What is Reiki?

The practice of Reiki is an original method of healing, developed by Mikao Usui in Japan early in the 20th century.

Reiki’s natural healing energy works on every level, not just the physical and it promotes the body’s regenerative self-healing ability.

The Japanese word Reiki means ‘Universal Energy’. Eastern medicine has always recognised and worked with this energy, which flows through all living things and is vital to well-being. This energy is known as ‘ki’ in Japan, ‘chi’ in China and ‘prana’ in India.

Acupuncture, T’ai chi and Yoga are also based on the free-flow of this energy in a person.

Reiki is a non-invasive therapy which treats holistically to restore homeostasis.

A Reiki treatment can be given with the client lying on a Reiki table or sitting in a chair. The client remains fully clothed throughout the treatment.

Reiki treatments direct energy through the main energy centres along the core of the body through a series of hand positions.
All treatments are non-invasive and no oils are used.
Reiki treatments usually last up to 60 minutes.

Clients generally report a feeling of warmth where the practitioner’s hands rest.
Reiki generates relaxation and reduces stress. By learning how to give yourself Reiki treatments, you are independent and don’t have to rely on receiving treatment from other people.

Note: Reiki is being used in various settings including private practice, complementary therapy centres, doctor’s surgeries, hospitals, hospices, cancer support groups, post-operative recovery, drug rehabilitation, prisons, HIV/AIDS centres and in the care of elders.

Research into the effect of Reiki on cancer patients has found that Reiki treatments, reduced fatigue and anxiety, improved pain tolerance and quality of life through relaxation.
Other studies report a reduction in pain and anxiety associated with invasive procedures

A recent questionnaire for the Reiki Regulatory Working Group established that the majority respondents operate from home and/or in a wide variety of traditional care settings for example:

  • Hospitals including Maternity Units, Cancer Wards/ Clinics/ Centres/Support Groups
  • Cancer Help Centres
  • Hospices
  • Carers Associations
  • Occupational Health Depts
  • Physiotherapy Units
  • Medical Centres
  • Mental Health Units/Psychotherapy Clinics
  • Special Needs – learning & behavioural difficulties and mental health
  • Medical & Paramedical (many of our members are also doctors, nurses, physios, chiropodists etc, officially practising or promoting Reiki in the statutory sector)
  • Day Care Centres
  • Drug & Alcohol Abuse/Addiction Programmes + Substance Abusers & Families Support Networks
  • Doctor & Dental Practices
  • Residential Care & Nursing Homes
  • Local Community Health & Harmony Events
  • Treating post natal mothers, Asian Elders, and others
  • Brain Injury Rehab Centres
  • Animals (with the Vet’s approval)
  • Children (babies to teens)
  • Age Concern linked
  • HIV/AIDS Organisations Holistic Health & Healing Centre
  • Prisons (& young offenders institutes)
  • Rough Sleepers Projects/Young Homeless/Vulnerably Housed Projects
  • Sheltered Accommodation Centres
  • Health, Leisure & Fitness Centre
  • Health & Beauty Spas/Farms
  • Convents
  • Spiritual Retreats
  • Community Centres/Village Halls
  • Education – schools & adult & further education colleges
  • Workplace Occupational Health Schemes
  • Mid-air (for crew and passengers) during transcontinental flights
  • By invitation, to use Reiki healing at World trouble spots (including the Middle East)

What are the Benefits of Reiki?

The energy of Reiki can be used to great effect in many ways. It provides deep relaxation.

People say they have improved sleep-patterns, reduced anxiety and a calm state of mind after a Reiki treatment. During treatment, homeostasis is restored to the body which provides the optimal conditions for natural healing.

Whether you are suffering from stress or tension and the many symptoms associated with this or if you want to improve the quality of relationships at home or work, Reiki can help.

Reiki can accelerate the healing of physical problems, balance the emotions and free us from restrictive mental attitudes. It may also provide a closer connection with inner wisdom.

Reiki encourages and supports positive personal change such as improving the diet, having more rest, exercise or leisure time and may reduce the need for alcohol and tobacco.

Reiki can help us to respond more calmly to all events and build on a more resourceful state of being.

Reiki is a gentle energy and may be used safely by all ages, including the newborn, pregnant mothers, post surgery, frail and older people, regardless of their state of health.

Reiki works alongside any other treatment to relieve side effects and assist recovery from illness, accidents and surgery.

Reiki is very effective in supporting people when they are dealing with infants, hyperactive children, puberty, relational problems and menopause.

For many people, Reiki becomes their support system when they face diagnoses of health issues and chronic diseases.

Reiki can help with accepting the likely death of a family member and with bereavement.

Reiki can enhance everyday life and regular sessions help to ward-off illness and fatigue.

Reiki is a non-invasive therapy which can be used without fear of any side-effects or overdose.

It may be used with confidence alongside conventional medication or natural remedies because it acts in a complementary way.

What Happens During A Reiki Session?

A session is usually carried out with the client lying down or sitting in a comfortable and peaceful environment.

There is no need to remove any clothing.

The practitioner places their hands gently, in a series of positions, on or over the body.

The client’s system automatically draws in only as much Reiki as is needed, using it in whatever way is most appropriate at the time.

Reiki may be felt as a flow of energy, mild tingling, warmth, coolness, other sensations, or nothing at all.

Reiki is deeply relaxing, eases stress and has a calming effect.

Treatment is enhanced if the client can rest for a while afterwards and drink plenty of water to help the body detox.

Be responsive to the needs of your body e.g. resting if tired and allow the energy to continue its work after the session ends. The beneficial effects may be felt for several days.

How Often do I Need to Have a Reiki Treatment?

Although even one Reiki session can make a difference, it is usually more effective to have a course of regular treatments. This may be weekly, fortnightly or monthly depending on the needs of the individual.

A treatment plan will be discussed with you and reviewed as necessary. This will always be subject to your own preferences and can be changed at any time according to progress.


Reiki does not take the place of conventional medicine. Always consult a doctor for an acute or infectious condition and problems of urgent concern.

Reiki is a complementary therapy which works effectively alongside orthodox healthcare. It can expand treatment options.

Can anyone learn Reiki?

The ability to give Reiki treatments cannot be learned from a book or by remote instruction.

To be able to receive Reiki, students go through a special initiation which ‘attunes’ them to the Reiki energy.

Over time, this connection is improved through practice and by actually using the Reiki energy on yourself – typically known as ‘self treatment’.

It is considered essential to treat oneself with Reiki. Many people use it exclusively for themselves for stress-management, health-care and personal development.

The attunement / initiation

An initiation / attunement can only be performed by a Reiki Master Teacher.

This process is not exclusive, anyone can be attuned / initiated to Reiki regardless of their spiritual or religious beliefs.

Additional stages of attunements / initiations and the use of the Reiki symbols, further enhance the practitioner’s ability to use the Reiki energy, focusing it for specific purposes.

What are the symbols?

The Reiki symbols are devices used by Reiki practitioners who have been attuned to use them, to focus their intent for specific uses and are an integral part of the attunement / initiation process. The Reiki symbols are held to be dear and sacrosanct and may vary across the different styles of Reiki.

Source: National Consultation Study Groups