What Is Reiki?


Maybe you’ve read a little blurb about it on line or maybe you’ve seen a book about healing hands in passing at the book store, but what is Reiki? How does it work?

Let me start with defining the word and then give a little background on where it came from and how it was discovered.

Let’s break down the word Reiki-Rei: in Japanese, it means spirit, miraculous, and divine. Ki means gas, breath of energy, or vital consciousness.

The English translation is universal life energy.

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Origin and Branches

Reiki was developed by Mikao Usui in 1922 during a 21 day Buddhist training in the mountains.

He claimed to have a mystical revelation and that he was granted the knowledge of how to use this energy and its symbols to attune others through the crown chakra.

Later in 1922, he moved to Tokyo and opened his own clinic to continue giving Reiki treatments as they were needed.

There are two main branches of Reiki: Tradition Japanese Reiki and Western Reiki.

Tradition Japanese uses more of a intuitive hand placement approach, where Western Reiki generally uses a series of hand placements learned from their Master/Teacher.

Both branches follow the same 3 degree’s- Reiki 1, Reiki 2 and Master/Teacher 1 and Master/Teacher 2. Reiki 1 and 2 can only be given by a Master, because they have the keys to unlock and attune someone.

The Principles and Levels

Healing energy

While there are slight differences in capabilities in 1 and 2, the principle is the same; once you have been attuned you become the vessel for which this energy will travel thought.

It is also believed that once you have received Reiki in one life, you will always be open to receive it in each lifetime after that.

The two forms of Master/Teacher in Reiki are the same with one slight difference: Master 1 is the Master with no requirement to teach or attune others.

Master 2 is a Master who will teach and attune others; they take on the responsibility of the teacher for the rest of their life. The teacher will always be their students teacher/mentor and is treated with the respect of a wise teacher.

Once you have become attuned, you can start giving yourself and others treatments.

Either method you use for the placement of your hands will work, because you are just the conductor the life force to flow through you and go where it is needed.


Reiki is great to add to your daily routine. You should never stop your current medical treatments with our consulting your physician first, but Reiki can be a great compliment to your current treatment plan.

Any living creature can benefit from Reiki. From pets to plants all are living creatures and treated as equal essential beings.

If Reiki is something you would like to add to your current practice, you can reach out to you local Reiki practitioner and set up a treatment or simply ask questions. Reiki.org is a great reference if you’re unsure where to start looking in your community.


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