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Reiki? Where’s the proof?

Reiki? Where’s the proof?

Simply Jikiden Reiki - BLOG

Reiki? Where’s the proof?

I recently published an interview with Tadao Yamaguchi and introduced it to the Reiki community by promising rare insight into traditional Japanese Reiki. One of the readers found themselves disappointed, as, like so many articles on Reiki, we had offered no proof or supporting evidence of what Reiki is. The following is my attempt at an answer to this reader’s questions:

So what is Reiki, and where is the evidence?

 

To answer simply, Reiki is a natural healing system using touch created by Mikao Usui in 1920s Japan after he had achieved an experience of enlightenment, and crafted from extensive, deep knowledge of various traditions. Priding himself in the simplicity of his healing system, Usui sensei deliberately chose elements that would result in a healing modality easy to learn by anyone (and not forcing them to adopt elaborate spiritual systems or beliefs).

As to proof of what Reiki really is, we cannot offer it, as to date there is none. As Mr Yamaguchi says, “if the power of Reiki were to be scientifically proven, Reiki would spread a lot more rapidly.”

So is Reiki a belief system?

 

Not in my eyes. Experience shows that belief is not necessary for Reiki to have an effect, and probably very few people believe that Reiki will help them in any way until they experience various effects for themselves. While it is true that we can’t currently measure or explain Reiki energy in scientific terms, I am convinced that it would be possible to measure some of the effects of Reiki treatment in a scientific way. For example, many people experience deep states of relaxation and, often for the first time, tune into a deep part of themselves as a result of Reiki treatment. I am sure that these Reiki induced altered states of consciousness would show up on brain monitors (as has been done for meditation). At the moment, we perhaps just lack the institutional and financial muscle to instigate research of this type.

Reiki research

 

For an overview of credible research available on the efficacy of Reiki (no research has been done yet specifically on Jikiden Reiki) I would recommend a look at the medical papers listed on  Pamela Miles’ website . One of the studies she often cites is on patients who have suffered a heart attack. Giving Reiki treatment in this scenario has been shown to improve heart rate variability (which indicates a state of improved resilience and makes further problems less likely).

Is Reiki spiritual or physical?

 

“Is the system of Reiki spiritual and if so why is an attunement necessary?” Yes, it is a spiritual healing system, and it is mostly a physical treatment method. This is me paraphrasing Mikao Usui’s answer (the founder of Reiki practice) when he was asked the same question. To me, one of the big attractions of the Reiki healing system is that it works for anyone, regardless of whether you think of yourself as a spiritual person or not. And, really, spirituality and reality are inseparable, indivisible. You may like to read  Amanda Jayne’s blog post on the subject, too.

Underlying Reiki is a Shinto world view, based on the understanding that the original creative energy that resulted in the physical universe still permeates every aspect of it. I’m not particularly knowledgeable about quantum physics, and don’t always like how some of us in the healing world latch onto it perhaps without really understanding much.  I also have a feeling that the circle is closing, and that cutting edge science is not a million miles away from what the Reiki healing system conceptualises as a spiritual world view. I’ll leave this to the people who understand science to articulate! (If there’s anything in it).

Are attunements necessary?

Now the second part of your question, “Why is an attunement necessary?” Mikao Usui discovered that he had developed the ability to heal himself and others by touch, as an unexpected by-product of an experience of enlightenment. This happened for him after years of hard ascetic practices (and perhaps lifetimes worth of preparation, who knows).

The same path is open to anyone. And highly unlikely to be successful for you and me!! (At least in the short term). The beauty of the Reiki healing system is that Mikao Usui managed to create a method that reliably enables anyone to bring enough energy through their body to benefit themselves and others. That’s why we need ‘reiju‘, the slightly inadequate English translation of which would be attunement.

How does reiju work in scientific terms? I don’t know. Does it work? Absolutely! The energy that, for example QiGong practitioners can feel build up between their hands (sometimes after years of practice) can be felt immediately after three attunements.

Are Chakras part of Reiki?

 

Your last question “If in reality Reiki is a holistic system using vibration to raise the vibrations of chakras, why the secret? So this is hard to answer, as I’m not sure I entirely understand your question. First of all let’s clear up a misunderstanding. The chakra system comes from India, and has nothing to do with the original Reiki system. It’s not that it’s necessarily wrong to find similarities and compatibilities with other healing systems. They were simply not part of Japanese Reiki. The conceptual framework in Jikiden Reiki is a different one, based on applying high frequency energy (Reiki) on diseased parts of the body, or those areas that have accumulated excess toxicity, and using it to stimulate the body’s innate healing and cleansing ability.

