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Racine Wisconsin Journal Times Article

July 1, 2006

The way of Reiki: Hands-on spiritual healing technique from Japan gaining Western converts

By Lee Roberts
It seems such a simple thing from the outside. No sound, no motion - just the gentle, yet certain, placing of hands on particular areas of the body, where they are held for a length of time. There is a quiet stillness about this form of spiritual healing called Reiki (pronounced ray-key), yet for some its effects can be very powerful.

Reiki is a natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use, according to The International Center for Reiki Training. Based on Japanese techniques founded by Dr. Mikao Usui, it is centered on the idea than an unseen life force energy flows through us and keeps us alive. If our life force energy is low, we are more likely to feel stress and get sick, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy, according to information from the Center.

During a Reiki treatment, a client lies on a table fully clothed, and a trained therapist places his/her hands over particular areas of the body, allowing the Reiki force to flow through them and into the client. Reiki works by flowing through affected parts of the body - particularly those areas where the path of the life force has been restricted or obstructed, causing diminished functioning in organs or tissues.

"It removes or cleanses the blockages and brings in fresh life energy," said Karuna Krinsky, a local Reiki master/teacher. "When that happens, there are no limitations to what can happen, physically and emotionally."

Reiki treats the whole person - body, mind and spirit. And the life force is responsive to thought and feelings, and can be disrupted not only by physical causes, but through acceptance of negative emotions or thoughts - both conscious and unconscious, according

to Krinsky.

"One of the things I have experienced over and over, both with myself and others, is that we tend to carry a lot of baggage that most of the time isn't even ours to carry," she said. "When we recognize that, it helps to cleanse ourselves of those burdens. In many cases, people even feel physically lighter."

Universal spirituality While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. Members of many religious groups, including Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Jews, incorporate Reiki into their spiritual practices, Krinsky said.

"Reiki is practiced all over the world," she said. "While it has origins in Buddhism, its practice is independent of religious beliefs. That is what is unique about it. It is more a sense of mind."

It is also not a medical treatment, in the traditional sense of the word. It does, however, work in conjunction with regular medical or psychological treatment, Krinsky said.

"Most people who take Reiki treatments have conditions they want to find relief from," she said.

Such conditions range from pain to illnesses. And in cases where there are no specific physical conditions that need treating, Reiki can help relieve stress and anxiety, according to the Reiki master.

"Reiki works in harmony with all other healing modalities and can actually improve results."

While it is not meant to replace traditional medical treatment, the practice of Reiki is becoming more widely accepted in clinical settings, such as hospitals, and medical professionals, including physicians and nurses, are being trained as Reiki practitioners.

The Rev. Kay Connor, who worked as a minister in southeastern Wisconsin for 13 years and recently moved to the East Coast, first discovered the value of Reiki treatments while living in Hawaii, where Japanese culture influences life. Rather than dealing with a specific illness, Connor has sought Reiki treatment through the years as an overall process of healing during times of transition in her life.

When she made a significant job change, for instance, and was looking for a way to renew her spirit, Connor said she found Reiki treatments to be very effective.

"I needed something to channel the energy for me," she said.

Reiki gave her a sense of well being that she felt not only during and immediately after treatment, but in the days that followed.

"When life gets overwhelming, you can call upon that experience," she said. "There is an inner peace that comes with it. There is also a certain mystery about it that I accept."

Connor said she feels no conflict being an ordained minister and practicing Reiki at the same time.

"I had faith I was being led to do this."

Reiki's positive spirituality fits well with her faith, she said.

"As a minister, I do the same thing, in that I encourage people to pray in a positive, energetic and hopeful manner."

Soothing warmth How does it feel to get a Reiki treatment? The feeling may be different for everybody, Krinsky said.

"No two people are exactly the same, and therefore Reiki works differently for everyone."

Some clients report feeling a soothing warmth coming from the hands of the Reiki therapist, and some therapists say that their hands feel hot during the session as the energy builds up and flows. Others say they feel a slight tingling sensation as the energy flows into them. The most common feeling, however, seems to be that of being both relaxed and energized.

"Let the experience unfold and accept what the flow of energy brings you for your inner need and call," Krinsky said. "The result is almost always a release from unconsciously collected burdens and worries."

Most Reiki treatments last about an hour and the cost for each treatment in southeastern Wisconsin runs somewhere between $50 and $70. Session times can vary, according to the client's needs, Krinsky said.

"I go with what the body is telling me, not the clock," she said. "If I run into more areas that feel depleted of energy, I work until I feel the need is over. I will work as long as the client is willing to stay. There are no fixed rules."

Information about Karuna Krinsky and her Reiki practice can be found at For general information about Reiki, visit

(c) Racine Journal Times Newspaper, July 1, 2006.



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