What Is Reiki?

Reiki Kanji

Japanese Kanji for Rei-Ki

Reiki is an energy-based healing art that works with the Universal Life Force – ki. Ki is also known as qi or chi. It reconnects us to the ever-present animating energy that keeps the universe evolving, providing us positive vibes, cleansing stuckness, and providing general well-being.

Reiki was discovered / founded by Dr. Mikao Usui in the early part of the 20th century in Japan. Dr. Usui had a satori experience, and emerged to teach Reiki to the world. Dr. Usui enshrined certain hand positions that I still use in practicing Reiki.

One of the precious characteristics of Reiki is that it does no harm. The Reiki energy finds its way to whatever parts of the body, psyche, and mind that need healing, and there it does the work.

What is a Treatment Like?

Basically, you can call Reiki an “energy massage.” I typically lay my hands gently on various points along your body. Very little pressure is applied, and there is very little manipulation.At the very least, the experience of lying on a massage table (or in a chair, or on the floor, or on your bed), and having someone take care of you for a quiet hour, where your only job is to be present, is a very soothing and beneficial experience.

Reiki on the Temples

One of the basic hand positions

People have all sorts of experiences with Reiki, from the simply physical to the profoundly emotional. At its most potent, people often have profound breakthroughs.

Most people experience some sort of heat, tingling, or pressure. Often there is a sense of cleansing or pulses. Some fall asleep, many giggle, and some find themselves inclined to talk. Often, interesting memories or images arise for people, and we can talk about them if you like.

As a Reiki practitioner, I am really just a conduit. Like a copper wire conducting electricity, I am not the source of the electricity. My job in a Reiki session is to help us set a positive intention, and get out of the way. As I like to say:

“If there is healing happening, it’s the Universe first, you second, and me least of all.”

To Learn More

One great way to get introduced to Reiki is through a Reiki share. Shares are community events where everyone is welcome – “experts,” novices, and people with no prior knowledge of Reiki at all. Learn more about how shares work here and join my Santa Barbara Reiki Tribe Meetup to get informed of the next public event.

External sources

Reiki FAQ from William Lee Rand

What Is Reiki – Usui Reiki Center

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