What is Reiki? (A skeptics point of view)

I am a skeptic. There I have admitted it. I'm a HUGE skeptic. It's mad because in my spiritual and Reiki practices I see, hear and feel a lot of things which I can not explain, but that does not stop me from questioning everything and always asking why (anyone with young kids may be used to this question) as this is how my mind works.

Ever since I was little I have always questioned everything and I believe I will continue to do this until I die, it just seems this is how I am wired. I'm not about to hand over my life to a guru in my spiritual practice and I am not about to blindly follow any alternative therapies either. I want to see results and I want to understand how those results come about. Although sometimes it's fun to believe in magic, just because too (I don't want to be too rigid after all lol).

I realise why some people question the validity of Reiki. We're taught in the West to favour logic over intuition and some of the things which happen during a Reiki session can defy logic. It's hard to understand and explain something which a majority of people can not see, hear or feel. We're taught to assimilate information via our senses so to start to understand Reiki and how it works you need to start looking at a few things:

1. There are many things we are aware of in the universe which we can not see, hear or feel. For example, infrared light, dog whistles and electromagnetic waves.

2. More is unknown than known about the universe and the planet we live on. With all their instruments and studies, scientists can only measure approximately 5% of the universe. They estimate that the rest is made up of 68% "dark energy" and 27% is "dark matter" ie: we have no idea!

3. Many health fads have come and gone over the years (anyone still doing Atkins, the F Plan or using that fitness machine under the bed?) but Reiki as with massage, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine has been used for thousands of years and is still being used today. Reiki is also now used in many cancer treatment centers with the NHS.

The UK Reiki Federation (of which I am a member) describe Reiki as Universal Life Force Energy (I agree this is a little vague) so how does it work?!

The National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine puts Reiki in the category of biofield energy medicine. Biofield energy is an electromagnetic field produced by a biological organism (ie: a human being, us!). We have electrical impulses in our hearts and minds which are measured by ECG, EKG and EEG. Another great tool using our magnetic body is MRI scans which use the bodies magnetic field to produce clear images of the insides of our bodies.

As a Reiki practitioner, I can channel this biofield energy to the human body in order to help kick-start the bodies natural healing processes. If you find this hard to imagine, think of me as a big garden hose, my hands are the sprinklers and the taps are the connection to Reiki energy.

OK but what has that got to do with me, you maybe thinking... Well in my work I tend to work with people on one of two things. Pain or stress and anxiety.

In regards to pain, I guess you have heard of or used a TENS machine? These are often used in as pain relief for women in labour. TENS stands for Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. The NHS describes a TENS machine as, "a small, battery-operated device that has leads connected to sticky pads called electrodes. When the machine is switched on, small electrical impulses are delivered to the affected area of your body, which you feel as a tingling sensation. The electrical impulses can reduce the pain signals going to the spinal cord and brain, which may help relieve pain and relax muscles." It's basically a machine which uses an adjustable pulsed electromagnetic field that is used to decrease chronic pain.

In my opinion, Reiki works in the same way as a TENS machine for pain, but using the bodies natural electromagnetic field in order to create healing and pain relief.

In regards to other ailments, and anxiety and stress release, I believe Reiki helps calms the nervous system and acts a bit like a big hug for the body. Often my clients report feeling "supported" "held" and "like everything s going to be ok". How do we explain this?

Reiki has been measured at various frequency levels from practitioners hands (by Dr John Zimmerman using a SQUID machine - cool name huh?!) but is usually around 7-8hz. The frequencies measured fluctuated between 0.3hz and 30hz. The human body regenerates nerves at 2hz, bone growth at 7hz, ligament healing at 15hz and capillary formation at 15hz, so by channeling these frequencies to the body like an energy sprinkler system Reiki could not only help you relieve pain but could regenerate your body too.

So this is how I understand Reiki. It is a way of channeling and using electro magnetic frequencies to help our bodies and minds do what they do best, heal themselves.

If you'd like more information please contact me on rachael@welfordwellbeing.com.

**Information is taken from peer-reviewed study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4147026/ and the UK Reiki Federation


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