Reiki FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Reiki

What is Reiki?
Reiki (“ray-key”) is a Japanese system of natural healing. In Japanese, the word Reiki translates as Universal Life Energy, the energy that animates all living beings. A holistic, hands-on healing system, Reiki connects you with the energy surrounding you and enhances your body’s natural ability to heal itself.

Gentle and non-invasive, Reiki treatments:

  • Work on all levels, touching body, mind, and spirit.
  • Promote wellness and relieve stress.
  • Enhance all other healing methods.
  • Are compatible with all belief systems.
  • Assist with spiritual healing and self-improvement.

How does Reiki work?
Life force or Ki flows around and through your physical body though energy centers (chakras) and energy pathways called meridians or nadis. Ki nourishes your organs and cells, supporting them in their vital functions. When this flow of life force is disrupted by injury, trauma or negative thoughts, it causes diminished function in your body.

Reiki heals by flowing through the affected parts of your energy field and charging them with positive energy. It raises the vibratory level of the energy field in and around your body where the flow is disrupted which causes the negative energy to break apart and fall away. Thus, Reiki clears, straightens and heals your energy pathways and centers, thus allowing the Ki to flow in a healthy and natural way.

What are chakras?
Chakras (ch-ah-krahs) are energy centers. They are the openings for life energy (Ki) to flow into and out of our body. The word chakra comes from a Sanskrit word meaning wheel or spinning wheel. Your chakras look similar to a spinning vortex or funnel with petal-like openings. Chakras are invisible to the human eye, but they can be perceived intuitively by trained energy workers.

When we are at our best, our energy centers are free flowing and connected with each other. When they are blocked, we feel out of balance, stressed, and illness can prevail. Reiki returns the natural flow of our energy centers and goes to where it is needed most in our body.

There are seven main chakras in our body running up the center of the body from the base of the spine to the crown of the head with hundreds of minor chakras such as at our hands and feet. Each chakra has a different frequency of vibration, symbol, color, and sound that it is attuned to.

What happens during a Reiki treatment?
Before a treatment, you may discuss your intentions or goals for your session with your practitioner. She will hold those intentions or goals in mind as she performs the Reiki treatment. During a Reiki session, you lie fully clothed, on a massage table. Your practitioner places her hands on or near your body in a series of hand positions including your head, shoulders, stomach, legs and feet. Other, more specific positions may be used based on your needs. Each position is held for about two to ten minutes depending on how much Reiki you need at each position. You are a collaborator in the healing process since your body chooses how much Reiki to receive. A Reiki session is calming and nurturing, and you may feel a deep sense of relaxation, similar to a meditative state. After the treatment, you have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss and share your experience with your practitioner.

Treatments can also be given while you are seated or even standing and even will work through casts or wheelchairs.

What might I experience during a Reiki treatment?
Experiences vary somewhat from person to person. Since the Reiki energy encourages you to let go of all tension, anxiety, fear or negative feelings, a state of peace and well-being is often experienced. As your practitioner channels the healing energy, you may experience warmth or tingling. In addition, you may drift off to sleep or report a feeling of floating or altered states of consciousness and spiritual experiences. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit.

At the end of the treatment, you may feel refreshed with a more positive, balanced outlook. You may feel a deep sense of relaxation or more balanced, centered and grounded. You may feel more connected to your life purpose or direction.

What can Reiki help with?
Reiki has a positive affect on all forms of illness and negative conditions. Reiki can be used in conjunction with any other treatment since it improves the their effectiveness, acting to reduce negative side effects, shorten healing time, reduce or eliminate pain, reduce stress, and help create optimism.

Reiki reduces:

  • Stress & anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Post-operative pain
  • Post-surgery recovery time
  • Side effects of chemotherapy & radiation
  • In-hospital stay time
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Skin Problems
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Reiki helps:

  • Accelerate healing rate
  • Improve mental clarity & cognitive functioning
  • Increase relaxation and sense of peacefulness
  • Bolster confidence & self-esteem
  • Promote energy balance
  • Boost immunity & wellness
  • Heighten intuition
  • Connect with your life direction and purpose
  • Promote greater self-awareness
  • Relieve pre-surgery anxiety
  • Accelerate post-surgical recovery
  • Improve sleep
  • Improve digestion
  • Ease end-of-life care and bereavement

Reiki is not a substitute for medical or psychological diagnosis and treatment. Reiki practitioners do not diagnose conditions nor prescribe or perform medical treatment. If a client has a health condition, and wants to be treated with Reiki, it is recommended that they do so under the supervision of an enlightened medical doctor or other health care professional.

Is it okay to combine Reiki with other treatments?
Reiki works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques. Reiki is often used to relieve side effects and promote recovery.

