“Feeling better is where healing begins. To feel better, we need to take a step back from the details and bring our overall system to a place of balance.” - Pamela Miles
Reiki is a non-invasive "laying of hands" form of vibrational healing that channels energy to the recipient. It was developed during the early 20th century in Japan and is a mind/body/spririt practice that helps restore balance by relieving energetic blockages (the source of dis-ease). When our bodies are in balance, self-healing begins. A Reiki practitioner acts as a channel for life force energy; although defined numerous ways, life force is essentially what animates and gives life to people, animals and other living things. Because Reiki is a modality that supports self-healing, the recipient of Reiki receives only what s(he) is open to and what supports his/her highest good. In this way, Reiki can do no harm. The effects of a treatment are notable: reduced stress, pain and anxiety; improved sleep and digestion; a greater sense of ease and stability. Reiki treatments can also provide relief from the side effects of medication, radiation or chemotherapy. Benefits vary from person to person. Reiki does not diagnose or attack disease, however, it does strengthen the body’s innate ability to heal itself. Reiki is safe, and allows the body and mind to relax. Treatments are soft and subtle, yet the effects can be immediate and profound. Reiki is most aligned with endocrine system but also works closely with the body’s energy systems called the Chakras. Because it is energy, and hence vibrational, Reiki combines well with other forms of vibrational healing, such as crystals, aromatherapy, acupuncture, Qigong, and others.
The word “reiki” is Japanese in origin and comprises two words or kanji characters: “Rei” and “Ki.” Rei means “universal,” “universal wisdom,” “spiritual wisdom,” or “divine.” Ki means “life force,” “energy,” and “vital source.” Ki is similar to the Chinese concept of chi or qi and the East Indian concept of prana. Together they form Reiki, which can be translated as“universal life force”, or life force energy.
Where does Reiki energy come from?
Reiki energy is a subtle energy. It is different than electricity or chemical energy or other kinds of physical energy. When viewed clairvoyantly, Reiki energy appears to come down from above and to enter the top of the practitioners head after which if flows through the body and out the hands. It appears to flow this way because of our perspective. However, the true source of Reiki energy is within ourselves. This does not mean that a practitioner uses their own personal energy when providing Reiki (see last question below for more on this subject), but that the energy is coming from a transcendental part of ourselves that is connected to an infinite supply of healing energy.
What does a Reiki treatment feel like? What can I expect?
Since Reiki experiences vary from one person to another it is best to not expect ANYTHING! Reiki is said to be an "intelligent energy" and heals what needs to be healed and NOT always what one wants to be healed - so in fact healing may occur in the subtle energy body and not necessarily the physical body. However, feelings of deep relaxation are usually felt by all. In addition, many feel a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and surrounds them (when giving self reiki - I always find I smile, like one of those deep blissful smiles!) As the Reiki energy encourages one to let go of all tension, anxiety, fear or other negative feelings a state of peace and well-being is experienced. Some drift off to sleep or report floating outside their bodies or have visions and other mystical experiences. At the end of the treatment, one feels refreshed with a more positive, balanced outlook.
Are there any side effects from Reiki?
Most of the time a person will feel relaxed and uplifted by a Reiki treatment. However, sometimes a person will have what is called a healing crisis. As a person’s vibration goes up, toxins that have been stored in the body will be released into the blood stream to be filtered by the liver and kidneys and removed from the system. When this happens, sometimes a person can get a headache or stomach ache or feel weak. If this happens, it is a good idea to drink more water, eat lighter meals, get more rest or receive one of the detox therapies offered. The body is cleansing as part of the healing process so this is a good sign.
Are all Reiki practitioners the same?
While all that call themselves a Reiki practitioner* will channel Reiki energy, that may be the only similarity. There are various lineages and many styles to which an individual will bring to their practice. Many practitioners have expertise in other areas as well, for instance like myself, I studied Chakra Healing prior to Reiki in addition to Crystal Healing so that knowledge and experience will be integrated into my sessions frequently. Additionally, I am attuned to Holy Fire Reiki, which I find (and is said to be) a more potent flow of energy.
*if one is calling themselves a Reiki practitioner, first be sure that they have actually undergone the "attunement" process which is the standard "certification", there are 3 levels of attunement - each one will bring greater ability to channel Reiki
How do I choose a practitioner, what can I look for?
The first thing to realize is that each Reiki practitioner is merely a channel for the energy. Think of the role of practitioner like a cell phone charger - it doesn't have any power until it's plugged into the wall (i.e. life force or Reiki energy) and it needs a recipient of the energy i.e. the cell phone (i.e. the person receiving) BUT if that power cord is faulty, frayed or kinked in some way it will not be able to charge fully or effectively. So in short, while anyone can undergo attunements to be a Reiki practitioner -it doesn't always mean they qualify as a suitable one. So, what would faulty, frayed or kinked power cord look like if it was a Reiki practitioner - well in my opinion, it would be someone that doesn't live a high vibration life. I am sure some practitioners reading this might be offended but when you think about the role as practitioner - which is to channel pure energy - how can pure energy be channeled through a less than pure, vibrant vessel? If one is calling themselves a practitioner but participating in low vibration practices, I personally would NOT allow them to provide energy to me. This is MY personal preference; use your own discretion. Now I believe, everyone is on a their own path, sometimes very different paths than yourself - what I consider lower vibration might be what others are working through. At a minimum, a practitioner should have a practice of self reiki, preferable daily especially if other practices aren't used (meditation, yoga, etc). Here are some suggestions for increasing personal vibration I personally use and also recommend to students in my energy healing classes:
Abstain from stimulants and depressants like caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol and drugs. Many with high vibrations find they don't tolerate minimal amounts of these.
Clean up your diet - As a Holistic Nutritionist, this is one of my top recommendations, I've seen very frequently that those that refuse to give up processed foods simply can't heal from chronic conditions. A diet consisting largely of organic, unprocessed foods, fruits and vegetables is the ideal for raising vibration. Chemicals and toxins found in conventionally raised produce and meats is not only toxic to our bodies but also to our spirit. Ask any empath or highly sensitive person about their experience with food - these are individuals that will respond on a deeper level to the vibrations in foods.
Detox - inner purification, specifically of the lymph system allows the chakras maintain balance easier, in addition to promoting spiritual growth.