What is Reiki?


reiki symbolReiki (pronounced ray-key) is, in its simplest translation, universal life energy. It is referred to in other cultures as “chi”, “prana”, or “spirit”. It is the life force that exists in all things. The practice of Reiki is the art and science of channelling this universal life energy, or force, to promote spiritual, mental, and physical well-being.

Reiki involves directing the natural flow of ki (universal energy) to build up the individual’s energy resources. A good analogy is to liken to recharging a battery. Reiki works much the same way. If you are suffering from an illness (physical, mental, or spiritual), this is an indication that your energy supply is lessened; Reiki works to assist your body/mind in building your energy level back up to its optimum level and promoting its natural flow, enhancing your own natural healing powers. As Reiki practitioners are trained to channel energy from the universe, not from their personal supply, they do not suffer from energy depletion.

Reiki is also helpful in reducing stress, aiding relaxation, and restoring energy, and is not just used when there is dis-ease.


Dr. Mikao Usui

reiki symbolDr. Mikao Usui rediscovered Reiki in the mid-nineteenth century. Reiki is recognised as being an ancient method of healing that is based on a system of symbols (keys) that trigger the channelling of ki. One of Dr. Usui’s seminary students once challenged him to show how healing with touch could be done Finding that he could not prove this through demonstration, Dr. Usui began the quest that would take him all over the world in search of information on healing with ki. Finally, in Tibet, he found what he had been searching for, written in ancient texts – the keys to healing with touch, as well as the precise information for applying them.

Among the selected few that Dr. Usui taught this method was Chujiro Hayashi. It is Hayashi who taught Reiki to Mrs. Hawayo Takata. Mrs. Takata brought the Usui system of Reiki to the United States in the 1930’s.


Reiki Treatment

With the client (fully clothed) lying down on a therapy bed, using a series of carefully orchestrated touch patterns, the Reiki practitioner begins treatment at the head and gradually moves down the body, placing the hands in pre-determined, positions. The client is then turned over and the process is repeated, again working from the head to the feet. The hands are held in each position for three to five minutes, giving time for the healing energy to be channelled through the practitioner to the client.
A full Reiki treatment usually takes approximately one hour. The amount of ki (energy) transferred is dependant on the client’s needs as well as their ability to accept the healing. Reiki is more akin to “laying on of hands” rather than being a massage technique, the touch should be gentle with little or no pressure applied. Reiki is not a religious belief and is not related to any specific religious beliefs or dogma, it is the channelling of the energy of the universe.
During Reiki treatment, some people experience warmth from the touch of the practitioner, feeling heat entering and permeating their being. Others feel a flowing , tingling, or pulsing sensation that is sometimes likened to the flow of warm water or a mild electric current. The most common description is that its effects are warming, relaxing, calming, bringing a sense of tranquillity and well-being.
Reiki energy works to help you stay healthy by balancing and maintaining the flow of ki. If there is illness, injury, or stress, Reiki can assist the body’s ability to heal itself. Everyone can benefit from Reiki.


Recognised Reiki Qualifications

It’s important if you decide to receive a Reiki treatment that you seek out a qualified practitioner. There are three levels of study for the traditional Usui method.

First Degree Reiki
First degree training can take from 1 1/2 to 2 days, depending on the class structure and length. This is the basic course in Reiki and includes four separate energy-activating attunements along with complete training in the use of the Reiki technique. The student is taught how to channel universal energy without using or depleting their own ki. Specific instructions are given to the student as to how treat themselves with Reiki, as well as to others.

Second Degree Reiki
Second Degree training can usually take place three months after the First Degree initiation. During this training, the student receives two attunements and learns specific techniques for enhancing the flow of energy and for performing distant-healing treatments. They are also taught a special method for dealing with deep-seated emotional and mental problems, which can be used with either a physical or distance treatment.

Third Degree Reiki
The Master level of training, entitling those who receive this degree to teach Reiki to others. This more profound training is usually given over a period of several months. Third Degree includes special energy attunements that enable the student to activate the energy in others.

It is advisable that you check the qualifications and accreditation of any practitioner that you seek assistance from.