Reiki» Find a therapist dealing with Reiki
Reiki, pronounced ‘ray-key’, is a Japanese word meaning ‘Universal Life Energy’, an energy which is all around us and flows through all living things. Reiki evolved from the experience, ancient teachings, meditation and research of a Japanese Buddhist Dr Mikao Usui in the early twentieth century. Reiki is still taught by Reiki Masters who have learned Reiki in the same methods and traditions passed down by Dr Usui.
Reiki passes a ‘healing energy’ through the palms to the recipient. It is highly relaxing, and can help with a range of problems, from general well-being to a specific injury, or helping reduce cravings for alcohol or cigarettes. It is a non-invasive therapy. It addresses the flow of energy, which may be hindered by stress, illness, or just keeping up with the pace of life. Reiki helps renew this energy, restoring balance and re-invigorating, making the body more capable of healing itself.
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There are two main branches of Reiki: Traditional Reiki and Western Reiki, and each of three forms of degree – First, Second and Master/Teacher. First means that the practitioner can heal themselves and others. Second means that the practitioner is able to heal others distantly – they do not need to be in close proximity to them. Finally, Master/Teacher means that the practitioner is able to practice Reiki as well as teach others.
Traditional Reiki uses a specific system formed on Dr Usui’s traditional teachings.
Western Reiki was developed by Hawago Takata in the 1970s, making Dr Usui’s teachings more understandable and credible to the Western world.
Reiki attunement is the process in which someone becomes a Reiki practitioner, and able to access the life force energy and pass it through to others. Attunement can only be given by a Reiki Master, or someone very experienced in more than just regular Reiki treatments. Attunement takes place through a ceremony. The Reiki Master will create the energy around the person receiving the attunement, and attunes their own energy to the life force energy.
What are the benefits?
Reiki is a very useful treatment in that it is suitable for everyone, regardless of age or level of health. It is used to help restore a feeling of balance, alignment and relaxation. You should feel calmer, more peaceful and in control, giving a more positive outlook on all aspects of life. Any level can be healed – from physical mental, or emotional problems. It can be used in various settings, including complementary therapy centres, hospices, support groups, as part of post-operative recovery, rehabilitation and care of the elderly.
Reiki can also help to:
- Relax the body and make it more able to release stress and tension, rather than bottling it up.
- Aid spiritual growth and self-development.
How Reiki works
Reiki works through the median energy lines and chakra points on the body through using set hand positions to pass the healing energy into the body. There are seven main chakra points spread over the front and back of the body.
Whole body treatment
This is the most common Reiki treatment. To begin with, you will have a consultation with the practitioner to discuss how you are feeling, what your situation is, and what you hope to achieve. You will need to wear loose, comfortable clothing, and will lie down on a massage table or sofa to receive the treatment. Some practitioners may ask you to remove anything restricting, such as belts or jewellery.
The practitioner will create a relaxing environment for the treatment to take place in. They may provide blankets so that you are kept warm through the treatment. They may also play relaxing music to make you feel more at ease, although some practitioners prefer complete silence. They may also have dimmed lights.
The practitioner will place their hands in various positions. Depending on the practitioner, they will either place their hands directly onto the body, or hold their hands a few centimeters above the body. The hands are held for approximately three to five minutes in each place before moving onto the next one.
Afterward, you may have another chat with the practitioner about how you are feeling. It is important to drink plenty of water after a treatment.
Between 12 and 20 positions are used across the course of the average treatment, which lasts around 45 to 90 minutes. The positions used may be a set of fixed positions that the practitioner always uses, or some may assess each person, using their intuition to guide them on what will work best.
Treatment for specific areas
This method can be used to treat a specific area of the body for an injury or strain. There are several ways of doing this, and it depends on the practitioner’s preference. Some will treat only the affected area, holding their hands over or on it for around twenty minutes. Others will just treat the whole body, and some will treat the whole body and then the affected area.
What does it feel like?
It is hard to say how each individual will feel during and after a Reiki treatment. During the treatment some may feel a warmth, tingling, or ‘pins and needle’ sensation on the part of the body being treated, even if the practitioner is using a non-touching approach. Some may feel a cooling sensation, whereas others will feel nothing at all.
During the treatment you should feel in a state of deep relaxation, and a feeling of improved well-being. Some say the benefits are equal to that of having had three or four hours of good sleep.
How often do I need a treatment?
You should be able to feel a difference after just one Reiki treatment. However, a course of treatments will of course prolong this, and be more effective. A practitioner will create an individual treatment plan with you, and sessions may be at weekly, fortnightly or monthly intervals and adjusted over time.
Misconceptions about Reiki
Many think that Reiki is a form of massage – it is not. The practitioner will simply place their hands onto the body and hold them still, as the energy flows through them.
The personal energy of the practitioner is not affected – they are not passing their own energy onto the person being given the treatment, but channeling energy. Reiki has no religious or faith attachments and it is not a substitute for conventional medicine.
What qualifications and experience should therapists have?
As it stands reiki practitioners are currently unregulated within the UK, meaning there are no laws which state the minimum level of training and experience required in order to practice.
However, there are certain professional associations with whom reiki practitioners can choose to register with. In order to register and become accredited practitioners must agree to comply with their code of ethics and complaints procedure.
The requirements needed depend entirely on each individual organisation although will generally involve a high level of training and experience. Many of these organisations will also have various levels of membership, for example a level of membership for those who are still in training.
Listed below are professional associations for reiki practitioners. It is not an exhaustive list but does feature key associations. For full information about accreditation please visit the professional bodies websites as detailed below.
Anyone applying for membership of the Reiki Healers and Teachers Association must have been practising for a period of at least two years and in addition to this must provide character references, testimonials from clients which support their application, proof of insurance and if applying for Master/Teacher membership must provide references from students as well as agreeing to comply with the associations code of conduct.
The UK Reiki Federation is a professional association with the objective of forming a national umbrella organisation for education, training and guidance in the practice of reiki. Currently the Reiki Federation requires their members to have signed their code of ethics and hold practitioner insurance.
All content displayed on Therapy Directory is for provided for general information purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for advice given by your GP or any other healthcare professional. Whilst some people have benefited from complementary and alternative therapies, no claims can be made to treat, cure or heal, and we strongly advise individuals with any health problem to seek independent medical advice from their GP before considering complementary or alternative medicine or treatment.Submit feedback on this page