What is Reiki, and why are Black women embracing it so?
In layman’s terms, Reiki is healing through energy transference. This form of alternative therapy originated in Japan in the early 20th century. It is based on the concept that the practitioner can channel healing energy into the patient’s body to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
It is considered a holistic therapy that can be used to complement traditional medical treatments. It is said to help reduce stress and anxiety, promote relaxation, relieve pain, boost the immune system, and aid in emotional healing. While some studies have shown positive results, the efficacy of Reiki is still debated among healthcare professionals.
Reiki was founded by Mikao Usui in the early 1900s, who developed the practice after years of studying Buddhism and other spiritual practices. The word “Reiki” comes from the Japanese words “rei,” which means universal or spiritual, and “ki,” which means life energy or vital force.
Reiki is not a religion, and it does not require any specific beliefs or affiliations. While it might sound like a vague concept to understand until you experience it, more Black women are turning to Reiki as a form of healing. I spoke with several women to see what it was that attracted them to the practice.
Tami Curry, the owner of I’Mat Dream Brand and who was once a Reiki practitioner, says, “I was desperately struggling to survive, desperate enough to reach out to the unknown. I called out in prayer, begging for any aid to help me emerge from my despair.” Tami no longer performs Reiki on others because she says it takes a lot out of her, but at the time before, she says, “ Reiki was the answer I received, and though I may not use it to help others anymore, it remains in my toolbox, ever ready to be used to combat the darkness.”
There are three levels of Reiki training, with each level building upon the previous one. Reiki practitioners can become Reiki masters and teach others how to use the practice. Another Reiki master, practitioner, and recipient Danielle Dumas of Lucy’s Apothecary, responded that she liked the practice because she loves its modality. “It (Reiki) allows us to move and release emotions, memories, and energies we didn’t realize we were still carrying,” explains Dumas. “It’s a tool that takes little effort but offers maximum efficiency.”
During a Reiki session, the practitioner uses their hands to transfer this healing energy to the recipient by lightly touching them or holding their hands or rather their palms near the body. They then shift the stagnant energy in the body.
A third woman who prefers to go by Sassi J shared that in one of her sessions, I could have sworn someone was touching my feet, and when I asked her (her practitioner), it wasn’t her! My ancestors came to pay me a visit to help me!
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