How does it work
The seven main chakras lie in a line through your body from the base of your spine to your head. When you are fully happy and healthy, they should all be spinning freely. By placing his or her hands on your body, the therapist is trying to remove any blockages and to refuel where your energy is low. Not all forms of reiki involve touching, though; in absent or remote reiki, the hands are placed above the body, hovering over the energy points.
Shrinking violets will be pleased to know there’s no need to get undressed for reiki – it’s totally non-invasive. For most treatments, your therapist will ask you to lie down, though it can be done sitting. You should be as comfortable and relaxed as possible, so to start the treatment your therapist may talk to you in soft soothing tones, pushing you adrift on a positive imaginative flow. Reiki literally treats you from head to toe – starting at the crown chakra and working down your body. If you have a specific injury or emotional problem, your therapist might also pay attention to some of your smaller chakras – there are over a hundred altogether in your joints, organs and other parts of your body.
Each position will be held for three to ten minutes, or until your therapist senses that any hiccups in the spin of each chakra have subsided. Once your chakras are spinning freely they can get back to doing their jobs:
The crown chakra (Sahasrara) – relates to your nervous system and consciousness The brow or third eye chakra (Ajna) – relates to your emotions, spirituality and perception of time The throat chakra (Vishuddha) – this chakra promotes communication and growth The heart chakra (Anahata) – this relates to more complex emotions and your immune system The solar plexus chakra (Manipura) – relates to power, ego, personality and digestion The abdomen chakra (Swadhisthana) – can affect your mood, relationship to food and sexual energy *The root chakra at the base of the spine (Muladhara) – this is the key to your survival instinct, in modern day, this means your relationship to money and career
A full reiki treatment will generally last between 45 minutes to an hour and a half. In most cases the practitioner will suggest a course of four, six or twelve sessions to get the best from the treatment and to keep your chakras well-behaved in the long run.
Is it for me?
Reiki is one of the safest therapies because it involves only the lightest of touches. There are no recognised side-effects, though some people say they feel light-headed or emotionally drained after the treatment.
A strong, fluid life-force is thought to benefit every aspect of your wellbeing and help to fight everything from minor upsets like stomach aches, bee stings, colds, flu, tension and anxiety to more serious physical injury and disease. Reiki therapists also particularly recommend the treatment pregnant women to get them relaxed and ready for birth. Whatever your physical condition, a session of reiki is said to leave you glowing with wellbeing.
Good to know
The word Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is made of two Japanese words: Rei which means "God's wisdom or the higher power" and Ki which means "life force energy".