What can Reiki do for individuals with Cancer?
When we are faced with many life challenges and have stress or anxiety, the effectiveness of medical treatments can be inhibited. When you are relaxed, your body, mind, and spirit can work in harmony with itself and medical treatments. The free flow of our life force energy nourishes organs and cells to support their vital functions. Reiki helps reduce or eliminate the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

How is Reiki used for individuals in Hospice Care?
Reiki can provide relaxation, reduced anxiety, and a sense of peacefulness to help in the person’s transition. Reiki is also beneficial for caregivers during this stressful time and provides a peaceful bonding with the individual in hospice care.

Is Reiki a religion?
Reiki is spiritual in nature, but Reiki is NOT a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to practice or receive Reiki.

Are there any scientific experiments that demonstrate Reiki works?
Yes, see Center for Reiki Research.

Can I learn Reiki?
Reiki is a natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. Reiki allows you to tap into an unlimited supply of “life force energy” to improve your health and enhance your quality of life. It is a simple technique to learn and is not dependent on one having any prior experience with healing, meditation or any other kind of training. Reiki has been successfully learned by over one million people from all walks of life, both young an old.

During a Reiki class, the ability to do Reiki is transferred from the teacher to you through a process called an attunement. After the first class, you have the ability to do Reiki on yourself and others.

What is a Reiki Attunement?
An attunement is an ancient technique for fine-tuning the physical and etheric bodies to a higher vibratory level. During this process your Reiki Master Teacher works with your chakras to enable you to channel (and vibrate) higher amounts of universal life force energy. Your teacher will touch your head, shoulders, and hands and use one or more special breathing techniques.

An attunement is a unique individual experience promoting balance, transformation, harmony, positive wellness and a more refined sensitive consciousness. During the attunement, some students feel warmth in the hands; others may see colors or have altered states of consciousness and spiritual experiences. However, it is not necessary to have an inner experience for the attunement to have worked. Most simply feel more relaxed.

Can I use Reiki on myself?
Yes, once you have received an attunement, you can treat yourself as well as others. This is one of the unique features of Reiki.

How does distance Reiki work?
In Reiki II, you are given three Reiki symbols. These symbols are empowered by the Reiki II attunement. One of these symbols is for distant healing. By using a picture of the person you would like to send Reiki to or by writing the person’s name on a piece of paper or simply by thinking of the person and also activating the distant symbol, you can send Reiki to them no matter where they are. They could be hundreds of miles away, but it makes no difference. The Reiki energy will go to them and treat them. You can also send Reiki to crisis situations or world leaders and the Reiki energy will help them too.

How many levels are there to Reiki?
In the Usui system of Reiki, there are four levels. These include one, two, Advanced (used to be called IIIA) and Master (used to be called IIIB).

What is the history of Reiki?

Reiki In Japan
In Japan, Reiki is a generic word, and is used to describe many types of healing and spiritual work. The system of healing that evolved from Dr. Usui is called the Usui System of Natural Healing or Usui Reiki Ryoho.

Dr Mikao Usui was born in 1865 in Japan. Well-traveled and educated, he practiced medicine, psychology, teaching, and was also a spiritualist (at that time a respected profession). In 1922, Dr. Usui’s personal and business life was failing. So he decided to take a twenty-one-day retreat at Mt. Kurama, a sacred mountain north of Kyoto, Japan. He was not seeking to discover a method of healing, but only to solve his personal problems. During this time the Reiki energy entered his crown chakra and he realized he had received a wonderful new gift – the ability to give healing to others without depleting his own energy!

Accepting the responsibility to practice and teach this new gift, Dr. Usui created the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui Reiki Healing Society) and also opened several Reiki clinics. He further developed Reiki creating the various levels of training, adding three symbols to the practice and developing an attunement method. Dr. Usui believed it is important to live and act in a way that promotes harmony with others. He recommended that you practice certain simple ethical ideals or Reiki Ideals, which are nearly universal across all cultures.

After the Great Kanto earthquake in 1923 the demand for Reiki was great and it was at this time that Usui began training other teachers, including Dr. Chujiro Hayashi. Dr Usui died in 1926.

Reiki in the West
Dr. Chujiro Hayashi trained Mrs. Takata in Reiki starting in 1936 and culminating in her Reiki Master teacher initiation in 1938. Mrs. Hawayo Takata was born in 1900 in Hawaii of Japanese immigrants. While on a visit to Japan, she was diagnosed with a tumor, gallstones, and emphysema, When she wanted to try other methods than surgery, her doctor recommended Dr. Hayashi’s Reiki clinic. At the clinic, she began receiving treatments and in four months, she was completely healed. Impressed with the results, she wanted to learn Reiki.

She was the thirteenth and last Reiki Master Dr. Hayashi initiated. Dr. Hayashi and his daughter followed Mrs. Takata to Hawaii to help her establish Reiki in the West. In 1970, Mrs. Takata began initiating other Reiki masters. Continuing Dr. Usui’s tradition she also helped simplify the system making it easier to learn with her own hand position method she called the foundation treatment. She died in 1980.

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