Many alternative practitioners believe that everyone is endowed with a form of universal energy. Channeling that energy for the purpose of healing is the premise behind reiki (means “spiritually guided life energy”), an ancient Japanese healing art.
Reiki has been practiced for thousands of years throughout Japan, China, and other Asian nations. In recent years it has gained so much popularity in the United States that the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine recently funded a study in Seattle to look at the impact of reiki on fibromyalgia.
According to the International Center for Reiki Training, reiki responds to the way we think and feel. When we consciously or unconsciously accept negative thoughts or feelings about ourselves, these thoughts attach themselves to our energy field and disrupt the flow of our life force, causing ill health.
Reiki heals by altering the energy field and charging it with positive energy. The healing is done with the help of a trained reiki master. As the negative energy breaks apart and falls away, the affected energy pathways are healed, and the life force can resume flowing in a healthy and natural way. Exactly how reiki works is unclear, but proponents tout it as an effective form of therapeutic touch, one that can promote relaxation, relieve pain, and reduce emotional distress.
During a reiki treatment, the client typically lies fully clothed on a massage table, though treatments can also be given in a sitting or standing position. The reiki practitioner places his hands on or near your body in different positions. His hands may be around your neck and shoulders, near your stomach, or on your feet. Other positions may be used as well, depending on your symptoms. Each position is held for three to ten minutes, and the whole treatment usually lasts between forty-five and ninety minutes.
Individual experiences with reiki vary, but almost everyone reports feeling more relaxed. Some people say they feel a glowing radiance around them, and a feeling of peace and well-being. Others may drift off to sleep or have an out-of-body experience.
If you are interested in reiki, discuss it with your physician first. Although reiki may not relieve you of all your fibro symptoms, it may provide you with the relaxation you need to help you sleep better and lessen your pain. For more information on reiki, check out the International Center for Reiki Training Web site at