By Rabia Jabeen Bengaluru : With non-conventional treatments to ailments gaining popularity people are increasingly opting for non-invasive healing methods as this cause no side effects. Reiki is one that makes use of an internal energy to heal oneselfIt even holds out a possible and effective treatment for cancer. WHAT IS IT? Reiki is an ancientJapanese method used for improvement of physical and mental healing of the body. It uses a non-physical, unseen vital force or energy within us called “Qi” (pronounced as ‘chi’). The technique used is called palm healing or hands on healing. The word ‘Reiki’is derived from Japanese. ‘Rei’ means soul, ‘Ki’ means ‘vital force/energy’. Ki flows through all living organisms, plants, birds, animals. It makes use of the energy Ki which flows through our body (also known as chakras or meridians) and is around us (aura). It was developed by a Japanese Buddhist called Mikao Usui in 1992, who taught this technique to about 2000 people during his lifetime. It spread from Hawaii to US in 1940s and Europe in 1980s. It has now gained popularity and is widely accepted because of the number of books written about it and popularization of the Japanese culture. It facilitates stress reduction, relaxation and also promotes peace and harmony. It heals the spirit and improves the lifestyle of people. HOW DOES IT WORK? Ki is very responsive to our thoughts and feelings. Negative feelings accepted by us, unconsciously or consciously, can cause negative energy to attach to our energy fields and disrupt the flow of the force within our body. This causes issues in the functioning of our body and lowering of our energy levels. (When our energy is low, we are disturbed, irritated, or fall sick.When our energy is high, we are healthy, happy and at peace.) Reiki aims to alter this problem by increasing the vibration levels of our energy fields in and around our body where this negative energy is attached, this leads to breaking away of the negative energy. It clears, restores the natural flow of the vital force with positive energy. All living beings can go through this process of Reiki, including pregnant women and children. (it does not require previous experience with practices like meditation, and does not depend on intellectual capacity) THE PROCESS Reiki is a force that is passed on from the master to the student by a process called attunement. The student usually lies on a massage table or can even stand or sit, the master places their hand in a series of positions on or near the patient’s body on specific areas of head, shoulders, limbs, torso, feet and uses breathing techniques. Each hand position is held on a specific part of the body until the master feels that the energy has reached that body part, and then moves on to the next part of the body until the process is complete for the entire body. This session lasts for about 90 minutes until the energy has transferred from the master to the student. Attunement of energy from one person to another does not lower the energy of the master, but strengthens it. Once its complete, the person will have Reiki with them for the rest of their lives, it cannot be lost. Reiki done once is sufficient, but extra attunements can strengthen the process and the energy for better quality of body, mind and raised level of consciousness. After Reiki, people usually feel relaxed, refreshed and free. Some might feel warm, see colours and images of spiritual figureswith increase in psychic sensitivity. It causes no harm. But there’s no scientific evidence to support the process of healing through Reiki. Some say its electromagnetic waves or placebo effect or Reiki promotes relaxation and stress reduction, which might facilitate healing. .