What Is Reiki?

For the last several years I’ve been studying this fascinating practice.  You can find a lot of information about Reiki on the Web; how it originated, developed and spread.  Plenty of people will offer to make you a Reiki practitioner through online courses.  You can even find local Reiki practitioners and practice circles.  In very brief:

Reiki was developed in Japan by Dr. Mikao Usui and brought to the west by his student, Mrs. Hawaya Takata.  Reiki is a method of energetic, spiritual healing.  Reiki is a universal, healing, life force energy.  Reiki is channeled through the practitioner to the recipient; none of the practitioner’s energy is used.

Learning Reiki

Reiki practitioners progress through three different levels, or degrees:

First Level, or Shoden.  Reiki flows through direct contact, or minimal distance.  The practitioner lays her hands either directly on the client or can hold them a couple inches above the body.

Second Level, or Okuden.  In this level the practitioner learns symbols that enable her to offer Reiki at a distance.

Third Level, or Shinpiden.  The Master level is divided into two types of practitioners.  A Reiki Master is one who has been given the Master attunement and symbol, but does not instruct or attune others in Reiki.  A Master-Teacher is given an additional symbol and training in passing Reiki on to others.

At each level, the student is ‘attuned’ by the Master-Teacher.  An attunement is a sacred ceremony that enables the student to channel the Reiki energy.  It can be thought of as an opening up of psychic doors within the student.  Many Reiki students experience enhancement of their other psychic senses following a Reiki attunement.

Is It Safe?

My friend, and fellow student when I was studying to become a Master-Teacher used to say,  “You can’t fuck up Reiki.”  It’s true; the worst thing you can do with Reiki is spend some quiet, meditative time, either alone, or with someone else.

What happens in a Reiki session?  The client will lie down, fully clothed, or can remain seated in a chair.  I recommend the client close her eyes, and focus on her breathing.  I encourage clients to let go of any preconceived notions of what to expect, and just relax.

Maximum benefit is obtained from Reiki if you consciously accept it, so I encourage clients to repeat to themselves “I accept this Reiki for my highest healing good.”  I emphasize that it is her choice to accept the Reiki healing; I only offer the energy, the client is the one who allows it to work.

What is happening during a Reiki session?  Reiki is spiritual energy, it is a healing energy, but it does not do the physical healing, rather it supports and encourages the body in healing itself.  It operates on four levels:  spiritual, emotional, mental and physical, but it starts on the spiritual level.


Is it real?  I could give you a very wordy dissertation on the nature of reality.  Which might be fun, sometime.  Or share with you some of the things my clients have shared with me after a Reiki session:

“I’ve never had the pain go away without having to pop a pill.  I’ve never had the pain go away that quickly before.”

“I felt something shift in my back, my muscles relaxed.”

“I felt something release inside me.”

“First my arm went numb and tingly, then the pain went away.”

“I could feel the energy moving through me.”

“Your hands got really warm.  Almost hot!”

Was it ‘real’ for them?  What do you think?  What have you experienced during a Reiki session?  Do you practice Reiki yourself?

Pictures taken by and under copyright to me!  Please ask permission before use.  Thanks!

16 Responses

  1. Sounds interesting and amazing. I’m generally very open and have success with these kinds of methods of healing and balance. I need to explore more of doing this for myself. The picture is awesome! Thank you Serena for a great post!!!

  2. Thanks for the explanation, Serena! I was never very clear on what Reiki really is, and this helps. I will admit I’m skeptical by nature so it’s not something I’d be inclined to believe works without effort, OTOH I’d like to try it for my chronic headaches. The only reason I haven’t is that I expect it’s costly and of course health insurance won’t cover it because it’s an alternative therapy. But I might have to give it some more consideration.

    1. I’m so glad you found my post helpful! Reiki is really amazingly easy to learn, then you’d always have it literally at your fingertips. Reiki I is more than sufficient if you are looking for self-care.

  3. Wow, Serena. You seem to write on all the subjects my skeptical mind keeps ruminating upon. I’ve been interested in reiki since I found an underground stream on my cousin’s with a dowsing rod. Mind blowing! There’s an energy source that we can tap into, no doubt. Thanks for this great intro.

    1. I’ve never tried dowsing Debra, that’s very cool you located a stream! The Reiki MT I learned from first told how before she received her first attunement, she was skeptical. It’s a very subtle energy. If a person is expecting colorful, swishing ribbons in the air like Harry Potter, well, they’ll be disappointed. I’m glad you enjoyed the post! I’m curious, what sort of state of mind were you in when you dowsed the stream? Were you calm, or excited, doubtful or curious?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.