Reiki: The Healing Technique That’s All About Good Vibes

Updated 07/06/19
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In my quest to live a happy, relatively stress-free life in a time when stress is practically a constant, I've starting looking into new and very old practices for healing. I had heard about reiki, a centuries-old Japanese practice that promises to balance your body and channel good energy, but I thought it wise to do a little research before believing all the hype. I spoke with Johanna Wise, a level-two reiki practitioner who was kind enough to answer all my burning questions.

Keep scrolling to learn everything you need to know about reiki.

Reiki is an ancient Japanese therapeutic practice of channeling healing energy. Reiki is commonly used as a modality to relieve stress and the effects of stress, to induce deep relaxation, and to encourage the body to self-heal a wide range of conditions, injuries, illnesses, and other imbalances. It's usually channeled through the hands, although it can also be practiced without physical contact and even over long distances.

“If you think of all of the types of energies floating around us all the time like radio frequencies, reiki would be one particular station that can be tuned in to. The word ‘reiki’ can be broken down into two components, ‘rei,’ which ‘higher power,’ and ‘ki,’ which means ‘life force.’ So reiki literally means spiritually guided healing energy.”

Often, recipients of reiki will experience the sensation of warmth coming from the practitioner's hands. “There may also be temperature fluctuations in the body including sensations of glowing warm light filling the body. Some people feel a lot and others don't feel much during the session, but may feel differently after the session. Usually you will feel very relaxed and peaceful, in a very calm and quiet space.”

How this healing energy works is somewhat mysterious, but the basic idea is that it reconnects us to our life force. “When we are connected with our life force energy, the body has the capacity to self-heal and rebalance, and come back to homeostasis.”

Reiki isn't taught so much as transmitted. Students of reiki are “attuned” by a reiki master to the reiki energy, so they can channel that particular frequency.

“The practitioner typically places his or her hands in a series of positions on the body as they focus on channeling reiki energy. The receiver relaxes and allows this energy to go where it is most needed for healing physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually.

“I think that connecting with the idea that there is healing energy around us all the time is incredibly powerful. It teaches us that the body is mysterious and powerful and much more than a system of bones, muscles, blood and tissues. There is energy in the body that has the incredible power to help us heal. This is a way to renew and rejuvenate, to reconnect with source.

“Once you are attuned to reiki, you can not only give it to others but also to yourself. It is such an empowering tool for self-healing and an incredible gift to be able to offer to friends and family who are in pain, be it physical emotional or spiritual.”

Would you try reiki? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Opening Image: Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

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