Guide To Reiki

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What Is Reiki?

The word “Reiki” means “Universal Love” and the act of Reiki is Universal Healing of the planet, animals, and humans. Reiki is a touch healing system that can be sent as distance healing as well. Reiki is a centuries-old healing system that is now being integrated into Western medicine. Many hospitals around the country are starting to hire Reiki practitioners for their patients and seeing positive results from their work.

The Origin of Reiki

Many people confuse the Japanese tradition of Reiki with meditation or massage, but it's actually a completely separate practice with roots heavily embedded in Japanese culture and spiritualism. If you've never experienced Reiki, it might help to understand its origins and purpose.

Most people credit Hawayo Takata, a Japanese woman, with Reiki's origins and its spread to the West in the late 20th century. However, International Center for Reiki Training founder William Rand has conducted significant research and found references to Reiki dating back to the mid 1800s. Takata's work to spread Reiki throughout the world remains important to the practice's history. She created tapes and wrote papers to describe Reiki's purpose and benefits.

For several years, Reiki remained confined to Japan. However, it spread to the West as Reiki masters began to offer classes and workshops designed to teach the craft. Interest grew in the United States, Europe, and other areas of the world. It now serves as one of the most popular methods of stress relief and energy control for human beings.

A Form of Energy Work

Reiki serves as a way to manipulate and direct the body's energy. Practitioners attempt to remove energy blockages and other issues that stall healing and prevent recovery. For instance, Reiki is often used to help sufferers of chronic disease and pain. While Reiki doesn't cure the illness or eliminate the injury, it helps the body create the ideal environment for healing.

All healing begins with self-healing. Reiki healing begins with the Reiki practitioner using a Reiki position, placing their hands on the person to be healed, with no pressure. The life force energy known as “Ki” is what produces the healing flowing through the Chakras in the centers of the palms and the tips of each finger. Reiki can also be sent as “distance healing,” not only to humans, but also to cats, dogs, and other animals. Many animals readily accept the Reiki energy. Sometimes they will reject the Reiki energy if they are passing over, and if the Reiki healing isn’t enough, it will make the passing without pain.

Reiki energy needs no direction; the practitioner will be told when to change position. At times the Reiki healer will guide the receiver through a visualization process, or explain what’s happening during the session. A session can last over an hour and continues as long as the energy sensations continue. When a Reiki healer begins the healing session, he or she cannot guarantee that the receiver will be healed. The Reiki energy seems to have a mind of its own, going where the problem is and not necessarily where the actual pain is felt.

What Are the Benefits of Reiki?

Reiki's primary purpose lies in stress reduction. It soothes the mind and body by siphoning energy in positive directions and removing blockages that promote stress. Many people also experience pain relief, symptom reduction from illnesses, and increased relaxation. It can also hasten recovery from surgery and other medical procedures. Reiki and other healing techniques serve as companions to modern medicine and not as replacements for them.

The Reiki Principles

Another benefit to Reiki is that by living by the Reiki principles, you can build good karma and that will bring you more positivity. Here are some affirmations that are fundamental to the Reiki way.

  • Just for today, I will not be angry
    It’s our reminder to let go of our anger so we may have peace of mind. Plus, anger is a negative emotion that causes energy blockages in our energy field. Reiki is perfect for getting rid of these energy blockages that can later affect us on a physical level. So for today, let it go so your energy can flow freely.
  • Just for today, I will not worry
    Worry is also another negative emotion to release. When we worry about situations or issues we are putting that negative energy out into the universe. We are constantly asking The Universe “How can I serve you?” What we don’t realize is The Universe is replying with “Now, how can I serve you?” We do receive what we put into The Universe, so for today let’s keep it positive!
  • Just for today, I will be grateful
    From the deepest part of your heart (intention is important), be grateful for everything you have in life. Friends, family, a stable home, a loving pet, a decent job, whatever it may be, be thankful it is there for you.
  • Just for today, I will do my work honestly
    Put forth your best effort with respect for yourself and others.
  • Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing
    Again, this is all about respect. Respecting your parents, friends, elders, and even animals. Let this loving feeling shine for others. You never know. A smile, thanks, or simple gesture can have a ripple effect.

Getting the Full Benefit of Reiki

A Reiki Practitioner is one who is attuned to the life force energy and then continues to invite this energy in—not to keep it, but to give away. Think of a Reiki Master as the medium or the “hollow bone” who allows this healing energy to flow through them to wherever healing is wanted and or needed.

Make sure you consult a trained Reiki Master. You'll want to work with a professional whose experience and education allows them to perform Reiki correctly. It is important to feel a connection and a sense of trust with your Reiki Practitioner, whether you choose to experience a hands-on Reiki session or a distant Reiki session. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! A good Reiki Practitioner will be happy to answer or address any questions or concerns you may have as this helps to create the sense of trust and comfort that is so needed to have a positive experience. You'll want to know how the session will progress and whether you need to do anything to prepare.

There are some things that you can do to help prepare for your Reiki session. The most important thing to remember is that you want to feel comfortable and relaxed. Wearing loose fitting clothes is best. Try to refrain from drinking caffeinated beverages and eating sugary foods the day of your Reiki session if at all possible.

It is a very good practice to drink plenty of water the day of your Reiki session. Water is a conductor of energy and will help to increase the speed of the Reiki energy to flow through your physical, emotional/mental and spiritual bodies to release blockages and help to cleanse and balance your chakras.

