The word Reiki is a combination of two Japanese words – Rei, which means Gods Wisdom or the Higher Power, and Ki, which means life force energy. So Reiki literally translates to “spiritually guided life force energy.”
A Reiki practitioner acts as a channel for the Universal Life Energy and uses either hands-on or distance healing techniques to assist the client. Dr. Usui, a Japanese Christian educator, rediscovered this healing method in his study of ancient Tibetan texts. A Reiki practitioner may also practice self-treatment. Reiki stimulates your body’s innate healing resources, encouraging a return to wellness.
Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.
An amazingly simple technique to learn, the ability to use Reiki is not taught in the usual sense, but is transferred to the student during a Reiki class. This ability is passed on during an “attunement” given by a Reiki master and allows the student to tap into an unlimited supply of “life force energy” to improve one’s health and enhance the quality of life.
Its use is not dependent on one’s intellectual capacity or spiritual development and therefore is available to everyone. It has been successfully taught to thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds.
While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not.
While Reiki is not a religion, it is still important to live and act in a way that promotes harmony with others. Mikao Usui, the founder of the Reiki system of natural healing, recommended that one practice certain simple ethical ideals to promote peace and harmony, which are nearly universal across all cultures.
During a meditation several years after developing Reiki, Mikao Usui decided to add the Reiki Ideals to the practice of Reiki. The Ideals came in part from the five prinicples of the Meiji emperor of Japan whom Mikao Usui admired. The Ideals were developed to add spiritual balance to Usui Reiki. Their purpose is to help people realize that healing the spirit by consciously deciding to improve oneself is a necessary part of the Reiki healing experience. In order for the Reiki healing energies to have lasting results, the client must accept responsibility for her or his healing and take an active part in it. Therefore, the Usui system of Reiki is more than the use of the Reiki energy. It must also include an active commitment to improve oneself in order for it to be a complete system. The ideals are both guidelines for living a gracious life and virtues worthy of practice for their inherent value.
Reiki, is based on certain Reiki principles that are in the the teachings of Reiki and are called the Reiki Creed. Here is one of the many versions of the Reiki Creed:
Just for today, do not anger. Just for today, do not worry. Honor your parents, teachers, and elders. Earn your living honestly. Show gratitude to every living thing.
- Reiki is a complete system of self-healing.
- Reiki blends easily with and enhances all healing methods.
- Reiki is very simple and can be immediately used on yourself and others.
- Reiki gently releases old emotional patterns.
- Reiki is an effective tool to overcome the pressures of career, relationships, parenting, and finances.
- Reiki enables you to access your own inner wisdom and creativity, as well as expand your consciousness and spiritual awareness.
Reiki is often used in palliative care (specialized care for people with chronic, serious or life-threatening illness) due to it’s ability to relieve pain and increase general feelings of well-being. Reiki has a positive affect on all forms of illness and negative conditions, sometimes with miraculous results that have been medically confirmed. Benefits and uses for Reiki include:
- Accelerates any healing process
- Decreases pain
- Lessens the negative effects of allopathic medical treatments, including chemotherapy
- Improves sleep and appetite
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Reduces stress
- Treatment of depression and anxiety
- Treatment of acute injuries
- Infertility treatment
- Support through the grief process
- Support through major life changes
- Pre- and Post- operative care
- Cancer treatment
- Head or stomach aches, including migraines
- Bee stings
- Colds and flu
- Heart disease
Reiki practitioners will create a relaxing, calming environment, using soft lighting, meditative music, bubbling water fountains or just a quiet setting.
In a standard treatment, Reiki energy flows from the practitioners hands to you. You will usually be asked to lie down on a massage table, but treatments can also be given in a seated or even standing position. You will stay fully clothed except for your shoes so please choose loose-fitting, comfortable clothes to wear. Jewelry is normally removed for a Reiki session, so consider leaving these items at home.
During the Reiki session the practitioner will place their hands lightly on different parts of your body. Some Reiki practitioners do not actually touch you. Instead, they will hover their lifted palms a few inches above your body. Either way, Reiki energies flow where they are most needed. Reiki is a smart energy that automatically flows where the imbalances are in your body regardless of where the practitioner’s hands are placed. A Reiki practitioner will usually use all the hand placements so that no part of the body is neglected and to ensure that each body part is given equal consideration. Each position is held for three to ten minutes depending on how much Reiki the client needs at each position; the whole treatment usually lasts between 45 and 90 minutes.
