What is Reiki and why do people love it so much?

A Reiki session is a lot like receiving a gift from God and the Universe because that is essentially what it is; a gift of energy from both. We all receive energy from God and the Universe at all times; some of this energy is relatively easy to feel; like the energy we receive from the sun. This heat and light from the sun is similar to all the other energies we receive, however some are on such subtle levels that we don’t notice the energy as it enters our bodies. In a Reiki session, this energy is concentrated and comes out through the practitioner’s hands as heat and then enters the client’s body as heat. As this heat enters the body, it helps the muscles throughout the body to relax, as well as all the other tissues and organs.

Reiki is a Japanese word that is made up of two words; rei means God consciousness and ki means energy (or chi). Reiki is Divinely guided energy used in a hands-on technique which helps the body to relax and promotes healing. Reiki was discovered in the early 1900’s by a Japanese man named Dr. Usui and after the great Kanto earthquake of 1923 in Tokyo, Dr. Usui treated survivors with Reiki and from there Reiki grew and spread gradually throughout the world. Reiki was introduced to the US in the 1940’s and Reiki practitioners can now be found in every state in the USA and certainly in every major city.

Our bodies are always striving for a state of balance and are involved in a constant effort to heal them. The Reiki energy coming in during a Reiki session gives the body more energy to do what it is already attempting to do; balance and harmonize itself. I compare our human body to a container filled with hundreds of garden hoses; and like regular garden hoses, some of them have kinks, some are clogged with crud and some are smashed closed by boulder-like objects. These ‘hoses’ within our body direct the flow of substances throughout our body; some are called veins and arteries, some are lymph nodes, some are connective tissues and others are called meridians from the Chinese medicine perspective. As the Reiki enters the body, it is similar to turning on the water to the garden hose; as the water or energy runs into a kink in the hose or flow, the pressure builds up in that area until the kink is released and opened up again to the flow. Similarly, this is how the crud is pushed through or dissolved and how boulders might be pushed off the hose. Essentially, the Reiki energy is able to help open up the flows in the body, regardless of what substances are being transported. The more open our flows are, the better our energy is shared throughout the entire body and as a result, the more energized we feel.

In the twelve years that I have been a Reiki practitioner, I have seen clients from all walks of life benefit from receiving Reiki sessions; young or old, all manner of discomforts have been relieved by Reiki. I have received positive feedback in the use of Reiki in helping people cope with physical diseases, traumas, loss and depression. Clients are encouraged to follow their physician’s recommendations and Reiki does not interfere with any other treatments. While a Reiki session increases relaxation and releases tension in the body, this then frees the body to focus on healing itself. There is something about receiving warm, healing energy from God and the Universe that helps one let go of all your cares and ends up leaving you feeling refreshed and energized. I have had clients tell me that “receiving Reiki was like getting their battery recharged.” I wish as a young mother someone would have offered Reiki to me during those sleep deprived and frustrating first few months of parenting a new little one; it would have been nice to feel refreshed after a sleepless night.

In a Reiki session, the client usually lies down on a massage table, fully-clothed and then the Reiki practitioner places her hands on or above the body, on specific places on the body; over the client’s eyes, temples, back of head, shoulders, neck, back, over the stomach/ liver region, knees and feet. At each hand position, the Reiki flows warmly into the body. As the Reiki healing energy flows from God through the practitioner’s hands into the client’s body; the client usually senses the heat coming from the hands of the Reiki practitioner and this heat helps the body to relax and let go. Benefits occur from Reiki sessions, regardless of how long the session lasts. I typically give 30-40 minute Reiki sessions and I have witnessed great relaxation resulting from sessions as short as five minutes; it doesn’t have to take a long time to change your state from a tense body to a relaxed body. Certainly, it is preferred to allow as much time as possible for the body to completely relax and for the client to receive the most benefits from the session and a 40 min session is recommended.

I haven’t met a person yet who didn’t enjoy being deeply relaxed and this is one reason why people continue to choose to receive Reiki, even on a maintenance basis. I view Reiki as part of the preventative measures we all take to stay healthy; a proper diet, regular exercise, plenty of fresh air and a Reiki session every month.