Back to Basics: An Introduction to Reiki

Healing hands by NanLT

Healing hands by NanLT

Reiki has become very popular since I first learned it in 1993 years ago. But what exactly is it?
Reiki practitioners channel chi or energy from the environment around them to the person receiving a Reiki treatment. Chi is the term used by the Chinese and martial artists for the underlying force the Universe is made of. The concepts of Chi can be found in many other cultures around the world. Chi, Ki (Japan) Qi (China), Prana (India), Mana (Polynesia), Ruach (Hebrew), Barraka (Islam), and Orgone (Western European).

Martha Rogers was saying in the early 1970s within the “Theory of Universal Human Beings” that humans do not “have energy”, they “are energy”. Research in modern high energy physics is showing the validity of these statements. The universe and everything in it, including humans, is energy. It is because of this, because all things are energy, that Reiki healing energy can be moved from one person to another. Even across vast distances.

The Reiki Practitioner channels energy through their body to the recipient

One advantage that Reiki has over other forms of hands-on energy healing work is that the practitioner is not using their own energy. The energy healer who uses their personal energy runs the risk of depleting their own reserves of energy.

The Reiki Practitioner, by contrast, does not use their own energy but channels energy from the environment around them. This energy is moved through the practitioner to the recipient. Because the Practitioner is not using personal energy, after giving Reiki they tend to feel rejuvenated and energised. This is also why a Reiki Practitioner can give Reiki to themselves, something that cannot be done using other energy healing techniques.

Energy exists all around us. It’s the air we breathe, the food we eat. It can not be created or destroyed, it can only be transformed.

What happens in a Reiki treatment

When receiving a Reiki treatment, you will always remain fully clothed. You may sit or lie down depending on what type of treatment you are receiving.

The practitioner places their hands upon the person with the intent for healing to occur. Energy is channeled through the Practitioner into the person receiving the treatment. The energy flow, for me, moves through my head into my third chakra area (the solar plexus) where it is stored until I am ready to release it. The energy generally moves through the arms, out the hands, into the person receiving a treatment. However, it can be moved from any part of the Practitioner’s body into the recipient.

I frequently give Reiki to my children through whatever part of my body happens to be touching theirs. It’s a trick I learned when trying to slip calming energy into my very energy-sensitive son who has Asperger’s Syndrome.

The flow of healing energy to where it is needed is directed and controlled by the Practitioner. While the flow of energy may be felt throughout the body it is generally most strongly felt directly where the Practitioner’s hands are placed. Relying on instinct, intuition, and possibly messages from “guides” the Practitioner places their hands on the recipient.

I do not want to say that Reiki “knows” where it is needed as that implies that this universal energy has a consciousness of its own. Frankly, I’m not prepared to take on that debate. But, I have found through both giving and receiving Reiki that it will frequently go places where the Practitioner has not consciously intended it to go.

Occasionally, areas of stagnating energy may be found. Imagine murky water in a water clogged swamp. Nothing can move in or out. Everything stagnates and starts to smell. That is what this blocked energy feels like to me.

Stagnant energies may be removed and clean energies replaced during a treatment to restore balance. I do this by reversing the flow of energy and pulling the stagnant energies out. Once the area is cleared, then clean energy is returned.

Strangely enough, these stagnated energies may not be felt in the same area where an injury or illness has been sensed. I liken this to a bicycle inner tube that has an area of weakness in one spot. If you block one area of the inner tube so that air can not move freely, you will get a bulge in the tube. Air that has moved throughout the tube is now restricted to a smaller space. If that area of weakness now has an excess of air, it can burst, creating damage to the tube.

The job of the Reiki Practitioner then is to not only unblock the blockage, but to fix the puncture as well.

What is Reiki?

  • The word Reiki means Universal Life Force Energy.
  • It can be of benefit to anyone.
  • Reiki is one of the more widely known types of energy healing.
  • All types of energy healing use the same universal energies.
  • The differences lie in the techniques of application and the rate at which the energy vibrates.

Becoming a Reiki Practitioner

One becomes a Reiki practitioner by receiving the attunements that opens the energy channels within their body.

These days a person can receive all 3 levels of attunements in a single weekend. I don’t agree with that process. I believe that changes occur in the person on a mental, emotional,spiritual, and physical level after receiving the attunements and they need a period of time between each level to adjust.

I also believe that for the person who has no previous experience working with energy, time is needed to practice and become comfortable in moving that energy through the body.

For these reasons, I will not do attunements for the second and third levels until a length of time has passed since the previous attunements.

Reiki Levels
There are three levels in Reiki.

Reiki I opens the person to using Reiki energy. This allows the person to use Reiki on themselves and upon others.

Reiki II provides the information and knowledge needed to send Reiki Healing over long distances and across time. A greater commitment to Reiki needs to be made at this level. It also increases the flow of Reiki energy above that available at Level I. A person at this level can call themselves a Reiki Practitioner.

Reiki III is the level one needs to be to teach and attune others in Reiki. At this level a strong commitment to Reiki is made on a spiritual level. The flow of energy increases greatly at this level. A person at this level can call themselves a Reiki Master.

In the UK, I have seen this subdivided further into Reiki 3a and 3b, the Reiki Master Teacher and Master Practitioner. Within this division, the Master Practitioner can practice as a Master but cannot teach while the Master-Teacher is able to teach as well.

What are attunements?

The attunement process is a ceremony of spirit. In this ceremony the Reiki master uses the Reiki symbols and other gestures in a prescribed way. This ceremony creates an energy pattern around the recipient of the attunement which entrains (or attunes) their energy field to the energies represented by the symbols. The attunement is permanent. In other words, you don’t lose the ability to channel Reiki. The ability is there, even if you can’t sense it.

What does Reiki feels like?

People receiving a Reiki treatment have reported feeling areas of warmth or heat coming from the practitioner’s hands. They sometimes feel tingling in other areas of their body. Most people become very relaxed and some will actually fall asleep during a Reiki healing session. When they awaken, they will feel refreshed.

What does the practitioner feel?

When giving a Reiki treatment, I feel heat or cold on my hands. I will sometimes also feel tingling. When my hands are over an area of illness or stagnation, I will feel cold coming off that area. I may also get impressions or messages from the recipient’s personal guardian spirits.


If you are interested in learning Reiki, I offer personal Reiki teaching to groups of 4 or fewer within your home for a total cost of £200. I also offer long-distance training and attunements to those who previous experience working with energy healing. Contact me for more details.



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