What Is Reiki And Is It Worth Learning?

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Introducing Reiki

What Is Reiki? What is reiki? It’s an unusual word that sounds like ray and key. It’s the butt of jokes about rakes, and the target of friendly scepticism.

So, what is it?

The short answer, is that Reiki is one of the best healing tools available, whether you’re looking to heal yourself or others.

If it was up to me, every child would be taught at least the basic level of reiki  in primary school. The resulting population would be calmer, kinder and much healthier than it is today.

But that’s just my opinion. Read on and see what YOU think….

Reiki Origins – Where Does it Come From?

Rei-ki is the Japanese name for the invisible energy that animates all living things. It is this life force energy that a reiki practitioner shares with whoever or whatever they touch.  So… the truest answer to the origins of reiki will always be something like, “the Universe” or “Source Energy”, or “God”, if you prefer.

Dr Mikao Usui However, it is also true to say that reiki comes from Japan. The healing system that we call reiki was developed in the early 1900’s by a wise and compassionate Japanese theologian, called Dr. Mikao Usui.

Having succeeded in his quest to discover(or more accurately re-discover) how to use the hands to heal, Dr Usui created his own healing method, that he called Usui Reiki Ryoho, (meaning Usui – spiritual energy – healing method). It has also been referred to as Usui Shiki Ryoho (meaning Usui method of natural healing).

There are two stories that tell the history of reiki from different perspectives, but it’s possible to find common ground between the two. For more information, have a look at Reiki History – Does It  Matter?

What Is Reiki?

So, you now know that reiki is a healing tool that somehow uses the hands and invisible energy, but there’s lots more to uncover about reiki.

Yes, it is an energy healing method that creates positive change on all levels of your being, but  this is only IF you allow it!  You can block the flow if you wish. Reiki isn’t witchcraft. It’s NOT a spell that someone places on you. It’s a gift and, like all gifts, it can be politely rejected.

The Reiki Director

Unlike other forms of healing where the practioner directs the whole show, the universal life force chooses its own path. The healer is a conduit, or a channel for the energy to flow through. The clearer they are energetically, the better it is for the recipient. A clear ‘channel’ means a stronger flow of energy out through the palms of their hands. Both the sender and the receiver benefit from the energy flow. This means double benefits if you’re treating yourself!

Does Reiki Require Certain Religious Beliefs?

Not at all. Reiki Ryoho is NOT linked with any specific belief system or religion. It is all inclusive. In theory, it is available to: all races, all creeds, male and female, adult and child, smart and “dumb, rich and poor. The energy doesn’t differentiate, but humans might, and of course, there is some cost involved.

How Does Reiki Differ From Other Hands-On Healing?

This is an interesting question, and it’s hard to give an answer that makes sense, especially considering that ALL energy healing taps into the same primary source.

I like to look at it this way.

There is a stream of Source energy that creates and nourishes all life, large and small, but within this stream, there are many different frequencies and vibrations, that can be used and combined in a multitude of ways.

Think of all the music and songs that have been created over the centuries, and the new tunes that are being created every day. Did you know that this seemingly endless variety of music comes from a small range of about 120 notes, that are the only ones the human ear can register?

That’s incredible when you think about it!

Yes, there are familiar elements within each tune or melody, but every one of them is still a unique creation. It’s easy for us to know this because we can hear the differences, with our own ears. We can also feel and see sound, with the help of technology.

However, the energy we use for reiki healing is not as easily sensed, so it’s much harder to be aware of the differences. Children under the age of five probably have the best chance of picking up the subtle variations, because they haven’t closed off their ability to read energy yet .

Most of us are completely tuned out as adults, apart from the lucky few who can naturally see auras. Metaphorically, we’ve turned the radio dial to a station that we can more easily understand.

Nor does technology provide an accurate way of measuring reiki. Kirlian photography is only the start of revealing variations in life force energy. So, how can we tell the different healing energies apart? I suspect that all that separates them, is the structure imposed by the creator and teacher, of the healing method.

So, in the context of music, Mikao Usui’s reiki healing method can be compared to a brilliant and unique melody, that contains some of the trusted and much loved notes of other tunes that have come before.

There is no element of right or wrong, in choosing how you would like to heal. You simply decide whether this particular healing method pleases you or not, in much the same way as you have preferences in your music.

Reiki Definition

If you’re looking for a less poetic,  brief description of reiki

The Encarta Concise English Dictionary (2001 Pan McMillan Aust Pty Ltd) defines reiki as:

” a treatment in alternative medicine in which healing energy is channelled from the practitioner to the patient to enhance energy and reduce stress, pain, and fatigue.”

I’d just like to clarify here, that the energy is not from the practitioner. It is channelled through them.

The Reiki Kanji

The word rei-ki is made up of two Japanese kanji or characters, rei and ki. They have a variety of meanings, as you will see below, but the generally accepted meaning of the paired characters, is Universal Life Force.

Character NameReiki Kanji
In Usui’s Time
Modern Reiki
(most relevant ones)
REIOld Rei Kanji | Rei CharacterNew Rei Kanji | Modern Rei Charactersoul energy
spiritual consciousness
KIOld Ki Kanji | Ki CharacterNew Ki Kanji | Modern Ki Characterspirit
life force
feelings, heart

Thanks to www.thejapaneseconnection.com  for the inset kanji images.

Japanese writing has been modernised since Mikao Usui’s time, so the kanji have changed. The meaning is basically the same but there are subtle differences. Reiki purists will always use the older form, believing that they more accurately represent the qualities and intentions of the original Usui Reiki Ryoho

The Reiki Principles

Dr. Mikao Usui created a set of five guidelines to enhance his student’s use of reiki, and to promote their spiritual development. These were based on the works of the Emperor of his time, Meiji Tenno.

These reiki precepts were intended to be used as a twice daily spiritual practice, and were regarded more as concepts to meditate on, than as rigid rules of conduct.

You can find them listed here, in my article Tweaking The Reiki Principles. (It’s not as irreverent as it sounds).

What Does Reiki Feel Like?

The energy is usually calming and soothing for both practitioner and receiver.

If you’re the reiki channel, your hands might feel anywhere between hot and freezing- cold. You might occasionally feel your client’s muscles twitch a little, or a sort of bubbling sensation. Once you’re practiced in giving reiki, you may detect a drawing feeling in your palms, especially in areas where your client needs the energy most. It may also feel as though your hands have sunk into the person’s body, if they’re drawing a lot of energy.

If you’re receiving reiki, the practioner’s hands might feel cold, cool, warm or hot to you. Or you may feel nothing in particular. It may feel as though they are pressing hard, even though their hands are only resting lightly on your body. Your muscles may twitch a little at times. Your stomach may gurgle. Reiki may bring up memories or feelings. For example, you may feel angry or want to cry, or laugh for no apparent reason. You may also feel drowsy. Many clients actually fall asleep during a full reiki treatment.

If you’re both the channel and the client, i.e you’re treating yourself, then obviously, you could feel it all.

Reiki Is Your Best Friend

You can use Reiki to help yourself; you can use it to help others. You can choose to never use it; rarely use it; or use it all the time. Either way, it will never desert you.

Once you’ve been attuned to reiki energy, it will be your friend for life.

Reiki healing will always be there when you need it and no-one can entice it away from you.

How awesome is that!

So…what do you think?  Is reiki worth learning?

Perhaps it’s too early to say. If so, there’s lots more information on this website to help you make up your mind.

THANKS for joining me today.

Go Here Next: How To Learn Reiki

Or Check Out The Reiki Directory, for a list of all my reiki articles.

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