Reiki Definition and History:  Reiki (pronounced Ray-key) is a simple, natural, and safe hands-on healing energy system originating in Tibet several thousand years ago. Reiki was rediscovered by the Japanese in recent years by Dr. Mikao Usui and was brought to the west by Mrs. Hawayo Takata. Reiki is both a science and an art of directly or indirectly applying spiritually guided life-force energy. It can be used safely with all other healing arts and treatment protocols.

The word Reiki is composed of two syllables. The first syllable, Rei, means supernatural knowledge or spiritual consciousness. This is the God-consciousness, which is all knowing. This consciousness knows the cause of all problems and difficulties and knows what to do to heal them.

The second syllable, Ki means Life Force. Ki is the same as Chi in Chinese, Prana in Sanskrit, and Ti or Ki in Hawaiian. Ki has also been called odic force, orgone, and bioplasma. If your life force is low or restricted, you will be more vulnerable to illness. When Ki is moving freely and is high, you are less likely to get sick.

Ki is the nonphysical energy used by all healers and is present all around us. It can be accumulated and guided by the mind–where the concentration goes, the energy flows. So, Reiki means spiritually guided life force energy.

Although spiritual in nature, Reiki is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. Reiki comes from God, but will work whether you believe in it or not. Its use is not dependent on ones intellectual capacity or spiritual development, and thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds have been attuned to Reiki. Intention increases its effectiveness, but it can never be done incorrectly.

What does Reiki do? Reiki promotes energy balancing, healing, and wholeness to the physical-emotional-mental-spiritual dynamic of all living things. Reiki activates, releases and transforms energy.

What to expect with a Reiki Treatment: Everyone experiences Reiki differently, even from one treatment to the next. Some common sensations include: Heat, cold, vibration, electrical shocks, relaxation, inner peace and serenity, energy “buzzes”, increased compassion and trust, self-actualization, a deepened sense of well-being, emotional release, unconditional love, and some see vibrant colors especially when the practitioners hands are placed over the eyes.

I was attuned to Reiki before I really knew the power of this technique. I had been experiencing cystic breasts for about three years prior to Reiki coming into my life. I had tried eliminating coffee/chocolate and other caffeine, took Vitamin E, Evening Primrose Oil, and every other herb and supplement I ran across that promised to dissolve the lumps including twelve different products for yeast. Reiki dissolved those cysts with just two treatments. Was I amazed? You bet.

I started down that path of discovery to find out everything I could about this technique I had not given enough credit to. I read several books, listened to tapes, talked to other Reiki practitioners, met with healing circles, repeated classes with another instructor and finally became attuned to the Master and Karuna Reiki levels.

I now use Reiki all the time in my practice to do long-distance treatments, to charge the supplements I send home, and to center myself before an exam.

I have used Reiki to heal heads crushed with logs, charge batteries, start clocks, heal bee stings, help people transition, collect bills owed, treat my food, and to charge up my work rooms.

Once my cat had back pain so I decided to give her some Reiki. As I gently laid my hands on her back I felt a surge of energy build up, like a current of some type. I thought I was just feeling things, but when it discharged, my cat flinched and looked back at me. The electrical zaps continued to flow out of my fingertips about every 30 seconds for 12 minutes while my cat continued to sit there taking the zaps. It was very weird, but quite interesting.

Most practitioners who have practiced Reiki for any amount of time have been asked, “Where do you plug in the heating pads?” They think our hands are some kind of electrical heating pads we have placed on the body.

Reiki Research: Scientific research in the area of laying on of hands has been conducted for several decades. Although this energy is non-physical in nature, Reiki is more than a placebo effect. Reiki’s benefits also do not diminish regardless of the distance between sender and receiver.

In one study testing the affects of Reiki on hemoglobin and pack cell volume of human blood, forty-eight people made up the experimental group while ten were in the control group.  Of the people in the experimental group who were taught Reiki, 28% experienced an increase in hemoglobin and pack cell values.  The other 72% experienced a decrease in values. The people in the control group who did not receive Reiki training experienced no significant change.  It was thought that changes, whether increased or decrease were consistent with the purpose of Reiki which is to bring the body to it’s correct balance on an individual basis.

At St. Vincent’s Medical Center in New York, Janet Quinn, assistant director of nursing at the University of South Carolina, carried out an experiment to rule out the placebo effect. Thirty heart patients were given a 20-question psychological test to determine their level of anxiety. A group trained in laying-on hands healing then treated them. Anxiety levels dropped 17% after only five minutes treatment by trained practitioners. Those who were only imitating a treatment had no affect on the cardiac patient’s anxiety level.

