It would appear that receiving Reiki treatments helps to lessen the impact of stress, thereby releasing tension from the entire system. This is the level that is the simplest and most obvious. Not only does the person move toward their unique balance in body, mind, and spirit, but also, depending on the level of physical health when Reiki begins, the body’s healing mechanisms often begin functioning more effectively. This is in addition to the fact that the person moves toward their unique balance in body, mind, and spirit.
How exactly does the practice of Reiki help the body heal while also easing tension? Unfortunately, the answer to that question has not yet been determined. Even though there is growing research evidence documenting the effects of Reiki (such as a decreased heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormones; increased immune strength), we only have broad theories as to what causes these effects or the pathways through which the healing occurs.
The multileveled and rapid response to Reiki is suggestive of a complex process that engages many body systems, either simultaneously or in quick succession. This process shifts the body from being dominated by the “fight or flight” (stress) response to being dominated by the relaxation response, and it supports the body’s natural healing mechanisms. (Please refer to the Mind-Body Therapies section if you want additional details regarding the relaxation response.) The physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing effects of Reiki are thought by some researchers to be activated on a sub-physical level, possibly in what is known in the scientific community as the biofield.
What is the biofield?
The intricately layered vibrational energy field that is believed to surround and penetrate the physical body is referred to as the biofield, which is the term that medical science has adopted for the field. There is currently no conventional scientific technology that can document the existence of the biofield or otherwise study it in any other way directly because of its extremely subtle nature. On the other hand, for thousands of years, traditional, indigenous, and prescientific medical systems have acknowledged a balanced and evenly pulsing biofield as the basis of health and wellbeing. They have seen any disruption of this balance as the beginning of an illness. Therefore, these medical systems are considered to be prescientific.
Through ceremonial drumming, instruments such as the didgeridoo and the tamboura, and chanting, overtoning, and humming, indigenous cultures all over the world employ vibration to restore equilibrium in their communities. In addition, the scientific community is increasingly acknowledging the potential health benefits of vibration, specifically in the forms of sound and music. Therefore, the benefits of Reiki may be caused by the same vibrational mechanism, a process that most likely involves increasing the system’s coherence while simultaneously reducing the amount of dissonance.
According to one school of thought, the hands of the Reiki practitioner are thought to carry the energetic vibrations of the recipient’s state of health. It is possible to interpret the effect of Reiki as a shift in attention, during which the recipient becomes aware of the wellness that already exists deep within their being, regardless of the recipient’s current state of health. The practice of Reiki could then be understood as retraining the recipient back to health in a process that is analogous to the way grandfather clocks in the same room automatically self-adjust to the rhythm of the dominant clock or to the way that we relax when we are in the presence of someone who is deeply peaceful. The practitioner of Reiki appears to establish a connection with an internal source of peace, regardless of how the person is currently feeling.
Various treatments, such as acupuncture, qigong, shiatsu, yoga and pranayama, and others, are geared toward reestablishing harmony in the biofield. It would appear that Reiki is the most subtle of these therapies, as it restores equilibrium to the recipient not through manipulation or even the gentlest form of force but rather through the subtle vibrations of Reiki. However, there is also the possibility that Reiki, which some practitioners compare more closely to the practice of meditation than to energy therapies, does not originate in the biofield but originates from a source that is even more subtle, which physicists refer to as the unified field. If this is the case, there are two possible origins for Reiki.
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