What actually is Reiki?! How is it used and where does it come from?
Reiki is a Japanese word consisting of two characters “Rei” and “Kei”. Rei is Japanese for spiritual or sacred, and Ki is Japanese for energy. Combined, Reiki means ‘spirit energy’ and is generally defined as healing with universal life-force energy.
It is a powerful, yet gentle hands on technique where the life force energy around us is used to heal the body, mind, emotions and spirit.
What is life force energy you ask? Life force energy is something we cannot measure, we cannot hold and cannot taste. It can only be felt by the more subtle layer of our ethereal being. Life force energy is the vibration between atoms and it exists in all places and all things. It is literally all around us, and within us, and it is believed that all life is formed from it.
A Japanese man, Mikao Usui, created Reiki around 1922. He didn’t set out to create a healing technique, but went on a quest to uncover the source of ancient healing techniques attributed to Jesus Christ and Buddha.
After much travel and research, he believed he had found the knowledge, but didn’t know how to apply it. He decided to fast and meditate in a cave for 21 days in the hope the answer would come to him. In the cave he gathered 21 stones, and every morning he threw away one of the stones so he could keep track of the days. On the last day he was struck by a ball of light, as he was struck he had visions of the symbols he had studied on his research quest, and received clear messages on how to use the symbols for healing.
On the way down the mountain he stubbed his toe, he instinctively held his hand on it and the pain subsided, this was his first clue that what he had learnt was working. The second was he ordered a full meal when he made it to his village, despite the general rule to eat light rice after a long fast, and he ate his full meal without ill effect. He then turned to heal a young girl with toothache who was the daughter of the woman providing him food.
He decided to use his healings in the beggars quarter of Tokyo, to heal and teach them meditation and elevate the people out of poverty. While this was seemingly going well, he started to notice the people he had elevated coming back to the slums. When he asked why, they replied ‘life outside beggar town was difficult, and it's much easier to just beg for a living’. From this he realised he had not taught gratitude, and had only focused on healing the physical, and not the spiritual. He then created the 5 Reiki Principles:
Just for today, do not worry
Just for today, do not be quick to anger
Earn your living honestly
Honour your parents and teachers
Show gratitude to all living things
From here when he offered his healings, he stood with a torch lit in the middle of the day. He also believed that one should pay for his treatments and attunements. He travelled around teaching and healing, working both with spiritual and physical healing.
Reiki is traditionally done on a person who is lying down, and the person does not get undressed. The practitioner puts their hands on the client, and channels life force energy through the crown of the head, through the heart and arms and out through their hands. It is subtle and cumulative in its effects, meaning the more that Reiki builds up in your system, the more it helps to restore balance.
People turn to Reiki for all sorts of healing, growth and transformation. See my blog on How can Reiki help me? For info on the benefits of Reiki.
It is now practised worldwide in hospitals, animal shelters, rehab programmes and war zones just to name a few. It is also gaining a lot more cred in the scientific community, with Doctors starting to accept the benefits it is creating, especially for illness and mental health disorders.
It is important to note that Reiki is not a substitute for conventional medicine, but can be very useful as a complementary therapy.
I implore you to try Reiki and see the profound effects for yourself!