How Reiki Works—The Science Bit.
If you are like me, deeper understanding comes from learning everything both spiritually and physically, and how it fits into everyday life, as we can understand it in a tangible and logical way.
But to explain something that we cannot see or fully understand with our limited human minds is a massive task. I will try my best to collate my extensive research into a short version here as best as I can to help dispel any fears that may be associated with working with what is still not completely understood.
Nothing is as it seems.
Most people will view Reiki as a load of mumbo jumbo, but it is now being recognised throughout the scientific community as a tangible and measurable therapy which scientifically can be understood (to an extent) when we consider the Universe from a quantum perspective. Please see the book The Matter Myth (1991) by Professor Paul Davies and Dr. John Gribben.
Scientists are now realising that the answer to the question of life and our physical perception lies in the energetic make up of all things. Einstein expressed this in his famous equation E=mc², which in layman terms means energy is equal to mass multiplied by the speed of light.
This shows, that in fact, all matter is energy.
The first thing we should consider, and which we all learn in basic physics at school is that not everything is as it seems, and everything is made up of energy.
According to particle theory, tiny particles in the form of atoms, molecules or ions are moving around at different speeds. If we relate this to Einstein’s theory of relativity and assume that all matter is made from energy, then those particles are also made of energy. What we perceive as solid, is in fact not. It is a question of frequency, such as tuning in to a radio channel, and within our limited basic five senses, we are only able to perceive a fraction of these vibrations. Science tells us that there are frequencies infinitely beyond our sphere of perception. (See here for a human versus animal sound perception example.)
Our physical bodies are no exception, and are therefore made of energy also vibrating at a particular frequency. We have our own biomagnetic field which, like all energy, can be manipulated and channeled.
It is also recognised, that all thought is energy and can create a positive or negative effect based on its intention, as shown in one example by Lynne McTaggart in her book The Intention Experiment (2008).
So if intention has the power to manipulate energy, then could it be that what we think is what we are?
I believe that if we think or consume something with a negative intention or energetic vibration, it can create a negative response in our physical, mental, emotional or spiritual bodies—this is possibly where the saying “you are what you eat” or as Buddha put it “The mind is everything, what we think we become” comes from. This negative response would then logically create dis-ease within our bodies which can be healed with positive intention, if of course, we look at this matter from that perspective.
Research into this matter is gradually gaining speed, with much being done into the electromagnetic field of all living things, and the pathways for which this energy is transferred within the body.
Our physical bodies have a mesh of tubes made up of collagen and filled with a very fine fluid, called the myofascial system which links all parts of us, sort of like an energetic superhighway. The myofascial system carries signals in the form of tiny electrical light impulses called biophotons (literally meaning biological light) which are said to be the smallest sparks of conscious energy, carrying the very building blocks of life and allows all cells to communicate with one another.
The amazing thing is, that these biophotons have actually been photographed in a single drop of water using a somatoscope with a magnification of 30000x. What researchers found was that a single biophoton goes through a series of changes in shape, showing ancient symbols that we recognise from ancient culture and religion, starting as a single point of light, going through a series of six pointed stars and ending in the flower of life.
It clearly seems to me that our ancestors knew much more than we do now about life and left us these clues in the form of symbology—but that’s a whole other subject that I should probably not get into here.
We know now that energy, carrying messages and information, is constantly moving throughout both our electromagnetic fields and our physical body in the form of light. This light is everywhere and in everything, vibrating at different speeds as was previously mentioned, and imperceptible to the limited capabilities of our basic five senses.
The myofascial system is probably one of the most important systems in the body and also one of the most over-looked. Within us the myofascial system has seven major points where there is much more fascia than in other areas which, funnily enough, correspond to the seven main energy centres, or more commonly, chakras.
It stands to reason that if there is more fascia in these areas, more biophtons would be found here since the mesh of tubes is much thicker, creating a larger energy hot spot, so to speak. In standard Reiki treatments, it is with these areas that the practitioner will work with the most.
So this brings me to the purpose of the Reiki practitioner and what we actually do.
All good Reiki practitioners should make meditation part of their daily practice and should have gone through the proper attunements with a Reiki master. This facilitates a connection to higher frequencies with which they are able to channel energy through their own electromagnetic field into their crown chakra and throughout their bodies. It then travels from their heart chakra, down their arms and out of their hands into the electromagnetic field and physical body of the recipient.
