As a Reiki Master, I often get asked what Reiki is and even for folks who know of Reiki may have a shaky understanding. So I’d like to take this article to clarify some ideas and possible misconceptions about Reiki. If you have any additional question, please leave them in the comments.
The Definition of Reiki
Reiki is Universal Life Force Energy and is offered through an energy channeling system that allows the Reiki practitioner to send life force energy to a target (such as a person or animal) for healing. This system originated in Japan and was first channeled by Dr. Usui after a long meditation retreat. Although Reiki is often defined as “Universal Life Force Energy” and can thus be equated to Qi or Prana, the modality is different. Pranic healing practices use the pranic energy within the client or the practitioner. In Reiki the practitioner does not use his or her energy, but channels a heavenly energy source which works on the client and also provides some energy to the practitioner to facilitate the treatment and where to work on the client.
How is Reiki Done?
Reiki can be done with touch or without touch. It can be done in person or over a long distance (such as US to China). In both forms there is no physical manipulation of the body, even in the touch form the hands are only gently placed on the body. The hands stay stationary on the body until they are moved to a new location. The energy flows through the practitioner into the clients body and energy field. In higher energy vibrations physical space does not exist and thus the flow of energy works globally. Reiki is generally channeled through the hands and can be done using the aid of symbols to increase the strength or without symbols as a gentler general treatment.
Is Reiki a Religion?
In simple terms, Reiki is not a religion, the idea of a Universal Life Force in some form is common to most religions and thus it is not intended to be limited to one. Dr. Usui was Buddhist and thus some of the values incorporated into Reiki can reflect those values, but humility, service and mental positivity tend to also be universal values.
Since Reiki is a high vibrational energy it helps us feel more peaceful. The vibrational boost to our system often helps us connect more closely with our Soul and with Universal consciousness. When we feel closer to our Creator we can often let go of fear and other negative emotions and allow for deeper healing to occur. Some Reiki practitioners have a spiritual Reiki guide whom they work with and others work with nondenominational healing angels such as Michael and Raphael. I personally connect to the guidance of Guru Ram Das who is a compassionate and respected spiritual guide in the Kundalini Yoga tradition and Sikh tradition and is know for his healing and compassionate nature. Once ascended masters move beyond our Earthly realm they become universal and drop the duality of our religious systems.
What Does Reiki Do?
Glad you asked! Reiki helps the body relax, allowing the body’s natural healing mechanisms to kick in and repair damage in the body. Our autonomic nervous system has two sides, the gas pedal (sympathetic nervous system) and the break pedal (parasympathetic nervous system). When we are in activity mode or under stress, our body tends to stay on the gas pedal on a regular basis, releasing hormones like cortisol which overtime can tax the body. When we take a break and relax, our body switches to the break pedal to allow for digestion and repair of body systems. Reiki helps our body to switch into the relaxation mode which can be hard in our day to day world. It’s not uncommon for some folks to fall asleep on the Reiki table or to feel incredibly relaxed.
Since we are beings with vibrational frequencies and energy fields the Reiki experience extends beyond just the physical body. Energy centers commonly known as chakras are affected by Reiki and so is the aura. Our fields and bodies store emotional memory, physical memory and karmic memory (past-lives). Reiki can be used to soothe and heal stuck feelings and karmas as well as to work on physical issues.
Reiki can also be directed to specific intentions. Whether you would like to better understand your particular life path or you’d prefer to feel more safe and secure, Reiki can be asked to work on specific emotions or feelings to help heal the underlying cause and create a larger sense of well being. I am sometimes guided to combine Reiki sessions with mantras from the Kundalini Yoga tradition to extend the effect of the Reiki treatment.
What is Reiki Not?
Sometimes Reiki is thought of as a medical intuitive tool or somehow as a way to diagnose illness. This is not the case. Reiki as Universal Life Force Energy flows to where ever it is needed most at the time of the session. Although a practitioner maybe guided to work in one area, the Reiki can travel through energy pathways in the body and aura to other areas that need it most. Thus there is no way to know exactly what it does or where it goes. The practitioner can experience one thing and the client can experience something else.
Reiki is often used in health care settings to support conventional medical treatments such as chemo therapy to promote well being in the client. It is a great addition to many conventional treatments to speed healing. It is never a diagnostic tool.
What Happens After a Reiki Session?
The effects of a Reiki session can unfold as the session goes on, but many effects will be experienced as the healing integrates into the body and energy field. When working on something like life path, emotions or healing a karmic block the effects will take time to integrate. Sometimes several sessions will bring more clarity.
One thing to be aware of is the detoxing effect of Reiki. As Reiki brings the body into alignment with Source and Soul, it will cause some things to detox from the body. It is good to practice body awareness for several days after a Reiki session. This might mean drinking more water to allow toxins to flush out or to eat a modified diet to help the vibrations stay higher. That means leafy greens and lots of vegetables! (Organic if possible.)
A Reiki session can often bring up challenges. This is common for any energy practice, including meditation. As you raise your vibration, you maybe asked to act in alignment with the new open energies. This can mean that an old challenge will come before you to give you an opportunity to overcome it. If you are able to keep even a small meditation practice of three minutes a day, you’ll give yourself a leg-up on facing these challenges!
So if you’re looking for a new, elevated way to relax mind and body and maybe do some healing, you can give a Reiki treatment a try. Remember, Reiki can be sent anywhere in the world and maybe even beyond.
Now I’d like to hear your biggest questions about Reiki! Leave them in the comments below.