Taken from: Exposing Spiritualistic Practices in Healing
by Edwin A. Noyes M.D., MPH
Reiki is a popular “body-mind-spirit” therapy performed by the application of hands. The palms of the hands will gently touch the body, or might not touch, in various anatomical areas for three to five minutes and in a set of up to 20 locations for a full treatment. There is no massage; the treatment will last from 60-90 minutes. Treatment schedule may be weekly with 2-4 visits. With use of Reiki, no diagnosis is needed or made. Any type of physical or mental disorder is considered as a disturbance of a universal energy, believed by Eastern neo-pagans and Western occultists to permeate and flow through our bodies. (Note: It has been reported that there are one and one half million American Reiki therapists in USA.)
The name “Reike” is defined by the following synonyms: “spiritual power,” “mysterious atmosphere,” “intelligence,” “divine,” “miraculous force,” etc. Rei refers to ghost, spirit, soul, supernatural, miraculous, divine, etc.; while ki refers to spiritual energy, vital energy, life force, etc. It is the same meaning as qi, chi, prana, mana, vitalism and the other hundred names used to refer to this imagined force. Reiki has been defined further as a non-physical healing energy made up of Life force energy that is guided by a Higher Intelligence, or is spiritually guided life force energy. This is not referring to Jesus Christ, the Divine Son of God that the Christian follows.
The Oxford English Dictionary adds to our understanding of the alternative healing method of Reiki:
Hence: therapy, apparently based on an ancient Tibetan Buddhist technique, developed in Japan in the late 19th or early 20th cent. By Dr. Mikao Usui (1865–1926), in which the therapist channels this energy from him or herself into the patient by the gently laying on of hands, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.
Mikao Usui is credited with re-discovering this healing method in 1922. It was believed to have existed in Tibet in the 1800’s. Usui made it popular in Japan beginning in 1924 and continued teaching this method to others until his death in 1926. From then on one of his students, Chujiro Hayashi, carried on the training of practitioners. Hawayo Takata, trained by Hayashi, came to the United States and has been the prime mover of the therapy in this country. She died in 1980. Reiki branched into several divisions in Japan as well as here in the U.S.A.
The difference between Reiki and many other New Age healing techniques is that treatment is not supposed to unclog, or balance universal energy. Reiki simply facilitates moving the energy from the cosmos through the therapist, and on into the client where it is then said to heal physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The teaching is that the energy has intelligence which can seek out and heal anywhere there is disorder making diagnosis unnecessary.
It is reported that the recipient often feels warmth or tingling in the area being treated, even when a non-touching approach is being used. A state of deep relaxation, combined with a general feeling of well-being, is usually the most noticeable immediate effect of the treatment, although emotional releases can also occur.
What sets Reiki apart from other hands-on healing modalities is that to become a channel to receive the energy you must be attuned by a Reiki master. The Attunement (initiation into the occult) opens you to receive and channel Reiki energy to others.
Training to be a practitioner is divided into three levels.
First Degree level: This involves four “attunements,” by a Reiki Master, in four sessions activating the “chakras,” creating an open channel for the energy. The attunement methods are not made known and it is a secret to be held by those receiving the attunement. At the end of the four attunements the new therapist is ready to apply treatment. It is reported to be a very pleasant experience to receive Reiki, as a feeling of warmth and security pervades. It is said that once you become a Reiki therapist you never lose the ability.
Joyce Morris, in The Reiki Touch carried in The Movement Newspaper, October 1985, tells of a woman who received Reiki therapy. After the first session she remarked:
I don’t know what this is you’ve got but I just have to have it.
Another business lady remarked the following:
Reiki should be available through every medical, chiropractic and mental health facility in this country. Your fees are a small price to pay for such impressive results. I don’t know how Reiki works, but it works; that’s all that counts in my book.
The Reiki Magic Guide to Self-Attunement text by Brett Bevell speaks to the first attunement:
I have sent a Reiki attunement across all time and space to all individuals who say the Reiki First degree Attunement Chant revealed later in this chapter….If you say this chant with the intent of being attuned to the First degree of Reiki, you will be attuned in the act of saying the phrase. This works because the attunement has been sent out across time and space to intersect with anyone who says the Reiki First Degree Attunement Chant while intending to be attuned.
Second Degree Level: This level of training intensifies the Reiki energy, allowing the practitioner to channel energy at a distance and to effect deeper healing. It also introduces three symbols used to increase the power of the practitioner’s healing ability. When completing this level of training the practitioner can heal over long distances.
Third Degree Level: (Reiki Masters) In Third Degree Reiki, you are attuned and trained with the capacity to attune others to Reiki. Another symbol is learned which is said to add power to the person having attained to this level.
Why so many words and space discussing Reiki? It is a power that can be used to transform another person into New Age consciousness (thinking). It accomplishes what the meditative path does for others; it changes the way people think and what they believe is reality. They may embark thereafter upon learning yoga, meditation, and other spiritual transformation practices. Old values change, and truth is no longer truth.
In many physical therapy clinics different New Age practices are common, especially with massage therapy. The therapist may be combining Reiki and other energy balancing methods without the patient even being aware. Reiki seems to be the most exciting therapy practiced and appears to be spreading the fastest. A leading Reiki master made the following comment:
When I looked psychically at the energy, I could often see it as thousands of small particles of light, like “corpuscles’ filled with radiant Reiki energy flowing through me and out of my hands. It was as though these Reiki ‘corpuscles’ of light had a purpose and intelligence.
A Reiki master explains attunement:
Reiki attunement is an initiation into a sacred metaphysical order that has been present on earth for thousands of years …By becoming part of this group; you will also be receiving help from the Reiki guides and other spiritual beings who are also working toward these goals.
Again a Reiki master shares her experience in practicing this modality:
For me, the Reiki guides make themselves the most felt while attunements are being passed. They stand behind me and direct the whole process, and I assume they also do this for every Reiki Master. When I pass attunements, I feel their presence strongly and constantly. Sometimes I can see them.
Is Reiki compatible with Christianity? Isn’t it natural healing? Check out this quote:
During the Reiki attunement process, the avenue that is opened within the body to allow Reiki to flow through also opens up the psychic communication centers. This is why many Reiki practitioners report having verbalized channeled communication with the spirit world.
The foundation of spiritualism (contact with the dead) is to believe the lie told in the Garden of Eden, you will not die, your eyes will be open, and you will be wise like God knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:4, 5) Reiki is a fast track to make that connection with the spirit world. Ponder this next quote from another Reiki Master:
Nurses and massage therapists who have been attuned to Reiki may never disclose when Reiki starts flowing from their palms as they handle their patients. Reiki will naturally “kick in” when it is needed and will continue to flow for as long as the recipient is subconsciously open to receiving it.
Reiki has become popular in several Catholic convents and some have conducted training in attunements. It has spread throughout protestant circles as well.
A systematic review of randomized clinical trials in 2008 assessed the evidence for effectiveness of Reiki. The conclusion: efficacy had not been demonstrated for any condition.
In March 25, 2009 the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued (Guidelines for Evaluating Reiki as an Alternative Therapy) halting the practice of Reiki by Catholics including Reiki therapies used in some Catholic retreat centers and hospitals. The bishops concluded (rightly) that the procedure was not compatible with either Christian teaching or scientific evidence, it would be inappropriate for Catholic institutions, such as Catholic health care facilities and retreat centers, or persons representing the church, such as Catholic chaplains, to promote or to provide support for Reiki therapy.