Is Reiki a secret healing method?

 

“Why the secret?” So here I’m not sure what secret you are referring to. Why don’t we put out everything that we teach on the internet, as has happened with the Reiki system that’s come to the West through Mrs Takata? The answer, in essence, is respect toward the teachings and the original teachers. In spiritual traditions such as Esoteric Buddhism, you probably would have had to prove yourself by scrubbing temple floors for twenty years before you would be trusted with anything of equivalent value to what you are being taught in the Reiki healing system. Does it help, putting all that we know out there on the internet? Not in my view, as it simply cheapens everything and exposes form without understanding, leading to more and more mis-understanding.

Can we preserve the integrity of Reiki practice?

 

Are there any guarantees that we avoid misunderstanding when passing on the teachings directly (as the original teachers did)? I guess there can never be any absolute guarantees. We simply make the very best effort that we can to offer the teachings in their integrity, with their background understanding intact as much as is possible, by qualified teachers, who have had to demonstrate their understanding before becoming teachers. Does this offer a complete safeguard towards preserving the integrity of the teachings? No. Not always. People still filter what they are being taught through previously encountered concepts, misremember, misunderstand or apply their own ideas.  In Jikiden Reiki, this inevitable situation is counterbalanced by a worldwide supportive community including many practitioners and teachers inside and outside of Japan who are familiar with the Japanese language and culture. There is also a standard curriculum that is being taught by all Jikiden Reiki teachers.Committed to passing on Reiki in its original simplicity and clarity, we take collective custodianship of the practice and gently point out to each other when we think that we’re getting something wrong.

Tadao Yamaguchi gives unique insight into Japanese Reiki

Tadao Yamaguchi gives unique insight into Japanese Reiki

Simply Jikiden Reiki - BLOG

Tadao Yamaguchi gives unique insight into Japanese Reiki

In this rare interview with Tadao Yamaguchi

 

The head of Jikiden Reiki Institute in Kyoto, Japan, speaks about growing up with Reiki as a child, his family’s involvement in the practice, their extensive treatment experience using Reiki to benefit everyday ailments as well as very serious conditions, and about his vision for the future of Jikiden Reiki.

Find out why Reiki went underground in Japan and became some kind of secret healing art, what kind of conditions respond well to Reiki, how to use Reiki to support serious health problems, who is suitable for practising Reiki, how to give the most effective treatments and more.

Read the FULL INTERVIEW here

 

An extract of Gisela Stewart’s recorded conversation with Tadao Yamaguchi has also been published in the November/December issue of Kindred Spirit.

Contact me if you would like me to send you a copy by mail order.

 

10 Reasons Why Learning Jikiden Reiki Is So Incredibly Empowering  

Simply Jikiden Reiki - BLOG

10 Reasons Why Learning Jikiden Reiki Is So Incredibly Empowering

  • Stress: If you’re stressed, anxious or tired all the time, Reiki gives you simple, accessible tools to improve your energy levels and your state of mind. People report unexpected encounters with happiness after Jikiden Reiki sessions! *
  • Low immune system: If you’re run down and find yourself catching every bug that is going, being ill more often and longer than most people around you, Reiki gives you a simple and effective method to build up your immune system again.
  • Chronic Conditions: If you struggle with a chronic illness (often difficult to treat with modern medicine), daily self-reiki treatment can improve your quality of life and, over time, your chances of recovery.
  • Cancer: If you or your nearest suffer from cancer, Reiki has been proven to alleviate anxiety, and experience shows that it can be tremendously helpful in lessening the side-effects of conventional cancer therapies.
  • End-of-life care: Reiki can be a wonderful way of accompanying the dying, bringing pain relief, emotional acceptance and comfort to everyone involved.
  • Natural Health: If you want to rely on pharmaceutical drugs only in emergencies, and generally prefer a more natural path to health and recovery, then Jikiden Reiki is ideal as it works with your body’s natural healing mechanisms.
  • Physical Rehabilitation: Physical healing processes tend to happen a little faster and with better outcomes if supported with Reiki treatment. This includes broken bones, which have sometimes mended in record speed with frequent Reiki support. In my experience, stroke patients can also benefit tremendously.
  • Wound healing: For all manner of small injuries, such as cuts, scrapes, bruises, sprains and even burns, the Jikiden Reiki First Aid method for minor ailments can be used, which tends to ensure fast, clean healing results. Learning this method is invaluable if you have small children!
  • Your child’s immune system: Jikiden Reiki is for you if you want to help your children build strong natural immunity, so that they are in the best position to easily shake off any illnesses that may come their way.
  • Household use: This makes Jikiden Reiki the natural port of call in the household, bringing speedier recovery from everyday illnesses such as colds and viruses, plus it is instantly available in cases of small injuries.* The founder of the practice, Mikao Usui, referred to Reiki as his secret method to invite health and happiness, not without reason I think.

