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Reiki vs Acupuncture: Understanding the difference between Acupuncture and Reiki

Acupuncture and Reiki are natural, energy healing practices that are used to repair, remedy and replenish the energy system of the person receiving treatment. Both practices place their

Practising reiki
Practising reiki

origins and history in Asia, and both are considered by Western societies to be Alternative, Eastern or Complementary Healing practices. This is because most western countries and cultures value the scientific medical model, known as western medicine over all other forms of healing. And while the scientific based western medical system is remarkable by almost every measure in terms of healing the physical body, more is required to ensure our health and well being than extensive knowledge of the physical attributes and processes of the human body.

Acupuncture and Reiki are among the most known and widely accepted natural energy healing practices. Both provide treatment and remedy to the human energy system and through that system improve health and well-being in body and mind. Reiki and Acupuncture accomplish this in different ways, by working on two different systems within the whole of the human energy system.

The human energy system runs through the physical body and surrounds it. Similar to the internal workings of our bodies, our energy system is a comprised of complex systems that while separate are inter-related and work together. While many have heard of, and have a cursory understanding of the body’s circulatory system, endocrine system and lymph, few have heard of, and still less understand the energy system of the human body, which among other things includes meridian lines, an aura, and a chakra system. Despite this our general health and well-being is determined by the health of each independently.

The practice of Acupuncture is the strategic and purposeful application of specialized needles through the skin for the purpose of eliminating blockages within the meridian lines, and restoring the proper flow qi. Qi, (pronounced Chi) is vital energy that sustains life. Blockages, left without remedy or treatment will result in injury, illness and a decreased capacity to engage in and enjoy daily activities. Qi often diminishes with age, and so many consequences of low Qi or blocked Qi are attributed and dismissed as old age. However Qi masters, students of Qi-Gong, or Tai Chi of every age, and those who have cared for their meridian system will attest that injury and limited capacity are less a factor of age than many believe. An Acupuncturist is licensed in the practice of Acupuncture, and many hold advanced degrees in the study of Oriental Medicine. For this reason, Acupuncture is considered an advanced care treatment, as it requires a specialized knowledge of the energy anatomy it works on as well as advanced training on the application of its tools. Acupuncture is usually performed in a tranquil setting or treatment room and requires time be set aside for treatment. Approximate time about 45 min. to an hour.

In contrast, Reiki is both a self-care and advanced care practice. The practice of Reiki involves the application of cupped Reiki hands applied directly on the body, or aura of the person receiving Reiki. Reiki repairs and provide remedy to imbalances resulting from the wear and tear of daily life. These imbalances if left untreated will also result in physical ailments that include illness, injury and diminished capacity for and enjoyment of daily activities. This is a wear and tear that no one is immune from, but all can have access to its remedy, and Reiki is the daily remedy required for recovery.

Unlike Acupuncture, Reiki can be given by anyone that has received a Reiki attunement. This makes Reiki immediately accessible and easy to use. Once attuned, the person becomes a channel from which Reiki energy will flow when the hands are positioned in a relaxed cupped manner. Reiki can be given to others and/or used exclusively as a daily self-care practice.

Reiki can be done throughout the day and even during other activities, for example you can give yourself Reiki while in a meeting, by simply placing your cupped Reiki hand on your lap, or while standing in line at the grocery store, by placing your cupped Reiki hand on your hip or back. As both activities are not out of the ordinary in terms of appearance, no one will likely notice. Additionally, Reiki sessions can be scheduled with a Reiki Practitioner or Master and like an Acupuncture appointment sessions are usually done in a tranquil setting or treatment room and last around 45 min to an hour.

What is most valuable to understand about both practices is that they both work and will always work in the energy areas they are designed to work on. Acupuncture will always provide remedy to the meridian lines and Reiki will always work to provide remedy to and within the aura and the physical body. Through treatment one can expect to find relief from symptoms, diminished pain and/or discomfort and greater ease and well-being. If however, the person receiving does not, the failure is not in the treatment itself, it is simply that the originating cause of symptoms, pain and/or ailment is in a area other than the one the chosen treatment is focused on and provided remedy to. In such instances, its help to remember that knowing what’s not working can be as valuable as knowing what does, for it can bring you one step closer to finding the remedy to treat your symptoms successfully.

