In essence, Reiki is a very simple relaxation and stress- reduction technique that has many healing benefits.  Its origins lay with Mikao Usui, a Japanese monk who developed the technique of Reiki in the early 20th Century.

The word "Reiki is composed of two Japanese characters.  The first character is "Rei".  On a general level, it means "universal" or something that is present everywhere.  It also takes on a far more spiritual interpretation of "higher knowledge" or "spiritual consciousness".  Variously it has been described as knowledge that comes from a Higher Self, a Higher Power, or simply as the source of Universal Life Energy.  The second character is "ki".  It means "life energy" and is the energy that permeates all living things.

"Rei" and "ki" put together have been defined as meaning "Spiritually guided life energy", and I think this is a very good definition for "Reiki".  It is life energy that knows how to guide itself, and Reiki practitioners are simply people who have been taught how to allow this energy to flow into others.

Reiki is a complementary healing treatment.  It is classed as an alternative or holistic method of healing that is most often used side-by-side with existing medical treatments.  When Reiki is used in this way, many people report speedier recovery, a reduction in negative side-effects, and better recuperation overall.  It results in improved health and much better levels of general relaxation and well being.  Indeed, a single Reiki session often puts most people into a peaceful and restful state of sleep by the end of the session, so on this level, Reiki can also be a very good way to reduce stress.

The Reiki practitioner performs the treatment  through a series of hand positions that are typically held for a few minutes over different areas of the body.  Traditionally light touch is involved but if there is a need for contact, the practitioner should ask your permission first.

Reiki will not work if you block the energy as the practitioner performs the treatment.  This can happen as the result of either a conscious or unconscious decision on your part not to accept the energy.  Intention is one of the key underlying factors in successful Reiki, both for the practitioner and for the recipient.  If the intention to heal and be healed exists, then Reiki will produce the desired results.  In my experience, it is very rare for someone to block the healing energy they recieve during a session.

Reiki is not an officially approved form of healing and is not a substitute for receiving professional medical advice or treatment.  If you are receiving medical treatment or care, you should consult your doctor or care provider first.By positively reframing the traumatic memory while performing what are called algorithms of tapping ( a sequence of tapping from the top of the head down through approximately a dozen other acupuncture points in the upper body) the painful perception of those traumatic memories (the "frozen fear") can be released and thereby the symptoms, whether emotional, mental or physical, may be eliminated.