About the Usui Reiki System of Healing

What is Reiki?

Sensei Mikao Usui image

Reiki is a gentle, non-intrusive, Japanese hands-on holistic healing system that helps balance and harmonize all aspects of the body, mind and spirit, without using pressure, manipulation or massage. The word “Reiki” is usually translated as “Universal Life Force Energy”. The word is divided into two parts: “Rei” refers to the “wisdom and knowledge of the Universe”, the source of all creation. “Ki” is the life-force energy that flows from this source and guides the growth and functioning of all life forms. Although it is not a religion, the philosophy and practice of Reiki can also be used to encourage personal and spiritual awareness.

Reiki was discovered and developed by a Japanese Buddhist, Dr. Mikao Usui, in the early 20th Century. Dr. Usui experienced a way of accessing universal life energy and then passed on his knowledge of its healing properties to others. Dr. Usui opened his first “hands on” healing clinic in Harajuku, Tokyo in April of 1922. His healing skills must have been extraordinary as he was admired and renowned all over Japan as the “pioneer of restarting hands-on healing techniques from past generations” (a quote from his memorial). Through his teaching and apprenticeships, Reiki was eventually made available to students in the West. I follow the philosophical and teaching guidelines of the Usui lineage of Reiki healing.

How Does Reiki Work?

Through training, practice and an energy “attunement” process passed on from teacher to student during classes, a Reiki practitioner develops the ability to become a conduit for the spiritual life energy that surrounds and supports us at all times. The practitioner is not a “healer” in the strict sense of word. He or she merely opens the way for healing energy to circulate more freely and powerfully via the body’s own intelligence, and reconnects the personal body to the larger intelligent foundation of the universe. Once the student receives the attunement to Reiki energy, he or she retains its healing ability for life.

Since Reiki accesses a type of healing energy that exists beyond the restrictions of time and space, it can be used for distance healing in addition to regular “in person” sessions. Students learn the specifics of distance healing in Level II classes. My Reiki treatment practice includes this distance healing component.

What takes place during a Reiki session?

During a Reiki session, the client is not required to remove clothing. He or she reclines on a massage table, face up to begin and with eyes closed, and is usually covered with a clean blanket to keep warm. The practitioner uses a series of hand placements on various energy centers of the body known as “chakras.” These are the same energy transformers and distribution systems of the body that are accessed through many other healing practices, such as acupuncture.

Once healing energy is accessed by the intention of the practitioner, the client usually experiences a feeling of great warmth or a gentle tingling sensation from the practitioner’s hands, which then begins to move throughout the body. The client most often begins to enter an altered “deep relaxation” brain wave state, similar to certain sleep cycles in which the real repair of our bodies takes place. REM eye movements under the eyelids are usually a signal that this process is activated. Reiki helps reset the body from stress related “flight or fight” mode (in which the body is flooded with powerful but often damaging survival hormones) to “rest” mode, which activates a more calming and rebalancing chemical communication system in the body.

It is important to remember that Reiki healing is not always the same as instantaneously curing physical or emotional symptoms. Reiki always works for the highest and best good, as directed by the body’s own inner intelligence. This healing may address physical, emotional or spiritual issues from a subtle, deep and multidimensional perspective that may not always be obvious to our conscious mode of experience.

How long does a Reiki session last?

The usual time allowed for a basic Reiki energy session is about and hour, but in my practice I allow an hour and fifteen minutes to encourage full relaxation and time for reflection and “grounding” after the treatment.

What are the health benefits of a Reiki session?