Reiki: It’s not a religion, but what is it???

Twenty years ago, when I first learned about Reiki, I had no idea what it was.   When I started practicing that same year, nobody else knew either.  People thought it was some strange hokey- dokey thing or witchcraft. When I see practitioners today using it in hospitals and at every salon on the corner, I am both thrilled and skeptical.  I am thrilled because the practice is being taken seriously, but skeptical that the roots and true understanding of the practice are being lost by it being mainstream/cosmopolitan.  So, if you are new to Reiki, or just need a refresher, I am going to dive into the feelings and meaning of the practice.  

First, it is not a religion. It is a practice.  Most of my family members are practicing Christians.  The first question I would get all the time is, can Christian’s practice Reiki? Of course, you can.  I must admit when I saw it performed for the first time, I was also confused of its origin.  My husband at the time had his Aunt Sonja come stay with us a few days for a visit. I found her remarkably interesting as she had a business practicing Reiki and several other healing modalities.  She had a light that just always emitted from her.  She would be the first person that I had ever seen an aura on.  It was impossible to miss it.  Anyway, a friend of mine had stopped by to have a cup of coffee with me.  She was going through an intense break up, and her life was in a state of upheaval.  When she came in, however, you would not have known what was going on in her life.  She was all smiles and being her talkative, bubbly self.  After a few minutes of being in the same room together, my aunt asked her if she could do something.  She explained that her energy felt off, and she thought she could help her.  My friend nervously laughed and agreed.  My aunt put one hand on her sternum and the other on her upper back and closed her eyes.  We just sat there in silence for a few minutes until my friend burst into tears.  Aunt Sonja held steady with her concentration and hand placement until it passed.  Then she placed her hands on her head.  I just watched this in amazement absolutely confused about what was happening.  She removed her hands, and my friend let out this loud exhale as a huge smile stretched across her face.  I’m serious when I say that she looked different.  She was glowing.  Her entire face and demeanor had changed.  Then Sonja asked her what had been going on?  She said she could just feel it in her energy.  My friend said that she felt like the weight had been lifted off of her, and she was ready to move on.  Right there and then I said, “teach me!”.   I wanted to know what this was all about.   Energy is what it is all about. Energy is boundless, and timeless.  Energy is. 

Have you ever walked into a room and you feel a certain vibe?  You get an immediate bad feeling in your stomach.  Sometimes, it can feel really crowded, even though it isn’t.  You may be overwhelmed with a sad feeling.  How about when you meet someone for the first time and you intuitively know that you like them, or you don’t.  Some may call this intuition, which it is, but it is also energy you are feeling.  We tap into other’s energy all the time, even though we may not realize that that is what we are doing.  Those of us that are sensitive to energy may even feel drained after going out in public.  I know that if I “people” too much, I literally need a day or two to myself to recoup.   This is what the basis of Reiki lies in, tapping into that energy.  Learning how to use it for good, and how to not hold onto other’s energy after they are gone.  

“Reiki is an ancient and profoundly simple system of “laying on of hands”, a touch healing system that was introduced to us from Tibetan Buddhism. Reiki is not a religion. It is a process to help you clear your mind, center, and calm yourself, and focus on the Creators given Life Force, with the intention that “God’s will be done”, like advanced or focused prayer. Once the practitioner is calm and focused, his/her hands become hot, and the heated hands are placed above the injured or ill area of the body.”  Sonja Christensen KRMT.   

  We take the energy from the source.  That source can be whatever you believe gives you a life force. It can be God, the Universe, nature, etc. The beginning of the word “Rei” means God’s wisdom.  The second part, “Ki” refers to life force energy.  Reiki encourages the healthy flow of energy throughout the body.  We all have an unseen life force of energy within ourselves.  Every cell within our body produces electrical charges which create a magnetic field.  When two human magnetic fields interact with each other a “healing” effect takes place through touch therapy.  The client takes the practitioners energy they are emitting, and their body takes it to where it is needed.   During a session, the practitioner may not even touch the client at all.  The energy is felt by hovering the hands over the receiver’s body.    As a practitioner you can feel when the energy changes in a particular area and it is time to move on to another spot. It is also possible to feel where the energy is needed in the case of an injury or illness.  When I first began practicing, I would tell my client not to tell me anything.  I wanted to see how in tuned with the energy and their body I could become.  When the session was over, I would ask them if they were injured in certain areas where I felt the energy very thick.  Most of the time I was right on.  It is such a cool experience to feel the shifts as you move over the body.  My hands are tingling as I write this! 

Reiki can promote self-healing properties within the body.  How amazing is that!   When you have a stomachache, you instinctually put your hands on your stomach.  When you hurt your arm, you grab it and hold onto it.  It is our instinct to use our hands for healing by directing our energy to the area that is in need.  We already do Reiki in some form or another just by instinct.  I had a Reiki Master that I studied under use it on her computer when it was acting up.  It all uses energy, right?!  Clients say they immediately feel relaxed and a diminishment in their pain after a session.  We cannot make any claims that Reiki cures anything, but we know, and traditional medicine will support this, that as the body is able to relax, it will be better able to help heal any issues, physical, emotional, mental & spiritual. As the body relaxes, the mind relaxes which aids in the healing process.  Reiki can help with anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, and pain.  It really is wonderfully relaxing as well.  I have clients that say it feels better than a massage. 

Reiki can also be performed in combination with Chakra balancing.  This is up to the practitioner’s beliefs and what they feel the body needs.  I personally always use the chakras as nodes for the energy to flow through.  I will talk about chakras in another post as there is so much to talk about! 

So, do you want to be a Reiki practitioner?   First, you will need to find a Reiki Master as they are the only ones that are able to teach others the practice.  There are three levels of Reiki:  1,2, and 3.  Levels 1 and 2 can practice on clients while level 3 can teach.  To practice Reiki it is so important that you get training through a qualified practitioner to ensure that you get the energy attunement you need to practice.  In Reiki training there is an energy attunement ceremony called Reiju.  The teacher opens the energy channels of the students to allow the universal energy to flow more freely within them.  This is such a unique experience to Reiki, and it allows for a lot of growth for the student.  Not to mention, the experience and knowledge you will gain by studying under an expert is priceless. I still reach out to my master teachers with questions about certain ailments my clients have and how to best treat them.  The experience of energy work is second to none.  I encourage everyone to try it.   

What are you waiting for?  Get out there and experience it for yourself. Whether booking a session or seeking training, you will not regret it. 

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