A few months back a new client told me that she had been wanting to try reiki for years but didn’t know very much about it. She asked if there was some information on-line that she could read prior to our appointment. I didn’t quite know what to say… there’s loads of stuff out there if you just ask google, but none that I could particularly recommend. You see I learnt about reiki from my good friend and spiritual healer Jyoti Imix, who encouraged me to ‘feel’ the energy rather than study it and to trust my intuition. I decided to write an article that explains what reiki means to me… something that can offer a little insight into what reiki is (or isn’t) and what to expect when you book an appointment with me.
It’s been a while coming but this is that post!
So what exactly is reiki?
That’s the question I get asked most when I tell people I’m a reiki practitioner… either that or they politely nod and smile, not wanting to admit they don’t really know what that means. Many have heard of it – holistic treatments are becoming far more ‘mainstream’ than they were even just ten years ago and reiki is now offered by the NHS in some areas – but there’s still a bit of mystery to it that I think makes some people a bit wary… they’re not sure what’s involved and feel a bit awkward asking!
Ironically though, it’s also the question I find so difficult to answer! It always sounds a bit far out there or ‘woo’ when I say “I’m channelling universal energy!” …and that this ‘energy’ can offer physical or emotional healing… really? Let’s face it that still doesn’t make a lot of sense to our scientifically conditioned brains! It sounds like fantasy fairy dust!!
But if we look at it another way, everything in our world is made up of ‘energy’ – we’re all just atoms jiggling around in space. What we perceive as solid objects are less so if you look at them from a molecular level… the edges are blurry… one thing blends into another as energy moves around. One of the few things I remember from childhood science is that energy doesn’t have a beginning or an end… it is continually moving and changing from one state to another. Human beings (like everything else) are forever receiving/using energy in a continual cycle.
Reiki is essentially a name for this natural energy that sustains all life.
A VERY brief history of the term ‘Reiki’
Reiki is a Japanese healing system which was developed in the early 1900s by Dr Mikao Usui, a budhist monk who had extensively studied medicine, physics and religious philosophy. It is said that during a 21-day fast he had a ‘mystical’ experience in which he could see ancient sanskrit symbols and that this helped him to develop the techniques he had been previously searching for.
The term therefore comes from the Japanese words REI (meaning universal) and KI (lifeforce energy).
Although ‘reiki’ is now recognised worldwide, to my mind it is just one interpretation or technique for using what is essentially the same energy that has been around since time began. The ancient Egyptians had Sekhem; in China it’s known as Qigong; and every indigenous tribe across the globe has had their own form of energy healing or shamanic practices.
So although I call my practice reiki, in all honesty I use the term quite loosely. I blend traditional reiki systems with the study of Maya Astrology, Chakra balancing and 20 years of tai chi/qigong practice, to deliver my own unique style of healing… I always have done things a little differently to others!
What to expect from a treatment
Reiki is non-invasive, quite literally all you have to do is lie on a couch and relax! The practitioner will place their hands gently on or above your body at specific points. Personally, I believe touch is an important part of the healing process… when something hurts we instinctively hold it. However reiki can also be given just as effectively without touch – many promote it as a ‘non-touch’ therapy – which makes it a safe treatment for these ‘covid-secure’ times.
During the treatment, which with me usually lasts between 20-40 minutes, I act as a channel or ‘tool’ for receiving universal energy and pass this on to you through my hands. It’s a bit like when you have a flat battery in your car… someone comes along with a strong, healthy battery and gives you the extra energy you need to start the car. The process doesn’t drain the stronger battery – which is continually being topped up from the engine – the power just passes through and does what it needs to do!
In a similar way energy will flow through me to you… reaching all parts of the body but also the mental and emotional levels where the true source of illness is so often located. It knows exactly what needs healing and will go to wherever it can do the most good at that time… which may not be what you’re expecting so it’s important to keep an open mind.
I play soft music, burn some sage, discuss anything that might be troubling you then simply let the energy flow. Most people will feel warmth throughout the treatment and often know where my hands are placed even if there is no physical contact. Others have reported coloured lights or tingling sensations – many feel nothing but a deep sense of relaxation… like you’re asleep but conscious at the same time. A few people may find the experience emotional – if this happens then there is a reason those emotions need to be released and I will always provide a safe space and the time for whatever needs to come out.
What are the benefits
Reiki works on all levels of awareness – your mind, body and spirit – so there is no condition that cannot be helped… so long as you are truly willing and ready to heal… and this really is key. Reiki is not a magic wand!
As with any form of therapy – say psychotherapy as an example – healing takes time, commitment and a good realtionship with your therapist. The same could be said for physical ailments which require physio… or you go for a massage, feel great but due to bad posture the symptoms soon return.
In the short term however reiki can offer immediate pain relief for many physical conditions; it can relieve stress and anxiety; it can ease mental worries or help with concentration; give you a boost if you’re tired and overworked…. ultimately it gives you the extra energy your body needs to repair itself at that moment.
Over time reiki can address the fundamental cause of an illness, it unlocks hidden parts of our psyche, heals past trauma which may be hindering our growth and opens us to the possibility that we can create our own reality. There is no limit to what can be achieved through reiki.
Is it safe?
Absolutely!! Whatever your circumstances reiki can do no harm.
Universal energy is the source of all life, it is pure love and can only ever enhance your life… to a greater or lesser degree perhaps, but it is impossible to do any damage or make a mistake.
Some people may experience side-effects such as slight nausea – a reaction to the sensations in your body which will soon pass – or perhaps some mild illness following a treatment (a cold or upset stomach perhaps). This is all good and means the body is clearing out some toxins… rest and let it do what it needs. All too often in today’s society we don’t give our bodies the time they need to rebalance, restore and recharge – this is ultimately what reiki can do for you.
I want to remove some of the ‘mystery’ that surrounds reiki and other forms of holistic healing – it’s not voodoo! It’s based in natural physics and I believe every human being has the potential to tune into this unlimited source of healing energy… it’s just that most of us have forgotten how! Animals and young children are particularly sensitive to reiki – they instinctively understand the workings of the natural world in the same way our ancient ancestors did. The modern world has almost destroyed this inherent knowledge which is the core of our being… but we’re gradually waking up… and I hope that I can guide others to do the same.
Until next time….