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Energy Healing
Beginner’s Guide to Reiki Healing

Beginner’s Guide to Reiki Healing

Are you interested in receiving Reiki and learning about its benefits? Then this beginner’s guide to Reiki healing is the perfect place to start! We will walk you through the basics of Reiki along with introducing you to its history and benefits. Reiki is a powerful energy healing tool that anyone can benefit from. The healing power of Reiki is intuitive, meaning it is guided naturally to wherever it is needed. Reiki energy can not be used for anything other than healing no matter the chandler’s intentions. For this reason you may have heard the common phrase, Reiki is love. 

The History of Reiki Healing

Mikao Usui, the original Reiki master, discovered Reiki and developed the stylei that is most commonly practiced today. This style of Reiki is known as the Usui Reiki System. He taught his method to 2,000 students in his lifetime. Usui’s practice of Reiki has since been passed down through training and attonments. Reiki is a Japanese word that means Universal Life Force “rei” (universal) and “ki” (life energy). Reiki can be best described as energy medicine. When guided the flow of Reiki removes energy blocks that diminish the vital functions of your body and spirit. 

In the 1940’s one of Usui’s students, Hawayo Takata brought the practice of Reiki to the United States. This began what is known as the westen lineage or Reiki. Takata continued to pass the practice of Reiki to several generations of students. Many of whom started their own schools bringing on additional students of their own. Today,  Reiki is practiced by those students in a variety of settings including hospitals, veterinary practices, and by healers in conjunction with massage therapy, meditation, and yoga. 

It should be noted that the history of Reiki is very complex. I recommend checking out THIS article for additional details about Usui’s journey to develop Reiki. As well as other lesser known historical figures who played a role in the origin of Reiki healing. 

Types of Reiki Healing

There are two levels of Reiki healing practiced in the West today. In the first level, Reiki healing is done for yourself or others, by the laying on of hands to body. The second level of Reiki healing goes a step further by incorporating ancient symbols to send healing energy from the Universal Life Force. On both levels this energy recharges, aligns and harmonizes the Ki of both the individual receiving as well as the sender. 


A typical Western Reiki healing session consists of a practitioner assessing the recipient’s current energy then laying hands in specific positions to guide the flow of Ki. Often the Reiki practitioner will call upon their personal spiritual guides to allow an intuitive force to guide their hand placements as they proceed through the session. The practitioner becomes a vessel for Ki and the Universal Life Force to flow. In essence the practitioner is facilitating the recipient’s energetic power from the universe to heal themself. 

Practicing Reiki 

I have spent years contemplating Reiki and its place in holistic healthcare. To me, energy work is all about the experience your practitioner creates. This begins from the room where you receive your treatment to your practitioners personal energy. If your Reiki practitioner spends the necessary time creating a relaxing space and if they are in a good energetic space themselves you will immediately feel relaxed. 

Perhaps, you have already experienced Reiki’s healing effects without even knowing it. I have worked with several massage therapists who were “called” to the field as a career change. One memerbal coworker previously worked in human resources. She often had staff members who would come sit in her office because she had a calming energy that made them feel good to be around. At the time, she did not understand why so many of her staff members felt this way. She wasn’t doing anything in particular, just sitting at her desk working or making small talk. Nevertheless, her presence instantly created a feeling of calm for others. 


Once she went through the training to become a massage therapist and learned about energy healing; my former coworker had an epiphany. For a number of reasons, including her lifestyle and spirituality she was channeling the Universal Life Force (or Reiki energy) intuitively. This is true of countless others. I bet you can think of someone who naturally creates a feeling of well being for others. Conversely, I bet you can also think of someone who naturally creates a feeling of distress or uneasiness because their energy is constantly blocked and/or negative.  

