Reiki or is a spiritual practice[1] developed in 1922 by Mikao Usui. After three weeks of fasting and meditating on Mount Kurama, in Japan while looking for "sacred texts", Usui claimed to receive the ability of 'healing without energy depletion'.

Practitioners use a technique similar to the laying on of hands, which they say will channel "healing energy" (a form of ki) through their palms.[2][3] Neither the existence of ki nor any mechanism for its manipulation are scientifically accepted, and the evidence base does not support the efficacy of reiki or its recommendation for use in treatment.[4][5][6]

Reiki is a variation of traditional healing superstitions that are prevalent in many cultural mythologies, including pranic healing, wicca, qigong, therapeutic touch and shamanic healing practices and rituals. Among other things, these rituals purpport to manipulate unseen "spirits", "forces" or "energy."

First degree Reiki practitioners learn to treat through a series of 12 specific hand positions placed gently on the body. This allegedly facilitates the flow of Reiki energy through the practitioner, said to be manifested by a heightened feeling of warmth in the hands (see power of suggestion). The practitioner is said to merely serve as a conduit for the Reiki energy. A second degree Reiki practitioner allegedly "learns to send Reiki over distance through the use of special symbols which involve the opening up to the experience of the energy and listening to one's inner voice." The third level is Reiki Master, a process lasting a year or more while working as an apprentice with another Reiki Master. During this time the apprentice learns to embody the energy and is then able to teach Reiki to others."

There is no evidence that clinical Reiki's effects are due to anything other than suggestion, or that they are superior to massage or any other healing ritual. Reiki literature presents misinformation as fact, and instructs practitioners on how to skirt the law in order to protect themselves from regulation and accountability.

Last updated by Nelson Mar 5, 2009.


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