What even is Reiki?! This is a question I get asked often since becoming a Reiki Practitioner and talking more about my experience with Reiki, and it’s also a question I had myself before ever receiving a Reiki treatment. I’m not sure I fully understood what it was until I had my first treatment, but the truth is, it’s not an abstract, difficult-to-grasp concept that many people imagine it to be. I truly believe that energy healing could make an enormous, positive impact on many people’s health, so I want to explain to you what Reiki is and how this type of energy healing works in the body.
What is Reiki?
Reiki healing is a type of energy healing that emerged in Japan in the early 1900s (although, the story differs depending on who you ask) after being discovered by Mikao Usui-Sensei. There was a large earthquake in Tokyo in 1923, and Usui-Sensei used Reiki energy to heal many who were affected. He realized he couldn’t heal everyone himself, though, so he eventually trained others in Reiki healing, and things grew from there. Different versions of Reiki developed over time as Reiki Masters from the original school adjusted the way they taught and gave Reiki healing, which is why today there are different forms of Reiki. Even though practitioners might learn, teach, or give Reiki in different ways, it is still all Reiki.
Back to the question – what is Reiki?! Reiki itself means “Universal Life Force Energy.” Reiki healing is a type of energy healing in which Reiki energy is channeled through a practitioner’s body to someone else (or to themselves). Reiki energy will help rebalance the body energetically, increase the person’s vibrations, and promote the body’s natural healing processes. Reiki will shift the body’s own energy so that it reaches realignment to where it naturally should be, and this results in physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.
How does energy healing work?
To grasp how energy healing works, it’s important to understand that we aren’t just physical bodies living in a physical, unchanging universe. We are made of energy, and there is energy in everything around us. Down to the cellular level. Many people are already familiar with the concept that we are made of energy because they’ve heard of Chi in Chinese medicine, which refers to life force, or energy – the energy that connects mind, body, and spirit. Whatever you call it, there is an energy within our own bodies and in the world around us. We have a physical body (which also contains energy), and then we also have our energy body, which extends out as far as our fingertips. Many people are familiar with this concept by another name – auras. Our energy body has a vibrational frequency and aura that changes depending on our current emotional, physical, and spiritual states.
What does this energy have to do with disease, and how can it affect healing? Physical, emotional, and mental health issues occur when our energy is out of balance and /or blocked, and when we are disconnected from high vibrations for too long. We feel healthy when our energy is flowing easily and fluidly throughout the body, but if our energy is stuck in the wrong place, if it can’t move easily to communicate between the healing centers of the body, or if we don’t have enough high vibration energy, this can result in pain, illness, depression, anxiety, and other disease.
We can store energy in the form of emotions, memories, and beliefs, and if they build up, this can create disease in the body. This is related to our chakras, which are the body’s energy centers. If our chakras are out of balance, this can cause emotional and/or physical symptoms. Energy healing is important because imbalances typically show up on our energy body before our physical body, so if we are taking care of our energy body and correcting any imbalances there, we can help prevent it from manifesting in our physical body in the form of disease or illness.
Reiki is all about enhancing the flow of our body’s energy and rebalancing it properly in order to prevent physical illness and promote the healing of any disease, illness, or discomfort already present. Remember, our bodies want to be in balance, and we are all born with the power to heal ourselves. The energy within us helps the body to repair, and Reiki balances this energy.
The Reiki practitioner acts as a channel of Reiki energy to facilitate the healing process. Reiki energy flows through their hands (the energy from a practitioner’s hands actually creates a measurably larger biomagnetic reading than a non-practitioner’s hands, in frequencies associated with physical healing) to the client, and the energy flows wherever it is needed in the body. It’s important to remember that the practitioner doesn’t send the client his or her own personal energy – the practitioner is simply acting as a channel of healing energy. The client’s own body decides what it is ready to release and how it is ready to heal. One thing that makes Reiki unique is that once a practitioner is attuned to be in direct contact with the universal life force energy, they are connected with that energy forever. This happens when a Reiki Master transfers the ability to perform Reiki to a new practitioner through a process called attunement, which is a powerful spiritual experience.
What can Reiki help with?
Receiving Reiki healing from a Reiki practitioner can help with any type of emotional, spiritual, or physical health issues. Reiki can help reduce physical pain, stress, negative energy, emotional blocks, anxiety, depression, or anger. It can help you work through past trauma, rebalance your chakras, and improve your personal growth and wisdom. It can provide mental clarity and help you in many aspects of your life – relationships, work, finances, personal goals, and inspiration. It will increase the positive energy in your life. I highly recommend Reiki for anyone with chronic or unresolved health issues. I’ve seen Reiki reduce chronic pain, facilitate the rebalancing of hormones, reduce digestive symptoms, and more. It works on many systems of the body, including the muscular system, endocrine system, and lymphatic system. Reiki is particularly great for anyone who feels any type of emotional block or is caught in the sympathetic state.