 

 

Disclaimer: The positive outcomes of Jikiden Reiki treatment listed here are entirely based on direct experience, and are not yet underpinned by science. You should always consult your medical practitioner when seriously ill, and may consider using Jikiden Reiki as a powerful complement to appropriate medical care.

Jikiden Reiki treatment involves no risk, as no substances are ingested, and with the treatment using light touch on the fully clothed body, there is no need to fear injury from physical manipulation.

Upcoming Courses

 

Edinburgh: 6th – 8th November

Aberdeenshire: 20th – 22nd November

Galashiels: 27th – 29th November

Find out more here

What’s with the Baby Buddha? (What’s Reiki got to do with marketing)

What’s with the Baby Buddha? (What’s Reiki got to do with marketing)

Simply Jikiden Reiki - BLOG

Tadao Yamaguchi gives unique insight into Japanese Reiki

Meeting a friend for coffee at lunch time, and feeling tired and frustrated from a morning spent dealing with technical and practical hiccups, the conversation seemed to suddenly become fiery when we touched on the subject of ‘branding’. What’s branding got to do with Reiki, you may wonder? Bear with me.

I had only just finished developing a strong new brand identity for ‘Complete Health Borders’, the wellness centre in the Central Borders that is home to my Simply Jikiden Treatment and Training Centre in Galashiels.

The Maori concept of ‘koru’, the unfurling fern, seems to me the perfect embodiment for Complete Health Borders’ vision and aspiration: to offer a (near) complete range of tools and methods for unfolding personal potential: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual (if that’s what you want). A truly holistic approach to health.

At the risk of being immodest; I LOVE the visual identity that our designer has developed for us from the spark provided by my idea (the ‘koru’ representing unfolding health and the expression of life). My friend confirmed that even though not everyone may instantly pick up on the full depth of the concept, its essence: harmony with nature, unexpressed potential ready to spring to life, energy and vitality instantly communicate on a gut level. That’s what you want from a brand, and having a taste for the elegance of simplicity, I expressed a slight feeling of jealousy (as I’ve developed the koru brand identity for someone else’s business, although the day-to-day running is my job).

When I first found my vocation in life; Reiki practice, I didn’t have a clue about either marketing or business. In fact both were alien to me, as I would never want to sell anything that I didn’t truly believe in, and I have never been motivated primarily by money. It took the realisation that I can only express my purpose and contribute my gift, if I can also feed my family, to prompt me to brush up on those particular skills.  How fortunate then that I do truly appreciate the value of Jikiden Reiki.

“No need to feel jealous”, my friend says. “Your Buddha is an amazing brand ambassador, it’s so solid (made of stone), yet gentle and radiating peace. Also humorous and a bit quirky.” Now, that dear friend, made my day! If ‘brand’ is the visual signifier of an essence, of embodied values and aspiration, then my Baby Buddha IS perfect for SimplyJikiden:

There’s nothing ‘fluffy’ in Jikiden Reiki, it’s solid, practical, down-to-earth and backed up by experience and deep roots: rock solid. My friend comments that I don’t talk much about the spiritual nature of Reiki practice. That’s because I don’t need to: a sense of peace and spirituality embodied in every-day life is its very nature. Compassion in action.

(The humorous bit, that’s a part that my students and clients sometimes appreciate about me, and the quirky, well, I’ve always felt like a bit of  a one-off-kind-of-animal: I’ll choose to take it as a compliment).

Postscript:

My friend and I made an agreement that we would both blog from the moments of inspiration that we struck in our conversation. My blog post was to tell the story of the Baby Buddha, and how the image came to me.  As that part of the deal remains to be delivered, keep your eyes peeled for part 2!

Looking Back With Gratitude, Moving Forward With Hope

Looking Back With Gratitude, Moving Forward With Hope

Simply Jikiden Reiki - BLOG

Thank you, and what a year it’s been!

At the beginning of the year I was honoured to accompany my long-term client, student, mentor and, dare I say, friend, Sandy Burnham, on the final lap of her journey with cancer. Aileen Jardine and I had been privileged to be able to give her frequent jikiden reiki treatments. Sandy had been very publicly supportive of Jikiden Reiki. And she taught me much about grace.

Infinite love and thanks.

 

Reiki Documentary: Hand Healing, are you serious?

