What is Reiki and what happens during a treatment?

Reiki was my healing therapy long before talking therapies came in to my life, and it continues to be an essential part of my self-care practice. A very dear friend of mine introduced me to Reiki healing and it opened up a whole new world of love and light that I hadn’t connected to in such a strong way before. It felt beautiful.

The history of Reiki

Reiki was taught by its founder (Mikao Usui) in the 1920s in Japan and his intention was to take his students on a spiritual path to enlightenment. As the practice has evolved over the last century, it is now being presented as a treatment technique and is available to everybody, without any connection to religious beliefs. Reiki is neutral.

So what is it?

Reiki is a Japanese word and the translation is “Universal Life” (Rei) and “Energy” (ki). Like many alternative therapies, people often think it’s all a bit “hocus pocus” or “woo woo”! When I think of Reiki, I think of balance, connection, presence and change.

The concept is simple, there is no secret: the practitioner connects with the universal energy that surrounds us and channels it in to the client by gently placing their hands on, or hovering over, different areas of the body. Different practitioners will find their own way of working with Reiki energy, but there is a taught structure in which we work with the different chakra points in the body.

What are chakras?

This question really requires a blog dedicated solely to answering this, but to summarise, Chakra is a Sanskrit word, which literally translates to “wheel” or “disk”. There are seven main chakra points in the body which correspond to nerve centres and major organs in the body. Each of the 7 main chakras also contain our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being.

What is Reiki used for?

Ideally, we want our chakras stay open, aligned, and with the energy moving fluidly between them. However, because of the stresses, traumas and general dysfunction that we can experience in life, the energy flow can become blocked and create an emotional discomfort within us. The intention with all healing energy techniques, Reiki included, is that if we can harmonise our energy system, we are putting our bodies in the best possible position to heal itself on all levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

What is Reiki used for and what are the benefits?

Clients come to me for a variety of reasons – issues with physical health, anxiety or other emotional states that are creating imbalance in their lives. Others may not have any bigger reason to receive healing, other than just to simply take the time for themselves to be still and relax. 

Reiki is about moving into a state of balance on all levels, achieving more balance in your life. This may involve the resolution of some health problems, changes in beliefs or attitudes or a realisation of one’s true values and priorities in life.

What happens in a treatment?

I take a few minutes to check in with clients, to explore expectations, answer any questions they may have about Reiki therapy and to see if there are any physical or emotional concerns that they wish to address. The client lies on a massage bed, fully clothed and is encouraged to relax and find stillness. During the treatment I work intuitively, that is to say that I connect with the energy of the person I am treating and follow my sense of where in the body needs attention, light and healing. In Reiki we can place our hands gently on the body or just hover above the area that we are treating; I always check with clients to see if they have a preference. I generally spend about 45 minutes moving around the body. I often play relaxing music and rarely speak during the treatment. We take some time at the end of the treatment to do some grounding.

What will I feel?

There is no set answer to this, as not every experience is the same and it will also depend on where you are at within yourself at any given time. However, clients often share with me that during treatments they have insights in to areas of their lives that they are struggling with; they see particular colours or visuals in their mind or they feel moved emotionally. Physical sensations are also experienced, heightened awareness of how the body feels, as well as pain relief. For me, my strongest experiences generally come after the treatment. I feel reconnected with myself and even more so with the world around me. It’s like something is lifted within me and I feel lighter and more open to joy and compassion.

Reiki is a truly beautiful experience and reinforces your individual connection to the world around you. Reiki opens you up to the divine, however you wish to interpret that.