A Traditional Reiki Session

Both remote and in-person, most Reiki sessions last between 60 and 90 minutes. Some Reiki masters use a hands-on approach with light touch, while others never touch their clients at all. Knowing what to expect will help you fully relax and enjoy the treatment as it occurs.

It’s important to know that the person receiving the Reiki also controls it. The person who channels the Reiki does not cure the person who receives the treatment. In fact, the person receiving treatment cures him or herself. This is because the person receiving the Reiki takes the amount of energy needed. This is not done through the conscious mind but a higher level that knows what's best. This part of the mind also decides how to use the Reiki energy. As a result, the person channeling Reiki energy does not control it and so can't cause harm. Reiki even has a built-in protection system against negative energy.

Hands-On Session or Distant Session…Is There a Difference?

The only difference is personal choice. Some love to have a hands-on Reiki Session because they want to have a very intimate experience. Some crave to have the human light touch through which the energy flows. Some like to receive a hands-on session because they feel a deeper connection to the Reiki Practitioner. Others choose Distant or Absentee Healing for many different reasons. Some people may have sensory issues and may not be comfortable with a practitioner lightly touching or hovering over their bodies. Others may choose Distant Healing Sessions simply because they want to be in the privacy and comfort of their own home.

The effect is the same; there is no difference. It simply is a matter of personal choice. Any Level II Reiki Practitioner can conduct a distance healing as they have been attuned the Reiki Distance Symbol “Hon-Sha-Ze-Sho-Nen”. This is the symbol that carries the healing energy through space and time. A skilled Reiki Practitioner will often use this symbol to heal and clear Karmic energy in your present lifetime as well as your past lives. It is also the symbol to use to access the Akashic Records.

What Can You Expect to Feel from Reiki Healing?

The best thing to expect is nothing at all! Just let it happen. Every Reiki session will feel different and each person will have a different experience, but there are some common sensations that clients feel. Most describe feeling warm tingling sensations just below where the Reiki Master’s hands are hovering or lightly touching. Some describe feeling gentle warm pulses while others say they feel coolness. Some may even start to cry when working in the heart center. This is not a sad cry, but rather a final release of an emotional block or hurt that will never have an effect on their reality again—a true healing of the heart. Very often clients say they feel as if there are two or three different pairs of hands working on them at the same time. They are elated when informed that what they were feeling was actually the healing hands of their own spirit guides and angels.

The most common description is always at the conclusion of a session where clients say they are feeling an almost euphoric sense of peacefulness and well-being, knowing true healing is beginning to take place in their body, mind and soul.

How Can You Learn to do Reiki?

If you have been considering trying Reiki, please pay attention to your thoughts! This is the Universe’s way of sending you a gentle message. It is time to start your journey into the world of the Healing Arts.

Becoming a Reiki practitioner yourself is a beautiful way to heal yourself and others. A Reiki practitioner has the ability, obtained through a series of attunements, to transfer life energy known as Ch'i or Ki for the purpose of healing, as much or as little as the recipient needs. These attunements are what sets Reiki apart from other forms of healing. Reiki is gentle and non-invasive. Attunements must be passed directly from teacher/master to student. The process of attuning through the three levels of Reiki is highly individualized.

The Three Levels of Reiki

Reiki is divided into three degrees or levels:

  • The Level I attunements are for self-healing and the healing of people who are physically present, direct healing. Generally it takes about 3 months to practice with energy and fully master Level 1, before moving to Level 2 training.
  • Level II practitioners are given the ability to perform distance healings, healing for people not physically present. The attunements also add significant power to direct healing sessions. As part of the Reiki II attunement, three of the Reiki symbols are given to help with specific areas in your work. These are sacred symbols and are revealed to the person as they are attuned to them. It is good to have about six months to a year before taking Advanced and Master Level. These can be taken together or separately depending on the individual.
  • Reiki III is the Master level, giving one the ability to teach. Two more symbols are passed on at this time and the healer's abilities are enhanced to an even higher level.

Many people ask if it Reiki can be taught online. The best results are from learning in person. The attunement process is very specific and hands-on, and there is quite a bit of interaction and practice on each other. This is key to the process of learning Reiki. Also, beware of anyone offering to attune you to all levels at once. This is definitely not beneficial.

Reiki attunement attunes you to the energies of Reiki and its symbols. The attunements open your hands’ chakras as well. Attunements last a lifetime, especially if you use them often. Although it is not necessary, many practitioners and Masters choose to get attuned again.

The Reiki symbols are sacred symbols and should only be passed on to the person being attuned to them, which is why we have chosen not to include them in this guide. They are not designed to be out in the open or shared with people who are not attuned to Reiki as they would not know how to use them properly. Symbols can be invoked when a person needs them in order to clear and heal blockages in the physical, mental, and emotional bodies, as well as the etheric body. They can also be used to clear spaces and situations. Reiki can be used for all areas of life and it can only be used for the highest good.

One last thing to keep in mind. Reiki in itself is an intelligent energy. Some people feel a need to discuss the exact nature of why they feel they want or need a Reiki Healing or to become a Reiki practitioner. You don’t need to have a specific reason for trying Reiki or studying Reiki; just pay attention to the gentle message urging you forward. A skilled Reiki Practitioner will call in his or her Reiki guides, Spirit guides, and Angels to guide them to go where the energy is needed. There are never any mistakes and a practitioner can never send too much or too little. Reiki energy will always go where it needs to go! That being said, be ready for your Reiki Session with an open mind and open heart, and most of all, enjoy the process!