Reiki is the gentle, Japanese art of healing with chi, the mysterious and formless fire of life, an art with roots that go all the way back to the Medicine Buddha practices of ancient Tibet, and beyond.

Dos Rios Reiki, often referred to as "Cowboy Reiki," is one of the newer forms of Reiki, a gentle, non-invasive therapy that grew out my work with AIDS patients in the American Southwest.

Every living creature is attuned to and filled with chi — you wouldn't be here if you weren't.

Because of this, you have the innate ability to heal.

To test this out, place your hands on your belly with the intent to heal yourself. Believe that the chi is flowing from your hands into your belly. Close your eyes. Breathe into your belly. Allow the chi to flow on its own. Don't try to force it, don't try to control it. Just let it flow of its own accord. If it helps, imagine the chi as blue tendrils of smoke-like energy. At some point, your hands will begin to get warm, and you will feel the chi begin to flow — it's that easy.

Dos Rios Reiki attunements somehow unlock and increase our ability to access this universal, free-floating form of life energy. Don't ask me how it works — I don't have a clue.

The Dos Rios Reiki session takes place in a quiet, private setting. Approach it as you would any meditative experience, with an open heart, an open mind, and loose, comfortable clothing. You can remove your shoes, empty your pockets, or loosen your belt; whatever it takes to get as comfortable as possible. You will be lying face up on a massage table; the Dos Rios Reiki therapist will be positioned, for the most part, at your head. The session will last approximately 45 minutes.

The Dos Rios Reiki energy will always go the area where it is most needed on the physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual level.

A few soft words and a gentle nudge will let you know that the session has ended. Take your time coming back. Allow your senses to adjust. Move around a bit, stretch a little, then slowly open your eyes. Allow your balance to return. Take your time sitting up. There is no need to hurry, no other place or time that you need to be in — allow yourself to enjoy being.

The Dos Rios Reiki energy, albeit subtle, tends to linger on for a bit; it isn't unusual for the clarity and peace you've just experienced to continue for hours, days, even weeks after the session.

While Dos Rios Reiki is not a substitute for qualified medical care or prescribed medications, it does encourage and support your natural healing process, and works well with medications, homeopathy, acupuncture, physical therapy, therapeutic massage, meditation and other healing modalities.

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