Written 4/22/2015 by Chyna Honey, Author of Understanding Reiki: From Self-Care to Energy

Understanding Reiki
"Understanding Reiki" by Chyna Honey, 2014

Medicine

How and Why to create and nurture a consistent Reiki Practice

Creating and nurturing a consistent Reiki practice is easier than initial appearances suggest.  In

Relaxation image
One way for relaxation

practice, Reiki requires no more planning or forethought than most self-care activities, such as brushing teeth, and it can be no more conspicuous than drinking a glass of water. So if a consistent Reiki practice requires no planning or special time set aside each day dedicated to practice, then can it be considered healing?

The answer is yes, because healing itself is a daily activity. In fact, most healing occurs as a result of everyday self-care practices, like drinking water, eating foods that aid in digestion, and providing Reiki to the energy system. In many cases advanced healing is required when self-care practices are abandoned, ignored, or done in small measure relative to biologically stressful lifestyle choices, such as not getting enough sleep, excessive drug or alcohol usage, over or under eating, and not drinking enough water.

For those who struggle in their commitment to a strong, consistent self-care regime, time, is often the factor cited to explain why. But for those whom perceive time, and the shortage of it a problem, that problem is now resolved; for the self-care Reiki provides to your energy system, can be just as automatic and mundane as drinking a glass of water when you feel thirsty. Furthermore, Reiki does not require a meditative state, spiritual pursuit, or daily ritual for it to work. All that is required is the use of one hand poised in the Reiki position and applied to, or directed towards the body, and with that you are receiving, and benefiting from receiving Reiki.  For this reason it can be used and practiced while you enjoy a host of other activities and be done as inconspicuously as drinking water.  And like drinking water you can practice Reiki while most things such as standing in line at the market, having a meeting, talking on the phone, watching a movie, reading a book, or sitting in traffic.

Additionally, using Reiki everyday and throughout your day will provide cumulative benefits that can help in many ways including an enhanced feeling of overall ease, reduction in stress induced symptoms, and a lowered reactivity to the people and situations encountered daily.

The following offers five simple ways you can easily incorporate Reiki into your daily life, and in so doing create and nurture a consistent Reiki practice.

  1. Use Reiki to provide ease in falling and staying asleep. Placing cupped Reiki hands on your chest or stomach as you lie in bed can help you relax, and has the extra benefit of helping to slow down an overactive mind. Ease and speed in achieving sleep better, and the quality of sleep experienced is deeper.
  2. Use Reiki to aid in digestion. Placing cupped Reiki hands over a meal before it is enjoyed it will energetically clean the food, and better prepare the food for assimilation into the body. Placing a cupped Reiki hand briefly over your stomach as you eat can further enhance the experience. This can be for just a few minutes and is not required for the length of the meal. This can have the added benefit of improving digestion, and helping you to notice when your physical body is satiated and requires no further food.
  3. Use Reiki to bring ease to stressful situations. Reiki can be used to help you in a business meeting or sitting in the dentist chair, it can ease the tension experienced during a difficult conversation or to take the edge off the daily stressors of the commute home. And this can be done while maintaining your privacy, for a cupped Reiki hand laid on the body does not need to appear as anything other than a relaxed hand.
  4. Use Reiki to address minor aches and pains throughout the day. Just like in the example above, simply placing your cupped Reiki hand on the area where pain or discomfort is being experienced starts to provide remedy and can be done while sitting at your desk or while buying a latte, and no one has to be wiser.
  5. Read a good book about Reiki. Make it one that provides you with information that is immediately accessible and easy to understand. Having language and an explanation for
    Understanding Reiki
    "Understanding Reiki" by Chyna Honey, 2014

    why and how Reiki works, will help to establish greater value for its practice and its place within your ever- changing lifestyle.

