About Reiki

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What Is Reiki?

Reiki (pronounced "ray key") is an ancient Japanese form of energy healing that seeks to restore order and balance to the mind, body, and soul. Although Reiki dates back thousands of years, it was rediscovered and developed in the early 1900s by Dr. Mikao Usui. There are now more than 30 variations and branches of the original Usui Reiki Ryoho healing system founded by Dr. Usui, but the Usui system remains the most popular form practiced.   

Reiki translates to “universal life force energy.” This energy is the highest and purest form of unconditional love which is the very essence that supports and sustains life. When our energy body is out of balance, we operate at a lower vibration which can lead to physical and emotional symptoms. Reiki works to enhance life force energy and clear out blockages so that the body can return to a state of balance, thus optimizing the body's natural ability to heal itself. Using the methods within the Reiki system of natural healing, a Reiki practitioner is able to tune into and channel life force energy into the intended recipient.

Reiki’s soothing and balancing energy can be useful for ourselves, our loved ones, our pets, and even the spaces we occupy. All that's required for Reiki to work is a desire and openness to receive its healing energy. In addition to private treatments, Reiki can be found as a complementary practice to support traditional forms of health treatments in hospitals, hospices, and other clinical settings all over the world. 

What Reiki Is Not 

When learning about what Reiki is, it's of equal importance to have an understanding about what Reiki is not. Although modern Reiki founder Mikao Usui was influenced by his roots in Buddhism, the most important thing to know about Reiki is that it is not a religion. It is a form of spiritual healing, but Reiki practitioners and clients come from all walks of life, faiths, and belief systems. Reiki does not interfere with or change the spiritual or religious beliefs of those who practice or receive its benefits. 

Reiki is not massage, reflexology, or other practice that involves the hands manipulating the body. Reiki is also not an alternative form of medical treatment, as it does not treat diseases or disorders. And, although Reiki is an energy-healing system that aims to promote overall wellness, it is not a substitute for professional medical care or mental health support.

How Does Reiki Work? 

Energy flows through all living matter. When we're feeling stressed or anxious, we carry around negative energy that creates blocks in our chakras and lowers our overall vibration. Reiki healing energy works to assist with opening blocked passages, reactivating energy centers, and restoring the natural flow of energy that enhances the body’s innate ability to heal itself. Unlike many other complementary practices, Reiki energy healing treats the whole body vs. specific symptoms. Reiki can affect each person differently, but Reiki is intelligent energy that always goes wherever the receiver needs it most.

What are the Benefits of Reiki?

Reiki is a simple, natural, and safe method of energy healing linked to a wide range of physical and emotional health benefits including deep relaxation, improved mood, better sleep, increased focus, a strengthened immune system, and relief from a variety of conditions including pain, fatigue, anxiety, digestion issues, and joint problems to name a few. Reiki accelerates the body's self healing natural healing by balancing the system and moving the recipient towards a place of physical, mental, and spiritual wellness. 

** Reiki promotes natural self healing and makes for a wonderful complementary treatment that can help relieve side effects and boost recovery, but it is not intended to replace medications or professional medical care. I encourage clients to work with medical professionals for the treatment of physical or mental concerns and use Reiki treatments to support the healing process. For those who are already in good health, regular Reiki treatments can be used as a stand alone form of stress relief and preventive medicine. 

What Does Reiki Feel Like?  

Each individual's experience with Reiki will be unique, but most clients report that they felt calm, comfortable, and relaxed during the session. Some may see bright colors or specific images or experience physical sensations like heat, tingling, pulsing in areas of their body, and there will be some recipients who don't feel anything at all. Overall, most people feel relaxed and peaceful during Reiki treatment and many fall asleep during the process. I like to remind my clients that all sessions are different and all experiences are equal. Whatever they experienced or didn't experience, their session was exactly as it was meant to be.

What Happens During a Reiki Session?

Prior to a Reiki treatment, the practitioner and recipient will communicate briefly so that the recipient can share any emotional and/or physical concerns they're experiencing, ask any questions they may have, and to share their intention for the session. The practitioner will then go over the Reiki process and share what to expect from the session.

During a hands-on session, the recipient lies on a massage table fully clothed. Unlike other touch therapies, there is no pressure, massage, or manipulation involved with Reiki. Once the practitioner has tapped into Reiki energy, they will gently place their hands palms down, on or slightly above the recipient's body, at specific energy locations. They will use a series of different hand positions throughout the session, resting at each location roughly 3-5 minutes. This becomes an intuitive process, so the length of time they leave their hands on a particular area will vary based upon the flow of the energy at each location. Once the session is complete the practitioner will discuss the session, share what to expect in the days following the session, and answer any new questions the recipient may have. 

For distance sessions, the practitioner will begin by using the distance symbol to create an energetic connection with the recipient that will also be used to channel and send Reiki energy during the session. The method and techniques used to perform distance sessions will vary by practitioner, but many will also use a Reiki surrogate, photos, and/or mental imagery to perform the hand positions to deepen the connection with the recipient.

Whether the session is performed in person or remotely, it's important to remember that the practitioner is acting as a conduit between Reiki energy and the recipient; they are not healing the recipient. During a session, the practitioner and receiver connect on spiritual and energetic levels. The receiver will determine the energy flow from the practitioner’s hands and/or transmitted energy, taking only what they need. When both the intention of the practitioner and the receiver’s intention are aligned, the greatest results are possible.  

What Happens After a Reiki Treatment?

It may take several minutes to slowly come back to full awareness after a Reiki treatment, so it is important to be gentle with yourself and allow time to absorb the experience. You will then want to make sure you drink a glass of water and continue to stay hydrated, as it is likely that your body will detoxify in the days that follow your session. To facilitate the healing process, it can be helpful to observe your reactions, behavior, thoughts, and feelings for several days. Many clients notice a reduction in pain, an increase in energy or focus, or a general overall feeling of peace and well-being.

What Is Distance/Remote Reiki?

During an in-person session, a Reiki practitioner channels universal life force energy to the client using intention, sacred Reiki symbols, and gentle hand placements in key positions on the body. Because energy is not limited by time or distance, this transfer of energy can also be done remotely with the same benefits. During a distance session, the Reiki practitioner will include the distant Reiki symbol which joins them together with the recipient. Many Reiki practitioners will also use a proxy to represent the recipient of the energy. I use a proxy during my sessions, because I personally find it helpful for hand placements and pendulum work I perform during session. In addition to a proxy, it's also common for a practitioner to request photos and/or locations to strengthen the connection. Although the methods used may vary among practitioners, intention remains one of the most transformative components of any Reiki session. 

Feeling tired? Feeling stressed out? Feeling out of balance? Why not give Reiki a try?