The founder of Reiki Mikao Usui sensei himself thought of Reiki as a physical treatment technique. He also stated that Reiki can be helpful for psychological conditions, and considered Reiki to be a spiritual healing method.
The original name for Reiki, the way Usui-sensei called it, was 心身改善臼井靈氣療法 (Shin Shin Kaizen Usui Reiki Ryoho) or, in translation, “Usui Treatment Method for Body and Mind” (literally, “Mind-Body Improvement Usui Reiki Therapy”). The name itself says it all.
I, personally, see Reiki as a mind-body-and-spirit wellness method, that helps maximize a person’s natural healing potential, and helps restore natural internal balance, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual. Current medical science does not have an explanation for how Reiki works, but in my experience, it can be helpful on all levels, and often in a profound way. Again, as a medical doctor, I have no explanation for this, but I am certain, it is not a placebo effect.
As far as Reiki as the means to achieve enlightenment, I can certainly see that Reiki can be very helpful in that regard. When receiving Reiki, many people report having experiences of deep peace and clarity, similar to what one may attain in a state of a deep meditation, something that for most of us would take years of practice to accomplish. From my perspective, these types of Reiki experiences may speed up and help facilitate the process of getting closer to the enlightened state.
This is also true for the practitioners of Reiki. Most, tend to shift towards a more enlightened way of being with the ongoing practice of this unique Japanese healing art.
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Dr. Maria Danilychev, MD is a medical doctor (hospice medical director) and a Jikiden Reiki Shihan.