressed, irritable, and low in energy? In today's fast-paced world, unfortunately, few of us can escape these all-too-common symptoms of daily living. In response, more and more people today turn to exercise, yoga, meditation, or other healthy choices to help them feel better.

Another healing practice that's is getting significant attention these days is Reiki (pronounced ray-key), a laying-on-of-hands energy-healing technique developed in Japan in the late 1700s. Practitioners claim that Reiki gives you needed energy to help end disease, pain, anxiety, and stress, along with other physical and emotional problems.

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Rei in Japanese means "spirit," and ki means "life-force energy." Together, they can be read as "spirit life led force energy." Reiki has also been described as a form of Shinto/Buddhist Quijong. A Reiki practitioner usually gives treatments by placing his or her hands on a client's body with an intention to heal. There are eight to 12 hand placements on both the front and the back of the client. Very little pressure is applied, and there is no rubbing that may be normally associated with a massage. The ki energy flows through the practitioner and is drawn in by the recipient. Deep relaxation and relief of pain often follow.


"Most disease stems from poor diet and stress," says Isis Ward, a Reiki master and holistic practitioner residing in New York City. "Reiki obviously can't help with your diet, but it relaxes your body and channels energy to help your body in its own healing process."

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