Incorporating one, or all of these suggestions daily will help build, create, and nurture a consistent Reiki practice. It can also be fun.

Written 4/3/2015 by Chyna Honey who among other things is a Reiki Master and Author of Understanding Reiki: From Self-Care to Energy Medicine

Link

Relaxation and Reiki:

An Explanation of why and how it works!

What Reiki has become best known for, and most spoken about is its ability to provide deep

Relaxation image
One way for relaxation

relaxation naturally, and without any side effects, impairments or contraindications. While most know Reiki to do this, few understand how Reiki achieves it, and fewer still have language to explain it. This is because today Reiki is most commonly spoken about within the scope and context of spirituality and/or mediation. The problem with this however is that when you speak or teach Reiki within the context of spirituality or mediation, the practice of Reiki becomes a mystery, and when we accept and promote that, we continue to keep what was once known and understood about Reiki lost. The way then to regain the lost knowledge of Reiki, so that it can be used to better the lives of humans everywhere is to speak about, and teach Reiki for what it is, a form of Energy Medicine.

Everything starts and ends as energy. As such, the human form is made up of more than the physical body it also has a corresponding energy system. The most commonly known of the human energy systems is the aura, or as referred to by science as the bio-field. As people interact with the world they are a part of, they cannot help but be influenced by the many energies they come into contact with daily. As a result of our daily interactions, each of us will accumulate a sort of energy debris within our energy system. This debris, which often becomes stuck in our own energy field, creates imbalance. Simple imbalances within the energy field create the experience we commonly call tension. Our minds then, which have no choice but to respond to this tension, will create explanations for why we feel tense or out of balance. Reiki helps by naturally restoring balance where imbalance has occurred. In doing this, Reiki, in a sense resets our energy system. Relaxation then comes as a result of this rebalancing, and this rebalancing occurs both within the aura and in physical body.

When our bodies are in a state of relative balance, we can relax naturally and on demand. When our bodies are in a state of imbalance, we require outside influences to help us relax. This form of artificial relaxation comes in many forms including food, drink, recreational and prescription drugs, sex, excessive exercise, and many other known forms, which may simulate a sense of relaxation, but comes at a price to the individual as it only compounds the state of imbalance by introducing more imbalance that the individual has to find ways to compensate for.

For this reason, natural relaxation will always be preferable to the human form than artificial relaxation, for one is working within the natural ebb and flow of our biology and energy while the other is working against it. One of the easiest and most effective ways to relax naturally, and with little effort or time, is through a self-care regime that includes giving yourself Reiki, even if it is for only 10-15 minutes each day. Additionally the benefits of using Reiki is cumulative meaning the more you use it the more responsive your energy system becomes to it and so greater ease is found and the toll daily tension takes on you in your life becomes naturally less and easier to manage.

If you are attuned to Reiki, you can start right now by placing a cupped Reiki hand anywhere on your body. I suggest starting where you hand naturally wants to be placed. If you are not attuned to channel Reiki energy yourself, you have options: You can become attuned by receiving a Reiki attunement from a Reiki Master Teacher, or you can receive regular Reiki treatments from a local Reiki professional in your area.

You can read more on understanding Reiki as a form of Energy Medicine, in Understanding Reiki: From Self-Care to Energy Medicine by Chyna Honey.

Written 18th January 2015 by Chyna Honey, Reiki Master, and Author

Understanding Reiki
"Understanding Reiki" by Chyna Honey, 2014

Understanding Reiki is the first book by Chyna Honey, Reiki Master, Energy worker extra-ordinaire and friend.  It is an amazing, simple and insightful read.  It has a rare viewpoint that set it apart from most books about Reiki.  Rather than detailing the self development system created by Mikao Usui, Chyna chooses to focus the book on the wonderful, pure, extraordinary natural healing energy that is Reiki.

