Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It's based on the idea that there is a universal energy that supports the body's natural ability to heal. The practitioner channels this life force and helps transfer it to the patient. My treatment began in a tranquil room, with dim lights, soothing music and soft incense. I was instructed to remove my shoes and coat, and lie face up on a padded table that was covered with a beautiful quilt. The practitioner, a quiet woman about my age, asked if it was alright for her to place her hands on me. She covered my eyes with a soft cloth, and began pressing lightly on the top of my head. Over the next 20 minutes, she alternated between gentle pressure on my shoulders, hips, feet, legs and hands, and waving her arms in the air above my body to "attune the energy".
At first I didn't feel anything. Around the time she got to my ankles I did feel a brief warm, comfortable all-over "rush". Then my stomach started to gurgle like a percolator, which totally distracted me from my mojo moment. It was pretty uneventful after that. When the treatment was done, she took the cloth off my eyes and asked me how I felt. I laid there for a minute, not sure if we were finished or not, then got up and thanked her for the session. I was kind of bummed. I didn't feel any more relaxed or relieved of any pain. I'm still open-minded about alternative therapies, but today this one didn't work for me.