Updated: Jan 6, 2020
How does Reiki Work?
Reiki is an ancient healing practice which originates from Japan, dating back to the late 1800's (some also draw comparisons with the ancient Egyptian healing practice of Sekhem). During a Reiki session, the practitioner channels Universal Life-force Energy (aka "Prana" according to Yoga/Ayurveda, or "Qi" according to Traditional Chinese Medicine/ Five Elements Theory) to re-balance the Subtle Body of the patient.
What is the Subtle Body?
While you have a physical or "Gross" body - your five limbs, torso, muscle, skin and bones - basically, the one that you consciously use in everyday life, you also have a Subtle Body. The Subtle Body is composed of Universal Life-Force Energy that you cannot see or touch but you can feel. Your Subtle Body is affected by and affects the physical body, the emotions and mental activities. As such, the Subtle and the Gross body are inseparable.
You may have heard of Chakras. Chakras are energy centres in your body through which Universal Life-Force Energy flows. Although there are an infinite number of Chakras throughout your body, the most commonly known Chakras are the 7 Key Chakras which are aligned vertically from the base of your spine to the tip of your crown. The flow of energy through each Chakra is affected by and affects specific, interactive and dynamic aspects of your whole being: emotional, mental and physical. For example, Annahata Chakra - the Heart Chakra - governs emotions and the quality of your relationships with others, especially in matters of love. In very simplified terms, when this Chakra is inhibited, you may feel anxiety, tightness in the chest, difficulties breathing freely, loneliness or friction in your relationships.
What does a Reiki Practitioner Do?
Practitioners must be trained by a Reiki Master to effectively practice Reiki. The training process involves:
Attunement to the Subtle Body through specific meditative techniques
Training which involves practice to accurately identify dynamics of the Chakras and related subtle energies in their own bodies, other people's bodies and - depending on the training - can also include energy training related to environments, objects and animals, and finally
Channeling Life-Force Energy in a safe manner that helps to loosen or unblock stagnant energy to enable equilibrium and a balanced flow.
A Reiki session involves the practitioner using his or her hands to sense your energetic flow and then channel the Life-Force Energy with the support of specific Reiki symbols. These symbols are tools for the practitioner to focus the intention with which the Life-Force Energy is channeled. Basically: our thoughts are energy, our body is energy and the reality that energy can only be transformed - never destroyed - means that a specific visual symbol is one of the most helpful tools a practitioner can use to direct his or her intention for the flow of energy.
Generally, sessions are mostly hands-off. However, practitioners may find that the flow calls for hands-on assists and may incorporate these, with the permission of the patient. Sometimes there may be a requirement for verbal instruction, or additional assisting tools such as the use of music, sound, or crystals which may be more suitable to a particular patient's requirements.
Reiki sessions should be followed-up with a post-session consultation to ensure that the patient has a clear understanding of the work that has been done and what to be aware of in the aftercare.
How can Reiki benefit me?
There are numerous benefits to Reiki, not all of which have been studied or reported. Regardless, Reiki consistently results in the following benefits:
Supporting and expediting physical, mental and emotional healing processes. Reiki is endorsed and utilised by many hospitals, Cancer Research UK, the British NHS and clinical facilities as a supportive and complimentary healing process alongside medical treatments
Deepening your understanding of your current challenges: physical, mental and emotional
Revealing unseen blockages in your body, mind and spirit
Revealing personalised holistic solutions to unblock your energy and realise your full potential: physical, private life, social, career etc.
People who have received Reiki treatments often report feeling better in their body, mind, spirit and also observe practical transformations in their lives.