To put it simply, the practitioner acts in the same way as a metal rod conducting electricity or heat energy from source to its destination and throughout.
By connecting to higher or finer frequencies of conscious energy which is all around us, and using loving intention or thought (which, as stated before, is also energy) to heal and cleanse, the Reiki practitioner is able to direct the energy to where it is most needed. But having said this, Reiki will go where it is needed regardless of where the practitioner places their hands, or in the case of distance Reiki, across any space to the desired recipient.
There are apparently now 40 scientific groups researching biophotonics and associated therapies at this present time throughout the world. Reiki is now recognised within our own NHS and is used concurrently with mainstream treatments.
The great thing about Reiki, is that it is for everyone: atheist, religious and spiritual. Belief or understanding really doesn’t matter—all we need to know (as average human beings) is that it works regardless, whether you take a scientific or a spiritual view.
Reiki under the microscope
When, many years ago, I started doing Reiki after my Level 1 attunement, I had absolutely no idea that the medical world was beginning to take Reiki very seriously.
These days, when I give my talks about Reiki to various groups, I am still often surprised by the lack of awareness of Reiki by so many people. But, to me, what is even worse, is the realisation that the general public is not aware of just how seriously the medical profession is regarding Reiki.
Hence this page - my crusade to make people aware of how mainstream Reiki is becoming. You've heard of Reiki being described as either complementary or alternative? Now meet the new adjective - integrative. In other words, being used as part of a holistic approach alongside conventional medicine and treatments.
Serious, in-depth clinical trials on Reiki have been carried out for some years now, and more will follow. Reiki is natural, has no side effects - and it works: now science is beginning to prove it.
In the course of my researches into clinical trials conducted into Reiki, I found the evidence in three main sources.
- The Center for Reiki Research .
- Reiki Australia .
- Pubmed. As this site contains a vast number of trials, all I can do here is to give you a link to Pubmed's Home Page
- When you go into that page, as you key in Reiki into the search window, a further window will drop down, allowing you to select whatever specific type of Reiki report you are looking for.
Stress Awareness: Chakra Balancing with Essential Oils
We often relieve stress with physical activity like exercise or taking some time out for a bath, but perhaps it is worth looking a little deeper into the impact stress has on our energy.
Feeling stressed can leave you not feeling yourself and out of balance. Prolonged stress can really drain our energy, affecting us mentally and physically. When talking about energy, you may have heard people talking about chakras or their chakras being off-balance, and wondered ‘what are they talking about’? So let’s find out a bit more…
What are Chakras?
The idea of Chakras comes from ancient mediation practices, the word ‘chakra’ in Sanskrit (the language of Hinduism) means ‘wheel’ or ‘disk’ and refers to spiritual energy points within the body. These energy centres, or points, within your body are linked to nerve and organ areas. There are seven known chakras within the body, these are; Crown, Third Eye, Throat, Heart, Solar Plexus, Sacral and Root.
Why do Chakras need to be balanced?
Balanced chakras is meant to mean your life energy, prana or gi (we all have different names for it) is flowing freely, openly and clear within the body, and you feel on top of the world! When this is happening, it is believed to stimulate your health and wellbeing. So if this magical energy becomes blocked it can generate physical, mental, or emotional imbalances, that manifest as stress, anxiety or tiredness.
How do I know if my Chakras are not balanced?
You might just be feeling ‘off’, unwell, or you may just feel like nothing is going your way lately. You may be able to match what is wrong with the chakra that needs balancing, such as feeling ungrounded or pains in your feet or legs could well be linked to your root chakra. If it feels more complicated, you may want to see a therapist who works with energy to get a deeper understanding of what needs aligning, such as a reiki practitioner.
So how can essential oils help?
We know the amazing power that essential oils can have on the body, mind and soul to achieve homeostasis and this can be adapted to support the chakras. As with any aromatherapy practice, there are several ways you can work with oils, such as oil blends for massage, use of oils in a diffuser or perhaps a pulse point roller ball, this may depend on the Chaka you are trying to balance.
What oils support which chakra?
So starting from the top let’s work through the chakras, what its focus is, what may be unbalanced and oils that can help support.
