What is Reiki? Reiki (pronounced Ray-key) is a modality of energy healing rediscovered in Japan by a buddhist named Mikao Usui in the 1920’s. It is a combination of the words Rei (meaning “Higher Power”) and Ki (meaning Life Force). It is a form of guided life force energy hands-on-healing. Reiki means Universal Life Force and can only be used for the client’s highest and greatest good; never for harm, so it is safe to use on everyone. It is a spiritual healing modality. It is not religious in nature, nor does it require any dogmatic practices. Sensei Usui promoted five simple tenets to help align oneself with Universal Life Force. These are: Just for today, I will not be angry; just for today, I will not worry; just for today, I will do my work diligently; just for today, I will express gratitude; just for today, I will be kind to all living things. Meditating on these principles every morning and every evening is highly beneficial toward atunement with Reiki.
Reiki made its way to the United States through Hawayo Takata. Sensei Usui originally taught 2,000 students the practice of Reiki in Japan with only 16 achieving Master level status. Of these 16, he permitted Chujiro Hayashi to continue the tradition and open his own clinic in Japan. Hawayo Takata travelled to Japan to seek medical attention. She was scheduled for surgery and noted the Reiki clinic and inquired about it. After having her basic questions answered, she opted for Reiki treatment instead of standard surgery. She is said to have been amazed by the results; even going so far as to ask the practitioners what they hid up their sleeves to make her feel better! She instantly knew she needed to learn this technique. She brought Reiki to the US in 1937 and trained 22 Reiki Masters in 40 years. It is through these Masters that many contemporary Masters have trained.
There are two main branches of Reiki: Traditional Japanese Reiki, which relies on intuitive placement of hands and Western Reiki, which relies on a systematised hand placement. There are three levels in each system, which are Reiki Level 1 (or Reiki I), Reiki Level 2 (or Reiki II), and Reiki Level 3 (or Reiki III/Master Reiki). Ideally, Reiki Level 1 is practiced a full month prior to entering Reiki Level 2, though it is not a requirement.
Reiki is readily accessible to everyone, but only those that have gone through the Master level training are encouraged to teach its tenets. There are four main power symbols in Reiki. They are Sanskrit words translated into Japanese characters. These are used prior to, and sometimes during, healing sessions or atunements. Reiki Level 1 is all about self healing and self atunement. There are ten basic hand positions for treatment. It is in this stage that the first three symbols are taught. Reiki Level 2 is designed for practicing Reiki on others. Each session takes approximately one hour. Each client is asked to take responsibility for his or her own acceptance of healing and is encouraged to follow all suggestions by their primary physician and adjunct therapists. Reiki practitioners do not diagnose illnesses, nor are they considered a first line of defense. Reiki is a complementary practice and should be thought of as such.
Reiki is safe enough to be used on the elderly, infants, pets, and even houseplants. It is a passive force and does not alter the biofield. It flows where it is needed, so it will flow beyond where the hands are placed. It is practiced while fully clothed and with non-manipulative touch (as opposed to shiatsu, massage, ortho-bionomy, which require the use of force or movement to promote healing balance). Many recipients report feeling a profound sense of relaxation and peace after a session. This relaxed and peaceful state can bring about tremendous changes on all levels; physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Reiki can be used to help ease chronic pain, fatigue, and even to help alleviate unwanted side effects of mainstream medicine.
Reiki should take place in a quiet, relaxing setting. The Reiki practitioner will also ask simple health questions and ask if there are any accommodations needed. There may also be a consent form to sign as well. If there is a particular music you enjoy listening to, you may bring it to play. Wear comfortable, non-restrictive clothing. Also, use the restroom before your session. You may also feel the need to use the restroom immediately following a session, which is perfectly normal. Let the practitioner know if you have any difficulty lying flat or sitting for any length of time. You may experience intense heat from the practitioner’s hands, or pulsing/vibrating/tingling. Some people fall asleep during session and others report having more clarity or feeling refreshed. Reiki is a cumulative therapy; meaning, it usually takes a handful of sessions to see major results. Some see results after their first session and others require more sessions to bring about a regained sense of wellness. There are some people who may like to schedule regular atunement sessions simply to help keep themselves in alignment. Four sessions are usually recommended so that you and the practitioner can assess the benefit(s) you gain from the treatments. It is also encouraged that you drink plenty of pure water after each session.
Reiki has gained in popularity and respect in much of the world and is now offered as an adjunct therapy in many hospitals and clinics. It is considered complementary alternative medicine by allopathic medical practitioners. It is accepted as a safe conjunctive therapy to help promote wellness.
Angela is an ordained minister (high priestess) through Our Lady of Enchantment Seminary of Wicca in Clearlake, CA. She has been reading auras and chakras for 21 years. Angela is also a credentialed Spiritual Wellness Advisor through Universal Class and has a Bachelor’s in English and a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies. Visit integrativespirithealing.com for more information.