Right now, Reiki is becoming more popular and mainstream. You might see in the news that celebrities are talking about it. Or maybe you have Reiki practitioners in your area advertising their services. Perhaps you were at a festival and saw some Reiki sessions taking place. There is so much that can be written about Reiki. Here's a brief overview of the history, the educational requirements, and what a session might be like for you.
Reiki was discovered by Dr. Mikao Usui. Usui was born in Japan in 1865. He had a desire for knowledge and was well versed in many topics. One of which was Buddhism. Usui was searching for a way to help others using his hands for healing (some historians also indicate he was searching for enlightenment). He approached a monk to ask for guidance. Usui was directed to Mount Kurama, where he fasted and meditated for 21 days. Usui was given the vision of channeling Universal Healing Energy through his hands. His practice of Reiki eventually made its way to America through Hawaya Takata. There are many different versions of Reiki. Usui Reiki is often referred to as the Western Version.Reiki is a Universal Healing Energy. What does that mean? We are all made up of energy. Energy surrounds us in our biofield or aura. Energy is constantly being transferred and transformed. Reiki energy is channeled through the practitioner and works on the chakra and auric fields of the one receiving the Reiki. You may have heard of life force energy before as prana, ki, chi, or universal energy. Many cultures have terms for this energy. In the physical body, Reiki helps us by creating a sense of calm and relaxation. This allows the bodies natural healing abilities to work without the added burden of stress and anxiety.
Reiki also works on the chakras and the etheric body. During Reiki, we can sense if there are any blockages, leaks, or areas that could benefit from this healing energy. An aura scan is often the first part of a Reiki treatment session. With this information, the practitioner can then begin to focus on the chakras. The goal is to seal off any leak, and to loosen any blockages. It is often thought that the first signs of dis-ease can be found in the first layer of the etheric body and in chakras that are not freely moving. Reiki is an intelligent energy. It knows and goes where it is needed. The practitioner is the conduit in Reiki. That is a very big difference between Reiki and other healing modalities. There is a set pattern of hand placements for use during a Reiki treatment. However, most practitioners tend to rely on their intuition and listen to the body and the Reiki for hand positioning.
Reiki is a healing modality and it can do no harm. Reiki is for “the highest good”, which is often the foundation of the intention set for a healing session. As a practitioner, you are not using up your own energy nor are you taking on someone else’s Karmic debt. One thing to keep in mind though, is that Reiki is not a diagnostic tool, nor is it a replacement for medical treatment. Reiki is different from other hands on healing modalities. First, one must be attuned to Reiki through a Reiki Master/Teacher. While you can learn about Reiki, you actually can not practice with Reiki energy until you have been attuned. Reiki has several symbols that help channel the energy. During the attunement process, the student is given the symbols when they are placed on the body.
There are three levels of Usui Reiki. In Reiki One, a person learns to give Reiki to themselves and then to others, including; plants, animals, objects, and as a way to manifest. In Reiki Two, the practitioner learns the first of three Reiki symbols that they can begin incorporating into their practice. This is also when a student learns how to give Reiki treatments distantly. In Reiki Three, a practitioner learns the fourth symbol and becomes a Master Reiki Practitioner. In some cases, Reiki Three, also includes guidance on becoming a Reiki Master Teacher.It is not necessary to take all three levels of Reiki. Once attuned to Reiki, the most important part is to give yourself a daily Reiki treatment. Reiki is learned more by doing and less by instruction and manuals. It’s a very intuitive practice. The more you practice then the more comfortable you become with the process. Practice leads to being able to really feel the energy and to connect to it. Once you’ve been attuned then you can never lose Reiki. So, even if you take a break from giving Reiki, you can still access it. You will still be attuned even after not having used it for some time.
What is a Reiki session like? Most often the comments from clients are that they feel very relaxed, comforted, and refreshed. You can receive a Reiki session in person. For this, you would leave all of your clothes on. You can either lay down, or, the practitioner can have you sit on a chair. A session can last anywhere from 60 minutes to 15 minutes. Time is often dependent on the situation. If I’m at a clinic, festival, or doing a quick bit of Reiki after a yoga class. If you are going to receive a hands on session then know that it’s a very light touch. This is not at all like a massage. The practitioner’s hands will be gently placed upon you, usually for several minutes, per hand position. You can request that the session be hands off, but still in person. This just means that the practitioner will use the hand positions but instead of touching you, their hands will be approximately 3 to 5 inches above you.
You can also receive Reiki through a distant healing session. Since Reiki is a universal healing energy ,that is intelligent, and does know where it’s needed; then distant sessions are just as effective. The Reiki practitioner will connect with you. For distant Reiki, we use a symbol that allows for the energy to travel. I primarily give Reiki through distant sessions. Generally, this means that they might request a photo, name, and general location. A time and date that works for you will be selected and just like in person, you should seek a comfortable position in a quiet calm location. You might be directed to listen to a guided meditation or be given some Reiki music to use during the session. This was just a basic overview. Reiki is such an exciting field to work in. I am constantly in awe of this technique. Reiki can be subtle, but it is imbues one with a sense of peace, calm, and love. It is truly a gift.
Carrie Anderson, PhD, RMT