Nothing calms like Reiki. Skeptical? It's free.

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In case you've never heard of it, Reiki's like massage light. Practitioners place their hands on specific areas of the body--most treatments involve the major organs and the endocrine system--believing the energy flowing from their palms promotes spiritual and physical well-being. There's scant scientific proof Reiki has anything more than a placebo effect, but Reiki treatments are increasingly on offer at spas and hospitals as a form of healing. (Hey, skepticism's healthy too.)

This week, two free events highlight the diverse ways Reiki is practiced in the West. On Wednesday, from 7 to 9 PM, the Chakra Shoppe in Lincoln Square will host a free talk by Deanne M. Lozano on traditional Japanese Reiki, which emphasizes spiritual development; there's no registration necessary. On Thursday, from 6 to 8 PM, Equilibrium Energy + Education in the South Loop will offer free Reiki mini-treatments and education sessions; sign up online or by calling 312-786-1882.

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