This disregard of the system of Reiki is likely to ruffle a few feathers in the Reiki world. However there is nothing to worry Reiki practitioners about: it is reminding us about the energy that is the centre of the healing we offer.  The energy is all around us, and has been a natural part of our development on this planet; Mikao Usui "merely" gave the energy the name Reiki and formulated a way for everyone to access it.  The system that he created was a product of his background and it was meant to be used as a way to channel this healing energy, but over the years this system has become a greater focus than the Reiki energy itself.  This is what Chyna is seeking to change, bringing the focus back to the Reiki energy and clearing away elements that are getting in the way of more people working with this energy.

In her book, Chyna brings a clarity and insight to the Reiki energy. Why our bodies need it, what it can and can not heal, and why we should give it to our bodies on a daily basis and get regular check ups with a professional.

The book is simple in its approach but there are many layers to the information it is sharing.  The first time that I read it was shortly before I taught my Reiki 2 course and I will admit that I ploughed through it to satisfy my mind that I wasn't teaching the wrong thing.  Even in this fast paced read I could feel that my body and soul were picking up on deeper layers of information.  I am now re-reading the book, at a more leisurely pace with a lot of "Cup of tea moments" to allow me to process what I've just read.

What has "Understanding Reiki" taught me?

This book reminded me that I have let my mind's quest to know all about the history of Reiki and the techniques that Mikao Usui taught has overshadowed my acceptance of and use of the Reiki energy.  It has shown me that what is most important is my interaction with the energy, and the best place to start is through self healing, daily.

As a Reiki Teacher, what "Understanding Reiki" has reminded me is that the most important thing to share with my students is using the Reiki energy on themselves is everything.  They need to the experience the energy in their body.  Then they can see how it helps the body calm and heal. If that is all they learn on the weekend, that will be the most important lesson learnt.

Also, I need to emphasise that Reiki is not about spiritual development, but it can support them in this path if that is what they choose to do. Using the Reiki vibration should be a foundation stone from which other knowledge can develop and should be continued to be worked with no matter the direction their life takes. Other things like meditation are useful to practice, but are not vital to using the Reiki energy.

It is also not important to know the life story of the people on our Reiki Lineage, other than that they were there. In fact that is feed the mind's need for verification and really has nothing to do with the Reiki energy.

I will be shifting the emphasis of my courses to be more experiential rather than historical, but I am unlikely to completely disregard some history (but that is partly me).  Similarly there are some techniques that are useful to practice to assist the Reiki practice of the student, but these are not vital.

More information about "Understanding Reiki"

The official website for the book is understandingreiki.com, and it has a lot more information about the book, as well as a blog covering things like why meditation and Reiki are different.

Buying a copy

I will be selling copies of the book for £10 (plus p&p).  Please send me an email if you are interested in buying a copy.

You can also buy an eBook from Lulu.com if that is your preference.

There is a £25 early bird discount available.  If you book a course more than 4 weeks ahead of the course date.  It is not always clear when this is so to help clarify things here is a summary of when they are:

Reiki Level 1 courses
Course date Early bird expires
7th November 2015 9th October 2015
Reiki Level 2 courses
Course date Early bird expires
10th & 11th October 2015 11th September 2015

****2016 course dates coming soon!****

Booking is open for all these course either from the Clerkenwellbeing site or from the Bookings page of this site.

 

Just completed my first Reiki Level 2 attunement.  It was a small affair but good fun, lots of Reiki energy flying around the room for the 2 days.  Slightly more equipment is used for this training session, and only one of the teddies is came from my house.  The other was already at the clinic.

Reiki Level 2
Room already for a Reiki level 2 attunement

Reiki level 2 introduces you to the first three Reiki Symbols, and allow you to perform distance healing.  Here my students practice distance healing using a teddy bear as a surrogate.

Distance healing
Practicing distance healing with a teddy bear surrogate.

Sorry, but I'm not going to show any pictures of the symbols, in the tradition I come from we keep them out of sight of those who have not been attuned (as much as possible).

So proud of my students.  They're now performing their 21 day self healing settling in period.  The next Reiki course is a Level 1 on 8th November 2014 (book via Clerkenwellbeing or sign up here )

certificates
My Reiki Level 2 students with their certificates.

