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Reiki is a Japanese form of energy healing, sometimes used as a complementary practice in the treatment of cancer, chronic pain, infertility, digestive problems, Parkinson's disease, psychological distress, and stress-related illnesses.

In Western countries, Reiki is more often used to reduce stress and anxiety, and to promote feelings of peace, relaxation, security, and wellness. It may also be used to bring on a meditative state, stimulate the body's immune system and promote self-healing, foster the healing of tissue and bones after an injury or surgery, relieve pain and tension, and support feelings of well-being in individuals undergoing conventional treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or kidney dialysis.

Reiki was first developed in the early 1900s. While Mikao Usui is generally considered to be the founder of Reiki, and the term is applied only to the healing modality he developed, other styles of Reiki healing were practiced in Japan prior to the time that Usui Sensei developed his style. It is likely that the first was Reiki Ryoho, created by Matiji Kawakami in 1914.

While the original styles of Reiki involve a spiritual practice that is compatible with conventional medicine, Reiki is not generally considered to be a religion, nor is it inextricably linked with any specific religious doctrine or practice. However, the official opinion of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued in 2009, is that the practice of Reiki is incompatible with Christian spirituality since it involves the belief in human power over healing rather than prayer to God.

During treatment sessions, Reiki practitioners serve as a conduit between the client and the source of life-force energy, with the energy flowing through the practitioner's hands to the client. The client determines the energy flow from the practitioner's hands by taking only what they need.

Typically, a Reiki treatment lasts between forty-five minutes to an hour. The client will lie fully clothed on a massage table. The Reiki practitioner will gently place his or her hands, palms down, on or just above the client's body at specific energy locations, using a series of from twelve to fifteen different hand positions. The amount of time that the practitioner will leave his or her hands in each position is determined by the flow of energy through their hands at each location. Reiki differs from other touch therapies in that there is no pressure, massage, or manipulation of the client's body.

During a Reiki treatment, clients can expect to experience energy transfer in the form of sensations that might feel like heat, tingling, or pulsing in the area where the practitioner has placed his or her hands. Some clients report that they can feel sensations moving through their bodies, while others don't feel any change at all. Most clients feel relaxed during the treatment, and it is not unusual for clients to fall asleep during the process.

Reiki is taught and practiced throughout the world, and has gained popularity in Western nations in recent years, although there are cultural differences in the way that it is practiced, particularly among Western practitioners. Traditional Japanese Reiki practitioners may view Western adaptations as significant deviations from the original practice and may not consider the end results to be authentic. The chief difference between Traditional Japanese Reiki and Western Reiki is in the emphasis on spiritual practice. These differences are not purely geographical, as some Reiki practitioners in Western countries honor traditional practices.



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