Updated: Oct 16, 2021
Reiki ("RAY-KEY") is a simplified version of the Japanese word for "spiritual energy", "soul energy" or "universal life force". It was discovered by Dr. Mikao Usui in the late 1800's / early 1900's. After being passed down from Dr. Usui to Dr. Hayashi (in addition to numerous other people), a patient healed by Dr. Hayashi eventually brought the power of Reiki to the United States. That patient, Mrs. Takata, started to travel throughout the U.S. working and training people in levels 1-3 of Reiki, and helped spread it throughout the country.
In scientific terms, everything is made of energy - this has long been proven by physicists that everything that exists in the universe is energy. Reiki is the ability of an individual (the Reiki practitioner) to channel universal energy through them into a subject - usually a person or animal. The practitioner simply lays their hands on the receiver, or places them a few inches away while channeling the universal energy. The subject is not receiving the practitioners own personal energy, but receiving energy that is already all around us. Once channeled, the energy goes where it is needed most. In other words, it goes to where there are disruptions or blockages within the body helping to clear those blockages, allowing the bodies own natural energy to flow better. In a simple comparison, think of a clogged drain. Water is not able to easily flow through the drain due to "gunk" or buildup along the pipes. But once this gunk has been cleaned out, water easily flushes and flows through the pipes uninhibited. Receiving Reiki helps the body accelerate it's own healing - whether this is healing in the physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual sense. Reiki helps to cleanse the body of toxins while balancing it's natural energy state. Reiki is considered a complimentary therapy (often referred to incorrectly as "alternative medicine") that can be used on humans, animals, or even plants. Because Reiki is considered an energy science, it does not conflict with any individual religious beliefs as it is not a belief system in of itself. Remember, it is universal.
Healing and treating the physical body without also including the mental, emotional and/or spiritual aspects of a person's body is like patching a shredded tire. The result is temporary and until the entire tire is "healed", it will continue to deflate. Therefore Reiki is a great complimentary therapy to use in addition to traditional methods to treat numerous types of illness, injuries, or just improving a person's overall quality of life.
I am a firm believer that those in the veterinary industry are so focused on treating what's physically in front of them (e.g. a broken leg, urinary tract infection, pneumonia, etc.) that they forget to take into account a beings emotional and mental well being. Much like ourselves being focused only on what we eat and exercise, but never taking into account treating our emotional and spiritual bodies. Whether or not Reiki will be encompassed into a hospital for the patients and/or staff depends on numerous factors. But what always rings true is the ability of staff to follow 5 Principles of Reiki:
Just for today I will let go of anger
Just for today I will let go of worry
Just for today I will give thanks for my many blessings
Just for today I will do my work diligently
Just for today I will be kind to every living creature
By simply encompassing the above 5 principles into our every day lives, both at work and outside of work, our bodies as a whole will start to heal. Only then can we heal our hospitals and eventually the entire industry. A great saying to close on are the words on Usui's memorial in Tokyo:
"If Reiki can be spread throughout the world it will touch the human heart and the morals of society. It will be helpful for many people, not only healing disease, but the earth as a whole."