Reiki: What is it all about

Holistic Team -

​What Is Reiki?

Reiki is a form of spiritual healing that benefits the total person mind, body, and spirit. The discovery of the practice of Reiki is attributed to Dr. Mikao Usui who was born in 1865 to a wealthy Buddhist family.

From a young age, he studied swordsmanship, martial arts, and an intense Japanese fitness practice known as Chi King. Doctor Usui had a keen interest in healing, medicine, Theology, and psychology.

These interests brought about his desire to develop a method of healing himself and others through touch, the laying on of hands. He was determined that his findings not be affiliated with any religion so that it would be accepted and used universally, with no spiritual constraints.

The word Reiki is derived from the Japanese “Rei”, meaning “universal life” and “Ki”, meaning “energy”. Reiki is the life energy which sustains and flows within all living things. It is not a religious practice, nor does it have any religious affiliation whatsoever.

Reiki practitioners assist individuals in learning how to use their own natural energies to heal and strengthen themselves. Once their Reiki energy is active and healthy within their own bodies and they have learned how to effectively utilize it, they can also use it to help others.

When a person's Ki, or energy, is free-flowing and strong, it means that their entire being - physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual - is healthy and aligned with its universal purpose for existence.

Reiki has been shown to reduce stress and tension, lower blood pressure, and helped you relieve conditions such as insomnia and anxiety as well as a number of emotional and mental issues.

Who Should Use Reiki?

Reiki can be used by anyone who is interested in finding an all-natural means of healing the body, mind, and spirit using nothing more than touch. Since Reiki involves only the laying on of hands by a Reiki practitioner, there are no medications, synthetic or otherwise, used to achieve results and therefore no unhealthy side effects to deal with.

Reiki is used to activate and improve the body's natural healing processes and energies. It is effective in relieving conditions such as stress, anxiety, tension, sleep disorders, eating disorders, and hypertension.

It has been credited with healing several types of physical ailments as well, with devotees of the practice claiming complete healing of serious issues such as cancerous tumors, stomach ailments, heart conditions, and more.

Since it involves healing via touch only, Reiki is safe for anyone including pregnant women, children, those suffering from mental illness, and the elderly, and even pets.

The actual science behind the practice of Reiki is unclear, with many experts believing that it works simply through the power of suggestion, while those who have experienced Reiki healing swear that it works.

Extensive testing has proven that following Reiki treatment, many patients no longer show signs of some serious physical and psychological illnesses.


Along with reports of Reiki delivering positive results when used to treat conditions such as insomnia, stress, anxiety, depression, and other ailments of this type, medical testing has shown that Reiki has been successful in several instances in treating the following conditions:

  • Chronic pain
  • Hypertension
  • Cancer
  • Infertility
  • Migraine headaches
  • Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Crohn's disease
  • Autism
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Liver disease

Experts agree that there is a very real possibility that Reiki works based on a type of “mind over matter” effect, particularly since no medications or natural botanical treatments are involved.

Regardless of the reason, the fact remains that Reiki treatment has resulted in actual healing of verified, recorded medical conditions. It cannot be denied that many people who have undergone Reiki healing sessions have come away with astounding results.


There have been some minor negative effects reported from Reiki treatment. The most serious of these is an indirect effect caused by an individual's total commitment to Reiki even when no actual healing takes place.

These individuals may refuse to seek more traditional forms of treatment in favor of continuing Reiki. This can often be life-threatening. It should be remembered that Reiki is only one form of healing and it may not be effective for everyone or in every instance.

When there are no notable results, it is important to seek out other forms of treatment. Reiki involves the alignment or realignment of the body's chakras, the major energy points of the human body.

With the attunement and clearing of the chakras, an inpouring of energy can occur. This can initially result in some discomfort as the body and the mind become acclimated to these new energy flows.

  • Potential effects can include:
  • Headache (usually mild)
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Blurred vision
  • Physical and/or mental fatigue
  • Mild flu-like symptoms

Possible emotional side effects may include:

  • Unexplained feelings of sadness of sadness
  • Crying for no reason
  • Irritability and/or outbursts of anger

These effects do not last long and do not result and serious physical issues.

Who Can Act As A Reiki Practitioner?

Anyone can study and practice to become a Reiki practitioner. Some people choose to do so for personal reasons, to have the ability to heal themselves or loved ones.

Others become professional healers, gaining certification to serve the public as a fully trained Reiki practitioner.

Whether you are interested in learning the methods for your own private use or you're interested in pursuing Reiki as a career, you will need to follow the basic steps to get trained and learn everything you need to get started:

1. Know The Roots Of Reiki Healing

Take the time to study the history of Reiki and those who have practiced it. Learn about their successes, read their advice about becoming a healer.

Look into the medical studies that have been conducted involving Reiki healing. Understand the inner workings of the craft so that you will know how and where to draw your inspiration from.

