Maybe you’ve heard of Reiki, maybe you haven’t. Or maybe you have a vague idea about what Reiki is, but you couldn’t explain it to your friends or family if put on the spot. Regardless, here’s your handy guide to all things Reiki, packed with answers to some of your biggest questions about this important therapy that is taking the world by storm.
Ready to get started? Let’s go—
What Is Reiki?
Reiki (pronounced ray·kee) is a complementary therapy based on Eastern beliefs that harness the vital power of energy healing. It has been around a long time and has undergone rigorous scrutiny from various corners of the medical and holistic worlds, and it continues to thrive because it works.
Having originated in Japan, Reiki was developed in the late 19th century. Today, it serves many important purposes in and out of medical settings. Through non-invasive and non-manipulative touch, Reiki practitioners seek to—
- Improve a patient’s overall wellbeing
- Increase a patient’s level of energy
- Lessen a patient’s pain and the perception of pain
- Lower a patient’s stress/promote relaxation
Reiki practitioners either use gentle touch or place their hands right above a person’s body to work with the body’s existing energy fields and to help guide the energy toward balance and healing.
So the short answer: Reiki is a form of energy healing.
What Does It Mean That Reiki Is a Complementary Therapy?
Reiki is complementary, meaning it works best alongside other traditional medical programs or treatments for any acute issues.
It has been studied and shown to help people reduce anxiety, depression, and pain, for example. But many people choose to pair their Reiki therapy with counseling, physical therapy, or other pain management programs. This is welcomed and encouraged.
Decades ago, some medical professionals around the world weren’t sure how Reiki would fit in with scientific medical programs or therapies. In these modern times, these same professionals have started (or continued) to see the wonderful benefits of implementing Reiki in addition to a patient’s prescribed medical path.
Working alongside other traditional therapies, Reiki has incredible power to impact patients and improve their overall well-being.
One of the reasons Reiki makes such an excellent complementary therapy is that it is non-invasive, doesn’t involve any unhelpful side effects, and doesn’t get in the way of any other form of treatment a patient may be receiving at the time. Even medically fragile patients have benefited from Reiki.
Because it is considered low-risk and high-reward, Reiki is becoming increasingly welcomed into medical centers around the world that once stood in opposition to it simply because they did not fully understand it.
The gentle and soothing nature of Reiki is helpful for all patients. A study by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health concluded that “Reiki hasn’t been shown to have any harmful effects.”
As we become more familiar with non-Western ways of treating the body, mind, and soul, people are increasingly open to alternative forms of treatment, including Reiki.
Because Reiki is a form of Eastern alternative energy therapy that you can’t physically see, it has been harder to study or prove scientifically. And therefore it is harder for some in the scientific or medical community to accept it as efficacious.
But what isn’t as hard to accept is the number of people who have repeatedly gotten the help and relief they need and have been able to alleviate painful symptoms associated with illness and improve their overall well-being.
The reason Reiki has stood the test of time is because it has worked for so many people.
There are now many studies involving Reiki. See the IARP website here for Reiki research.
What Specific Conditions Is Reiki Known to Help?
Reiki has been known to help patients with all manner of conditions. For example, a 2010 study by Yale University researchers in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that patients who received a 20-minute Reiki therapy treatment within three days after having a heart attack had better moods and heart rate variability—this is an important number to measure the health of post-heart-attack patients.
The overall idea is that if a patient is experiencing high levels of stress or low levels of energy, they are less likely to heal in a timely manner. Cancer patients, for example, or patients with other long-term health crises often experience higher ongoing levels of discomfort or stress that actually become impediments to care.
Today, medical professionals are increasingly acknowledging that Reiki can actually boost a patient’s wellbeing and work with—not against—other important medical treatments.
People with all sorts of spiritual, mental, and physical conditions have benefited from Reiki, but here is a list of some of the conditions most popular amongst those who seek out the therapy:
What Can I Expect at a Reiki Session?
Once you have arrived for your session, you will either lie down—fully dressed—on a comfortable massage table or sit in a comfortable chair in a private setting. The practitioner will then place their palms on or over different parts of your head, torso, and limbs that are considered energy hubs. There are as many as 15 different hand positions the practitioner may use in order to do the most good for your flow of energy, and each of these positions typically last for 3 to 10 minutes.
Your practitioner will use many techniques, including—
One important clarification: Even though you may be lying on a massage table, you aren’t receiving a massage. Reiki is not a form of massage. At the very most, you will receive gentle touch.
You may feel tingling, heat, or pulsing sensations where your practitioner is working, or nothing at all but a sense of relaxation. Sometimes the practitioner’s hands get very warm in response to the energy. This is absolutely normal and nothing over which to be alarmed.
Very often, individuals receiving Reiki fall asleep during the session. This is okay, too, as you don’t need to be awake to experience the benefits!
Sessions typically last 45–90 minutes in length.
What Does a Typical Reiki Session Cost?
As is the case with all kinds of therapies around the world, session costs differ from location to location and depend on many factors, but the typical Reiki session costs between US$25 and $100. Find typical costs here in your country’s currency.
Will My Insurance Cover a Reiki Session?
Reiki is typically not covered by insurance. If you are receiving sessions within a hospital setting you can ask if it may be covered. It’s possible though not guaranteed that your insurance provider will help with your Reiki sessions. Here are the questions you can call and ask your insurance provider:
- Do you cover Reiki treatments?
- Can I get preauthorized or pre-approved to get Reiki sessions as part of my medical treatment plan?
- Could I get a doctor’s referral or prescription for a Reiki session?
- How many sessions can I get as part of my current insurance plan?
Many professional Reiki Practitioners can assist you in a hospital setting or with at-home or in-office care. You would customarily pay out of pocket for these services, but many patients and clients consider a series of sessions an important part of healing and stress reduction during their recuperative process.
Reiki is Utilized for General Wellness
Reiki is even more popularly utilized for general wellness. Many people, after having tried a Reiki session, decide to purchase a series of sessions to reduce stress and for general wellness. They may receive weekly sessions and beyond that a monthly tune-up to keep their energy flowing strong.
Reiki sessions are pleasant, relaxing and provide a sense of calm and peace in this busy world. And who doesn’t need that these days!
Your Personal Invitation
Whether you want to find a reliable Reiki Practitioner or you’re interested in learning how you can become a Reiki Master for your own personal use, we would love to help you on your Reiki journey.
If you have not tried a Reiki session, see what people have been talking about and enjoying for decades. You can find a qualified Reiki Practitioner anywhere in the world here at the IARP web site.
IARP been providing professionalism and support to the Reiki community for over 25 years and are proud to support Independent Reiki Practitioners and Master Teachers worldwide.
If you are a Reiki Practitioner and not yet a member of IARP, we would love to welcome you as a Professional Member if you practice or teach Reiki. We are here for you and are looking forward to being of service.
Click here to join today.