 

 

In the spring I was given the opportunity to make a documentary film with Emily Macinnes, an incredibly talented, perceptive and sensitive documentary photographer and a wonderful person to work with. Please check out her website, she has such a gift for telling deeply touching stories through the medium of photography. (And has now proven her hand at film making, too.)

Our 25 minute documentary ‘Hand Healing: Are you serious?’ was premièred at the First Jikiden Reiki World Congress in Barcelona in August and was very well received.

I want to give heartfelt thanks to Tadao Yamaguchi for his encouragement, belief in us and support, without which I would not have been able to overcome my (at the time pretty crippling) fears. I am so grateful to the sponsors who have contributed towards the cost of making the film. (So far, about half the required amount to cover expenses has been raised. If you would like to become a sponsor, please get in touch).

Most importantly, I am infinitely grateful to the people who have been willing to tell their stories on camera: of initial skepticism, doubt and then very real, tangible healing outcomes with Reiki.

Many people have spoken to both Emily and myself after the screening, giving us such positive feedback. To me the most encouraging comment was from a Paediatric Surgeon, who said that if anything would make her want to look more closely at the potential of Jikiden Reiki for healing, it would be the kind of testimonials that we captured in our film.

 

I now look forward to working with Emily again some time in 2015 to plan the online and offline launch of our project. The hope is that it will help change perceptions and open the minds of many more people to the benefits of Reiki.

1st Jikiden Reiki World Congress in Barcelona

 

Was it the line up of speakers, amongst whom were internationally respected leaders and authorities in the field of Reiki and energy work? Was it the newly emerged facts about Reiki history that Yamaguchi sensei shared at the Conference? Was it the fact that the first day of the Congress coincided with Usui sensei’s birthday, which we duly celebrated? Was it meeting old friends again some of whom live in countries far away, and having the opportunity of nurturing new and old connections? Meeting colleagues from all over the world (21 countries to be precise)? Was it the remarkable City of Barcelona?

Chiyoko Yamaguchi’s Tribe

It was all of these things that made the Congress a wonderful experience, and it was so much more:

To me it was Chiyoko Yamaguchi’s grounded, unpretentious, simple, deep love of Reiki that was at the heart of this Congress, bringing people from so many different parts of the world together to be part of Tadao sensei’s vision to share Reiki in its orginal Japanese form with the world. I am truly grateful to be part of this global tribe.

4th Annual Jikiden Reiki Seminar with Tadao Yamaguchi

 

 

 

September saw the 4th Annual Jikiden Reiki Training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh. We’re so lucky that he chooses to train new and existing practitioners here in Scotland every year!! Here’s feedback from one of this year’s new students: “Thank you for arranging such a beautiful seminar, with such wonderful, lovely souls. I’m still smiling ! I really had no idea how truly amazing it would be. It all flew by so quickly ! I’m only just starting to digest all the information and the whole feeling of those marvellous 4 days.” ~ Helen Kelly

It’s true, the trainings bring together amazing people for an amazing experience (and very solid, authentic, Reik training) every year.

Tadao Yamaguchi has promised to be back next year! (Watch this spot)

Simply Jikiden Reiki Borders Treatment and Training Studio

 

2014 has not only seen my 2nd anniversary working from the Ladysmith Physiotherapy Clinic in Innerleithen, but also my 5th Anniversary this November of working from Tweed Chiropractic Clinic in Galashiels.

Even better, my dreams are coming true: For years I’ve fantasized about my own Simply Jikiden Natural Healing Centre. And this summer I have taken on a beautiful large treatment room under the Complete Health Borders umbrella, which is big enough to hold practice events and seminars: The Simply Jikiden Borders Studio!

We’ve had our first monthly Reiki share there in October, which felt great. Now I am looking forward to regular monthly Reiju kai events and biannual seminars in Galashiels in 2015.

Ending the year on a festive high

 

 

On the first Sunday in December we held our  2nd Scottish Jikiden Reiki Christmas Gathering in Edinburgh. We had a lovely Christmas lunch and Reiju kai afterwards (by popular vote this will now be an annual event!).

 

 

 

 

Many thanks to fellow Shihan Mariko Tanaka Pollock for her presentation on Shinto and her irresistibly charming invitation to visit her home country of Japan for the 2nd World Congress in Kyoto in 2016.

Folks start saving now, this is going to be unmissable!

Wishing you all a joyous and relaxing holiday period and the very best for a healthy, prosperous and happy 2015.

With much love
Gisela xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may also want to read : How I got into Reiki, part 2

It’s about a woman on a mission to help spread Reiki 🙂 Our documentary film project will hopefully take this mission one step further. Watch this spot in 2015!

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