What’s Is Reiki?


Riding on the claims of its healing power, reiki has reappeared in full force, crashing upon the proverbial shores of spirituality. Often times when such holistic and spiritual beliefs are brought from abroad, especially from the Far East, and into the Western world, many aspects of the practice are either lost in translation or simply incorrect.

In the same vein as popular, foreign practices like yoga, they typically become exoticized misinformed trends, either submitting to full westernisation or here today and gone tomorrow fads. Perhaps you’ve heard of it, perhaps you haven’t, either way here are some things you ought to know.

What Is Reiki?

Originating on the island of Japan, reiki was birthed from a minister by the name of Dr. Mikao Usui in the 1920s, though many say it is an ancient practice from Tibet recovered by Usui. According to Miako Usui, he acquired knowledge of the reiki through an unknown but sacred text of Indian origin. He went on to say that after an extensive period of fasting, prayer, and meditation, a vision that consisted of four symbols were revealed to him. Through the act of adapting himself to said symbols, it was then that he took on the healing energies of the reiki.

Afterwards, he handed such secrets down to a few of his pupils. Out of this small group of pupils, a man name Chujiro Hayashi emerged with new and improved, though undocumented, classified techniques. This gave way to the 15 immovable hand positions created to cover the ‘systems’ of the body. Though this is the most original form, many different kinds have become popular, especially in the Western world.

Reiki, in fact, is not a practice that relies on forthright teaching, but instead spreads by a teacher transferring energies and spirits to a willing pupil through sequences of initiations. The pupil is then, by degrees, made of a mind to harbor said energies and spirits within.

Reiki, meaning universal life force, is an enigma of energy perceived to be shared by all but known to no one, as it implies that there is no grand being or association with religion. Indeed, there are no texts to prove or deny this notion nor its origin, but as such is taken at face value. Reiki practitioners use specific techniques to channel this energy when there is a lack of balance and harmony in the body.

What Does Reiki Treatment Consist Of?

Typically, a patient will lay down while the reiki practitioner taps into the reiki energy. Then said energy, believed to be coming from the chakra, or the head, enters the hands of the practitioner, thus allowing him or her to transfer reiki energy. Though not perceived as a divine being, many believe that the reiki energy has some level of sentience or intelligence making it so that it knows where to go, seeking to ‘rebalance’ and heal the spirt, mind, and body, but this is widely speculated.

What Kind Of Situation Typically Warrants The Intervention Of A Reiki Practitioner?

The imbalance of the energy structures is often caused by stress, and so strenuous at times that the imbalance is said to manifest itself as pain in the body. This kind of treatment can be as quick as 5 minutes or may last for more than an hour depending on the severity. The end result of reiki treatment is rebalance, which includes a strengthening of the mind, body, and spirit from a removal of energy blockages. In this way the patient experiences a sense of well-being.

What Do People/Organisations Have To Say About It?

Some health organisations have dismissed the practice of reiki, due in part to being concerned that people might replace actual medical treatment for reiki. For example, you will find that reiki is rather common in the world of cancer. Cancer patients say they draw a sense of well-being from it, while doctors believe it has no baring on the cancer itself.

The Catholic Church rejects reiki as well, citing how contradictory it is to fundamental Christian doctrine. Though it is not a religion, the reiki power and essence coming from a universal life source, an otherworldly essence, is considered heretical, and even demonic by biblical teachings that specifically warn against any kind of communion with unfamiliar spirits who exist apart from God.


Reiki is a 95 year old, New Age, spiritual practice that boasts of its healing nature, which rests in constant suspicion, both spiritually and physically. However, there is no doubt that this ephemeral, spiritual practice will continue to grow in popularity over the coming years as understanding and elightenment become more of a focus in people’s lives.

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