What is Reiki and how is it pronounced?
RAY (like a ray of light) KEY (that unlocks a door).
Rei (first part) means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki means “spiritually guided life force energy.” We can be Reiki or offer/receive Reiki.
Reiki comes from Universal Life Force Energy. There are many different names for this source depending on the beliefs of the individual. Reiki is not a religion or an occult practice and is not limited to any one belief system. Reiki healing is shared through the laying on of hands. There are Christian Reiki practitioners just as there are those who claim other influences or beliefs.
What is Reiki used for? Reiki is used primarily as a technique for stress reduction and relaxation, which in turn promotes wellness. Secondarily, it can be used as part of a daily spiritual practice. Reiki facilitates healing on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. If your energy is low or stagnant or you’re feeling frazzled and holding on by a thread, you are much more likely to get sick and/or suffer from stress. This stress might manifest itself as cancer, heart disease, stroke, weight gain (or loss), sleep disturbances, irritable bowel disorder, anger management issues, depression, sexual dysfunction, and poor mental health. Most often trapped energy presents as irritability and unease. I have heard Reiki referred to as an ‘energetic bath’.
Who can benefit from Reiki treatments?
I believe that every single person can find value in Reiki. Animals benefit tremendously from Reiki. Reiki has been known to be administered to people, animals, food, supplements, homes, objects, events, and trauma/injury.
What are chakras and what do they have to do with Reiki?
Some forms of Reiki teach that the energy works in conjunction with the meridian energy lines called chakras. Chakras are energy centers in the body where energy can be stored, moved, or manifested. There are seven basic chakras and each chakra corresponds with certain aspects of one’s life. Beginning at the top, the chakras are labeled as Crown, Third Eye, Throat, Heart, Solar Plexus, Sacral, and Root.
When the energy within and surrounding the chakras is balanced and harmonious, the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental bodies feel at ease and function at capacity.
What happens with the Reiki energy during a session?
Your body has an amazing ability to heal itself! When you are receiving Reiki, you’re giving permission for the deepest relaxation so that the body can balance its own energy, release what is ready to go, and then to heal itself in the best way. Energy can become blocked in the body and Reiki treatments help to get it moving again. If your life force energy is moving freely, you’re balanced and “in the flow”. Then you are much more likely to be living a happy and healthy life. Reiki assists your body to express wellness through balance and relaxation. Many people use Reiki as a form of daily meditation to center and ground to promote healing and wellness.
Is it true that Reiki can be sent over a distance?
Yes, Reiki energy can be sent over a distance, whether across town or on the other side of the world. If you know of someone who would benefits from a Reiki treatment, you can contact the author of this article for more information or to schedule an appointment. Reiki can be used to go back or forward in time. For example, if you have a procedure or a test scheduled, your Reiki practitioner can send healing Reiki forward in time to that procedure and the healing is already there before the procedure takes place.
What does the Reiki practitioner do during a session?
The teachings of Reiki emphasize the importance of the practitioner’s intention or presence in this healing process. Many consider it the highest level of prayer. Whether the client is aware of it or not, healing is still occurring in ways that one may not perceive for quite some time.
What should a client expect during a Reiki treatment?
When offered in person - you can expect to complete a client intake form and then be greeted by your practitioner. They may ask questions to learn any specific requests that you may have for that day’s session. You’ll be asked to remove any jackets or sweaters, usually your shoes and your glasses, and any jewelry that may inhibit hand placement. In many practices, a safe and secure tray to hold these items is provided for you while you enjoy your session.
The recipient usually lies down face up, fully clothed on a massage table. The practitioner will help place pillows to insure the most comfortable position and may offer a lightweight blanket to insure your temperature comfort. The goal is always for you to feel comfortable and at ease and to be made aware of any concerns that need to be addressed.
The Reiki practitioner may incorporate scanning and/or sweeping techniques and will most likely use a series of hand placements to help move the energy and to facilitate its release. They may/may not carry on a conversation with you and/or ask you questions during the session. Usually, there is a brief time at the end of the session for questions and feedback.
Emotional release can take place and it is ok if you shed tears.
Once the treatment is complete, the practitioner will go through a ritual for sweeping the remaining energy and for closing the sacred Reiki circle. This usually brings the treatment portion to a close.
Where does the practitioner put their hands during the treatment?
The practitioner may place their hands on or around the head, neck, arms, torso, legs and feet. This gentle placement may be directly on the body, or held between a few inches and up to a foot away.
If you are sensitive to touch in any of the above areas, please share this with your practitioner before the session starts. Reiki can be administered without ever touching the body; however, talking with your Reiki practitioner about your preferences and needs before your session begins will insure you receive the best quality experience.
It is NEVER appropriate for a Reiki practitioner to touch or massage the breast or genital area of women or men. Any of these areas that are to be addressed are done with hand placements 4-12 inches away from the body.
