Reiki is a Japanese word used to refer to Universal Life Energy. It has the same basic meaning as the Chinese ‘Chi’ and the Sanskrit ‘Prana’, (although in my experience those frequencies have a different ‘behaviour’). Modern science now supports knowledge held for thousands of years that everything is energy, and that in fact everything is the same energy, the variety we perceive, and that outside our perception, being differing frequency levels of that energy. The human organism is composed of several ‘layers’ of energy, the physical body being the densest level, or slowest frequency. Reiki therapy, a non-invasive, completely benign healing technique, works on all levels, physical, mental, emotional, etc.
The Science Behind Reiki – What Happens in a Treatment?
Independent research by Dr Robert Becker and Dr John Zimmerman during the 1980s investigated what happens whilst people practice therapies like Reiki. They found that not only do the brainwave pattern of practitioner and receiver become synchronized in the alpha state, characteristic of deep relaxation and meditation, but they pulse in unison with the Earth’s magnetic field, known as the Schumann Resonance. During these periods the biomagnetic field of the practitioner’s hands is at least a thousand ttimes greater than normal, and not as a result of internal body current. Further research in the 90s (T Bunnell 1997) suggested that the linking of the energy fields between practitioner and Earth allows the practitioner to draw on the ‘infinite energy source’ or ‘universal energy field’ via the Schumann Resonance. Prof Paul Davies and Dr John Gribben in The Matter Myth discuss the quantum physics view of a ‘living universe’ in which everything is connected in a ‘living web of interdependence’. This supports the subjective experience of ‘oneness’ and ‘expanded consciousness’ related by those who regularly receive or treat with Reiki.
Zimmerman (1990) in the US and Seto (1992) in Japan further investigated the large pulsating biomegnetic field from the hands of energy practitioners whilst they work. They discovered that the pulses are in the same frequencies as brain waves, and sweep up na d down from 0.3 – 30Hz, focusing mainly in 7 – 8Hz, alpha range. This range of frequencies is known to stimulate healing in the body, with different frequencies being suitable for different issues. For example, 2Hz stimulates nerve regeneration, 7Hz bone growth, 10hz ligament mending, ans 15Hz capillary formation. Physiotherapy equipment based on these principles has been designed to aid soft tissue regeneration, and ultrasound technology is routinely used to clear clogged arteries and disintegrate kidney stones. Also, for many years, weak electric fields generated through coils placed around intractable fractures have been used to stimulate bone growth and repair.
Becker explains that ‘brain waves’ are not confined to the body, but travel throughout the body via the perineural system, the sheaths of connective tissue surrounding nerves. During a treatment, these waves begin as relatively weak pulses in the thalamus of the practitioner’s brain, and gather cumulative strength as they flow to the peripheral nerves of the body. The same effect is mirrored in the person receiving the treatment, and Becker suggests that it is this system, more than any other, that regulates injury repair and system rebalance.
Current Medical Applications
Recent years have seen Reiki in wider use in the medical establishment. Some hospitals including the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, New York; Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York; Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital; Marin General Hospital, California; University of Michigan Hospital; Portsmouth Regional Hospital, New Hampshire; Foote Hospital, Jackson; Tucson Medical Center, Arizona, and over a dozen New England hospitals have incorporated it into their roster of patient services, often with their own Reiki-trained physicians, nurses and support staff. In those contexts, Reiki has been shown to accelerate recovery from surgery, improve mental attitude, reduce the negative effects of medication and other medical procedures. In one setting, none of the patients undergoing open heart surgeries and heart transplants, who were treated with Reiki and other subtle energy techniques experienced the usual postoperative depression, the bypass patients had no postoperative pain or leg weakness; and the transplant patients experienced no organ rejection. Other conditions treated include cancer, pain, chronic conditions, postoperative surgery, and childbirth.
Dr. Mike Cantwell of the California Pacific Medical Center, one of the largest hospitals in northern California, states: “I have found Reiki to be useful in the treatment of acute illnesses such as musculoskeletal injury/pain, headache, acute infections, and asthma. Reiki is also useful for patients with chronic illnesses, especially those associated with chronic pain.” Dr. David Guillion, an oncologist at Marin General, stated “I feel we need to do whatever is in our power to help the patient. We provide state of the art medicine in our office, but healing is a multidimensional process. . . . I endorse the idea that there is a potential healing that can take place utilizing energy.”
As well as the direct benefits to patients, Reiki is benefiting hospital management and administration, and enhancing nursing practice in a variety of unforeseen ways.
In over a decade of studying, practicing and teaching Reiki, the above sums up what I have observed, that along with the direct benefits come additional unforeseen benefits and life-enhancements. One of the most personally enjoyable things about my practice has been working with animals, particularly horses and dogs, experiences I like to point out when faced by critics of Reiki, or any other alternative therapy such as homeopathy, who maintain that positive results are merely due to a placebo effect.