According to The World Health Organization, "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease." In keeping with this idea of health, working to create a sense of well-being on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels is what Reiki is all about.
Many people use the terms "healing" and "curing" interchangeably but it's important to understand they do not mean the same thing. Curing means to completely eradicate an illness or disease in the physical body while healing can occur on many different levels and isn't even necessarily linked to a physical condition.
What does it mean to heal on these different levels?
Physical - healing on this level might mean eliminating an illness completely, or could simply mean alleviating the symptoms for a while , allowing time to address any underlying root causes that might be found on the emotional, mental or spiritual levels.
Emotional - emotional healing might result in calming fears or coming to acceptance of the effects of life-events such as illness, bereavement, job loss, etc.
Mental - the deep state of relaxation assists with the mental release of negative thought patterns or attitudes that might be interfering with relationships or achieving life goals.
Spiritual - healing from a spiritual level could result in a more compassionate attitude towards self, others and the natural world. Or it might assist in releasing restrictive belief systems to support greater self-expression and creativity.
Compassion is feeling empathy or sympathy about a situation, along with a desire to alleviate the suffering of those involved.
We're quite accustom to feeling compassion for other "living" things like people and animals. But what about the rest of the living world? Have you ever felt compassion for a tree? Maybe you have - it's rather obvious that a tree is alive. But what about water or dirt? Mix them together and you get mud. Have you ever felt compassion for mud? Probably not, but at the microscopic level mud is just teeming with life.
So how do you have compassion for squiggles under a microscopic? Consider that the long term survival of our species is totally dependent on the mantle of mud cloaking our planet. To alleviate the suffering of the mud is to alleviate our own future suffering.