Benefits of Reiki

Reiki is one of many ways to focus on how you feel physically, mentally and spiritually. This is because the practice allows you to connect your mind with your body. I believe this is the true value of receiving Reiki. Focusing on your energy creates space for reflection on aspects of our lives that often go overlooked. Entering into a Reiki session with the intention to concentrate on your health is profound because you’ve made the choice to carve-out an hour or so to connect and heal yourself. 

Can you accomplish this on your own without Reiki? Of course! But, our attention is constantly being pulled in a million directions and often we do not take the time to make our health a priority. 

Reiki, is compatible with a number of other healing modalities. For this reason, it is a useful component of the allied health system. Many therapists use Reiki as a component of their counseling sessions. Doctors and nurses also use Reiki in conjunction with conventional treatments. Reiki is also beneficial for our furry friends! A number of veterinarians offer Reiki as a complement to the care they provide pets at their practices.  

Faith and Reiki

Reiki has no specific religious affiliation. Many devout Christians, Hindus, Jewes, Muslims, Sikhs, and Buddhists embrace Reiki for spiritual healing. Others who practice Reiki are agnostic or atheists. Similar to religion however, with Reiki you either have faith in its power or you don’t. Those who rely on quantitative data to validate a treatment’s effectiveness are often disappointed in Reiki. As the vast majority of data on the beneficial effects of Reiki are qualitative.


For instance, one famous story regarding the history of Reiki centers around two of Mikao’s students, Dr. Chujiro Hayashi and Hawayo Takata. It is said that Dr. Chuijiro Hayshi treated Hawayo Takata’s tumor solely with Reiki and cured her. Many take issue with the lack of  factual evidence in stories such as this. As well as the difficulty that still exists today demonstrating Reikis effectiveness with the scientific method. 

Growing up Catholic, I experience a great deal of overlap when it comes to my religious faith and Reiki practice. On a personal level, I do not care if the healing power of prayer cannot be quantified. I also do not care if it cannot be proven that Jessus performed miracles. I care far more about the tangible effects I feel from religion and Reiki in my daily life. 

One major connection I feel between Reiki and Catholicism is prayer. The Universal Life Force is often felt through prayer. Prayer makes us feel good for many of the same reasons as Reiki. Both allow space for us to connect to ourselves and calls in a power greater than ourselves to facilitate healing.     

The Five Spiritual Principles of Reiki

The five spiritual principles of Reiki are fundamental to its practice. These principles were taught by Usui and are spiritual guidelines for daily life. Often used as mantras for meditation these five principles lay the foundation for Reiki healing to begin. Translated from Japanese, there are a number of variations. Nevertheless, the core message remains the same. 

Usui believed, to practice reiki practitioners must first take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. This makes sense because clearly to transfer healing energy to others, you must be in a good place yourself. Living by the five principles and including them in their daily meditations ground practitioners as they align their spirits with the Universal Life Force. While originally created for practitioners, the five principles are beneficial for everyone. 


the five spiritual principals

Reiki Attunement 

Honoring the traditional aspects of Reiki is a topic that’s frequently discussed today. One large debate is the role the internets played in spreading Reiki symbols to those who have not received an attunement. In the Usui Reiki system, a student moves through various levels of training before their teacher, a Reiki master, attunes them to the symbols. With this attunement, each symbol is drawn into the students hands so they can utilise their power. 

You will find a number of online training courses in Reiki that offer a distant attunement. It is safe to say that Usui could not have predicted that the internet would be a factor when future generations used his Reiki system. In this traditional system an attunement must take place in person. Energy healers who have not received an attunement or who has received a distance attunement are still using Ki but not the Universal Life Force. Often energy healers report an increase in their healing energies after they receive the Reki attunement in person from a Reiki master. 

So while you will not be harmed when receiving Reiki from a person who hasn’t gone through the Usui Reki system training and attunement. Your session will be different and most likely less powerful then one from a practitioner who has. There is something profound when it comes to the connection between Reiki being passed down from lineages that can be traced all the way back to Usui. When I received my  attunement at the completion of training I experienced a feeling unlike I had ever encountered.

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