(Adapted from Reader’s Digest Guide to Alternative Medicines)
The Reiki healers use prayer, meditation, or visualization to link themselves to divine or mystical healing forces which are then channelised to patients, activating their power to heal themselves. The patients may not even know that they are being healed, although most healers will send healing only when requested by a patient. Healers usually discover this ability by accident, and see it as a gift, which they must use in the service of others.
Most regard themselves as channels for powers which come from beyond them, and not as being personally able to heal. Often training or religious belief helps them to develop their gifts. Many such healers belong to church or spiritual groups. They work as one or in groups, and regular meetings are held at which people are prayed for or meditated upon.
Any mental, physical or spiritual distress can be treated. The patient taking no active part, may still benefit, although it is thought that a relaxed, positive patient may be more receptive to healing energies liberated within him. Because the patient does not have to participate actively, Reiki is said to be particularly suitable for babies, young children and animals, for very ill or unconscious patients, or for the mentally challenged. Chronically ill people, whose vitality and self-healing powers have been exhausted by lengthy illness, may gain special benefit. Reiki is also particularly suitable for those who are too ill to travel.
Most healers offer their services for a small fee. Healers will not promise results or claim cures in accordance with the normal ethical approach to their art & practice which is expected by those they try to help. Other healers, who do make claims for themselves, may not necessarily be charlatans, their claims may simply reflect an absolute faith in the power they work with. Healers do not attempt to examine or diagnose patients, and will advise you to see a doctor if you have not already done so.
Helping patients to heal themselves is usually a gradual process. Instant cures cannot be expected, especially where illness is the result of long-term factors such as unhealthy diet or ongoing stress. In such cases, healing may help, but it is not offered as a replacement for more direct, orthodox therapies. Often healing is sought as a last resort when the body’s defences are already depleted.
Although it has proved successful in some cases regarded by orthodox medicine as incurable, patients should not expect healing to succeed immediately where all else has failed. Progress is very often slow, sometimes even preceded by worsening symptoms as the body seeks to regain its ability to fight the illness. Healers never accept that a case may be incurable, and this alone encourages many seriously ill patients.
Healing of any type is likely to produce positive psychological effects. Even in cases where a condition cannot be reversed or improved, a patient may be relieved of distress and brought to accept his or her condition. Many people even experience a sense of inner harmony through this kind of therapy. The only danger arises when conventional treatment, which may help, is neglected in favour of Reiki, which may not. Reiki can do no harm, provided it does not take the place of other treatment and the patient’s hopes are not raised unrealistically.