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Updated on April 19, 2013
Dr Mikao Usui
Dr Mikao Usui

What is it all about?

A short guide to Reiki.

Reiki is a Japanese word meaning 'spiritual energy' or 'universal life-force energy'. It was discovered around 100 years ago by Dr. Mikao Usui (pictured). It is a gentle yet powerful therapeutic energy which is channelled through the practitioners hands into the person receiving the treatment. It is different from electricity or chemical energy or other type of physical energy. It is believed that Reiki brings the body and emotions into balance thus supporting the bodies natural ability to heal itself. Reiki requires no particular faith. When seen clairvoyantly, Reiki energy seems to come down from above and to enter the top of the practitioners head through the crown chakra and then flow through the body and out from the palms of the hands. It appears to flow this way because of our perspective. The true source of Reiki energy is within ourselves. This does not mean that we use our personal energy when we do Reiki, but that the energy is coming from a higher part of ourselves that is connected to an infinite supply of healing energy.

What to Expect

Receiving Reiki is a gentle,soothing experience (some people fall asleep during a treatment). A session usually lasts between 45 and 90 minutes depending on the problem. During the treatment you will lie comfortably on a padded couch. You will not need to remove any clothing apart from jewellery, spectacles and shoes. The Practitioner will place their hands lightly on different areas of your body. Should you find this invasive, the healing can be carried out with the hands a few centimetres above your body. Chronic conditions may need repeat treatments.

Distance healing is also possible if you cannot get to a Practitioner. No-one really knows how or why this works but it undoubtedly does. A good therapist will arrange to send the Reiki at a time convenient to you because sometimes a strange sensation can be felt which might distract you if you were operating machinery or in a corporate meeting.

Are there any side effects?

There have been no reported cases of long-term negative effects from Reiki. Some people have observed what at first appears to be a negative effect. When the body is undergoing a healing process, there can be a short term healing crisis which can cause some discomfort in the form of colds, flu-like symptoms or upset stomachs. People with a great deal of accumulated stress or emotional blocks can feel everything coming up at first with treatments as their body starts to process the effects of the Reiki.

Occasionally the Reiki can cause a complete upheaval with your life and what at first seems as though it is the last thing you want or need (a relationship breakup or similar) is in fact the very thing that will be therapeutic and beneficial to your well-being. Reiki will only ever do what is for the highest and greatest good of the recipient.


Reiki is not recommended for broken bones, acute pain or any condition requiring immediate medical attention. It is a complementary therapy and as such is not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical treatment.

My Master Certificate
My Master Certificate
Reiki Principles
Reiki Principles


The simple answer is yes; with training and the correct attunements by a qualified Reiki Master. Attunements are a simple ceremony carried out by your Reiki Master to open your crown chakra and allow the Reiki to flow. There are many websites offering instant distant attunement to level 3 Reiki. I am sure that you may well be attuned but you will not be sufficiently trained to go out and practice yet. To become fully trained takes certainly several months and ideally several years of study and tuition from a Reiki Master/Teacher. Personally it took me three years to become a Reiki Master Practitioner. I have also received Reiki on many occasions and have always found it to be therapeutic for every condition I have had. Sometimes the results have been unexpected but have always turned out to be the best possible outcome.

Are there any books I can read?

One of the best one's I have found is Penelope Quest's Reiki For Life and also Self Healing with Reiki by the same author.

© Susan Bailey 2009. All Rights Reserved

Your views on Reiki

Do you think that Reiki works?

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    • profile image

      len thomas 

      7 years ago

      A friend of mine composed some comments about Reiki with 10 basic questions which I have replied to.

      Some people have trouble selecting the right Reiki

      teacher and I think its safe to say that all Reiki

      teachers are not created equally.

      To that end I've compiled a list of things to consider when choosing a Reiki teacher... these are not commandments... just suggestions... they are not in any particular order and may change at a moments notice as more important considerations come to mind...

      1) resonance - choose someone you are comfortable

      with, if you get a bad feeling trust your instincts.