We had a great couple of days with the Reiki Level 1 attunement I ran at the Clerkenwellbeing studios. Here are a couple of photos I took during the day.

Clerkenwell Studio 1
Clerkenwell Studio 1

Here's the room before the start of the first day. It was a lovely location and having bright sunshine flooding in for the whole weekend made it really pleasant, even if we occasionally needed sunglasses.!

Tim at the whiteboard
Tim at the whiteboard

Whilst Chakras are not part of the "pure" reiki approach, I include them in what I teach as they are part of the energy body and can be felt when working on others. So I like my students to know what it is they are feeling. Here I am getting over enthusiastic with diagrams of chakras on a whiteboard.

Sensing the aura
Sensing the aura

Like chakras, the aura and how to feel/clean/protect it is not part of the traditional Reiki approach. Again I like to include it as it helps understand things that my students can come across. It is also great fun to have a go at feeling the edges of each other's aura.

Practising reiki
Practising reiki

The afternoon of the first day is taken up with learning self healing, and as I demonstrate as they are doing it it is hard to take a photo. However, the afternoon of the second day is when I take the class through working on others and here they are practising.

The students and proud teacher
The students and proud teacher

Here are all my students with their certificates. We had a great weekend!

Happy New Year! It is the time of year when people are making resolutions on how to loose weight/stop smoking/be healthier and from what I know about myself is that most fail before we even start as we don't really want to make the change.

I don't really do resolutions at New Year (why wait for a particular time of year to make a change?) and would rather make small changes whenever I feel I will succeed.

I used to be a smoker and for many years family and friends told me to give up.  I was aware of the poisonous effect, but I was not ready to give up.  Each time someone told me what to do, I became more stubborn about "giving up when I want to".

Finally one Christmas I was really sick and very nearly went the whole day without a cigarette. When having the one cigarette I had that day I suddenly realised I really hated it.  It was now the right time for me to quit. Unfortunately, I'd just bought a couple of weeks' worth of cigarettes and I do not like to waste things, so I decided to smoke these last packs but at a severely reduced rate, weeks later came the last one and then I was done.

During the time I was cutting back I was developing my Reiki life (reading books on it and incorporating it into my work as a massage therapist) and I came across the Reiki technique to change negative habits. Smoking was a negative habit and I was going to stop so I decided to use Reiki to help make it a smooth cessation.

The day I stopped  happened to be my Mother's birthday so I told her what I was doing (to her delight) and spent an hour giving myself Reiki and then the specific approaches to help change habits. I kept this combination up for 21 days, always a good number and it is frequently said it takes 3 weeks to allow good habits to take hold.

How did I find giving up? It was the easiest cessation I've done (this was my third attempt at stopping smoking) and the key? My Reiki self healing practice, and giving myself a short burst of Reiki whenever I had a craving. Using Reiki as the way to address the craving meant that I didn't replace one emotional crutch with another (such as chocolate). So no further habits to break.  I will say that I, like many former smokers, still have cravings (3 years later) but I have a wonderful way to counter this.

It doesn't just work on smoking, it was recently reported that Christina Aguilera used Reiki to support her through her weight loss regime, saying “Reiki puts her mind in a good place and gives her the discipline to eat healthy and maintain weight loss.”

To me that is the beauty of Reiki, the healing energy can be used to support you in the positive changes you want to make. It is also easier to support yourself by learning Reiki so you can help yourself to do this.

If you want to experience Reiki for yourself book in for a treatment or even decide to learn for yourself or if you have questions then get in touch.

Please note, this is my personal story and it does require will power to make these changes.  Reiki, in my mind made this easier.

What should you look for when choosing a Reiki Teacher? When deciding to attend a Reiki course and become attuned to this wonderful healing vibration it can seem like there are so many teachers to choose from.

