Reiki is a form of hands-on energy healing. Reiki compounds the Japanese words of rei, which means divine and miraculous, and ki which means life force, or vital energy. This article takes a look at the history of reiki, what you can expect during your first reiki treatment, and how you can learn to use reiki on yourself and others.
The History of Reiki
Reiki was first developed by the buddhist monk, Mikao Usui, in 1922. Usui was performing a 21 day buddhist meditation ceremony known as Isyu Guo, which involved chanting, fasting and prayer. The ceremony took place on Mount Kurama in Japan. It was during this ceremony that Usui received the knowledge of how to access and use reiki to heal himself and others. He described receiving the knowledge as seeing a bright light and feeling the reiki energy flow down through his crown chakra. He found that this healing energy could be transferred to others through the palms of the hands.
Reiki follows 5 moral admonitions which were set by the Emperor of the time:
- Don’t get angry today
- Don’t be grievous
- Express your thanks
- Be diligent in your business
- Be kind to others
What to Expect During a Reiki Treatment
A reiki treatment will take place when you are fully clothed and laying down, or in some instances sat on a chair. The reiki practitioner will move their hands in a series of positions over the body. Reiki is not like a traditional massage, the practitioner will only place their hands gently on or just above your body. The hands are placed on energy points, such as the major chakras, although some practitioners prefer to use their intuition as to where the energy should flow.
A full treatment can typically last from 40 to 60 minutes. Each person will react in a different way to the healing. Many people experience warmth or cold coming from the hands, some people see colours, shapes or images, and others may experience an emotional release, such as tears or laughter. Some people may not experience anything at all, but just feel relaxed or sleepy. It can take several days for the reiki energy to work through the body, so some reactions may be delayed. After your treatment you should drink lots of water, and try and relax and get a good nights sleep.
Reiki has many different reported benefits, one the most common being that people feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of their shoulders. Reiki has the ability to work on the physical, mental and spiritual planes, so the type of healing you receive will depend on what needs working on most in your body. Your reiki practitioner will be able to advise you on how many sessions you will need.
People who want to practice reiki can study the reiki levels to receive a series of attunements and symbols. There are three main levels in the traditional reiki system.
The first degree is known as Shoden, or reiki level one. In this level students will learn about the history of reiki, and receive an attunement which allows the universal energy to flow through their hands. The students will also learn the most common series of hand movements, and they will practice a reiki treatment on a fellow student. Reiki level 1 will allow you to learn the basics of reiki, and to be able to use reiki on yourself.
The second degree is known as Okuden. Students will receive another set of attunements, and will be taught symbols that will help with the healing process. After completing reiki level 2, students will be able to practice reiki professionally on clients. They will also learn how to do distant healing, which is where energy can be sent anywhere in the world to help heal others.
Level three is the masters degree. This course is usually much longer than the other two levels, and only students who have been practicing reiki for a long period of time are allowed to take the course. Students will learn how to give attunements, and how to safely teach reiki to new students. This course is part theory and part practical, and students must keep a journal and practice on a number of people before being able to officially call themselves a reiki master.