What is Reiki?
Reiki is a method for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes self healing. It is a system that originated in Japan that is now widely used around the world. Reiki is administered by the laying on of hands. The Reiki practitioner, someone who has been attuned to Reiki, places his or her hands on the recipient and acts as a channel to the universal life force energy to flow through the recipient's whole being.
Who can give Reiki?
Anyone can give Reiki as long as they have been attuned by a Reiki Master. The attunement process is the way of enabling someone to channel the Reiki energy to others. There are generally three levels of attunement. The first level is focused on opening the person's chakras and initiating a 21-day clearing and healing process. This first attunement initiates the person to the Reiki energy. The second attunement enables the practitioner to utilize Reiki symbols and to do 'distant healing', which is the method of sending Reiki beyond the restriction of distance or time. The third attunement is the master initiation, which initiates the person to the Master symbol and allows the Reiki Master to then attune others to Reiki.
Anyone, even children may be attuned to Reiki. In fact, children are generally the ones who are very receptive to the energy because their hearts are still very open. Children benefit greatly from being attuned to Reiki because it allows them to give Reiki to themselves in times of stress and fear. It provides them with a tool that gives them a better sense of control. No matter what age you are, you can be attuned to Reiki if you so desire. We are all, after all, connected to the universal energy.
Who can receive Reiki?
Anyone and anything can receive Reiki. Children, adults, and seniors can all benefit from the Reiki energy.
Also, animals are very receptive to Reiki and because their senses are stronger, they will generally recognize the energy and even come up to you and welcome the Reiki. This is seen a lot with dogs and cats who would just sit on your lap or nudge their head under your hands. They will also let you know when they are done and would get up and walk away. It is also very common for practitioners to administer Reiki to horses. Reiki is over all quite animal-friendly, most animals welcome the energy, including fish in their bowls!
Reiki may also be given to plants, your food, medications that you are taking, crystals and gemstones, your car, computer - pretty much anything, since everything is made up of energy.
How is Reiki administered?
A Reiki session is generally administered with the recipient fully clothed and either sitting in a chair or lying on a Reiki or massage table. However, Reiki may be administered anywhere, which allows some flexibility when the recipient is bed bound or in a wheel chair. The recipient may also lie down on a regular bed, couch, or even on the floor or other flat surface. The Reiki practitioner generally would lay his or her hands on the recipient. No manipulation is done such as during a massage treatment and no pressure is applied to the body. Alternatively, Reiki may also be 'beamed' with the practitioner's hands hovered over the body or even from a distance in cases where touching is not possible or practical such as when a person is connected to machines, or when the person is a burn victim and touching may be painful.
What does a Reiki treatment feel like?
From experience, Reiki has felt very relaxing and soothing. I am someone who cannot easily quiet their mind and I have always had a hard time slowing down or even just sitting down. As a child, I remember always running around and bouncing all over the place. Perhaps that may be why the effect of Reiki is very noticeable to me. I feel the energy most in my heart center, flowing gently and lovingly in my heart area and all throughout the rest of my body.
Think of someone you love and notice the happiness and love that you feel in your heart. Thinking about your loved one makes you smile and feel all warm inside. That is how I can best describe what Reiki feels like.
I have felt the energy flow both subtly and powerfully, or not at all. Not everyone feels energy, which is neither good nor bad - we don't need to feel energy for it to exist, energy is everywhere and we are all "wired" for connection to it. Some people report feeling heat, vibration, coolness, or even seeing the energy. Others have felt like there were other hands on them although there is only one other person in the room.
However way you feel it, or even not feel the energy, it is still working. Whatever we experience, it is just what we need at that time. Reiki works on all levels of our being, including the non-physical part of us.
I first heard of Reiki about 15 years ago. There was a short ad in the local paper about Reiki sessions. It briefly explained that it's a kind of energy healing technique that allows energy to flow through the practitioner's hands to the recipient. I remember thinking how odd this was, but felt intrigued by the concept at the same time. It struck me as both peculiar yet there was something about it that felt right.
How is it possible that people can work with energy? Is this some kind of New Age thing? Isn't that kind of stuff only for special people who are born with a gift? And yet, why does it only have to be reserved for special people? Aren't we all special?
Something about it struck a cord within me, it was a feeling of 'why not?'. There was something about it that felt very humbling - a feeling of connection to something greater. Perhaps my 'little self', despite being a little speck in this vast universe, is not alone and separate after all. It wasn't until another 10 years later that I crossed paths with Reiki once more. Things worked and everything fell into place - it was the right time. Being involved with Reiki, whether it's receiving or giving Reiki, is a continuous journey filled with lots of lessons, obstacles, and gifts along the way.