Reiki is a form of spiritual healing. The word means "Universal Life Energy" in Japanese, which reflects the key role that this energy plays in our life.
This energy flows throughout our bodies, but at times the flow can be interrupted. There are various forms of spiritual healing that have originated in the East which deal with these energy blockages in different ways - these include Reiki, acupuncture, and shiatsu.
The practice we now recognise as reiki was developed by a Japanese scholar Dr. Mikao Usui who studied ancient Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan scriptures and teachings.
Learning this system is only possible by studying with a master practitioner - thus unlike many skills it is not possible to pick this up via books, or on the internet.
The key skill is to learn how to access this energy field - this process requires a personal activation, known as an attunement, by a Reiki Master. Interestingly, learning this skill does not require any particular belief or religious following, nor does it need great intellectual powers or perseverance.
It is thus possible for anyone to become attuned and use reiki for the benefit of themselves or others. With more and more people suffering from afflictions related to stress and lifestyle, this gentle therapy has much to offer.