Frequently Asked Questions
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What is Reiki energy?
Reiki is, quite simply, the 'universal life force.' It is called by
various names in different parts of the world: 'prana' in India, 'qi'
or 'chi' in China, 'spirit' in Western traditions. It is what animates
us. Humans have a general pattern that is different from the general
patterns of other species, though each person's pattern of energy is
as unique to them as their fingerprints. These patterns are often described
as our personal energetic vibrations.
Since the word Reiki means 'universal life force', strictly speaking
it refers to the energy and not the specific techniques taught by Reiki
Masters. The techniques are sometimes called the Usui System of Natural
Healing after the modern founder of the system, Dr. Mikao Usui. Reiki
is the name most commonly used. However, Reiki is much older and has
its origins in ancient Egypt, India and Atlantis.
What does Reiki energy feel like?
Descriptions of Reiki energy are subjective and difficult to put into
words, just like descriptions of heat, color, or any other form of energy.
People feel Reiki in different ways. Most often during a treatment the
energy is experienced as warmth. Some feel a mild tingle, as when an
arm or leg has 'fallen asleep.' Still others feel a throbbing or pulsing
sensation. Some people don't feel any physical sensation but describe
mental or emotional changes, such as a sense of calmness or revitalization.
Nearly everyone experiences a Reiki treatment as deeply relaxing.
What is a Reiki treatment?
A Reiki treatment is essentially the 'laying on of hands,' an ancient
technique common to many spiritual traditions. In a typical Reiki treatment,
the client lies down (fully clothed) on a padded treatment table. The
energy passes through clothing and bandages. Energy is transferred to
the client through the hands of the practitioner in a sequence of standardized
positions where the hands are placed. Treatment includes the client's
head and the abdomen from just below the ribs to the lower belly. The
client turns over, and the practitioner then works gradually from the
top of the back to the tailbone. In each position, the hands are simply
rested on the client for 3-5 minutes. A full treatment usually takes
about an hour.
A Reiki treatment is a spiritual practice because it works directly
with energy, or 'spirit.' There is no pressure applied and no manipulation
of tissues (as in massage, for example). The technique does not require
any special belief system, hypnosis, breathing, postures, or physical
A Reiki healing is very simply performed since the practitioner only
has to place his or her hands upon the person to be healed and the energy
begins to flow, bringing healing and love. The energy manages its own
flow and draws through the healer exactly that amount of energy that
the recipient needs. All this happens without direct conscious intervention
by the healer. The healer's job is to get out of the way, to keep the
healing channel open, and to watch/listen for signs of what to do next.
How does a Reiki treatment work?
This question is best answered by drawing an analogy. As mentioned before,
our natural energy level is affected by our state of health or disease.
We can all relate to the feelings of low energy or depletion that occur
when we are trying to heal, whether from physical distress (illness or
injury) or from mental difficulties (such as grief or anxiety). A Reiki
treatment under these circumstances can be compared to jumpstarting a
When the car's battery can't quite provide enough energy to start the
car, we attach jumper cables from another battery to add more energy.
Reiki is a means of adding more energy to our 'life force' battery to
help 'jump start' the healing process. This process does not exhaust
the practitioner, because the practitioner is trained to channel energy
from the Divine source, not from their own personal 'battery.' Practiced
in this manner, the energy available is virtually limitless.
The amount of energy transferred depends on the client's ability to
make use of it and willingness to receive it. When no more energy can
be used, the transfer ceases to occur. A skillful practitioner can usually
sense when this happens.
When is a Reiki treatment appropriate?
Reiki stands alone or can be used to complement other healing modalities
including orthodox medicine. Many people also use Reiki as a preventive
practice. It is important to remember that because Reiki works on an
energy level, it can aid healing of all kinds-physical, emotional, mental,
and even spiritual. Practitioners learn to do self-treatment before they
learn how to treat others.
Reiki is particularly effective when applied as soon as possible after
a trauma, whether due to physical injury or mental shock. At these times
the body is mobilizing all available energy to stabilize the immediate
problem so that long-term healing can occur. The extra energy available
dramatically enhances the process. Later, when the healing process slows
and energy is shared between healing and other bodily functions and activities,
Reiki is still a powerful adjunct.
Does Reiki work for everyone?
Reiki works to the degree that a client is willing and able to use the
energy. If a person, for whatever reason, is not willing to receive a
treatment, no energy will be transferred. If a person is completely healthy
and stable in all aspects of life, the effects of a Reiki treatment will
be slight, or perhaps too subtle to be noticed. Most of us, however,
feel discomfort somewhere in our lives, and can benefit from receiving
It should also be noted that Reiki assists in the highest form of healing
possible in a situation. Reiki can only enhance whatever natural healing
is taking place; it cannot guarantee outcomes or change fate. Sometimes,
the necessary healing may not match our own desired outcomes. This is
often where the spiritual aspect of Reiki is most obvious. Sometimes,
if a person's time has come, being able to feel at peace with death is
the highest form of healing possible, even though we would prefer they
have a complete cure. In this context, the word 'healing' has a somewhat
different meaning from the widely accepted meaning, which seems to be
'curing of symptoms' (for that is what most medical doctors aim to do
in their practice).
The other meaning for 'healing', used in the practice of Reiki and spiritual
healing, is the return to 'wholeness'. There is an ideal form - a particular
wholeness - for each of us, being the highest and clearest expression
of who we are. Pain or disease comes from any deviation from this ideal
form and healing is to bring the physical/emotional/mental/spiritual
self into closer alignment with one's ideal.
What does 'Reiki Master' mean?
There are three levels of training which can be obtained in order to
This is basic practitioner training. First Degree students learn to do
self-treatment and to give hands-on treatment to individuals. First
degree training includes an initiation which opens the energy channels
and ensures that energy passed through will not be from the person's
own resources. This is protection for everyone involved.
Second level training is usually only given after a student has been
practicing First Degree skills for around six months, though this can
vary somewhat depending on the individual. In Second Degree training,
the student learns some special techniques for enhancing the level
of energy transferred, and learns how to give 'distance' treatments
for individuals, groups, and circumstances.
Third Degree, or Master, Training
Students who complete Third Degree training are qualified to teach Reiki
to others. This is intensive training, usually over a considerable
period of time, and includes supervised teaching time. Third Degree
training is primarily intended for people who have made Reiki their
Anka is a Reiki Master.
What is a 'distance' treatment?
A distance treatment is an advanced Reiki technique for transferring
energy without actually physically touching the persons or objects being
treated. As modern physics teaches us, the relationship of energy and
matter to time and space is relative. Just as the energy involved in
a phone call between people across the world can travel almost instantaneously,
so Reiki energy can also travel (though our understanding of exactly
how this occurs is less complete than for the telephone example). Distance
treatments should only be given by Second or Third Degree practitioners.
I hope this helps to answer your questions, but if it isn't here, please
let me know so I can provide you with the clarity you seek. Thank you.