Everything you need to know about Reiki

What is reiki |How does Reiki Healing Work? |How can Reiki help you? |What happens during a Reiki session? | What should I do before, during and after a Reiki session? | How Can I Become Certified in Reiki? | Introductory Reiki Certification

What is Reiki? Reiki is universal life force energy (rei = of the universe and ki = life force energy). It is a healing modality that helps to reduce stress and can be used to help people heal physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. Dr. Mikao Usui is the founder of Usui Reiki, the form of Reiki that most practitioners use today. Dr. Usui’s discovery of this healing modality occurred during a 21-day fasting, prayer and meditation excursion in which symbols, including ancient Kanji symbols, appeared to him.  While he is credited with discovering Reiki, it has actually been around for thousands of years. 

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How does Reiki Healing Work?

Reiki is provided by a practitioner that has been attuned by a Reiki Master. This attunement connects the Practitioner to the source of Reiki which allows healing energy to flow from the universe (Source or God) through them, and to you, the client.  

The energy flow occurs as the practitioner places their hands in various positions over, or on, the body. Reiki seeks to help heal areas where your life force energy has been disrupted or blocked. This energy disruption or blockage can manifest as various physical and emotional ailments. The practitioner is simply directing the Reiki energy into your body to help your own body heal itself.  

As an added bonus to the practitioner, they also end up receiving Reiki since the energy is flowing through them. In fact, once someone becomes attuned to Reiki, the healing energy starts working immediately. That is why practitioners are strongly encouraged to do a 21-day practice of giving Reiki to themselves after their Reiki 1 Certification. This daily practice helps Reiki integrate into their system and also helps them to clear and balance their own energetic field, making them a clearer and stronger channel for the Reiki to flow to others. 

How can Reiki help you?

Reiki can help in a variety of ways. Because it is a non-intrusive and gentle therapy, it can be used on people of all ages, as well as animals. Reiki can help to reduce stress levels which can have a positive effect on everything from the immune system to hormonal imbalances to weight loss. It can help relieve physical pain and speed up healing after a surgery or injury. It can be used to improve a person’s mental well-being, as well as their spiritual well-being. This healing can even help with different situations in a person’s life, like finding a better job, attracting a loving relationship, or even opening up a person’s intuitive abilities. 

Those who become attuned to Reiki may find their own spiritual well-being and overall health improved. They may even experience a desire for self-discovery and growth. Each person’s reaction to Reiki—whether receiving it or becoming attuned to this beautiful modality—is unique and will always be experienced in a way that is for their highest good.

While Reiki can be a powerful addition to a medical treatment plan, it is important to note that Reiki sessions are not intended to replace a consultation with a licensed medical doctor who can evaluate and treat any medical issues you may be experiencing. It should be used as a complementary therapy to a treatment plan agreed upon by you and your doctor. 

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What happens during a Reiki session?

During a Reiki session, the practitioner will help you identify an intention, or focus, for healing. You’ll lie down or sit comfortably while the practitioner places their hands in various positions over, or on, your body. These hand placement positions make sure that your entire energetic field is treated and aligned.  

Touching the body is not necessary for Reiki to flow to you. In fact, you do not even have to be physically with the Reiki Practitioner in order to receive Reiki. You can receive the healing energy remotely—something that is taught to the Reiki Practitioner in Level 2.  

As the practitioner shares Reiki, you may undergo a wide range of experiences during the session:

  • Feelings of warmth, coolness, pressure or other sensations;
  • In areas where pain exists, that pain may intensify before diminishing;
  • Seeing colors, symbols, or past memories/lives;
  • Entering into a dreamlike state or falling asleep completely;
  • Feelings of peace and total relaxation;
  • Feelings of anger, sadness, joy, laughter; 
  • Or nothing at all—that doesn’t mean the Reiki is not working.

Each person has their own individual experience based on the healing that they need.

Your Reiki Practitioner should recap the session with you. They may share any energetic disturbances or imbalances they felt while working with you or spirit messages, visions, or information they received while sharing Reiki with you.  

And please note, NO Reiki Practitioner should ever touch you inappropriately, ask you to undress, or do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.                                                  

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What should I do before, during and after a Reiki session?

On the day of your Reiki session, you should avoid heavy foods and alcohol, and hydrate as much as possible. This applies to both before and after your session. 

Before the start of the session, your practitioner should ask for a general overview of your health and well-being. You should let the practitioner know of any physical, mental or emotional concerns at that time. If you have sensitivities to being touched, let your practitioner know as there are hand placements that might trigger people who have PTSD or have suffered physical trauma. Your practitioner should respect your boundaries and sensitivities.

Let your practitioner know if you need a blanket or anything else to make yourself more comfortable during the session. You don’t need to worry about lying perfectly still, either. You can move around a bit to get more comfortable or scratch an itch as needed.

