Reiki refers to a Japanese healing therapy that uses gentle placement of hands and is based on a transfer of life energy through practitioner to client.

The word itself is a compound of the Japanese words “rei” and “ki”.  Used in a healing context it is challenging to translate from everyday language.  It has been called “a spiritually guided life force energy”.  One practitioner suggests Reiki is “a non-physical healing energy made up of life force energy that is guided by the Higher Intelligence, or spiritually guided life force energy.”1 In essence, universal energy flowing through the practitioner affects the energy pathway of the receiving client, recharging it positively and allowing negative energy to break apart.

In a session, the Reiki practitioner’s hands are gently placed in various positions either on or above the client’s body.  Reiki is not massage; the work is done on an energy basis.  Energy channels out from practitioner to client.  A whole body treatment can be done in which the hand positions begin at the head and move over the entire body to the feet.  Some practitioners will use a more localized treatment in which they place the hands for varying lengths of time over particular body areas to treat specific ailments.  Benefits include but are not limited to:  stress reduction, mental clarity, body cleansing, improved healing after surgery, pain reduction.  The number of sessions depends on the individual client’s health condition and response to treatment.  Clients report feeling very relaxed and calm during the treatment.  To receive optimum treatment, a client should take time to choose a practitioner with whom he or she feels comfortable and one who can describe the treatment well and outline what to expect.

Japanese Reiki differs from Western Reiki.  Japanese Reiki was developed by Makao Usui.  It is founded in Buddhism, as a practice with the objective of enlightenment.  Meditation and intuition are central.  Western Reiki was introduced in the west in 1937 by Hawayo Takata.  She suffered serious health issues and was healed through a Reiki master.  The Western style is set more in the context of healing and uses specific hand placements.


Specific Techniques