Reiki: What is it?

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction, relaxation and healing. When done in the traditional manner, Reiki is a gentle, hands-on process that helps promote healing on all levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Loosely translated, Reiki means ‘spirtually guided life energy’. This means that the practitioner is not the source of the energy, but simply a channel for the energy that comes from a higher source. You may call that source God, your Higher Power, Spirit, Universal Energy, Source, Creator, etc. Reiki is spiritual in nature, but is not tied to a particular religion.

Where did it come from?

Mikao Usui

Mikao Usui

Hawayo Takata

Hawayo Takata

Reiki was rediscovered in 1914 in Japan by Dr. Makao Usui during a 21 day period of fasting and meditation on Mt. Kurama. When he returned from his retreat with the ability to help others heal, Dr. Usui began to use Reiki on family members and friends. He opened a Reiki clinic in his community and eventually began to teach others how to do Reiki.  Mrs. Hawayo Takata, a Japanese immigrant, brought Reiki to the United States from Japan in 1937. She learned it from Dr. Chujuro Hayashi, a medical doctor who had been a student of Dr. Usui. With the help of Dr. Hayashi, Mrs. Takata opened the first Reiki clinic in the United States in Hawaii. Today there are over 1,000,000 Reiki Masters and 4,000,000 Reiki practitioners around the world who use the energies of Reiki to help others heal.

How does it work?

Chakra pictureIn Eastern thought the belief is that we have seven main (and many smaller) energy centers in our bodies called chakras. (Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning spinning wheel or disc.) The seven main chakras are located parallel to the spine and help generate and disperse the life force energy throughout the body. (In Japan this life force energy is called Ki. In China it is referred to as Chi. In India it is known as Prana.)

When these energy centers are balanced and working together, our energy is high, our moods are more stable, and our bodies have the ability to heal themselves in many ways. We are healthier in mind, body and spirit. However, if these energy centers are blocked or working at less than peak efficiency, our life force energy is lower and we are more susceptible to illness, mood swings and fatigue.

Reiki works on these energy centers to help keep them balanced and working together as a system. It dissolves or removes the blocks and helps us stay healthier and keeps our moods more balanced and stable. And because the life force energy is within everything that is living, Reiki works on animals and plants as well as people!

Where do the blocks come from?

The blockages in our energy system occur when we’ve not completely and appropriately processed the emotions and feelings we have experienced during our lifetime. Unresolved grief, old traumas and wounds, even something as simple as feeling guilty because we’ve not lived up to our parents’ expectations of us, can cause blocks to form.

In Eastern thought it is believed that most, if not all, of our physical and psychological issues stem from emotions and feelings that have not been addressed in the best way possible. Western belief is slowly but surely coming to recognize the power of our thoughts and emotions on our physical health also.

What benefits can you receive from Reiki?

As I mentioned previously, Reiki facilitates healing and change on all levels: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. It is a wonderful complement to all forms of traditional medical and psychotherapeutic techniques.

Reiki helps with all types of aches and pains. Clients have experienced relief from such physical concerns as migraines, allergies, chronic neck and back pain, arthritis, high blood pressure, and carpal tunnel syndrome, just to name a few.
Emotional and psychological wounds and trauma can be positively affected by Reiki. I’ve seen clients experience the disappearance of long term depression, anxiety and panic attacks, grief and loss issues, post-traumatic stress disorder and much more, after receiving Reiki sessions.

Because Reiki is directed by a Higher Power, it never causes harm. You can’t overdose on it and even a little is better than none. It’s also a very respectful energy and will only take you where you are ready to go. If you have old wounds in your past that you have buried, Reiki will only bring to the surface what you are ready to heal and release.

One of the greatest benefits I’ve received from Reiki is the release of long held rage that I held toward my mother for the abuse I suffered as a child. Reiki also gave me a much stronger connection to that Divine power that guides and directs my life. Reiki enabled me to connect with God’s presence in my life in a way that religion and church never seemed able to do. I believe my intuitive gifts came to me as a result of the deep healing I experienced through Reiki and the strengthening of my Divine connection.

Because Reiki is guided by a Higher Power, a practitioner can never guarantee what Reiki will do. It will do what the client most needs, at the time the energy is received, as determined by what his/her Higher Power believes is needed. And it’s always good to keep in mind that your Higher Power’s knowledge of what you need may be very different from what you think you need!

How do you learn Reiki?

Reiki is very easy to learn and can be learned by children as well as adults. A Reiki Master – a person who has taken all the levels of Reiki and has learned the information and knowledge to be able to teach Reiki to others – passes on the ability to do Reiki through a process called an attunement. During this process, the Reiki Master uses the Reiki energy in a particular way to change the energy system of the student in a way that allows the student to begin channeling Reiki.

There are several levels of Reiki that a student may take. Each level attunes the student to a higher level of Reiki and increases his/her abilities as a Reiki practitioner. The attunement process also facilitates and enhances the student’s own healing process and spiritual journey. Even if you have no desire to teach Reiki, there is great benefit in taking all the levels to maximize your own ability and to enhance your own healing and growth.

Level I

This is the beginning class for anyone interested in learning Reiki. In this one-day class you will learn the history of Reiki, different ways to use Reiki on people, animals and plants, and receive a Level I attunement. There is plenty of hands-on experience and you will have the opportunity to give and receive Reiki during the class. By the end of class you will be certified as a Level I Reiki Practitioner and will have the ability to do Reiki on yourself as well as family and friends.

Level II

This class is taught over two days – generally a Friday evening and all day Saturday. In this class students learn how to send Reiki over a distance, target mental and emotional issues ( including addictive behaviors ) and how to direct all the Reiki energy to a specific point on the body for maximum effectiveness. There is plenty of time for practice and by the end of class you will be certified as a Level II Reiki practitioner.

Advanced Reiki Training (ART)

This one-day class teaches students how to send continuous Reiki over a distance using crystals and a healing grid. Students also learn Psychic Surgery, a powerful technique to release stubborn energy blockages. This class is the pre-requisite to the Master Class.

Master Class

Taking this class enables students to teach others how to do Reiki. Students learn the necessary symbols to be a Reiki master, how to do a healing attunement ( another powerful technique for releasing energy blockages), and how to do the attunements that pass the gift of Reiki on to others. This is a powerful two-day class that offers opportunities for personal healing and growth, as well as learning the techniques to be a Reiki Master.

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