“Love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your MIND”--Matt 22:37
and with all your MIND”--Matt 22:37
Reiki (pronounced ray-kee, or sometimes ray-EE-kee) is a New Age spiritual practice that is creeping into Catholic Churches, Catholic retreats and Catholic hospitals that attempts to harness and manipulate a universal healing energy. "It uses a technique commonly called palm healing as a form of complementary and alternative medicine and is sometimes classified as oriental medicine by some professional bodies. Through the use of this technique, practitioners claim to transfer healing energy in the form of ki through the palms." source.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has written an article on this, Guidelines for Evaluating Reiki as an Alternative Therapy, and said, essentially, it is a superstitious practice and ought to be avoided. The principle from which Reiki is founded upon borrows from the occult and ancient forms of sorcery and magic.
Reiki's foundational tenet is that disease is caused by an imbalance in one's "life energy". By manipulating and controlling this life force Reiki practitioners attempt to influence the healing power of this life force energy. The Bishops caution that "neither the Scriptures nor the Christian tradition as a whole speak of the natural world as based on a 'universal life energy' that is subject to manipulation by the natural human power of thought and will."
Catholics may be enticed by some of the Christian language espoused by Reiki and believe that it is compatible with Christian principles. Some Reiki practitioners may even add a prayer to Christ in an attempt to "legitimize" this practice with Christians or make references to God as the "divine healing mind". However, according to the US Bishops: "The fact remains that for Christians the access to divine healing is by prayer to Christ as Lord and Savior, while the essence of Reiki is not a prayer but a technique..." Even if the Reiki practitioner invokes Christ's name or speaks of the "Divine Consciousness", Reiki is still a technique that attempts to channel this "universal life energy" at the disposal of human thought and will. "For this reason Reiki and other similar therapeutic techniques cannot be identified with what Christians call healing by divine grace."
From Jonette Benkovic: "In an effort to “Christianize” this pagan practice, some Reiki practitioners assert that the universal life force they are channeling is actually the Holy Spirit; however, this is a specious argument."
"Nowhere does Scripture teach us to ‘channel energy’ in the way characteristic of Reiki,” writes Father Gareth Leyshon, a Cardiff-trained astro-physicist. “And in fact, presuming that God will assist in a way which He has not revealed to be His will constitutes the sin of ‘tempting God.’”
Some go so far as to claim that Jesus used Reiki to perform miracles because of how He used His hands to heal. But this argument is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the use of the hands during Christian prayer. In the Christian tradition of laying on of hands, the hands are used as a “sign” of intercession, not a means of channeling energy."
However, we are not to understand this cautionary note against Reiki to be a condemnation of all non-medical healing practices. The Catechism of the Catholic Church acknowledges that some human beings have been given a special healing charism, so as to "make manifest the power of the grace of the risen Lord." CCC 1508.
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" - 1 Peter 3:15