What is Reiki?

Melissa Wright

The word “Reiki” comes from the Japanese words “rei” (universal) and “ki” (life energy). Reiki is a type of energy healing.

Reiki has been around for thousands of years. Its current form was first developed in 1922 by a Japanese Buddhist called Mikao Usui, who reportedly taught 2,000 people the Reiki method during his lifetime. The practice spread to the U.S. through Hawaii in the 1940s, and then to Europe in the 1980s.

Reiki healing is all about ensuring that our energy centers are open and the flow of energy through the body is steady and balanced. This creates the ideal environment for healing to occur. When the energy becomes slow, stagnant or blocked in the body we are more susceptible to illness and/or illness.

As we go through life we often have an internal dialogue that is replaying past experiences that keep us emotionally charged and attached to negative emotions such as anger, fear, resentment, anxiety, worry, doubt, insecurity, guilt, sadness and others.

Reiki treatments can help us to release and cleanse these negative energies, blocked emotions or traumas – allowing us more freedom and clarity to move forward on our life journey.

​Experiencing negative emotions during difficult times is not harmful. But when we are not able to process and release those negative emotions they can cause psychic debris to accumulate which causes blockages and roadblocks in our bodies and our lives.

The healing effects are mediated by channeling the universal energy known as qi, pronounced “chi.” In India, this is known as “prana.” This is the same energy involved in tai chi exercise. It is the life force energy that some believe surrounds all of us.

Reiki aids in the body’s natural healing processes, and supports emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. It is also said to induce deep relaxation, help people cope with difficulties, relieve emotional stress, and improve overall well being. 

Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal themselves. Similar to the way you don’t have to think about how to heal a cut on your hand, you don’t have to think about how to use the energy channeled during a Reiki session. Your body knows exactly how and where to send the energy.

What happens in a Reiki session?

Reiki is best held in a peaceful setting, but it can be carried out anywhere (including remotely). The patient will sit in a comfortable chair or lie on a table, fully clothed. There may or may not be music, depending on the patient’s preference.

In person the practitioner holds their hands lightly on or over the body, the transfer of energy takes place. During this time, the practitioner’s hands may be warm and tingling. Each hand position is held until the practitioner senses that the energy has stopped flowing. When the practitioner feels that the heat, or energy, in their hands has abated, they will remove their hands and may place them over a different area of the body.

When done remotely the practitioner will often use a proxy to aid in channeling the energy to the patient.

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