What is Reiki, and What are its Benefits?
More than one type of Reiki exists. I’ve been trained in Usui Reiki Ryoho, so that’s what I’m writing about here.
Usui Reiki is a practice of Japanese origin that was developed by Mikao Usui in the 1920s and brought to the United States by a student of his, Hawayo Takata, in the 1930s. The practice has evolved as it has been passed down from teacher to student, so not every practitioner approaches it the same way.
A little bit about my approach: During a Reiki session with me, you’ll usually lie fully clothed on a massage table or other comfortable surface, and I’ll lightly place my hands on (or above—it’s your choice) parts of your head and body. We’ll set an intention for each session, and we’ll talk before and after the session, but not usually during it (because I don’t want to mess with your relaxation). Visit my FAQs page for a more detailed description of a Reiki session with me.
Even though Reiki is considered a spiritual practice, its healing benefits can manifest physically and mentally, too.
How Reiki Helps
On a basic physical level, Reiki helps your nervous system relax and get into rest-and-digest mode. But Reiki also encourages your natural healing response by gently restoring balance to your entire system—mind, body, and spirit. But what does that really mean? Let me give you some examples:
If you’re feeling stuck or confused, you might gain more clarity, flow, and motivation. If you’re anxious and tense, you might begin to feel more calm and relaxed. If you’re tired and drained, you might feel more energetic or refreshed. If you have pain, it might begin to lessen or even disappear. If you’re having a conflict with someone, you might find that it’s easier to let go of anger and empathize with them.
Note that I used the word might. These are just examples, and Reiki practitioners cannot guarantee any outcomes because we’re not actually doing the healing ourselves. We’re just trained to help facilitate your healing (and our own, as well) and hold space for you. All you have to do is show up and be open to it—it’s that simple.
Because our Reiki experiences are based on what we as individuals need at the time, they can be completely different or similar to those of other people. You may even find that your own experience differs from session to session. Usually, though, you’ll leave with a better sense of well being. At the very least, you’ll have a nice little break—some “me time."
The Deeper Benefits of Reiki
On a deeper level, Reiki can help us access who we really are—and begin truly loving and honoring ourselves. That’s why I refer to Reiki as clearing the pathway to self-love.
As we live our lives, parts of ourselves can become hidden by the effects of trauma, fear, pain, lies, and limiting beliefs. To find ourselves again we usually have to clear the pathway, peel the layers of the onion, strip away the old paint, cut through the fog, open the Russian doll—or, ya know, any other metaphor that resonates.
Reiki is a gentle way of clearing and releasing what’s been getting in the way. It’s a beautifully simple process: all you have to do is show up and receive a treatment.
Afterward, it’s up to you to keep that pathway to self-love a little more clear. I've found that Reiki makes it much easier to see what you need to do—and to actually do it.
Reiki, Spirituality, and Religion
I welcome people from any religious background—as well as people who are atheists—to my Reiki practice.
Reiki is a spiritual practice—not to be confused with a religious practice.
Reiki is not connected to a religion, and you don’t have to subscribe to a certain set of beliefs or rules to benefit from it. Other examples of practices that are spiritual and not religious include meditation, yoga, breathwork, and Quigong, just to name a few.
Reiki, Science, and Medicine
Reiki is not a science, a conventional medical treatment or a substitute for the care of a doctor or therapist. The scientific method doesn’t apply to Reiki. However, because it helps strengthen our natural ability to heal and benefits our whole system, it can be complementary to treatment for a number of issues, including (but not limited to):
High Blood Pressure
ADD and ADHD
HIV and AIDS
Are you skeptical or simply want to know more about Reiki? Visit my FAQs page to get some answers to frequently asked questions. Don’t be afraid to submit a question or contact me if you don’t see yours there.