Feelings of deep relaxation are usually felt by all who receive Reiki. There are additional experiences you may have, they vary from person to person. Many feel a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through them and/or surrounds them. As the Reiki energy encourages you to let go of all tension, anxiety, fear or other negative feelings a state of peace and well-being is experienced. You may drift off to sleep or feel as if you are floating outside your body, or have visions and other mystical experiences. At the end of the treatment, you will feel refreshed, and have a more positive, balanced outlook.
Who can benefit from a Reiki treatment?
Reiki’s gift of increased energy and vitality can be extended to anyone. It doesn’t matter what a person’s gender, race, intelligence, or financial status is. Reiki is not a healing energy reserved only for the elite, wealthy, educated, or spiritually evolved.
Is it safe for pregnant woman or babies?
Since Reiki is guided by the Higher Power, the Reiki energy will know your condition and adjust appropriately. Reiki can only do good, never harm. Many pregnant women have received treatments with great benefit to them and their unborn child. It has also been used during childbirth. Pregnant women have also taken the Reiki training and received the Reiki attunement with beneficial results.
Babies love Reiki. It is very healthy for them. Do not worry about it being too strong. Reiki automatically adjusts to what the baby needs.
Does one have to stop seeing a regular doctor or psychologist in order to receive a Reiki treatment?
No. Reiki works in conjunction with regular medical or psychological treatment. If you have a medical or psychological condition, it is recommended that you see a licensed health care professional in addition to receiving Reiki treatments. Reiki energy works in harmony with all other forms of healing; including prescription drugs, surgery, psychological care or any other method of alternative, complementary or integrative health care, and will improve the results.
Are there any side effects from a Reiki treatment?
Most of the time you will feel relaxed and uplifted by a Reiki treatment. However, sometimes you will have what is called a healing crisis. As your vibration increases, toxins that have been stored in the body are released into the blood stream to be filtered by the liver and kidneys and removed from your system. When this happens, sometimes you can get a headache or stomachache or feel weak. If this happens, it is a good idea to drink more water, eat lighter meals and get more rest. Your body is cleansing as part of the healing process, so this is a good sign.
Does insurance cover Reiki treatments?
Reiki is just starting to be recognized by insurance companies. While not many are covering Reiki treatments, some are. Check with your local insurance company for details.
How much does a treatment usually cost?
A Reiki treatment usually will cost between $25 and $100 depending on the area of the country. However, some practitioners offer treatments free of charge or for a donation.
What does it feel like to give Reiki?
When giving a Reiki treatment, the Reiki energy flows through the practitioner before leaving the hands and flowing into the receiver. The practitioner, acting as a channel, receives a treatment also. As the Reiki flows through the practitioner, she/he will feel more relaxed and uplifted, and spiritual experiences sometimes take place. The practitioner may also receive insights about what you need to know to heal more deeply.
What does it feel like to receive Reiki?
Common Reiki sensations are heat or coolness, “pins and needles” tingling, vibration, buzzing, electrical sparks, numbness, throbbing, itchiness, and drowsiness.
Can I treat animals or plants?
Animals love Reiki too. They seem to have a natural understanding of what Reiki is and its benefits. Once a pet has received a Reiki treatment, they will often let you know that they want more. Plants also respond well to Reiki.
Can it be used to help groups of people or even global crises?
Yes, this is one of the wonderful benefits of Reiki and is why it is such a wonderful technique for the new millennium. It allows individuals and groups to do something positive about the challenging situations we see on the news involving so many people all over the planet. Reiki can be used to reduce suffering and help people any where in the world. As more and more people send Reiki to help the world heal, we will move more quickly to a world of peace and harmony.
Where does Reiki energy come from?
Reiki energy is a subtle energy. It is different than electricity or chemical energy or other kinds of physical energy. Reiki energy comes from the Higher Power, which exists on a higher dimension than the physical world we are familiar with. When viewed clairvoyantly, Reiki energy appears to come down from above and to enter the top of the head, after which it flows through the body and out the hands. It appears to flow this way because of our perspective. However, the true source of Reiki energy is within. This does not mean that we use our personal energy when we do Reiki, but that the energy is coming from a transcendental part of ourselves that is connected to an infinite supply of healing energy.
