What is Reiki?

As a Reiki Master-Teacher, I have been working with Reiki energy for many years and am always amazed at the questions people ask about Reiki, their perceptions and misconceptions of what it is, what it does, and how it works. In this article, I would like to share with you what I believe about Reiki.

Reiki is Universal Life Force Energy

I believe that there is an invisible life force that surrounds and permeates all living things. This universal life force energy animates all living things, gives order to our world, and is the underlying creative intelligence of the universe. The Japanese know it as Ki, the Chinese refer to it as Chi, in Sanskrit it is referred to as Prana, and in Hawaiian is called Ti or Ki. It has also been called bioplasma, orgone, and odic force.

Reiki (pronounced RAY-key) is a high vibrational form of this universal life force energy similar to light energy. It is also a precise method for connecting to the universal life force energy for healing as well as managing everyday life.

Reiki is Life Force Energy

Reiki is Life Force Energy

Reiki is Spiritually Guided Life Force Energy

Reiki is spiritually guided life force energy. This means that it has a higher intelligence, knows what the person needs, and is guided by the Higher power or Higher Self of the person. A person receiving a Reiki treatment gets what they need at the time. It brings the highest healing for all concerned and this is where many people get confused about Reiki.

Reiki is a Balancing Energy

Reiki is a balancing energy. What is in excess, Reiki lessens (like pain). What is lacking, Reiki increases and fills. So one can say that Reiki restores and balances one’s physical, mental, and emotional energies. It puts one’s physical body in the best condition to promote healing. When people are anxious, Reiki relaxes them. When they are in pain, Reiki can reduce or eliminate it. When people are emotionally upset, Reiki can calm them and balance their emotions so that they can see their situation and problems more clearly.

Reiki Misconceptions

One of the misconceptions about Reiki is that many people think that one session will cure their disease, eliminate their problems, or calm anxieties forever. In reality, Reiki is not a one-shot deal. People don’t get the way they are in one day. There has been a lifetime of bad habits, fearful or anxious thoughts, poor eating habits, etc. Like any chronic disease or condition, it takes time and many treatments to bring the body back to balance. And this is the major reason that Reiki practitioners encourage their clients to take Reiki training so that they can give themselves (as well as friends and family) Reiki every day.

(Note: I have seen cases where one treatment was enough to unblock the blockage; change the person’s life; heal the unhealable, etc. I believe that these people had a spontaneous healing because they were ready, had the right frame of mind, and were willing to do the work necessary for their own healing.)

Can Reiki FIX?

The other misconception is that a Reiki practitioner will “fix” me. A Reiki practitioner acts only as a channel to bring this universal energy to a person. It is the person who is responsible for their own healing. A skilled Reiki practitioner can facilitate healing and guide you through the process, but if you don’t do your human homework (get counseling, change eating behaviors, change negative thinking, change the way you treat people, get out of a relationship, etc.) you may not see the changes you desire.

Why Reiki Works

The reason that Reiki works is that it connects the universal life force energy with the body’s innate (inborn) powers of healing. Reiki also induces the relaxation response and puts the body in the best condition for healing. And we know that it is the body that eventually heals itself. The body’s innate intelligence regulates the amount of Reiki that one receives and where it goes so one cannot give or receive too much Reiki.

Reiki and Prayer

Reiki speeds up the process of healing and can be used in conjunction with many medical technologies, and therapies, as well as psychological counseling, to bring about healing. It is not a substitute for medical care. Reiki is not a religion; it is a way to focus energy as well as an energy source that one may tap into. Reiki energy can be used for physical problems, mental or emotional conditions, and for sending healing to those at a distance (this is taught in Second degree Reiki.) Reiki is much like prayer. You focus on the person that you want to send healing to, bring in Reiki energy, and “send” it across time and space.

Reiki every day for Self Care

The best part of Reiki is that it is not just about healing others; it is about healing yourself. And we all know that we need to take care of ourselves and heal ourselves before we can truly help others. A person can use Reiki every day (or several times a day) to help heal situations, physical problems, emotional problems, calm anxiety, send blessings, give thanks, etc.

Reiki is for Anyone and Everyone

Reiki is for real people. You don’t have to be spiritually evolved or the most intelligent person. Anyone can go through the training and work with the energy of Reiki. My children have had Reiki since they were four and seven years of age (children are pure channels and work easily with Reiki energy.) My husband is also a Reiki practitioner and we give each other Reiki whenever we can.

Reiki for Family Care

Reiki is a wonderful gift that families can learn. Those that are taking care of loved ones who have cancer, AIDS, or any serious or terminal condition can bring the healing energy of Reiki to them every day. They can also bring it to themselves to keep up their strength during this difficult time. Reiki has been known to make the transition to spirit easier for all concerned. Reiki can also be used to treat burns, headaches, clean out a person’s body before and after surgery, chemotherapy treatment, and help heal any aspect of their lives.

Working with Reiki Energy

Reiki is a natural hands-on healing art and is our birthright as human beings. We are all like houses wired for electricity. The Reiki training is the light switch that turns on the ability to channel this energy for ourselves or others. And it doesn’t take years of training. Once you are “initiated” or “empowered” by the Reiki Master Teacher, you can begin working with the Reiki energy immediately. The teacher provides you with basic information about Reiki, “turns on” the switch (ability), and teaches you the basic hand positions; but it is working with the energy that teaches you the most about Reiki.

About Reiki Levels

Reiki is usually taught in three or four degrees (levels). Each degree builds upon the other and increases one’s ability to hold and channel this life force energy. Reiki has been known to change people’s lives, increase creativity, and put one on their true path. It gives each person exactly what they need at the time.

Reiki Heals on all levels

Reiki heals on all levels

Healing on All Levels

And that is what Reiki is all about: trusting in divine order; trusting in the process of healing and trusting that you will receive exactly what you need at just the right time. Reiki is a hands-on healing system as well as an energy source that restores balance and promotes healing on all levels; physical, mental, and emotional. It always brings you your highest good.

Why not contact a Reiki practitioner in your area for a Reiki session and find out what it’s all about for yourself. Then you can experience what Reiki really is.

By Kathie Lipinski
Kathie Lipinski, RN, MSN, and RMT, teaches Reiki and has a private practice in Long Island, NY where she uses Reiki, various energy-based healing techniques, intuitive counseling, craniosacral sessions, and guided imagery to help individuals identify and heal imbalances in their lives.
Please Note: Reiki is meant to be used as a complement to traditional care or as a personal relaxation or stress-reducing tool. It is not a substitute for qualified medical or traditional care.
**This article appeared in The Reiki Times, the official magazine of the International Association of Reiki Professionals.

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