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Perhaps the most widely known form of energy work, Reiki healing is easy to learn and do, but can have powerful effects.
It was started around 1914 in Japan by Dr. Mikao Usui, who received the knowledge of how to do it during a mystical experience.
It is usually uses "laying on hands," with the practitioner's hands actually on the body of the client. Reiki uses specific hand positions, corresponding to organs and energy centers.
Reiki is a Japanese word meaning "universal life energy." As the Reiki Alliance website describes, the practice of Reiki "applies this energy through touch for the purpose of creating the connection with Reiki."
Reiki is not taught in the usual sense, but rather is "transferred" to
the student through an "attunement" given in person by a Reiki master
(teacher). This attunement or initiation allows the practitioner to tap
into an unlimited supply of "life force energy," which they can use to
improve their own and other's health and quality of life. Reiki is
taught through the oral tradition, rather than through written
materials. (Therefore anyone proposing to "teach" you Reiki over the
Internet is not authentic.)
Reiki healing does not depend on the practitioner's intellectual or spiritual capacity or state of development. There is no body of esoteric knowledge to be mastered. Once a practitioner is attuned, the healing energy just flows through her/his hands (when they are being used for healing.)
Just for today, do not worry.
Just for today, do not anger.
Honor your parents, teachers and elders.
Earn your living honestly.
Show gratitude to everything.
--Dr. Mikao Usui
While nearly all practitioners are ethical and sincere, it's good to be aware that because Reiki is "taught" through attunement rather than study, it's possible for people to become a "Reiki Master" in a single weekend. So the fact that someone calls himself or herself a Reiki Master can mean a lot (e.g. a lifetime of study, selfless healing, and spiritual devotion)--or very little (i.e. a quick weekend and a couple of hundred dollars).
As an alternative source for more information, I recommend this site, reiki.7gen.com. It seems very complete and non-commercial.