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Reiki, roughly meaning “universal life energy,” is an ancient Japanese energy therapy in which, like healing touch, practitioners lay their hands on or above a client to heal physical, emotional, and/or mental conditions.

According to practitioners, an invisible life force energy travels through the body. When that energy is low, an individual becomes ill or experiences pain. Reiki practitioners transfer energy, acquired through a training process called “attunement,” to clients in order to promote relaxation and the body’s ability to heal itself.

Practitioners perform reiki in a variety of quiet settings for a variety of lengths of time. The session typically begins with the practitioner explaining the process and/or taking a medical history. The client, who remains fully clothed, either sits or lies down during the process. The practitioner then gently touches the client on the affected areas of the body. Reiki is non-invasive and unintrusive.

Reiki has been used to treat a wide variety of ailments, including chronic pain, headaches, anxiety, cancer-related symptoms, and sleep disorders.