Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Reiki: The Tesla of Healing

As part of my April A-Z blog series on all things mystical, here's the letter R...

Remember the Tesla coil from science class? The man behind the energy was viewed by some to be an eccentric madman. However, his experiments and principles led to the development of many commonly known modern techniques, including the turbine pumps, electric vehicles, and wireless energy transfer. Tesla was known to have said, "Ere many generations pass, our machinery will be driven by a power obtainable at any point of the universe."

Enter Reiki, a method of healing by which the practitioner draws energy from around him/her and directs it to an afflicted individual. The energy then settles where healing is needed--provided that the person in question is able to accept and receive this energy. Developed by a Japanese Buddhist, Reiki is believed to have been taken from earlier Chinese medicinal and Yoga practices, but the founder claims his meditations and study awakened something entirely different.

The Reiki practitioner learns this skill by way of formal training, though these days such training can be self-acquired by way of online classes. Such teaching is necessary to learn how to draw and direct Reiki energy, as well as proper techniques to aid healing and attune spiritually in order to better acquire strong healing energy. It is not a single curriculum, however; different schools offer variation in methodology.

Reiki's near laying on of hands approach has been likened to faith healing seen in Western religions. Far from a rarely seen practice, over a million people in the United States alone claim to have received Reiki treatments. In recent years, concern over the environment has led to some broader application of Reiki energy among some, by way of global healing efforts.

Does it work? As with many holistic approaches, science is critical. At best, Reiki is felt to be a pseudoscience that offers a placebo effect, and the medical community worries that those with life threatening conditions may shun traditional methods in favor of this unproven approach.

Either way, one wonders whether Reiki will, in time, become a machine driven by unseen forces in the universe, much like Tesla predicted. After all, his principles have been used to demonstrate the truth in other "pseudosciences."

For more information on Reiki, visit these sites: