The body is a complicated arrangement of physical, mental and emotional systems and stress is an often overlooked factor when it comes to healing and health. Reiki is a form of energy healing based on the laying on of hands. Many hospitals are learning about the powerful benefits of energy healing and how it can be used to complement traditional healing.

Developed almost 90 years ago, Reiki is a form of energy healing created by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui. A Reiki master uses a combination of looking, touching, tapping and blowing to attune the chakra and meridian energy lines of the recipient. By creating a natural flow of energy through the patient, Reiki serves to balance the spiritual and emotional needs of the body. This is said to relieve stress and bring peace to an otherwise chaotic mind.

It has long been known in the medical community that stress slows down the healing process, but for the longest time, no one knew why. In 1999, doctors at a research center in Ohio set out to learn exactly why this occurs. Researchers found that patients who identified themselves as stressed created much higher levels of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol inhibits the creation of cytokines, which are used by the body to heal wounds.

Reiki is a way to reduce stress before and after a surgery or procedure, and during injury recovery. By reducing stress, the body increases its healing potential. This reduces a patient's down time and can greatly speed up overall recovery time.

According to statistics from the American Hospital Association, there are 5815 hospitals in the United States. Over 800 American hospitals offer Reiki as one of their hospital services, which is approximately 14%! One in seven American hospitals has recognized the benefits of including Reiki as a tool to promote health and relieve stress in their patients.

In order to heal an area, a Reiki practitioner touches, massages, taps and gazes upon an area, transferring energy to it and increases the flow of qi to the body. This form of alternative medicine is known as palm healing and is a major facet of the Reiki technique, which uses no medication or instruments.

Some patients report a warm sensation, or a tingling, to body areas where Reiki has been applied. Others simply speak of a general sense of relaxation and well being, while at the same time feeling energized and renewed.

Energy healing can be applied to specific body parts, or to the whole body. Reiki practitioners suggest Numerous Consecutive sessions are required to treat a client with a chronic condition, and that instantaneous cures are rare and never anticipated. Self-techniques can be taught that allow a patient to apply the Reiki healing to themselves. Such treatments can be applied daily and leave the recipient with a way to relieve stress through the day.

As with most alternative medical treatments, the benefits of Reiki are contested. The adoption of the technique by so many hospitals and medical professionals indicates that the debt is far from over. As a complimentary medicine, there is no doubt that some people feel the stress relieving effects of Reiki make it a worthy treatment to be utilized in concert with conventional medicine.