Crown – focuses on spirituality. You may be experiencing: Loneliness, lack of connection, headaches.
Third Eye – focuses on awareness. You may be experiencing: Frustration, difficulty-making decisions, tension headaches.
Throat – focuses on communication. You may be experiencing: Fear of speaking out, not listened too, a sore throat.
Heart– focuses on love and healing. You may be experiencing: Fear of love and commitment, holding grudges, asthma or respiratory issues.
Solar Plexus – focuses on wisdom and power. You may be experiencing: Feeling powerless, anxious, gut feelings, stomach aches.
Sacral – focuses on sexuality and creativity. You may be feeling: emotionally detached, loss of sex drive, hurt and confused.
Root – focuses on basic trust. You may be experiencing: Sluggishness, worried about finances, stuck and unhappy with your body.
Written by Aromatherapist, Simone Stevens @sensesbysim
Reiki in Hospitals
Did you know that Reiki is used in major hospitals throughout Great Britain? And in hospitals in the USA? And in Australia? And New Zealand? And Malaysia? And that's only as far as my research has taken me to date (to November 2011).
In 2007, over 800 hospitals in the USA were offering Reiki to their patients. (Source - American Hospitals Association, 2007.) Reiki is serious therapy, proven to work (with scientific evidence publicly available.In the UK
In the UK and around the world, the benefits of Reiki are beginning to be recognised by the community. As a result of this Reiki is now being used, mainly on a voluntary basis, in a wide variety of settings in the UK, including many parts of the National Health Service. For example, at the University College Hospital in London both full-time and part-time practitioners have been employed to give Reiki to patients, particularly those with life threatening diseases. The UK Reiki Federation has a "Pioneers" group and this includes about 12 members who are working with Reiki in hospitals or hospices, mainly on a voluntary basis.
The following is a list (by no means complete!) of hospitals and other health are establishments here in the UK that use Reiki to treat their patients. And in some cases, they also treat the families and carers of their patients.
University College London Hospitals NHS, London:
- Reiki treatments offered to patients with stress and mood disorder
- Reiki treatments offered to complement conventional cancer treatments
- Reiki treatments offered to complement the treatments of endometriosis
Southampton University Hospitals NHS, Southampton:
- Reiki treatments offered to palliative care cancer patients (day care)
Aintree University Hospitals NHS, Liverpool:
- Reiki treatments offered by elderly medicine services
Wallace Cancer Care (works with Addenbrooke’s Hospital-Cambridge University Hospitals NHS), Cambridge:
- Reiki treatments offered to complement conventional cancer treatments
South Tees Hospitals NHS, Middlesbrough:
- Reiki treatments offered to complement conventional cancer treatments
Newham University Hospital NHS, London:
- Project to offer complementary therapies including Reiki treatments to the staff and
- later to the patients (UKRF newsletter Feb/March 2006, p. 7)
Great Ormond Street Hospital, London
Other examples of where places where Reiki is used –
- St Teresa’s Hospice, Darlington
- The Haven Breast Cancer Support Centres in Leeds and London
- NHS Hospitals including Maternity Units, Cancer Wards/Clinics /Centres and Support Groups
- Penny Brohn Cancer Care, Bristol
- Carers Associations
- NHS Occupational Health Departments
- Physiotherapy Units
- NHS Medical Centres
- NHS Mental Health Units/Psychotherapy Clinics
- Special Needs – learning & behavioural difficulties and mental health
- Medical & Paramedical (many members of the UK Reiki Federation are also practising doctors)
- Social Services Day Care Centres
- Drug & Alcohol Abuse/Addiction Programmes + Substance Abusers & Families Support Networks
- GP & Dental Practices
- Residential Care and Nursing Homes
- Local Council Health and Harmony Events treating post natal mothers, Asian Elders, and others
- Brain Injury rehabilitation centres
- HIV/AIDS organisations’ holistic health and healing centres
(Source of above information – Doreen Sawyer, Secretary, UK Reiki Federation, 2010. I am most grateful to Doreen for permission to use this information here. See their website for further information about the UK Reiki Federation).
In the USA and beyond
In America, the Center for Reiki Research has produced an amazingly detailed directory of hospitals in the US that use Reiki as one of the treatments available to their patients. The Center also has collated the results of many clinical trials that have examined the performance and effects of Reiki.