What is Reiki?



Reiki practitioner channels energy (Photo: istock/renphoto)

Reiki literally means universal energy. Reiki is a system of healing using the human energy field. Reiki is being studied more extensively now. Some studies show that Reiki invokes the relaxation response, so this provides an opportunity for respite from anxiety and emotional distress. There are Reiki programs in many hospitals in the United States now. Reiki is used in hospital programs to improve the quality of life for patients with chronic disease.

When a practitioner becomes attuned to Reiki, the ability to sense and transmit universal energy and transmit this energy to the human energy field is greatly enhanced. When a practitioner practices Reiki, s/he is not using his or her own energy, s/he is the conduit for channeling universal energy to others or to the self (Rand, 2001). Reiki influences the different levels of energetic fields of the body, including the chakras, the meridians, and the aura (Eden, 1999). Reiki is done with the client fully clothed, and with no or very light, touch.

Reiki practitioner uses ancient energy symbols (Photo: istock/lovelens)

Reiki invokes the relaxation response, and is used for relaxation and comfort. Reiki is not a substitute for conventional medical care. Reiki can be used as adjunctive care to conventional medical care. Reiki practitioners are not qualified to diagnose or treat medical or psychological conditions, and refrain from practicing outside the scope of their competence.

Gentle touch is healing (Photo: istock/kzenon)

If you are looking for a Reiki practitioner, it is best to see if you can get a personal referral to a practitioner from some one you know. Make sure the person has proper training and certifications to practice Reiki. Check out his or her business reputation, ask for some references and where he or she has worked before going to their place of business.


Eden, D. (1998). Energy medicine. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam.

Rand, W. L. (2001). Reiki in the eastern world. In Lubeck, W., Petter, F.A., & Rand, W.L. (Eds.), The Spirit of Reiki (13 –17). Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press.


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