A willowy, tall, yoga-pants wearing, soulful Gwyneth Paltrow-type woman walks into the room, telling you in her soft, whimsical tone to lie down on your back while she grabs the crystals. Using their energy, she starts to move her hand over you, focusing on some areas more than others. Slowly but gradually, you start to feel the warm aura of her hands on your body. It feels like magic; it feels impossible.
Could this be what reiki is?
While you will find many a yoga-pant wearing individuals supposedly trained in the art of reiki healing, the practice itself is not as magical or as mythical as the scenario stated above.
Reiki is not a form of mythical pseudoscience. It is, in fact, a form of therapy that was practiced for a long time until it made its way to the western world.
Yet, because of its effects, reiki therapy garnered an impressive reputation. People started mistaking practices such as meditation, foot rubs, energy-healing – anything different, as reiki. For the layman, reiki allows you to feel refreshed, calm, and light through a series of different therapy practices.
However, reiki is more specific in its system than that.
Reiki is practiced under strict guidelines and is only provided by a trained practitioner. During the session, the person places their hands directly above or on you to prompt your body’s natural healing process. And that’s not something every person can do.
So, let’s start by educating ourselves first on what reiki is, what its benefits are, and what we stand to gain from it, as receivers and practitioners.
What is Reiki Therapy?
Reiki or Usui Reiki is a form of complementary or alternative energy technique, created by the Japanese doctor, Dr Mikao Usui, in the early 20th century.
Used to improve one’s well-being and to help manage symptoms, reiki has been the subject of many types of research throughout the past years.
All based on finding how the practice allows patients to live more easily with the symptoms or side effects of treatments they may experience, these researches have so far brought about multiple positive results. However, they have also stood as evidence of a fundamental fact: reiki does not alleviate illnesses or diseases. It merely aids the patient in living life the way they should.
What is Used in Reiki Therapy?
Like all healthcare practices, reiki uses various tools to ensure its effects. One popular tool is reiki crystals.
The process of energy healing through crystals in reiki therapy works to provide support to the practice as an extra healing element. These reiki crystals release patients from spiritual, mental, and emotional blocks. During the session, reiki crystals are placed around or on the body. The patient may also be asked to hold a crystal. Often, these reiki stones offer a calming effect.
Most commonly, practitioners use the following reiki crystals in an average session:
What Happens in an Average Reiki Session?
A Reiki therapy session may last 20 minutes or even more than an hour. It depends on the treatment you need, and what your practitioner decides you need.
You’ll first be asked to provide a complete rundown of your medical history, and the symptoms that will need to be addressed during the reiki session. Next, the practitioner will ask about any places that may be sensitive to the touch or places you may have injuries in. Then they will decide what practice bests suit you, and will confirm, so you can feel assured with your treatment.
You’ll then be asked to lie down on a mat or treatment table. The practitioner will play relaxing, soft music for you, so you don’t feel tense. This is especially common for first-time patients. You will also be asked to hold reiki crystals, or your practitioner will place reiki stones around you to trigger their healing energy.
Once you’re comfortable, the practitioner will then start to move their hands above your body, hovering over certain areas. They will also touch you in certain spots lightly, all with your consent.
Soon enough, you will likely start feeling warmth or tingling on specific spots in your body. Some people have also reported having seen pictures and colors, even certain memories.
Their experience will deepen as their reiki sessions will continue. You’ll also experience a myriad of emotions. A vast number of people experience peacefulness, calm, or energy afterward, while others experience tiredness. So, it’s best to book your appointment on a day when you won’t have other necessary errands to run later.
When booking your appointment, the practitioner will ask you to wear loose clothing or natural fabrics like silk, linen, or cotton, and will ask you to put away any jewelry or glasses during the session. You’ll also be asked to put away your phone or leave it switched off for the meantime. This will be to ensure that you gain the most from your session and don’t feel uncomfortable or inattentive.
What Do You Experience During a Reiki Session?
In terms of the benefits you’ll experience during an average reiki session, multiple studies have concluded the following effects of reiki therapy:
Relief against Anxiety, Fatigue, and Pain
Numerous researches deduce that reiki helps reduce fatigue, pain, and anxiety in many patients experiencing a range of discomforts from diseases such as cancer to women recovering from cesarean delivery.
Research also showed that reiki, in comparison to physiotherapy, helped relieve lower back pain more quickly in people who had herniated disks. Not only that, it stands as a more affordable, effective form of treatment too.
Treatment for Depression
Although the research is still on-going, experts found positive results while looking at the effects of reiki among older adults who experienced anxiety, depression and pain.
On a larger scale, participants reported feeling more relaxed and positive after the session. They also experienced better levels of self-care and felt a decrease in their physical symptoms.