If a memory, or strong feeling comes up in the session, this is normal. You may want to share what you are feeling with the practitioner so they can send additional Reiki to what is coming up for you at that time. 

At the conclusion of the session, the Reiki practitioner will likely sweep over your aura, sealing your energetic field so that it is strengthened and protected. They will also ground your energy and then give you a few minutes to sit quietly and relax before getting up, as some people can experience dizziness.

After your session, make sure to drink plenty of water and take it easy for the rest of the day in order to best integrate the healing you have received. Avoid high-traffic places and stressful situations if possible. A salt bath would be a nice addition to your routine on the day of your session, as well. 

The above can apply to remote Reiki sessions as well. Your practitioner should provide you with verbal or written instructions on what to do prior to, during and after your remote session. Remember, everything is made up of energy, and you can receive healing energy from Universe/God/Source anywhere, at any time.

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How Can I Become Certified in Reiki? 

If you’ve decided to become attuned to Reiki and receive your certification(s), congratulations! Know that you are about to embark on an amazing journey of self-discovery and healing. While you will learn the various hand positions/techniques, Reiki symbols, the importance of the chakras—along with a lot more—the attunement to Reiki at each level is the foundation. Each attunement at each level helps to deepen and strengthen your connection to Reiki. Once you receive the attunement(s), you will always be connected to Reiki and be able to use it to help heal. However, the more you use it, the stronger your connection becomes and the more energy you can channel for yourself or others.

So, what is an attunement? 

Essentially, an attunement can be thought of as a sacred ceremony or initiation, where your Reiki Master passes on the connection to Reiki to you, the student, through breathwork, symbols and intention. I like to think of an attunement as being “tuned in” to the frequency of the universe.

Reiki 1: Introductory Reiki Certification

In Level 1 of Reiki Certification, you will learn the history, the Chakras and their importance in establishing balance within the body’s energy system, as well as the basic principles of Reiki. This is where you also learn the hand placement techniques for self-healing and for the healing of others. The most important aspect, though, is the attunement. Once attuned, you are ready to use Reiki on yourself. You may also share this healing with plants, objects (such as crystals) or animals at this level. And you may share with others—family and friends, although only as a practice.

Most Reiki Masters will encourage you to complete a 21-day self-healing practice after becoming attuned.

There is the potential that you may experience some type of “healing crisis” after attunement. This can manifest as a cold, flu or allergy-like symptoms, and is just the body cleansing itself of negative or unwanted energies. This is also your body adjusting to its new higher frequency. Self-Reiki Healing will help you with these symptoms and help you strengthen your Reiki practice.

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Symbols from Reiki 2. Before 2012, it was taboo to place these symbols anywhere where the un-initiated could see them.
In a Reiki 2 Attunement, these symbols are placed within your aura and palms to help the practitioner heal long distance and call on greater power.

Reiki 2: Reiki Practitioner 

Level 2 of Reiki Certification adds another layer of connection to Reiki. A second attunement is provided which allows for you to handle more Reiki flowing through you. This is also where you will foster a deeper appreciation and understanding of the sacred symbols of Reiki.  

One of the most interesting and important symbols you will learn in Reiki 2 allows you to provide healing from a distance, as well as across space and time. You’ll be able to share Reiki with someone in another room, or across town or across the world —and even be able to send healing to a past part of your life (or someone else’s life). There are past experiences in everyone’s lives that they wish they could go back and send healing energy to—with Reiki, you can do that!

Many people who become certified as a Reiki 2 Practitioner, also feel a calling to provide Reiki to others as a life path/career.  Once certified at this level, many start their own businesses or join already established practitioners of Reiki. It’s an exciting path to consider—helping others to heal—and this certification enables you to do so.

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Reiki 3: Reiki Master Teacher

This third and final level, certifies you as a Reiki Master Teacher. When you attain this level of certification, you are able to teach and attune others to Reiki as well. There are some Reiki training programs that will split this final certification into two parts, but that is not necessary.

At this level, many people experience a more spiritual connection to Reiki. You will receive a third attunement, which may cause your own issues to be brought forth for healing. This healing may take many months or years, and is relative to your personal life experiences. 

You may also learn many additional symbols that will allow you to further enhance your Reiki healing sessions, including the Master symbols. These are needed in order for you to provide attunements to others as a Reiki Master Teacher.

During this level, you’ll learn healing attunements that can be passed on to clients. These are separate and distinct from the attunements you receive as you are being certified or as you certify others.  

Many people certified at this level end up incorporating their own modifications into the teaching, which is a beautiful practice. No two teachers teach the exact same way and Reiki is not rigid—it’s more about honoring the intention and the basic principles.  

I really love Reiki because I see how it brings out a healer’s natural modality. You may already know what this is, or maybe it is yet to be discovered! But it is an exciting process to connect to Reiki and see how your Spiritual Journey will unfold.


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