      There are many who do no follow this principle

      2) lineage - choose someone with a lineage you are

      comfortable with (for some people this is more

      important than for others and at different stages

      in one's Reiki developments this may change in


      Before the 40’s, it was important,

      actually in to-days environment it is more so as

      to much ego is placed on the concept that mine is

      better that yours

      3) experience - chose a teacher with a level of

      experience that you are comfortable with. It is

      good to bear in mind that some new teachers are

      better than some teachers with many years of

      experience are.

      It is always the concept that a student has the ability

      To be better than the teacher, try and tell teachers that

      And feel the shudder through the Universe

      4) location - you may (if given the option) prefer

      to have a teacher who is close to you so you can

      easily meet when desired. More distance may also be

      desirable for some (especially if you live in a

      one-horse town) so choose accordingly.

      A yes and a no!, you have to look at the time they

      spend and the money that they charge

      5) distance vs. local Attunement - while I'm not a

      very big fan of most distance Reiki teachers there

      are certainly a few gems out there and sometimes

      there's is no option. It was quite a search for me

      to find an English proficient Reiki teacher here in


      Unfortunately the fact remains that distant Attunements do not work.

      I agree that distant healing works but why, it works because you call in

      The thoughts of the client and if you desire use symbols on either

      The Aura or the Physical. With an Attunement I have yet to find a way to

      Control the process, and that is what an Attunement really is, a process,

      to do it as a distant

      6) price - its a fact that some teachers are more

      expensive than others and also that price does not

      necessarily denote quality. When possible look for

      referrals to ensure you are getting what you are

      paying for.

      Price is always what the market can bear

      7)advancement - some teachers tend to rush you to

      the next level even if you are not ready while others

      seemingly wait forever. You may wish to find out the

      teacher's policy in this regard and make sure it fits

      with your expectations.

      This is a catch 22 situation, in a group or as a single client

      What are the teachers trying to do.

      Every body is different and then you have the Woman’s Group situation.

      8) # of students - some teachers I've met have taught

      hundreds of students and yet I would never see fit to

      recommend them... others have taught but a few, yet they

      are excellent teachers. Generally speaking, there's a

      reason why someone has hundreds of students, but not

      always... be sure to check it out.

      You may expand the to, many teach but very few have been able to walk

      through the door. There are no tests, ****wrong* there are 3 and all physical

      And then there is the way you feel.

      Why did your teacher not show you!

      9) spirituality - some people are interested in Reiki

      as a spiritual path while others are not... therefore

      one's teacher should reflect one's path.

      Reiki is not ‘A Spiritual Path’. It works through the Physical and changes the

      Direction from Spiritual to Physical, while you still retain your spirituality,

      any gift that you have is enhanced because the element of time is removed,

      10) Commitment - does the teacher walk the walk and talk

      the talk? Do they practice Reiki even in their off hours?

      Do they have a lifestyle conducive to the ‘Reiki spirit’?

      These are all valid considerations.

      This question creats the most controversy.

      Reiki is a living energy, you live it, you cannot turn it of, you

      don’t call it in by any ritual. You can enhance your connection by harmonising with the symbols.

      But that is only necessary when deep obstructions are encountered.

      Those who advocate harmonising before any work is done are the first to go out the door.

      Thank you for your comments and I hope for a reply

      There is much more I could say but I just go with your comments.

      I leave the door open

    • profile image

      Nia L 

      9 years ago

      Actually, I took a self attunement from a video about 9 or 10 months back. It worked and I was able to practice reiki. After I experienced it I realized that it wasn't a joke and should not be taken lightly. A few months after the attunement I started to feel immense pressure around my forehead and nose and the whole head area. Once I even got a severe headache and I knew it was not the normal kind of headache because I have experienced that as well and knew the difference. Apart from that, I had some weird experiences. I consulted a friend whose dad is a third level reiki master. She told me that the whole pressure around the head thing meant that my third eye was opening. Before that, I didn't even know what third eye meant. But then I did some research and realized what third eye was. She told me that I should give reiki to my head area whenever I experienced any pain there. I did that and it worked. But my problem is that I have had some experiences because of reiki that I wish I didn't have and they kind of scared me. I dont even have a teacher or anything to get info from so I was thinking to simply undo it somehow.

