By Dr. Lauren Procopio, ND

In the philosophy of naturopathic medicine, it is believed that the body has the innate wisdom to heal. We call this force of vitality the “vis” and its strength determines how quickly and how well a person will heal. In the modern world, people are increasingly recognizing that illness is never just a malfunction of organs or body systems but rather encompasses mind, body, and spirit. Sir William Osler, MD said, “The good physician treats the disease, the great physician treats the patient that has the disease.” For these very reasons, many people are looking to energy medicine as a way to stimulate the vital force within themselves and thus encourage healing in the body, mind, and spirit.  

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a gentle and powerful form of energy medicine that was was developed in Japan by Dr Mikao Usui (1864-1927) and is now practiced throughout the world. The word “Reiki” translates to mean “universal life force” and, during a session, the practitioner will transmit focused frequencies of light to the patient. To fully process what it means to use light as a therapy, we need to discuss a little science.

In the 1970s Dr. Fritz-Albet Popp was doing research into cancer and photorepair of DNA with certain light frequencies. Dr. Popp found that damaged DNA could be healed with certain wavelengths of light. He also found that living, biological material had luminescence in a dark room, suggesting that living organisms accumulate and store light. For example, Dr. Popp placed a freshly cut leaf from a plant and a matchstick in a photomultiplier chamber. The matchstick remained black but the green glowing outline of the leaf could be clearly seen. Dr. Popp’s studies convinced him that, “…man is essentially a being of light.” This is why Reiki, which is a therapy that uses light as a healing source, may improve healing for some conditions by increasing the light within the body.

What can you expect during a Reiki treatment?

Reiki treatments are conducted while the patient is fully clothed, lying comfortably on a massage table. Some practitioners use a hands-off technique, meaning they are never physically touching the patient. At Natural Medicine of Seattle, we use a gentle hands-on technique in which the Reiki practitioner will lay their hands on the head, neck, shoulders, torso/stomach, arms, legs, and back. Sensitive areas of the body are not touched during treatment, and there is an opportunity to request that the practitioner avoid a specific location. Essential oils are often applied to the practitioner’s hands to help with the experience of relaxation and soothing music may accompany the session as well. The session lasts around 30 min and most people find it to be very calming. Some people even fall asleep during the session!

What can Reiki treat?

Reiki can be used for any type of illness of the mind, body, or spirit, but is especially good at treating conditions like fatigue, body pains, injuries, digestive problems, and chronic illnesses.

How to learn more

Reiki is a gentle and safe hands-on energy medicine that can enhance relaxation and well-being. Please contact Dr. Lauren Procopio at Natural Medicine of Seattle if you would like to talk more about whether Reiki is right for you.