“Each and every being has an innate ability to heal as a gift from the gods.” — Dr. Miako Usui
What is Reiki?
Reiki derives from the Japanese wordsrei, which means “Universal,” and ki (or chi), which refers to the life force energy that moves and flows within all living things.
Reiki isn’t as old as many people may believe. It was founded in the early 1920s by a wealthy Buddhist named Dr. Miako Usui. With an interest in medicine, theology, and psychology, Dr. Usui grew interested in learning how to heal himself and others. Being able to practice a healing treatment not attached to a specific religion or religious belief was Dr. Usui’s mission.
During his quest to discover a healing method, Dr. Usui traveled to Mount Kurama for twenty-one days. He fasted, meditated, and prayed each day in a cave in the mountain. The morning of his final day, he had a spiritual awakening.
He saw ancient Sanskrit symbols that helped him to create a system of healing he had been striving to discover, thus the birth of Usui Reiki or Reiki. After returning home, Dr. Usui opened up a clinic and taught a few of his pupils the techniques of Reiki before he passed in 1922.
Today, reiki is a healing technique that uses touch to channel energy into one’s body to help clear energy blocks that have manifested into stress, anxiety, or chronic pain. You can do Reiki as a form of self-care or by a licensed practitioner.
The general idea of Reiki is to help rebalance someone’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy. Some of the many benefits of Reiki include:
- Bring someone to a meditative state
- Relieve pain and tension
- Stimulate the body’s immune system
- Foster tissue and bone healing after injury or surgery
- A self-healing practice
During a Reiki session, some feel different sensations throughout their body, such as heat from the energy, tingling, or pulsing sensations in targeted parts of their body. It is a different feeling for each person because each one of us has a unique way of moving and feeling the chi, or energy, throughout our body.
What Happens During a Reiki Treatment Session?
With Reiki, there is no pain in the treatment — you will only feel peace and relaxation.
A typical session is about an hour long. To get the whole experience, it is recommended you let go of any expectations and allow your body and mind to rest and relax. You will lie down on a massage table and your Reiki practitioner will gently place their hands, palms down, on or just above specific energy centers in the body.
Reiki practitioners work as a bridge between you and the source of the universal life force. As the practitioner channels the energy, it is connected from their hands to your body. Your body will know how much energy it will need to heal a particular energy block in the body. Reiki practitioners will also be able to know, intuitively, when enough energy is needed to clear the blockage without further unbalancing the patient.
An overhaul of energy in the body can have negative repercussions if not settled. The repercussions are nothing to worry about, but it can leave the practitioner feeling drained and possibly lightheaded, and the patient can feel sick and overly tired.
After a session, you may be awakened (falling asleep is common in a session) and feel like you are floating on a cloud of love, light, and positivity. Your body feels light and energized — similar to a runner’s high or the harmony you may feel after a good yoga class.
It’s a pleasant experience for the practitioner and the patient.
How to Practice Reiki on Yourself?
Practicing Reiki on yourself is a form of self-care that connects you to deeper spiritually. A simple practice is to perform a body scan. To do this, you will:
- Sit or lay down and close your eyes.
- Bring your awareness to your feet and work your way up to the crown of your head.
- As you scan each part of your body, investigate any places that may hold tension or block the energy flow.
- Focus your breath into that particular part of the body.
- Allow yourself to feel or express your feelings, this will help you to clear and let go of the blockage that is constricting the energetic flow.
The purpose of a body scan is to be aware of the different parts of your body and allow yourself to let go and experience any feelings that may come up without trying to change anything. With anything you do or practice, set an intention before going into a Reiki session or a self-care Reiki treatment. As emotions or ways to express yourself come up in your practice, remember to show compassion in those moments to experience the “letting go” aspect entirely.
Dr. Usui Principals
Dr. Usui created five principles that he shared with his pupils and patients to offer a framework for approaching real life. Repeating any or all of these principles as a mantra can help further your journey and deepen your practice.
- Just for Today, do not worry.
- Just for Today, do not be angry.
- Just for Today, be humble.
- Just for Today, be honest.
- Just for Today, be compassionate towards yourself and others.
Just as Reiki helps you bring in whatever energy you need for your highest good, these principles can be set as your morning intention or at the beginning of your meditation or yoga, or whenever you may need them. The principles are meant to bring you back to balance and harmony.
The most important thing to know is do not force or rush the practice — be gentle and intentional. Allow yourself to be free and enjoy the healing and peace that Reiki brings to you.
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With Love and Light!