How does Reiki work

Courtesy to http://www.reiki.org/ According to Reiki.org:

We are alive because life force is flowing through us. Life force flows within the physical body though pathways called chakras, meridians and nadis. It also flows around us in a field of energy called the aura. Life force nourishes the organs and cells of the body, supporting them in their vital functions. When this flow of life force is disrupted, it causes diminished function in one or more of the organs and tissues of the physical body.

The life force is responsive to thoughts and feelings. It becomes disrupted when we accept, either consciously or unconsciously, negative thoughts or feelings about ourselves. These negative thoughts and feelings attach themselves to the energy field and cause a disruption in the flow of life force. This diminishes the vital function of the organs and cells of the physical body.

Reiki heals by flowing through the affected parts of the energy field and charging them with positive energy. It raises the vibratory level of the energy field in and around the physical body where the negative thoughts and feelings are attached. This causes the negative energy to break apart and fall away. In so doing, Reiki clears, straightens and heals the energy pathways, thus allowing the life force to flow in a healthy and natural way.

Do All Healers Use Reiki?
All healers use life force or Ki, but not all use Reiki. Reiki is a special kind of life force that can only be channeled by someone that has been attuned to it. It is possible that some people are born with Reiki or have gotten it some other way. However, most healers who have not received the Reiki attunement from a Reiki Master are not using Reiki but another kind of life force. People who already do healing work consistently report an increase of at least fifty percent in the strength of their healing energies after taking the Reiki training.

This was verified for me when I first began teaching Reiki. There were two clairvoyant healers I knew who had highly developed abilities. They could easily see the life force flowing through a person's body, as well as see the aura and chakras. They could also communicate with a person's guides and Higher Self. They were adept at moving negative psychic energy out of the body as well as channeling healing energies. In my twenty years of metaphysical work, they were the most accurate and effective psychic healers I had met.

They told me later they had doubted there was anything I was teaching they couldn't already do, but that they took the Reiki training anyway, simply to support me in my new work. After the attunement, they were amazed at the difference they could feel between the healing energies they had been using and Reiki. They said the Reiki energies were more powerful and of a much higher frequency. They noted also that Reiki didn't have to be guided like the other healing energies they were using, and that the Reiki energies began flowing without having to enter an altered state. They also indicated the attunement process itself was a powerful healing experience, releasing restrictions relating to their healing work they had unknowingly acquired when they were healers in past lives. They were very pleased they had taken the class.

Reiki Can Never Cause Harm
Because Reiki is guided by the God-consciousness, it can never do harm. It always knows what a person needs and will adjust itself to create the effect that is appropriate for them. One never need worry about whether to give Reiki or not. It is always helpful.

In addition, because the practitioner does not direct the healing and does not decide what to work on, or what to heal, the practitioner is not in danger of taking on the karma of the client. Because the practitioner is not doing the healing, it is also much easier for the ego to stay out of the way and allow the presence of God to clearly shine through.

Energy is Never Depleted
Because it is a channeled healing, the Reiki practitioner's energies are never depleted. In fact, the Reiki consciousness considers both practitioner and client to be in need of healing, so both receive treatment. Because of this, giving a treatment always increases one's energy and leaves one surrounded with loving feelings of well-being.
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Courtesy to http://amyjane.hubpages.com According to this site
If you are questioning whether or not Reiki really works, you are probably considering going for a treatment or taking a class to learn how to treat yourself with Reiki. The answer to your question is not a simple yes or no.

The answer, in my opinion, is sometimes yes, temporarily, if you are seeking deeper relaxation or reduction of stress on your body. If you are looking for a magical solution to a major health crisis, Reiki is not your answer. I believe that the consistent use of Reiki may help you to manage stress levels and increase relaxation. I do not believe, nor have I seen in more than 10 years of teaching and practice, the healing of cancer or any major health crisis, including my own. I do not know personally any other Reiki Master who would dare claim that.

I am qualified to answer this. I became a seventh generation Traditional Reiki Master and Teacher more than 13 years ago. I have taught a wide variety of students in NY, NJ and CT  and was considered a gifted healer by my colleagues.

Time after time, my experience was the same when performing "healing sessions" for clients with chronic health issues. They would receive substantial relief from their pain. Then the  pain or the problem would inevitably come back.

A Temporary Fix?
Now after reading that, most Reiki Masters or practitioners would say that I was the problem, perhaps my error here? No, according to ALL sources, Reiki is an "intelligent energy" that knows where to go and what to do. Which is why Reiki healers can do no harm (according to the teachings). Since I was also a teacher, I have seen the struggle first hand with my students. They experience the exact same thing. And when they were presented with a personal health crisis(as several were), Reiki could do little to ease their condition.

The Dark Side of Reiki
I believe that if Reiki was truly the miracle energy medicine that it's believers claim it to be, it would be mainstream. I know that if every one that I initially healed stayed healed I would have people banging down my door, begging for my help. I would be using it and teaching it still, if I had seen one - just one person - experience long term healing.

There is not a conspiracy of any kind trying to keep Reiki down and out of the hands of millions. It is simply notwhat it claims to be. Even the history of Reiki varies from teacher to teacher, depending on the "openness" of their class. How can true compassion and healing come from deception and greed? The idea that someone cannot be healed unless they have paid a certain amount is absurd and medieval! And that is the general rule when giving and teaching Reiki.

Certainly, it doesn't help that the New Age Movement has taken a traditional Japanese healing modality and remade it - there is now Non-Traditional Reiki, Karuna Reiki, Ascended Masters Reiki, Radiance Technique and probably another dozen that I am not aware of, like Pleiadian Reiki or Ancient Egyptian Cat Reiki, which will only damage the any of the remaining credibility that Reiki still maintains.  Airy-fairy people walking around talking about channeling the masters or archangels isn't going to fly.

And it isn't because the rest of us are so un-evolved, close minded, slaves to our negative thinking or in need of an awakening.

I am thinking quite clearly these days.
I don't think you can buy spiritual healing or a miracle over eBay (as Rieki is now often sold), and I'm shocked that people think that it is ethical to sell it this way. I'm even more shocked that people buy it.

Please, do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that Reiki is not real. I am not saying that nothing happens. My hands used to burn with energy. My clients loved the relaxation and felt balanced and energized after a treatment. What I am saying is this: Reiki is wonderful for relaxation. It is warm and comforting, but it uses, quite simply, ends there.

My students, for the most part, still practice and love Reiki. They consider it a gift and use it very carefully.

I no longer bother with it. After 10 years and a substantial financial investment in obtaining the best training available in New York City, I walked away. I have never looked back. My only regret is that I was not able to help those in need who came to me.

My final thought:
If you have a limited amount of money and are desperately seeking a solution to a medical problem, there are plenty of alternative medicine paths to take. The most effect and time tested method of balancing the energy in the body is with out a doubt acupuncture, and I promise it doesn't hurt at all!

If you are simply looking to relax and unwind, or deepen your mediation or yoga practice, Reiki will likely be a good fit for you.