Reiki is a fairly straightforward concept. Essentially, there is energy that flows in the universe. A person can be trained to harness this energy in a way so that they can treat medical, emotional, or spiritual problems in a patient or in themselves. While reiki cannot completely heal a person with an illness, it can be used to supplement more conventional treatments.
Reiki is done by having the practitioner lay his or her hands on the patient and focus the flow of energy into the affected area. Some reiki practitioners believe that the energy will flow to where it is needed, while other practitioners require that the patient tell them where the treatment should be focused.
After extensive training, reiki practitioners can treat themselves, as well as treat another person without actually touching them. Some people confuse reiki with massage therapy, but the two are nothing alike; reiki does not require the manipulation of the body.