Reiki is a powerful healing modality and spiritual path developed in the 1920s by Mikao Usui in Japan that spread to the West and has become one of the few energy healing methods accepted by both alternative health communities and Western medical practices. You will find people giving Reiki sessions at massage businesses, yoga studios, psychic fairs, cancer care centers, and even in the operating room. The Internet is full of information on the history of Reiki (just search for Reiki and Usui), so I won’t repeat any more of it here. Follow this link for a good general history of Reiki.
Most people think of Reiki as a healing modality, and while it certainly is that, it goes far deeper. The word Reiki is commonly translated as “universal life energy,” but the more I explore it, the more I see that Reiki is not just energy — it’s Consciousness in motion; it’s the Tao; it’s Intelligence; it’s liquid Compassion. It’s hard to explain! This quote from Eckhart Tolle is quite relevant:
This is a perfect description of what happens during a Reiki session. It’s extremely meditative, both for the “giver” and the “receiver.” My role as a practitioner is to enter the thoughtless realm, be aware of the subtle movements of Reiki, tune in to the recipient’s body (physical, energetic, and spiritual), see where there are blockages, and let Reiki (the “penetrating stillness”) flow to dissolve these blockages and restore the body/mind/spirit to a balanced state. I don’t “do” anything myself; Reiki (the Tao, Consciousness, Presence, Life Force) is the all-accomplishing power. I simply surrender to the flow as it moves through me and into the person I’m working on. I benefit just as much as the person I’m working on does, because Reiki affects everything it flows through. I notice great stillness, clarity, fullness, and joy — qualities inherent in Reiki itself — after every session I give.
There are many stories describing miraculous healings resulting from Reiki sessions, but while these stories are amazing to hear, Reiki is not really “about” healing. It is more about balance, and letting your whole being rediscover its natural resting state. Sudden healings can and do occur as a result, but Reiki is also a great partner with other therapies of all kinds, synergistically speeding recovery from surgery, releasing addictions and negative emotional patterns, or enhancing your level of health. It can help your mind be clear and unleash creativity or insight. It can help people be more alive, engaged, and compassionate with each other. It can also help a dying person let go and face death with more awareness and peace.
What Reiki Is Not