Dr. John Zimmerman of the University of Colorado used a SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device) to test magnetic fields of hands-on healers. He found  magnetic fields several hundred times stronger than background noise generated around the hands of trained healers while they are working. This field was not present around “sham” healers.

Several experiments were done with plant growth rate and Reiki charged water. Plants were watered with Reiki charged water or Reiki charged saline for these two experiments. Intent was centered on the plants highest well being. In all cases, plants grew faster, were healthier, up to 25% heavier and had more chlorophyll than control plants. One group of plants grew 840% faster than the control group!

The most recent research focuses on understanding how water is affected by energetic fields can be seen on the website www.whatthebleep.com. Check out the water section and the change of its crystalline structure when water was prayed for compared to  water exposed to acid rock music and anger.

Note: (For more research articles, type in Reiki Research in the search box of (www.reiki.org)

How does one learn Reiki? Reiki classes are given all over the world.  A person wanting to learn and practice this healing technique must show a certain level of commitment before taking the class. One must be working towards higher awareness, compassion and understanding. As Usui Reiki practitioners we choose to follow these  

The Reiki Ideals:

Just for Today:

I will let go of anger.

I will let go of worry.

I will give thanks for many blessings.

I will do my work honestly.

I will be kind to my neighbor and every living thing.

There are five degrees one can achieve within the Usui Reiki system.  They are Reiki I, II, III or advanced, Master, and Karuna Reiki Master levels. Once or twice a year I teach Usui Reiki I and II in combination. At this same time, if there is someone who would like to be attuned to the Master Level, I have them work alongside myself to learn the process of giving a class and how to do attunements.  Usui Reiki Masters should feel comfortable in holding their own classes and attuning their own students by the end of the class, which is usually one very long day.

The student is presented with a manual, listens to lectures and tapes and participates in class discussion and in the hands-on practice sessions. Each student is individually led through an attunement process which involves transference of the Reiki energy by the Reiki Master. Chakras are opened and imprinted with a certain set of healing symbols onto several places on the body. The first-degree attunement enables the student to do self-treatments. The second-degree attunement enables them to practice on others.

I feel strongly that students learn Reiki I and II levels at the same time because I have found over the years, most people would rather work on others than themselves.

When the attunements have been completed, we go through a 20-minute guided meditation allowing the student to connect with their personal Reiki Guide. Once this has been accomplished and discussed within the group, we move on to hands-on treatments. Each student should perform and receive Reiki during this class time.

Although I am a Teaching Karuna Reiki Master (indicating I have achieved the highest level of Reiki available), I have never given a Karuna Reiki Class so far.

Occasionally I hold a “Master Reiki Attunement Gathering”. All Master Level Reiki practitioners are invited to join us. We enjoy a potluck and then practice attuning each other using our own given symbols. These are good for sharing Reiki stories, camaraderie, and increasing each other’s power. If you are a Reiki Master, I urge you to do the same in your area. You will love it.

Once attuned to Reiki, you may turn it on and off at will by thinking about the symbols, saying the words of the symbols out loud or by intending your Reiki to turn on. My hands get so hot sometimes I’ve come up with the phrase, “Flame On!” to activate my Reiki. Occasionally my Reiki will just turn on by itself. This seems to happen in grocery stores for some reason. I just open my hands as I shop and know that it is going to wherever and whomever it needs to go to.

The teacher you are attracted to is the one who is right for you. They will give you a set of symbols that was passed from their Master to them. These are the right symbols for you to use for your Reiki treatments. Some students choose to keep the same instructor for all attunements while others feel drawn to change teachers between levels. Follow your heart and know that the right teacher will appear when you are ready.

Classes normally run from $75 per degree up to $10,000. Sometimes an energy exchange or barter is arranged, but I feel it is not right to dishonor your instructor by taking up their time to become attuned and not giving something for it in exchange. I charge $150 for Reiki I & II together and $300 for the Master attunement. Whatever you pay is right for you. The important thing is to use the Reiki after you get it. Our world needs all the good energy it can get.

Helpful Links and Resources: 

  • Book: Reiki, The Healing Touch by William Rand.
  • www.reiki.org is my favorite website on Reiki. Bill Rand does an excellent job.
  • Book: Empowerment Through Reiki by Paula Horan
  • Chakra system: /basicsofhealthchakra_system.htm