Will Reiki ever run out?
When you are giving a Reiki treatment to someone, you are giving of your time and your intent to assist, but you are not giving away any of your own energy. Reiki is in infinite supply. It never runs out.
Why is Reiki called “smart energy”?
Reiki is an intelligent energy because it knows which areas of the body most need healing and will automatically flow to specific areas where suffering or imbalance are prevalent.
Do I need to direct the flow of Reiki?
Reiki will automatically go to wherever it needs to go with no mental involvement of either the practitioner or the recipient. However, when mental intention is used, a linear pathway is opened. This cleared route allows Reiki to flow more effectively to that part of the body where attention is most desired.
Is Reiki a Religion?
Although Reiki energy is spiritual in nature, Reiki is not a religion, nor is it based on the acceptance of any religious doctrine. Giving and receiving Reiki does, however, encourage spiritual empowerment and growth. Having a belief system is not a requirement for Reiki to work. Practitioners and clients alike are not asked to change any religious or spiritual beliefs, or practices they may have.
Who can learn to do Reiki?
Reiki is a very simple technique to learn and is not dependent on one having any prior experience with healing, meditation or any other kind of training. Over one million people from all walks of life, both young and old, have successfully learned Reiki. The reason it is so easy to learn that it is not taught in the usual way something is taught. The ability to do Reiki is simply transferred from the teacher to the student through a process called an attunement that takes place during a Reiki class. As soon as one receives an attunement, they have the ability to do Reiki and after that whenever one places their hands on themselves or on another person with the intention of doing Reiki, the healing energy will automatically begin flowing.
More information about Reiki Training
Can I treat myself?
Yes, once you have received the attunement, you can treat yourself as well as others. This is one of the unique features of Reiki.
I have heard that Reiki can be sent to others at a distance. How does this work?
In Reiki II certification you are given three Reiki symbols. These symbols are empowered by the Reiki II attunement. One of these symbols is for distant healing. By using a picture of the person you would like to send Reiki to or by writing the person’s name on a piece of paper or simply by thinking of the person and also activating the distant symbol, you can send Reiki to them no matter where they are. They could be hundreds of miles away, but it makes no difference. The Reiki energy will go to them and treat them. You can also send Reiki to crisis situations or world leaders and the Reiki energy will help them too.
What is a Reiki attunement?
A Reiki attunement is a ritual performed by a Reiki Master, and is the process by which a person receives the ability to give Reiki treatments. The ritual involves energetic placement of Reiki symbols through a specific set of sequenced actions into the student’s crown and palms, touching of the Reiki students head, shoulders and hands and the use of one or more breathing techniques. The attunement energy flows from the Reiki Master to the student. These special energies are guided by the Higher Power and make adjustments in the students energy pathways and connect the student to the source of Reiki. Because the Higher Power guides the energetic aspect of the attunement, it adjusts itself to be exactly right for each student. During the attunement, some students feel warmth in the hands; others may see colors or have visions of spiritual beings. However, it is not necessary to have an inner experience for the attunement to have worked. Most simply feel more relaxed.
Can you get more than one attunement?
Once you receive a Reiki attunement, it will last your whole life. However, if you get additional attunements for the same level, it will act to refine and strengthen your Reiki energy.
What is the purpose of the Reiki hand placements?
Emphasis is placed on devoting three to five minutes on each hand placement so that no part of the body is neglected and to ensure that each body part is given equal consideration.
What purpose do Reiki symbols serve?
Independently, each Reiki symbol has its own unique purposes. The combined function of these symbols is to provide Reiki practitioners with focal points for their healing intentions.
What is lineage?
Reiki is a technique that is passed on from teacher to student over and over. If one has Reiki, than she/he will be part of a succession of teachers leading back to the founder of the system of Reiki one is practicing. In the case of Usui Reiki, the lineage would lead back to Dr. Usui.
The Reiki technique was developed in Japan in 1920. It was brought to the US in 1937 by Hawayo Takata. A study done in 2007 by the National Health Interview Survey indicates that 1.2 million adults and 161,000 children received one or more sessions of energy healing therapy such as Reiki in the previous year. According to the American Hospital Association, in 2007, 15% or over 800 American hospitals offered Reiki as part of hospital services.
To learn more about reiki we recommend the following:
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