What Is Reiki?


Thanks to Conscious Life News for the image.

As a Pilates and yoga instructor, I tend to be grouped with and drawn to other people who are “alternative healers.” I’m friends with other teachers, chiropractors, and massage therapists. We have similar interests and often attend similar continuing education classes.

Because of my friends, I have heard of reiki; I’ve even had a reiki session. But, the only thing that I really know about reiki is that it’s energy work. So, I decided that it was time to research and answer the question:  What is reiki?

What Is Reiki?

According to MindBodyGreen.com,

“Reiki is a Japanese technique that is used to heal physical and mental trauma, and to support mental clarity and spiritual well-being. In Japanese, the word ‘rei’ refers to a higher intelligence that permeates all living and nonliving entities and guides the inherent functioning of the universe. The word ‘ki’ refers to the nonphysical energy that flows through everything that is alive, including plants, animals, and human beings—because of this, ki is also often called ‘life force energy,’ and is known as qi or chi from other lineages. The combination of these two words is what defines reiki as ‘spiritually guided life-force energy.'”

The whole purpose of Reiki is that, if you’re feeling stressed out or sick, a practitioner can help move your energy to help you feel better. Theoretically, the reason that you’re feeling bad is because your energy pathways are blocked.

It’s the job of the Reiki practitioner to unblock your pathways. They do this letting the palms of their hands sweep your body. To clarify, this is not a massage; there’s no rubbing. Instead, your practitioner will place their hands above (or possibly on) your energy pathways. They use an intuition to guide them. This intuition tells them where to move.

Reiki Training

Reiki training is not particularly intense, but you do have to have a very strong connection to your mind, body, and the area around you. Do your research and decide who you would like to study with. This is very important since it is said that the Reiki master transfers the power of Reiki to his or her student during the attunement process.

As you learn, Reiki practitioners are ranked at different levels. You begin as a Level 1 practitioner, and advance to Level 2. Then, you move up to Level 3. The final level is Master.

My First Reiki Experience

Many years ago, a massage therapist used Reiki to free up some major upper trapezius knots that were causing me some serious pain. An hour of massage couldn’t free these knots, so my massage therapist got her coworker to practice Reiki.

It felt like he gently played the piano on my back. Tap, tap, tap. Gently tapping spots on my upper back. The knots came right out. After that experience, I knew that I would want to try a full Reiki session in the future.

My Second Reiki Experience

I’m the kind of person who can tell when her energy is blocked. I feel shifty or stuck, my thoughts don’t flow fluidly. Normally, I go to the chiropractor when this happens. The realignment of my spine helps get things moving again. One time, I decided to go try Reiki instead because of my previous experience.

The whole experience was very relaxing overall. You just rest while someone sweeps their hands over you. It seems like no big deal or maybe even like somewhat of a sham.

However, when my practitioner, got over my psoas (which is your main hip flexor and thought to be an emotion-storing muscle), I just started crying. Aside from my sudden tears, nothing had changed. I wasn’t thinking sad thoughts or feeling any pain. I specifically had emptied my mind and left it blank so I could absorb this experience, yet here I was crying out of nothing!

That left a big impression. I’m not one to cry for no reason, and I really don’t like to cry in front of people. I had not anticipated that my body would have that kind of reaction to this treatment.

At the end of the session, I felt really good (aside from my embarrassment about suddenly crying). I definitely think that Reiki could be a helpful healing tool for me, and I plan on having another session in the future.

More Information

Whether you’re looking for a nearby Reiki teacher or simply a practitioner, check out this website. Remember, while online training might be tempting, it won’t get you the teacher/student contact that you need to be truly successful.

Have you tried Reiki? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.