What is Reiki?

shutterstock_110208080_600There are many forms and methods of energy-based alternative healing that have become popular over the past several decades. Some of the most prominent include Pranic healing, polarity therapy and Quantum Touch to name a few.

One of the most popular modalities, for both self-healing and professional application is Reiki.  As a Reiki Master-Teacher (RMT) for the past decade, I’ve often been asked: just what is Reiki?

Reiki can be defined as spiritually guided life force energy.  In the practice of Reiki, a master or practitioner acts as a conduit for Ki, guided by spiritual consciousness, with the intent to promote healing and wellness of Mind, Body and Spirit.

Reiki is a Japanese word, comprised of the Kanji characters “Rei” and “Ki”.  The word Rei as it is used in Reiki can be interpreted to mean spiritual consciousness.

Ki means the same as Chi in Chinese, and Prana in Sanskrit. Ki is universal life force, the energy that animates all living things. The level and flow of Ki directly affects our health and well-being- physically, mentally and emotionally. Ki can be guided by our minds and spirit.  Many Eastern disciplines such as Tai Chi and Qigong are mental and physical practices which are intended to positively influence our Ki.

Reiki is a non-medical, alternative health care treatment that is complementary to traditional (allopathic) medicine, which enhances the body’s ability to heal itself. Reiki is an energy-based healing technique that improves health and enhances the quality of life. Reiki can be used for self-treatment, healing others, and even geographically distant healing.

Reiki Origins

Reiki as it is practiced widely  today originated with Dr. Mikao Usui.  Historical accounts indicate that Dr. Usui was a Japanese physician who discovered Reiki in 1914 during a transpersonal experience.  Soon after, Dr. Usui opened a Reiki clinic and began training others in the “Usui Natural System of Healing” – Usui Shiki Ryoho.

Like many esoteric disciplines, the historical details surrounding Reiki are somewhat controversial. Over time, history becomes legend, and legend becomes myth.  The origins of Reiki are mythical, however the experience of Reiki is tangible, and the results are significant.

There are several different systems of Reiki currently taught, in the U.S., Japan and around the world. It is a common tradition among Reiki practitioners to trace their training “lineage” all the way back to the founder, Dr. Usui. My training is in the Usui/Tibetan system developed by William Lee Rand, founder of  The International Center for Reiki Training which a web site that provides extensive information on  the nature and history of Reiki.  If you would like more information, consider visiting their web site at www.reiki.org.

Reiki Treatment

Each individual experiences a Reiki treatment differently.  Reiki treatments are comfortable and very relaxing. Many describe Reiki as feeling like “a wonderful glowing radiance”.  Many people describe it as a spiritual experience and some experience altered states of consciousness.

Reiki has been used to facilitate healing of minor ailments such as headache, colds, flu, sore throat,  fatigue, cuts, bruises and insomnia as well as very serious conditions such as multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and cancer.  Reiki  improves the effectiveness of other types of therapy.  Reiki can improve the results of medical treatment, acting to reduce negative side effects, shorten healing time and reduce or eliminate pain.

Reiki practitioners are not licensed physicians.  Reiki  is an alternative health care treatment which complements “healing arts services licensed by the state”, i.e., it is complementary to more traditional ‘western’ medicine provided by licensed health care professionals (doctors, nurses etc.). As a alternative/complementary health care service, Reiki does not require licensing by the state of California.

Although medical conditions are often discussed during Reiki treatment, Reiki practitioners do not diagnose conditions, nor do they prescribe substances or perform medical treatment, nor interfere with the treatment of a licensed medical professional.  It is recommended that you see a licensed physician or licensed health care professional for any medical or psychological condition you may have.

Reiki Training

Reiki is a powerful yet simple technique to learn. Some people choose to become Reiki Masters so that they can practice Reiki professionally, providing treatments and training to others.  But many people choose to study Reiki to simply promote their own wellness through self-treatment, and to treat friends and family members with Reiki.  The ability to use Reiki is not learned in the usual sense, but is transferred from a Master-Teacher to a student through an attunement process.

The Usui system is traditionally taught in three levels, by certified Reiki Master-Teachers:

Usui Level I Training

Introduces the student to core principles of Reiki, including the nature of Reiki, the history of the Usui system and how to provide a Reiki treatment. During Level I Training students receive an Usui attunement which allows them to use Reiki for self-treatment and the treatment of others.

Level II Training

Introduces Level I practitioners to the Usui sacred symbols and teaches how to use the symbols to deepen Reiki treatments with healing on the mental/emotional level and how to perform distance healing. During Level II Training students receive an attunement which enhances their connection to Reiki and which allows them to use the Usui symbols.

 Usui Level III (Master)

Provides the skills and knowledge for a Level II practitioner to become a certified Master-Teacher in the Usui system of Reiki. During Level III Training the student receives an attunement to additional sacred symbols, which allows them to attune others to Reiki.

I conduct periodic training classes in the Southern California area.  For more information on our Reiki training, including cost and availability, please feel free to contact me or visit our Modern Mystics group on Meetup.com.

 The secret art of inviting happiness,
The miraculous medicine for all diseases.
At least for today:
Do not be angry,
Do not worry,
Be grateful,
Work with diligence,
Be kind to people.
Every morning and evening, join your hands in meditation and pray with your heart.
State in your mind and chant with your mouth.
For improvement of mind and body.

Usui Reiki Ryōhō.

 – the founder, Mikao Usui

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