    • Sue Bailey profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Bailey 

      9 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      I can't understand why anyone would want it undone since Reiki can do no harm. Please be aware though and be wary of people who are making a lot of money from offering to 'de-attune' students who have changed their mind about being attuned to Reiki. In my opinion I don't think this would work because once you are attuned you are attuned for life. This is a good reason for being certain that attunement is what you really want. Even if a ceremony of 'de-attunement' has taken place I think the channel could be reopened at will. People don't have to use Reiki when they have it even though they have the ability to do so at any time.

    • profile image

      Nia L 

      9 years ago

      Nice hub. By the way, is it possible to undo your attunement once you've had it? Or do you get attuned for life if you get attuned once?

    • Sue Bailey profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Bailey 

      9 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      Thanks for you comments Dennis.Just looking back at the one 5 months ago. I find that sometimes Reiki doesn't work for a client because there is some benefit (perhaps hidden) in staying ill for them. Love & light.

    • DennisBarker profile image


      9 years ago from Newcastle Upon Tyne,UK

      In addition to my comment above, I would like to add that reiki can be adapted into other situations than a formal healing session. I use it as part of my coaching services for small business owners, and use it as part of my training process for telesales professionals.

      I find that empowering a sales goal using reiki can add focus and produce a process that will manifest the goals.

      It is possible to measure and assess the process that is created.

    • profile image

      Marisa Russo 

      10 years ago

      I think Reiki is one of the cornerstones of enegy healing and very powerful. Thank you. Great Article

    • DennisBarker profile image


      10 years ago from Newcastle Upon Tyne,UK

      I've been doing daily self healing and treating others for over ten years now both formally and informally in cafes and restaurants. My experience is that reiki can help with many different illnesses (both physical,emotional and spiritual). Over the years I have treated clients who came presenting symptoms such as neck and shoulder pain,sciatica,sexual issues,personal development issues rooted in past lives etc. A combination of reiki with other treatments will ease symptoms, ensure a better nights sleep and allow the clients body to heal itself. There are some cases where clients may not respond positively - I have had clients who asked me not to treat them again because the healing was triggering deep rooted nightmares which they were unable to deal with at that time. Mostly however reiki is either a trigger or support for the bodys own natural healing systems.

    • CelestialMessages profile image


      10 years ago

      Great Hub!

    • crashcromwell profile image


      11 years ago from Florida

      I can speak from first hand experience how well Reiki works. A while ago, I was nearly killed by a drunken neighbor. I was left with major depression and PTSD from the incident. I was receiving, and still receive, traditional western counseling, but I wasn't healing as I had hoped. I seemed to have reached a plateau and needed a push to get over the hump.

      That push ended up being energy medicine. First I worked with a practitioner who did a variety of energy treatments. Her group had received a grant that allowed them to give me 10 free sessions. When those sessions were spent, I couldn't afford to pay for the treatment, yet I knew that energy healing would be an important part of my treatment plan. I needed something I could learn myself and do to continue my treatment. A friend suggested I look for a Reiki master, which I did, and I do not regret it. In the months that passed between my last energy treatment and the level one attunement, I had a significant relapse of the PTSD symptoms. However, once I became attuned and began using Reiki myself, I began to improve.

      I was not the type who would just go nuts over any new treatment that came down the block. I was desperate and willing to try anything.

      By the way, another key part of my therapy was writing a novel that was inspired by a vision I enjoyed while receiving an energy treatment. If you are interested in reading about that, visit my hub and read chapter one of my book, titled Antiquity Calais: Standing At Armageddon. I'd like to think that this book, one day, will be must-read material for anyone who believes in the healing powers of the Universal Life Force.

    • tvance profile image


      11 years ago from Chehalis, Washington

      Very nice Reiki information!

      Taylore Vance

      Reiki Healing Master

      <a href="">R... Energy Healing</a>

    • profile image

      Liara Covert 

      11 years ago

      Powers exist within ourselves to heal ourselves and to promote healing in others. Its nice to learn about your experiences.

    • sminut13 profile image


      11 years ago from singapore

      very informative. thanks


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