September 30, 2023


Reiki is a gentle and non-invasive holistic health practice that uses “ki” or vital energy to restore mind, body, and spirit balance to the individual.


The Japanese word Reiki means both a “universal life energy” and also a healing method used to promote healing by allowing this energy to flow through a practitioner to a client. The National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine categorizes Reiki as a biofield therapy, i.e., one which uses the energy field that surrounds and penetrates the physical body for health-giving properties.

One common technique of Reiki is described as hands-on-healing; through this method, “ki” or energy is transferred to the individual. A healthy and balanced physical state is characterized by high “ki” or free flow of vital life force. Blocks in the mental or emotional life of an individual can cause the energy to slow down, or stop. Unexpressed emotional or negative thoughts associated with painful life experiences cause disturbance in the field of life energy which surrounds and infuses the physical body. These blocks may ultimately manifest as physical or mental or emotional dis-ease and/or illness.

Reiki as a holistic healing method, works to break through and dissolve blocks and to restore the balance and flow essential to mind-body-spirit wellness.

Because we cannot see the human energy field, Reiki and other energy practices seem, at least initially, very unusual to us. Nevertheless the reality of this field is measurable through very sensitive energy measurement technologies as well as through Kirlian photography.

Reiki as well as other kinds of energy practices, such as the Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) techniques of acupuncture and acupressure/shiatsu and Qigong also affect the energy meridians.


A Reiki session is a “be kind to yourself” experience. Reiki employs a gentle, non-invasive, non-pressured touch. In fact, actual physical contact is not necessary–the “touch” can be on or above the body. Receivers of Reiki remain fully clothed. Reiki is generally done is a quiet location and on a massage table if available.

A Reiki session can last an hour or longer, but shorter sessions are also beneficial. Reiki hand positions begin at the head and parallel the location of the body’s endocrine glands. Legs and feet, and both the back and the front are usually included in a full session. Generally 3-5 minutes is spent in each position, but with practice, the time spent on areas becomes intuitive.

Relaxation, relief from pain, or release of emotions are common initial responses to Reiki. The practitioner also benefits from the use of Reiki.


Individuals can access Reiki by asking for it. Anyone–family, friend, or health care worker–can offer an explanation of or recommend Reiki.

It is important for an individual to freely choose to receive Reiki.

Reiki is now offered in many hospitals, spas and wellness centers. It can be used in conjunction with standard health practices as a complementary healing practice. It is also complementary to massage and many holistic touch therapies. It can be found in nursing homes and hospice care. It can be used with the elderly and also with children. Pets also love Reiki.

Reiki is a biofield or energy practice. It is not a religion and one does not have to believe in it for it to be effective.

Reiki is being offered as a holistic (mind/body/spirit) healing practice in hospitals and other health care agencies. While Reiki is not a religious practice, it is sometimes offered with prayer for personal healing, in accordance with one’s faith preference and wishes.

Some benefits often associated with reiki are:

• Relaxation
• Stress management
• Brings the body into a balanced state thus supporting the body’s natural healing process
• Supports the immune system
• Helps reduce tension, anxiety
• Combats fatigue
• Reduces depression
• Calms the mind
• May be helpful for acute or chronic pain
• Provides spiritual comfort

Reiki is a complementary healing technique that integrates well with other services.

Dr. Mikao Usui, who discovered Reiki in the early 1900s in Japan, taught meditation on the following precepts to accompany Reiki practice: to let go of anger and worry, to practice kindness, to respect elders and teachers, to do one’s work with integrity, to be grateful for one’s blessings. Bringing these daily to mind and heart deepens Reiki awareness and practice.