Reiki is a spiritual healing technique which began in Japan and which has now spread to many other parts of the world, particularly the West. The basic principle behind reiki is that healing can be facilitated through the hands. The reiki practitioner will place their hands on someone who needs healing and attempts to transfer a type of energy from themselves to the other person.
The practice of reiki is not supported by any major professional medical bodies, and should not be seen as a direct alternative to Western medicine. But this is not a very big problem for those who provide or receive reiki healing. Reiki is usually seen as a supplemental and holistic form of healing, meant to target more than just the physical body.
It is believed that this energy can flow from the palms of one person to the body of another. Depending on the tradition, the practitioner's hands can either be placed on or held near the other person. There are varying views on how the reiki energy is actually transferred. Some believe that the healing relies on the skill and intention of the healer, while others say that it is the person needing healing who draws the energy towards themselves. Other views still, hold that it is the reiki energy itself that knows where to go and what to heal.
As you can see, there are many different approaches to reiki. But despite this diversity, reiki can be divided into two major traditions. One is known as traditional Japanese reiki, and the other as Western reiki.
Traditional Japanese reiki still follows the teachings of Usui. This form of reiki focuses more on the actual hand positions of the practitioner, believing them to be important. Traditional Japanese reiki also uses specific types of breathing during the process.
Neither of these practices is given much importance in Western reiki. Rather, Western practitioners rely much more on their intuitive knowledge about where to place their hands. Or, they may choose to place their hands along the body's chakras or meridian lines.
Some people swear by the practice of reiki, while others argue that there is no medicinal use to it whatsoever. The good thing is that if you are interested in reiki as a form of holistic healing, then there is no harm in trying it out for yourself. I have, and I'll never look back. Reiki is simply incredible.