Reiki is an alternative therapy gaining popularity for dealing with stress and restoring balance into one’s life. It’s also a type of meditation with therapeutic promise for the treatment of emotional, mental, and physical health disorders. It incorporates elements of meditation, naturopathy, homeopathy, aromatherapy and spiritual healing to help improve life, either one’s own, or the lives of others.
At the heart of Reiki is the belief that every one of us has an invisible ‘life force energy’ flowing through us. When this life force gets too low, we wind up being stressed more often and become more susceptible to ill health. Reiki seeks to redress this through the ‘laying on of hands’, a healing technique by which an individual’s life force can flow through their palms and be transferred to another person to improve that person’s life force as well. Ultimately, when one’s life force energy is at its highest levels, it brings with it better health, less stress, happiness, and a positive outlook on life. When our life forces are aligned in this way, we’re more able to cope with the daily challenges life throws at us.
Reiki is attributed to a Tendai Buddhist monk in Japan in 1922. The monk, Mikao Usui, is reputed to have ‘received the gift of healing’ after he spent 3 weeks fasting and meditating on the summit of Mt Kurama. The name Reiki comes from the Japanese characters for energy. There is the spiritual or unseen ‘rei’, and ‘ki’ the life force or energy. In English this roughly translates to ‘universal life energy.’
The Effects Of Reiki Therapy
Reiki works through deep relaxation, spiritual detoxification, transfer of vitality, improving vibration levels, healing energy, and removal of negative energy. It’s an all-enveloping discipline that targets the multi-faceted aspects of life – mental, spiritual and physical. A holistic approach to healing that recognises true healing is often more than just about medical treatment. Often it’s about healing the soul as well. About understanding and coming to terms with ones life as it stands and through this acceptance, being able to deal with it and move on. Developing a positive energetic outlook makes it much simpler to achieve this and Reiki attempts to do that through the channelling and transfer of energy from someone who has already has this level of energy.
A Reiki session typically involves the patient lying down and relaxed with an open accepting mind. This is fundamental to the success of the therapy. A closed mind will close the body off to receiving the energy forces flowing through from the therapist. The therapist will begin at the head and work down to the feet, placing his or her hands over the patient. Note ‘over’ not ‘on’. Hands are held in a special cupped position about 2 to 4 inches above the patient. The position of the hands is designed so at to allow the positive energy from the healer to be directed to the patient.
Most people require a number of sessions before they fully tune into themselves and allow the spiritual healing processes to work to their full extent. Furthermore, Reiki healing will only work if the patient is prepared to accept the healing energy flowing through from the practitioner.
Becoming A Reiki Practitioner
Becoming a Reiki therapist or practitioner involves passing 3 levels. In the first level Reiki healers are taught basic hand positions. They’re shown how to tune into ‘the energy’, and how to utilise it to heal others directly. They’re also taught the 4 attunements before heading into a 21-day cleansing period similar to what founder Mikao Usui went through before being gifted with the ability to heal.
After a couple of months you should be ready to progress to level 2. Another attunement will increase your vibration and you’ll be shown 3 of the 4 Reiki symbols along with how to make them work. This is following by another 21 day cleansing session designed to rid you of any negative energy you may have developed. A lot of students choose to stop here because they’ve learned enough to successfully ‘energise’ others. Those who do choose to push on will come to level 3.
Most people don’t attempt this until at least 6 months to a year after they’ve done their level 2. During level 3 training the final of the 4 attunements will be revealed and sometimes other types of Reiki systems are introduced into the training. Then there is the inevitable 21-day cleaning session.
Level 4 is for practitioners interested in becoming teachers themselves. The training is done from an instructor’s angle and teaches you how to prepare your own instruction plans. You’re also familiarised with the ethics involved in being a Master Teacher.
Reiki training is available through some institutions or can be done via home study and remote learning.