What is Reiki?

Reiki is a spiritually-rooted Japanese healing practice that uses various techniques, including light touch, to achieve balance of the body, mind, and spirit. It is often used for stress reduction and relaxation. Reiki can also be used to promote general healing and wellbeing by strengthening the body’s own natural ability to heal itself. Reiki is based on the understanding that all living things have a “life force energy” (or “biofield”) that flows through us. This subtle vibrational field surrounds and penetrates the human body. Practitioners are able to “tap into” this energy field in order to promote the healing effects of Reiki. Reiki is capable of deeply stimulating the relaxation response of the body and balancing the energy system. It supports the body’s innate power to self-correct and restore health and wellbeing. It is used as a holistic approach to treat the entire person to improve areas of physical, emotional, and mental health and wellness.

The word “Reiki” is formed from two Japanese words: “Rei” which means “universal” or “spiritual” and “Ki” (or qi or chi) which is “vital life force” or “life force energy”.

Some consider Reiki to be a form of energy healing or a biofield therapy because it is used to balance the biofield, which in turn helps to relax our physical body and elevates general healing. Others consider Reiki to be more of a spiritual practice. In many cases it is both.

While Reiki is often practiced in a spiritual nature, it is not a religion and has no dogma that must be followed. Reiki is performed and received by people from all walks and faiths, as well as people with no spiritual faith. Your belief system (or lack thereof) is irrelevant. In fact, you don’t even need to “believe in” Reiki to experience its benefits. I in particular invite those who are skeptical to give Reiki a try with me. It’s the reason why I have a special “Introduction to Reiki” session among my service offerings.

Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of healing. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness or injury and always creates a beneficial effect. It works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to promote recovery. Best of all… with Reiki there are no negative side effects!

Reiki is not a substitute for medical treatment, but rather works alongside it in a complementary way.

While Reiki does not directly cure any disease or illness, it does help your body’s own natural healing process. It can help manage symptoms and improve general wellbeing. So for example, Reiki will not cure your cancer, but you may benefit from Reiki sessions to help manage the side effects from the cancer treatment, or it could help you recover faster after surgery.

Receiving Reiki can help facilitate better and faster results than traditional medicine alone. Reiki is increasingly used to supplement conventional medical care, in private practice and even in many hospital settings. It is reported that over 800 hospitals across the country offer Reiki therapy to patients, including at least 40 VA clinics that use Reiki to treat veterans with PTSD and other ailments.

Just a few of the major hospitals that offer Reiki to its patients include:

These major institutions offer Reiki because they and their patients have seen first hand that it works! They report that patients that receive Reiki as part of their medical treatment experience faster recovery, better medical outcomes, and more effective pain relief and management (using less or sometimes even no opioids or other pain medications).

There are also hospitals in our region offering Reiki to its patients, including Crouse and Upstate Medical University, both in Syracuse.

During a Reiki session, the practitioner will place their hands either directly on you or just above you. You may experience sensations in the body such as heat or tingling. Some people report seeing visualizations such as colors or pictures, or having memories appear. Try to allow whatever arises to pass without attaching too much meaning to it. Your experiences may become deeper the more you continue with Reiki. But if you don’t “feel” anything at all, that’s fine too – Reiki is still working – and you don’t need to “believe” in Reiki in order to benefit from a Reiki session.

How practitioners actually integrate the power of Reiki into their practice can vary. This is because each practitioner brings their own unique set of skills to the practice, and each person is guided to practice Reiki in a way that is best suited for them and the needs of their clients. While almost all Reiki practitioners follow a set standard protocol and are bound by ethical principles (we call them “The 5 Reiki Precepts”) the practice of Reiki can also be very personalized. Practitioners may be guided to make slight adjustments or variations from the standard protocol in order to enhance the healing session.

While experience is a quality to consider when seeking out a Reiki practitioner, it is much more important that you choose a practitioner that is going to be the right fit for you and your unique needs. I invite you to read more about me or give me a “test drive” by scheduling an Introduction to Reiki session with me.

Be sure to read my other pages on the Benefits of Reiki and Reiki Session FAQs for more information. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Reiki in general, or how I specifically practice Reiki.