What will I “feel” during a session?
The recipient may be aware of a warm sensation where the hands of the practitioner are near, and some clients report that they feel a buzzing or tingling sensation. Almost every client reports a feeling of complete calm and relaxation unmatched by other experiences. Some people feel like they’re floating and a few have fallen asleep as they’ve experienced such deep relaxation in a safe and trusting environment.
One client described it as, “a warm sensation that slowly moved over every inch of my body and ended feeling like I was floating on clouds.” Another described his experience as, “being in the ultimate happy place.” Just as there are different people, there are different experiences and sensations and none are right or wrong.
Reiki doesn’t traditionally use any medications or tools; however, practitioners may sometimes use light tapping, light touch, a sweeping motion, blowing gestures, and direct focusing with the eyes upon certain areas of the body.
How long does a treatment last?
Reiki flows and can be shared quickly and immediately so there is no time requirement; however, appointments usually are made on a 30-, 60-, and 90-minute timeframe to allow ample time. If you’re receiving Reiki for the first time, I recommend that you schedule at least a 60-minute session.
Are there any limitations to receiving Reiki?
No, there are no limitations to giving or receiving Reiki. If you have any physical conditions, limitations, or challenges, please let your practitioner know when you schedule the appointment so that they can configure the room to best suit your needs.
How can Reiki help people with a terminal illness?
Stress levels increase exponentially when a person or family is dealing with a terminal illness. Reiki helps to support both the patient and the caregivers by helping to release emotional fears and to restore the body to a balanced level so that healing can occur. Reiki practitioners understand and affirm that healing occurs on various levels – whether it be from feeling relaxed and free from worry and fear all the way up to and including miracles. We also acknowledge that healing can occur through death. We support the patient as well as the family before, during and after this process. Many Reiki clients have reported less symptoms resulting from chemo, radiation and other treatments. They report that their breathing is eased and they are more at peace. This helps not only the patient have a better quality of life but the family too since they seeing suffering diminish. If you are a cancer patient recently diagnosed and undergoing treatment, I encourage you to seek out Reiki services as a compliment to your medical care.
Will Reiki interfere with any of my medications?
No. Reiki is intended to be a compliment to medical care and does not interfere with any kind of drugs. It will not cause medications to become less effective or stop working. After one or several Reiki sessions, you may feel better and think that you no longer need a medication.
HOWEVER, Do NOT make any changes to your medication without first consulting your physician!
Can I give or receive Reiki while pregnant?
Most definitely; Reiki will not cause any harm to the unborn baby and will help promote relaxation and healing. Some women have reported that it helped to relieve some of the discomforts associated with pregnancy. Reiki is especially beneficial postpartum when the mother’s body is adjusting to her non-pregnancy state and hormones are rebalancing.
Can Reiki stop my addictions?
Reiki is not a magical cure-all but it does help to promote relaxation and long-term change. Any behavior changes can benefit from reduced stress hormones and an increased sense of calm and capability. Reiki may be able to help end an addiction, but remember, you are the ultimate source of these changes.
Is Reiki intended to replace Western medicine?
No, Reiki is not a replacement for Western medicine; it is intended to work along with it for faster healing. When we are in pain or stressed out and frazzled, our body requires extra energy. This is vital energy that the body needs to heal. Reiki promotes deep relaxation and stress relief, which allows the body to focus on repairing itself.
Why would someone seek out Reiki?
An increasing number of people are seeking alternative methods to deal with the ever-present demands of employment, finances, family relationships, constant technological presence, and self-confidence issues. Reiki helps address each of these situations because it addresses the underlying root energies and helps to restore balance and harmony. This increases one’s capabilities to deal with the challenges of modern life.
If Reiki is all knowing, heals where it is most needed, and can do no harm, then why would someone seek to discredit it?
We believe that there is a “spiritual” side to healing. Some doctors do not recognize this belief because of the challenges of measuring and collecting data through a scientific process. In the past few years, research institutes and teaching hospitals, as well as Veteran programs, are analyzing collected data and the results are promising and positive.
Reiki is rapidly taking its place alongside traditional Eastern medicine modalities (like meditation, acupuncture, acupressure, and Yoga) to compliment Western medicine; however, there are still those who believe it’s not an acceptable alternative and seek to discredit anything “outside” of the Western medicine model.
These two worlds can exist together for the well-being of all. In fact, there are countries worldwide as well as medical institutions in the United States who are hosting programs to encourage the co-existence of these two models. This helps everyone continue to learn more and more of the benefits of reducing stress, calming the mind, and releasing frustration. Respected medical research programs such as those from Johns Hopkins Medical School are experimenting with and finding that Reiki is beneficial to healing. We are also beginning to see Reiki promoted as a first-choice compliment by public medical professionals in conjunction with practitioners in partnership with Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM). Veterans programs in select cities are benefitting from Reiki services to treat PTSD.