Reiki (pronounced ray-kee) in Japanese means "universal life energy." It is a healing technique of transmitting life energy by placing the hands gently in specific positions either on or above the body. This laying-on of hands is designed to relieve pain, restore vitality, heal illnesses, and aid spiritual growth. It was developed by Dr. Mikao Usui, a Christian monk in Japan, who came upon ancient manuscripts revealing the healing system in the 19th century. It was introduced to the United States in the 1930's by Hawayo Takata.