Reiki is a Japanese phrase that translates to ‘universal life energy’. Reiki is a Japanese system of personal spiritual practice as well as a healing art that encourages deep relaxation and stress reduction by rebalancing the biological energy field or ‘biofield’. The details regarding the origins of Reiki have been speculated upon by many; however, one thing is agreed upon, which is that the system as we know it today is based upon the principles and practices of Mikao Usui (1865-1926).
When Hawayo Takata (a student of Mikao Usui) took the system of Reiki to Hawaii a divergence occurred, and thus a Western (Usui Shiki Ryoho) and Japanese (Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai) system developed. Since the 1980s other branches of Reiki have also evolved, however, these may not be regarded as traditional Usui Systems of Reiki due to their incorporation of other practices not taught by Mikao Usui.
Reiki is more than hands-on healing
The personal spiritual practice of Reiki revolves around the daily contemplation and practice of the five Reiki Precepts, as well as meditating with specific mantras and symbols in order to improve both the mind and spirit. These precepts hold relevance to everyone.
Five Reiki Precepts
Do not anger
Do not worry
Work with diligence
Be kind to others
Translated from the memorial stone of Mikao Usui at the Seihoji Temple in Tokyo
Reiki as a healing art
As a healing modality, Reiki typically involves a hands-on session with a client to balance the biofield and induce a sense of deep relaxation. This can lead to a reduction of stress and feelings of anxiety, promotion of wellbeing, and by inducing the relaxation response, encouragement of the innate healing ability within the individual. Reiki is, therefore, a system of both healing and of living well when the precepts are incorporated into daily life.
What happens during a Reiki session?
Reiki is a non-invasive and gentle therapy that can be used alongside both conventional and complementary medicine without interference. Reiki is becoming more widely accepted in care facilities such as hospitals and hospices around Australia to encourage patient wellbeing. However, Reiki can also be used to deepen your own spiritual or meditative practice, or to maintain your sense of wellbeing in everyday life by recharging and balancing the energetic aspects of yourself.
During a Reiki session, clients are fully clothed at all times and lying down on a treatment/massage table whilst the therapist places their hands in various positions over the head, body and feet, sometimes on the body and sometimes slightly above. Although there are Reiki practitioners that follow a set sequence of hand positions moving at regular intervals during a session others may work more intuitively depending upon each individual.
It takes time to learn and experience Reiki
Reiki practitioner training ranges through First and Second Degree to a Master or Master/Teacher level, with recommended periods of time and practice occurring between each level. For many students the First Degree is sufficient, however, each level brings a deepening of Reiki practice. As the energetic connection to Mikao Usui is passed from each Master to their students, an awareness of each Master’s lineage is significant and you may wish to ask your Reiki practitioner for theirs.