Frequently asked questions

The word Reiki, what does it mean?

The word Reiki has the commonly accepted translation as 'spiritual energy'. As Japanese Kanjis have various levels of understanding, you will find various translations. 'Universal energy' or 'spiritually guided life force energy' are commonly used as well.
The word Reiki is also used to name the system of Mikao Usui's teachings as they are taught today.
There is an expression for Reiki in every culture:
Ancient Egypt: Ka
Ancient Greece: Pneuma
India (Hindus): Prana
China: Chi
Christians: Light
Wilhelm Reich used the words Orgon Energy, Russian researchers used the expression Bioplasmic Energy etc.

Can you explain what Reiki is?

It is much easier to experience Reiki than understand and explain concept of Reiki.
Reiki is a Japanese technique that promotes healing and self-empowerment. It involves using of breath (meditation), hands on treatment, Mantras and Symbols, Reiki Principles and Attunement and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
It is easier to explain what Reiki does:
Balances the energies in the body, the organs and glands
Promotes natural self-healing, promotes creativity
Strengthens the immune system
Treats symptoms and causes of illness, heals holistically
Relieves pain
Clears toxins
Adapts to the natural needs of each receiver
Enhances personal awareness, optimism and zest for life
Relaxes mind and body and reduces stress
Releases blocked and suppressed feelings
and much more...

How does Reiki promote healing?

I prefer the simple explanation of William L. Rand, American Reiki Master-Teacher, so I quote it here:
“We are alive because life force is flowing through us. Life force flows within the physical body through pathways called chakras, meridians and nadis. It also flows around us in a field of energy called the aura. Life force nourishes the organs and cells of the body, supporting them in their vital functions. When this flow of life force is disrupted, it causes diminished function in one or more of the organs and tissues of the physical body.
The life force is responsive to thoughts and feelings. It becomes disrupted when we accept, either consciously or unconsciously, negative thoughts and feelings about ourselves. These negative thoughts and feelings attach themselves to the energy field and cause a disruption in the flow of life force. This diminishes the vital function of the organs and cells of the physical body.
Reiki heals by flowing through the affected parts of the energy field and charging them with positive energy. It raises the vibratory level of the energy field in and around the physical body where the negative thoughts and feelings are attached. This causes the negative energy to break apart and fall away. In so doing, Reiki clears, straightens and heals energy pathways, thus allowing the life force to flow in a healthy and natural way.”
When someone is treated with Reiki, he/she is brought back into a state of unity with the harmony of the universe. From the observations made it is known that Reiki has ”logic of its own”. That means Reiki knows where and to what extent it is required, making a diagnoses before treatment, not necessary. That fact spares us no few mistakes

What is the main difference between Reiki and other Energy Healing methods?

Reiki is a system. It consists of:
* Meditation / breathing techniques / Kokyu Ho for grounding
* Reiki ideals / instructions / Precepts / Gokai - guidance to follow in order to achieve and maintain healthy and happy life
* Reiki attunement / Reiju - spiritual blessing, initial experience of working with energy consciously
* Hands on Healing / Palm healing/ Tenohira - healing self first, then assisting opthers
* Mantras and Symbols / Jumon and Shirushi - tools to invoke specific energy
The chanelled energy is pure. It can be learned by anyone in a short time.

Is Reiki a religion?

No. It is very spiritual in nature, but there is no dogma or belief system involved.
it is quite fascinating that, although Dr. Usui was influenced by variety of religions, martial arts and spiritual practices, the system of Reiki has no religious dogma or belief system involved. That is one of reasons why Reiki is so wide spread. It is acceptable for religious and non religious people because it does not interfere with their beliefs.

Is there any scientific research undertaken on the benefits of Reiki?

We have to be aware that there is no research without funding. It is very challenging to secure research funds for something that can't be patented and used for significant financial gain. That is why there are not many research cases known on the topic of Reiki.
Here are a few:
Experience of a Reiki Session, by J. Engebretson and D.W. Wardell
Human Hemoglobin Levels and Reiki - Reiki Healing: a Physiologic Perspective, by Wendy Wetzel
The Efficiency of Reiki Hands on healing: Improvements in Adrenal, Spleen and Nervous Function as Quantified by Electro-dermal Screening, by Betty Hartwell and Barbara Brewitt
Pain, Anxiety and Depression in Chronically Ill Patients with Reiki Healing, by Linda J. Dressen and Sangeeta Singg
Using Reiki to Manage Pain: a Preliminary Report, by alta.karino@cancerboard.ab.ca
You can find more about these studies in the book "The Reiki Sourcebook"

Is Reiki safe?

We are not aware of any harm caused through receiving a Reiki treatment from somebody else or practicing Reiki on yourself as a self-treatment.
That is why it is believed that Reiki energy works only for the Highest Good of each person and can NOT cause harm. It is safe for anyone and for any situations including pregnant women and children. Many pregnant women have received treatments with great benefit to them and their unborn child. It has also been used during child birth. Pregnant women have also taken the Reiki training and received the Reiki attunement with beneficial results. Babies love Reiki. They do not need long treatment like adults. Animals enjoy Reiki too.

What other Reiki techniques exist in the world?

Tibetan Reiki, Shamballa, Sacred Path Reiki, Ascension Reiki, Tera Mai Reiki, Seichem, Karuna Reiki, Karuna Ki, Saichim 7 Facet, Extended Seichim Reiki, Isis Seichim, Traditional Japanese Reiki, Raku Kei Reiki, Atlatis Healing System, etc

What is the difference between these Reiki techniques?

They use a different method to work with the Reiki healing energy. They have slightly different techniques and symbols. Many styles are different from the original Usui Reiki.

What are Reiki Symbols?

They are tools to invoke specific energy.

Is Reiki open to everyone?

Yes, everyone can learn Reiki. There are no educational pre-requisites. As there are no negative side effects, there is no age restriction.

Can I treat myself with Reiki?

Can I treat myself with Reiki? Yes. The beauty of Reiki is that you are able to do a treatment for yourself. The Reiki system is intended first for self healing, then for assisting others. Reiki promotes healing on all levels, mental, emotional and physical. It is also beneficial for personal growth and development

How can I learn Reiki?

You have to attend a class held by a qualified Reiki teacher for a start.

Will I feel anything during or after the Reiki treatment?

It is very individual. The most common feeling is a feeling of being very relaxed. You might not feel anything, but this does not mean that Reiki is not working. On the other hand, you might have sensations during or after the treatment such as: tingling, heat, cold, sleepiness...
Your symptoms may also worsen temporarily. You may have a healing crises before you start feeling better.

What can be treated with Reiki?

Reiki has a positive effect on all forms of illness and negative conditions.
This includes minor things like head or stomach aches, bee stings, colds, flu, tension and anxiety as well as serious illnesses like heart disease, cancer, leukemia, etc. The side effects of regular medical treatments have also been reduced or eliminated. This includes the negative effects of chemotherapy, post operative pain and depression as well as improving the healing rate and reducing the time needed to stay in hospital. Reiki always helps and in some cases people have experienced complete healing which has been confirmed by medical tests before and after the Reiki treatments. However, while some have experienced miracles, they cannot be guaranteed. Stress reduction with some improvement in physical and psychological wellbeing is what most experience.