All Reiki Master Teachers are able to trace their connection back to Dr Usui.  This is their lineage and is the unbroken line of teacher/pupil starting with Dr Usui and moving downwards.  My lineage is available for all to see (see right)

When choosing a Reiki Teacher you should find someone that you feel comfortable with.  It is also advisable to meet them in advance (where possible, if not then have a phone conversation with them) and ideally have a Reiki session with them, so you know that you get on with them. Do not be afraid to contact a number of Reiki teachers until you find one that seems right to you.

I teach in a relaxed manner, but covers all the necessary areas, and encourages discussions about ideas and thoughts (appropriate to the course, of course)

There are courses that are available for online attunements.  These are not recognised by the UK Reiki Federation as valid when you come to register with them as a practitioner.

The Reiki Federation is a good resource to find a Reiki Teacher that is right for you.

What is meditation?

This post provides a Meditation overview. Meditation is the practice of focusing and training

Meditation overview
Classic Meditation pose

your mind to achieve an alteration in mental state, whether bring the mind to focus on an image, or trying to still the mind so that other areas become more apparent and you “become one with the universe”.  The images you probably have of meditation probably involve sitting cross legged for hours at a time, chanting “OM” constantly and this is often how it is presented in popular culture, but it really doesn’t have to be like this.

There are lots of different types of meditation that can be practiced by people wanting to meditate and they are ways that give you something to focus on and then allow it to drift away and the constant chatter that happens disappears.  Most of them are ways to encourage you to “live in the present” rather than worrying about the past or future.  This living in the now is the reason I frequently suggest people do some sort of meditation if they are stressed or anxious. Some of the different types are:

  • Visualisation: Your focus is to see images in your minds eye.  This can be imagining a candle flame in your mind, or a walk in your favourite woodland/park/outdoor space.  This can be quite difficult to start with, as your mind is likely to struggle
  • Guided: This is a mixture of methods where you are talked through the techniques by someone else.  This can be someone leading a meditation group or a CD/tape of someone (it could even be yourself reading through a meditation technique you want to do).  Having someone telling you what to do can be a very good way of keeping the mind focused on the meditation and not getting caught up in your thoughts.
  • Breathing: Focusing on the breath is one of the most basic forms of meditation and is something that is practiced all around the world.
  • Mindfulness: This is the buddhist form of meditation and its focus is many forms of living in the present.  Breathing is used as a focus initially, but the stillness that this creates is then taken to other areas of your life and you become aware of what you are doing throughout many other aspects of your life.
  • Chanting: This could be the saying of a religious prayer, repeating an uplifting motivational statement or chanting a short phrase (mantra) or making and experiencing a sound (such as OM or Aum) to act as the focus for the mind.
  • Transcendental Meditation: This is a form of mantra meditation that became popular in the 1950s and 1960s and is still widely taught and practiced to this day.
  • Other forms: This is the extension of mindfulness so that all areas of your life can become a form of meditation.  You can meditate on the sensations of texture/smell/taste as you eat a meal (or start with a grape if that’s too much). The feelings/sounds/smells that surround you as you walk, and even the footsteps that you take can be the focus (though this should only be done somewhere safe, not on a busy high street).  Some even talk about meditating when washing up.  Anything can be used as your focus for your mind.

I am also of the firm belief that you can spend a shorter amount of time doing “quality” meditation more frequently rather than feeling guilty about not being able to spend an hour each day doing it.  Things like breathing style meditations, walking meditations can be slipped into your daily routine in short bursts, but it is always good to have time to spend on other areas such as visualisation that need more time given to them to really benefit.

Short Breathing exercise:

Try focusing on your breathing for ten breaths three times a day:

  • really feel how the air moves into and through the body,
  • what parts of the spine move and at what point in the breathing cycle
  • do you feel your ribs moving? if so where (top, middle or bottom)
  • Do any thoughts crowd into your head? if so then note what they’re about and return to watching your breath, you can deal with what they were about after you’ve done the 10 breaths.
  • When you finish do you feel any different?

Then when you have more time try doing the same for longer, or search out and attend a meditation group.

I run a drop in meditation group every Monday at the Clerkenwellbeing Studios at 1pm.  Booking can be done via Clerkenwellbeing's own site.