2. Be Aware Of The Laws

If you are planning to become a public practitioner, there are levels of training you must achieve in order to be able to offer your services legally. These requirements vary from state-to-state. Some states even require a Reiki practitioner to be certified as an ordained minister. Make sure you adhere strictly to the laws and ordinances that apply in your area.

3. Collect Your Necessities

You will want to make certain you have on hand all the tools of the trade, whether for personal or professional use.

The basics you will need to get started include a sturdy and comfortable massage table or chair (or both), blankets, pillows of various sizes, fresh linens, bottled water, a swivel chair on wheels, and soft facial tissues.

You will find other items you wish to add along the way. Always make certain to have adequate, freshly clean and folded items on hand at all times.

4. Find Your Comfort Level

If you are to be an effective Reiki healer, you must be relaxed and completely at ease as you administer treatments.

Learn to identify your own inner indicators as you work through treatments so that you will know when you have reached the levels at which you are most effective in any given situation. Self-awareness is key to successful healing, whether of yourself or others.

How To Find A Reiki Practitioner

As with anything these days, the internet is a convenient source for locating a good Reiki practitioner.

Word-of-mouth is also an excellent way to find what you are looking for, and it is always more reliable than online recommendations, which are often nothing more than paid reviews or advertisements.

If you know someone who is interested in Reiki, talk to them to see if they can refer you to an effective Reiki practitioner.  Speak to your doctor or therapist about it as well.

Many health care professionals are open-minded to alternative methods of treatment, and they may be able to direct you to a reputable and fully qualified Reiki healer.

When looking online for practitioners, be sure to verify that any potential healer has all the proper certifications. Look for reviews from actual patients who recommend the practitioner based on their own personal experience.  Check them out with the Better Business Bureau.

Your most effective tool in choosing a good Reiki practitioner will be your own impressions and instincts. Visit several practitioners before settling on one. Pay attention to your first impressions and overall feelings about each one.

Reiki involves many aspects of treatment that will affect you on several levels. You want to choose someone you are comfortable with and trust to have access to all of the facets of your body and mind.

What To Look For In A Good Reiki Practitioner

The first thing you will want to look for is a Reiki healer with whom you feel completely comfortable and at ease.

As with any health and wellness professional who will be responsible for you your physical, mental, and emotional well-being, you want to find someone you trust who has a great reputation, who is personable, who cares more about their patients than their paycheck, and who listens to you and encourages you to share everything you wish to share.

Too often healthcare professionals treat their patients like an assembly line, spending only a few moments with each one and never really listening to the patient's concerns before dashing off to the next one.  These perfunctory examinations often lead to incorrect diagnoses.

Look for a Reiki practitioner who seeks to know as much as possible about you so that they can see to your true and complete treatment and healing.

What To Expect During A Visit

Due to the nature of Reiki itself, there is no specific protocol when it comes to a visit to a practitioner for Reiki treatment. There are, however, some things you can expect and prepare for.

The setting where your treatment will take place should be private, peaceful, well-organized, and clean. There may be quiet music or nature sounds playing softly in the background, but if you prefer silence it is perfectly acceptable to inform your practitioner of this.

Sometimes you may be asked to complete paperwork and/or an interview in order for the practitioner to assess your personal needs and customize a plan of treatment just for you.  This usually doesn't take very long.

When you are ready to begin treatment, you will likely be asked to lie on your back on a massage table or to sit in a comfortable chair. A pillow will be placed under your head.

Once you are comfortable the Reiki healer will use gentle, non-invasive touch in various areas of the shoulders, head, neck, torso, and back.

This allows the healer to locate and identify various energies within your body and to ascertain their condition. In this way, the healer discovers energies that may need to be aligned or realigned as part of your healing.

During treatment, many patients indicate that they experience a subtle and comfortable warming sensation emanating from the Reiki practitioner’s hands that penetrates deep into the area of the body where the hands are lightly touching.

They describe the feeling as pleasant and relaxing. Some experience and almost instantaneous relief from pain. Nearly all patients report feeling deeply relaxed during and after the healing session.

Can You Do Reiki On Your Own Without A Practitioner?

You can absolutely perform Reiki healing on yourself. Many people wonder about this, thinking that if you have issues that require healing in the first place, you will not be able to help yourself.

However, you know your body and your mind better than anyone else. You know where your problem areas lie.

By focusing on them and drawing forth the natural energies needed to strengthen and heal them, you are awakening within yourself the very elements you need for healing. This often happens subconsciously, with you being unaware that positive results are being achieved until you begin to actually experience them.

Where To Learn More About Reiki (For learning more in general)

A great deal of information about Reiki can be found online. There are many reputable websites and sources where you can learn everything about Reiki, from its origins and history to its benefits and studies that indicate it works.

You can also get information from local Reki practitioners and, in some cases, from your healthcare professional.

(For learning about being a Reiki practitioner)

There are a number of online resources for those who wish to become certified Reiki practitioners. Information is available for finding the necessary training, classes, and all requirements in your area. Your local Reki practitioner can also provide you with information for getting started on the road to your Reki practice.