Reiki is essentially a hands-free massage. Like a massage, it claims to relax and de-stress the body, while improving circulation, digestion and healing.
However, while even the toughest sceptic can understand the benefit of a good, deep massage, Reiki requires a little bit of faith.
Reiki was developed in Japan in the 1920s by a Buddhist monk called Mikao Usui, and it continues to be used as an alternative therapy in both Eastern and Western cultures.
It is based around the Buddhist idea of ‘qi’ – a life force or natural energy which every person possesses. When you are stressed, unwell or unhappy, your qi becomes blocked or imbalanced, but a trained Reiki professional can help to ‘unblock’ your qi and aid your recovery.
The actual process of Reiki will differ depending on your practitioner. However, it will generally require you to lie flat on your back or your front, as a Reiki professional meditates over your body and focuses on restoring balance to your qi, often by laying their hands above and alongside problem areas.
Reiki is one of those things which can work for you, as long as you believe in it. While it should never be used as a substitute for real medical care, it can be a profoundly relaxing experience if you take it seriously and use it as an opportunity to meditate, breathe deeply and connect with your body.