Reiki: What is It and What Are the Benefits?

Reiki is a Japanese alternative medicine where energy is transferred through a technique called palm healing. Reiki is very good for stress reduction, relaxation, healing and chakra alignment!

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese alternative medicine called energy healing. Reiki practitioners use a technique called palm healing or hands-on healing through which a “universal energy” is said to be transferred through the palms of the practitioner to the patient in order to encourage emotional or physical healing.

Reiki is very good for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.”

An amazingly simple technique to learn, the ability to use Reiki is not taught in the usual sense, but is transferred to the student during a Reiki class. This ability is passed on during an “attunement” given by a Reiki master and allows the student to tap into an unlimited supply of “life force energy” to improve one’s health and enhance the quality of life.

While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not.

The Origins of Reiki


Mikao Usui is considered the founder of Reiki. He was born August 15, 1865 in Japan. In February 1922 he went to Kurama yama, a sacred mountain north of Kyoto to fast and meditate. As time passed, he became weaker and weaker. It was now March 1922 and at midnight of the twenty-first day, a powerful light suddenly entered his mind through the top of his head and he felt as if he had been struck by lightning; this caused him to fall unconscious.

As the sun rose, he awoke and realized that whereas before he had felt very weak and near death from his fasting, he was now filled with an extremely enjoyable state of vitality that he had never experienced before; a miraculous type of high frequency spiritual energy had displaced his normal consciousness and replaced it with an amazingly new level of awareness. He experienced himself as being the energy and consciousness of the Universe and that the special state of enlightenment he had sought had been given to him as a gift. He was overjoyed by this realization.

When this happened, he was filled with excitement and went running down the mountain to tell his Zen master of his great good fortune. On his way down he stubbed his toe on a rock and fell down. And in the same way anyone would do, he placed his hands over the toe, which was in pain. As he did this, healing energy began flowing from his hands all by itself. The pain in his toe went away and the toe was healed. Usui Sensei was amazed by this. He realized that in addition to the illuminating experience he had undergone, he had also received the gift of healing. He also understood that this was his life purpose; to be a healer and to train others.

In April 1922, he moved to Tokyo and started a healing society that he named Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui Reiki Healing Method Society). He also opened a Reiki clinic in Harajuku, Aoyama, Tokyo. He taught many students until the end of his life.

5 Reiki Principles

“Just for today, I will not anger.

 Just for today, I will not worry.

 Just for today, I will be grateful for all my blessings.

 Just for today, I will work with honesty and integrity.

 Just for today, I will be kind to all living beings.”

Mikao Usui

The Five Reiki Precepts are often ignored – unfortunatelly. And yet in reality, these precepts are an integral part of Reiki practice and Reiki cannot be really used successfully without integrating these precepts into the life of the practitioner.

They are like guidelines, showing you the best way to heal your life, by making changes in five great fields of life – emotions, thoughts, gratitude, self-growth, and compassion to all that exists. Usui suggested that the precepts should be repeated (meditated and contemplated upon) each day and each morning, preferable with your hands in a Gassho mudra.

Reiki Levels

Reiki Level I: Also called Shoden in Japanese. This is entry-level Reiki training where you study Reiki history, learn how to perform self-Reiki, and how to give Reiki to someone else, and are initiated (attuned) for life to the Reiki energy.

Reiki Level II: Also called Okuden in Japanese. You learn how to use the first three Reiki symbols and how to perform distant Reiki techniques. You receive further attunements to the Reiki energy. After this class, you are considered a Reiki practitioner.

Image result for Cho Ku Ray
Cho Ku Ray
Image result for Sei Hei Ki
Sei Hei Ki
Image result for Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen
Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

Reiki Level III: Also called Shinpiden in Japanese. This is the Master Teacher level of Reiki, and the class may be separated into two parts. You receive the Master Reiki attunement and learn the Master Reiki symbol and how to give the Reiki attunements to others.

Reiki Self-Treatment

Try to follow the hand position instructions in the order in which they are described below. However, feel free to make any adjustments you believe will be beneficial to you. For a 20-minute self-treatment, it is suggested that you perform each hand position for 2 minutes, but don’t worry about the exact amount of time.

Hand Positions

Before you begin your Reiki self-treatment, gently place your hands together in a prayer position in the middle of your chest, just below your chin. Then, start by covering your eyes with both hands. Breathe in deep and relaxed breaths. Focus your attention on your hands. Next, do the same while you cover your ears. After that, place your hands on the back of your head. You can also place them on top of your head instead if you prefer.

Place both hands around your neck. Then, gently place your right hand over your throat and the left hand over your heart. Continue to breathe in deep and relaxed breaths. Focus your attention on your throat and heart.

Gently place your hands just below the breast line. The middle fingers should be touching each other. Continue to breathe in slow and deep breaths. Allow this hand position to relax the muscles in the center of your chest and rib areas.

Move your hands one hand-width down from your breast line, gently placing them over the upper stomach and in the solar plexus area. Then, move your hands down and place them over the stomach and navel area. Allow this hand position to relax the muscles in this area.

Next, place your hands on your knees. Finish this practice with your hands on either the tops of your feet or the soles of your feet. Continue to breathe in slow and deep breaths and focus your attention on this area of the body.

You may feel the need to do some of the hand positions for a longer time than others. With practice, you will memorize the hand positions. Please don’t worry about doing the hand positions in a perfect way. Simply relax and do the best you can! Finally, feel free to place your hands other places on your body that you feel need relaxation and healing, like your shoulders or your back.

Check other posts about spirituality and self-growth in the Spirituality section of my blog

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