What is a Reiki session like?
Every Reiki session is different, but most begin in the same way. You’ll be laying down, usually on a massage table, relaxed, with your eyes closed (although they can be open if you want!). The most important thing is that you’re relaxed and ready to receive healing. The Reiki practitioner will place his or her hands on or directly over different areas of your body, and the practitioner will transfer universal life force energy from their body, out of their hands, into the client’s body. The Reiki energy will then flow wherever it needs to go.
Different Reiki practitioners might have other parts to their Reiki sessions, but most usually begin by balancing your chakras. When I’m working with Reiki clients, I start with an aura scan, then I balance their chakras, and then I start the actual Reiki healing. If something comes up that I need to ask them about during the session, I will ask, but usually it’s after the session that I’ll go over what I noticed / felt / saw, and we will have a dialogue. We’ll go over which chakras were out of balance and recommendations to keep them in balance, and then everything else is customized to whatever I saw for the client. This can include their aura, any visions, past lives, spirits or guides, emotional chords blocking their energy, or anything else that I intuit.
Reiki itself doesn’t always include intuitive work, but I personally do utilize it – this was one reason why I chose to study Reiki under my Reiki master, Firestar, who does psychic work and is my spiritual mentor rather than just my Reiki master. I want to point this out because I know many people get confused and think that Reiki also means intuitive / psychic work, but it doesn’t, even though some reiki practitioners also do include this in their sessions if they’re tapped into their intuition. If you’re looking mainly for psychic work, then look for someone who markets themself as an intuitive / psychic (Firestar does this work!) specifically. Many energy healers, in general, are not just “one type” of energy healer, though, which is what makes each healer’s sessions unique. Everyone offers something different and does things a bit differently. I recommend going to the practitioner whose focus is what you’re looking for.
Reiki is traditionally performed in person, but it can also be performed over distance, and I find it is just as effective with my distance clients as in-person clients. In a distance session, the client simply lays down in a quiet area at the set time, relaxes, and lays there while the practitioner performs the Reiki via distance. I usually have my clients set a timer for however long the session will last, and then they get up after the timer goes off. After that, I talk to them about everything that came up during the session.
What does it feel like?
There are many different experiences you might have during a Reiki treatment. One of the most common is to have a strong emotional response. You might start crying on the table and not know why. You might feel sad, angry, or confused. You might also feel elated, joyous, and excited. You could laugh or smile without knowing why. Another one of the most common experiences is feeling strong heat or very cold in certain parts of your body – this has to do with the energy flow. You might also see colors, lights, visions, or shapes, your stomach might rumble, or you might get hungry. You might also perform some involuntary movements like twitching – often people don’t even realize this happens. Many people also fall asleep, which is totally fine!
It’s also completely possible that you won’t noticeably feel anything during the session. Whether or not you feel anything in the moment, you’re still receiving Reiki, and the Reiki is working in the body. You don’t have to have any extraordinary reaction or sensation to have a very effective session! Many people are stuck in the mindset that they need to “notice” something physically for it to be “working,” but that’s not the case with energy healing.
What can you expect after a Reiki session?
After a Reiki treatment, you might notice you’re extra sensitive to your environment and the energies around you. You might feel detoxification symptoms – fatigue and tiredness are common. You’ll probably sleep very hard that night. Others might experience the exact opposite and be unable to sleep as the body detoxes. You might also feel the complete opposite of tired – many clients leave their sessions feeling extra energized and ready to tackle anything.
In terms of emotions, most people leave the session with a sense of happiness, peace, and calm, but if you’re still releasing energetically, you might need to release emotions like sadness or anger after the session. Remember, it’s a type of energetic detoxification. No one responds the same, and you might have different responses to every Reiki treatment you get, depending on what came up in that session.
No matter what, it’s important to be gentle on your body and mind for the rest of the day. Allow your body to rest! I don’t recommend planning to do anything that requires a lot of energy (emotional or physical) directly after a Reiki treatment. It’s also important to drink extra water after a session and stay hydrated. You might be hungrier than usual after Reiki, which is totally normal. Sometimes I feel completely ravenous after I get a Reiki treatment! Make sure you eat nourishing foods to help your body recover.
Becoming a Reiki Practitioner was something I never expected in my path, but it fell into my journey effortlessly after I realized that receiving Reiki was such an important step on my road to healing. Now, I’m happy that I can help others experience that same thing. I truly hope that more people start learning more about energy healing and decide to give it a shot! It is something I wish I had looked into long ago on my own healing journey, and unlike other types of treatments, there are really no downsides. I know that many people are struggling despite doing “everything right,” and sometimes energy healing really is the last missing link to help those people heal. If you’re feeling blocked from physical or emotional healing in any way, energy healing might be just what you need to help rebalance your energy so that your body’s natural healing processes can finally start to work properly again!