What is Reiki?
Rei (soul, spirit) + Ki (vital energy of everything) = Reiki (universal life force energy)
Mikao Usui re-discovered Reiki in Japan in the late 1800s. (We say "re-discovered" because the energy was already there.) Neither Reiki nor the practice of using Reiki energy is associated with any religion.
The word reiki (with a lower case "r") is synonymous with qi or prana, the life-force energy that enlivens all living beings. Reiki (with a capital "R") refers to the energy work practice that utilizes that energy.
Reiki is a gentle healing technique that helps facilitate the recipient's own natural healing systems. It can be performed in-person or over great distances.
Reiki is based in the wisdom that you have within you everything you need to heal yourself. Whether that be your mind, spirit or body, you are equipped to heal. When we are stuck or have blockages in our bodies or energy fields, Reiki seeks to flow through those areas to help us reach our true potential in mind, body and spirit. That means that you are actually doing the healing and Reiki energy is simply accessing and honoring the knowledge of your mind, body and spirit to move through blockages and release what might be preventing your higher level of wellness.
The power of Reiki works totally in congruence with your inner wisdom.
There are 5 principles of Reiki, described as the principles to live by to promote a healthy, loving way of life. They all begin with "just for today." There's less pressure if we're taking it just one day at a time, right? This is the original translation of the principles.
Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will not be angry.
Just for today, I will be grateful.
Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.
These principles can be used by anyone. They can be a spiritual practice through daily meditation or prayer.
The principles can even be paraphrased to better suit you, keeping the intention in tact. This is the way I use the principles.
For today, I trust.
For today, I love.
For today, I have gratitude.
For today, I am true to myself and others.
For today, I am kind to every living thing.
Reiki is good for many conditions and situations since it is available to everyone and only seeks your highest good. In fact, the only people who shouldn't receive Reiki treatments are those who have pacemakers. The energy can offset the pacemaker and cause it to malfunction.
For an in-person Reiki treatment, the recipient/client is fully clothed with the exception of shoes. The practitioner acts as a channel that the energy flows through while placing her hands in key positions on (or hovering around) the recipient's body.
The recipient is encouraged to relax and breathe, sometimes may be asked to visualize the energy moving through. The recipient is always in full control of the amount of energy being drawn in.
Though Reiki works concurrently with our energy fields and chakras, it goes wherever it is needed. A healing session is intended to reinforce your body's natural healing processes. Many recipients of Reiki claim to feel calm and alert after a session. There are many potential benefits depending on what within you needs healing.
The number of uses and benefits of Reiki are infinite! It can be (and is) used remotely for struggling communities, to help heal parts of our past and even to help future situations go well. It can be used on our food to help provide the most nourishment to our bodies and it can be used on our pets if they are sick, to help ease stress or just to promote general well-being.
Photography by Brit Davis
Here are some examples of what doesn't work:
You want Reiki to keep your partner from breaking up with you.
You want to get a million dollars tomorrow.
You want to be pardoned for your responsibility in misconduct.
Reiki may help with these situations! However, it flows for your highest good and that may mean disconnection from a toxic relationship, finding one's own way to earning money or making amends for handling conflicts in ways that are not serving you.
Here are some great aspects of Reiki:
Reiki focuses on the recipient (and greatest good of all affected).
Reiki is only accepted with permission.
Reiki does not diagnose.
The recipient's imbalances or blocks do not have to be defined or consciously understood for healing to occur.
Someone who has been trained and attuned in all three levels of Reiki is called a Reiki Master. A Reiki Master is certified and attuned to act as a channel for the energy to flow through. Some Reiki Masters are practitioners and/or are inspired to teach the courses for Reiki Levels 1, 2 and Master Levels.
Reiki Masters and practitioners have no bearing on any situation for which you're seeking energy healing. In other words, the practitioner does not direct the use of the energy, rather acts only as a channel for Reiki to flow through. It is the practitioner's role to be the best channel for the recipient in allowing the energy to flow. The goal is for the recipient the highest level of healing from Reiki energy, not from the practitioner.
Even if Reiki is sent distantly, permission is asked. For example, a practitioner may wish to send Reiki to a community that is in the midst of war or a struggle for civil rights. The intention is set that if permission is not given, Reiki will instead flow to where it is accepted and needed, such as the land or nearby water. Reiki has no bias or agenda so it can only help in positive ways.
Photography by Brit Davis