Enhanced Quality of Life
In a 2016 study, experts found that reiki therapy helped improve the quality of life amongst women who were undergoing cancer treatment. The participants reported that they not only felt an improvement in their self-confidence, depression levels, and sleep patterns. They also felt a better sense of relaxation, inner peace and overall calm.
- Relief from Additional Symptoms
Alongside these, additional problems that reiki therapy addresses include:
In many cases, reiki therapy with crystals triggers the body’s relaxation response, which, as a result, helps in calming other symptoms that may be causing discomfort.
Other conditions that reiki treats include the following:
- Fatigue syndromes
- Crohn’s disease
- Neurodegenerative disorders
- Chronic pain
- Heart disease
Are There are Side Effects of Reiki Therapy?
Overall, reiki—especially reiki therapy focused on energy healing with crystals—is completely safe and non-invasive.
With little to no side effects to speak of, reiki offers comfort and relaxation during each session. However, reiki may be a little uncomfortable for those who may not find it safe to sit in a dimly lit room with someone close to them. Otherwise, reiki means no harm.
How to Become a Reiki Therapy Practitioner
Reiki is a fascinating field of study, especially for people who receive reiki therapy. As such, many end up indulging in the practice, hoping to help others in the future.
For such interested people, here are some factors everyone should know about becoming a legitimate Reiki practitioner:
- Find a Professional Reiki Practitioner
Unfortunately, there are no educational institutes that provide reiki therapy. However, individual practitioners are more than willing to become mentors. You’ll typically find such professionals in massage clinics or yoga studios. You can also ask for a recommendation from your physician. In all cases, though, make sure that whoever you choose as your mentor, is someone you feel relaxed with during each session.
- Be Patient When Learning Reiki
When learning Reiki, you’ll be put through a process known as the attunement process by your mentor or reiki master.
The attunement process is conducted to open up your spiritual and physical self so you can transmit your healing energy into your future patients. This process is essential and is meant to last your entire life.
During the attunement process, your master will teach you various things about reiki therapy. You’ll learn about work ethics and energy healing with crystals. You’ll be guided on what energies you have around your body, and what energies you’ll be working with. The process includes fasting for 2–3 days. You’ll meditate, work on releasing your negative emotions, and focus on nature during those days.
There are three levels through which you can become a reiki master. Your mentee will take you to level three, upon which you’ll be able to achieve the position of being called a reiki master yourself. However, remember that it will take time.
Beginning Your Reiki Journey
One of the best ways you can experience your healing energy and skills is by healing yourself with reiki.
Self-healing is an integral part of reiki, since it allows you to personalize your methods, so you know what works well for you. One exercise we’d recommend is as follows:
Your first goal is to ground yourself. Think of yourself as a part of nature, with roots extending from your person, flooding into the seat and the ground, taking root into the earth. Once you feel grounded, imagine your healing energy pour down from the top of your head, also known as your crown chakra. Imagine this light flooding your body. Imagine this energy as white and warm, glowing from the inside out. Take in this energy as you feel it envelop you, imagine yourself expelling all your fear, pain, and negativity with every breath you take. Inhale that positive white light, and exhale the dark light.
Next, imagine that light run down through your chakras, and any place where you feel tightness or pain. If you have emotional pain, imagine this light filling your heart, your gut, your chest, down to the tips of your toes.
Sit with this energy and breathe, take some time to meditate, and let your emotions flow if you feel them overwhelming you.
This exercise allows you to heal your spiritual and emotional wounds, making you feel happier, calmer, and more whole.
Even amongst the skeptics out there, if they dismiss its physical aspects, they cannot deny the benefits reiki offers in terms of emotional and spiritual support.
It is one of the reasons why reiki has become so popular nowadays.
With more people experiencing positive growth from reiki, we’re witnessing an uptick in the public interest, something that’s well-deserved. And since reiki therapy ultimately depends on inner healing and energy, and does not produce side effects, this interest is expected to exceed even more.
Especially during uncertain times when depression is on the rise, reiki therapy may turn out to be precisely what the doctor ordered. So, why not take advantage of it!
Keep in mind, though, reiki therapy is not an absolute medicine. However, it has massive potential to bring about positive effects which may make a big difference in your overall well-being.
If you want to learn about reiki, practice it, or educate yourself more, search for a reiki practitioner in your area. Please speak to your doctor about their recommendations. And be open to trying this complementary form of therapy.
By working alongside massage therapy, meditation, counseling, crystal therapy and acupuncture, reiki therapy ties various forms of therapy and gives you something that makes a world of difference for your wounds, whether they’re physical, emotional, or spiritual.