What is Reiki?
To start, it’s what changed my life. Reiki made me who I am. I talk about it all the time, and heck, I find myself practicing Reiki in my dreams. But what actually is it?
You might have been told that it’s something to do with chakras and energy. And that’s half right.
On the surface, it’s most easily understood as a relaxation technique. During a Reiki treatment you’re able to relax enough (even if it doesn’t quite feel like it) that your consciousness shifts from survival mode to healing mode.
For the Reiki Master, Reiki is a responsibility, a calling.
For the client, it’s salvation.
Here’s a Reiki Definition. Reiki is an energy-healing technique, discovered by Miako Usui in Japan, that creates balanced movement and flow of energy within each of our chakras, healing emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual wounds.
Usui spent 21 days on Mt. Kurama, meditating and fasting. Usui was a successful businessman who wanted to know how to attain complete clarity and peace within himself, because as successful as he was, material gain didn’t bring him what he expected.
What came out of his 21-day retreat was the wisdom of the entire universe, which resulted in this healing modality.
In practice, Reiki is a healing technique where the Reiki practitioner realigns energy flows, by acting as a channel for energy to flow from all around us into the client, yielding more in-balanced energy movement through your system of chakras. While there are different versions of the practice today, Reiki creates a balanced flow of our qi (pronounced “chee,” it is the life-force energy behind everything) among our chakras, or energy centers, in our bodies.
“Wait … what?”.
That may sound a bit complicated.
Let me back it up a little and explain.
Chakras and Energy
Time for a bold statement: Everything in life is energy that has manifested into physical form, including our own bodies.
Inside ourselves, we have 7 main chakras. Chakras are energy centers in our body, each influencing our lives in different ways. (Blog post about the 7 Chakra’s coming soon!)
These Chakras allow that life-force energy, qi, (Japanese kanji; 氣) to flow throughout our body. This energy allows our heart to beat, our brain to function, and our body to move.
This energy allows us to be.
But in the recipe of change, any type of change mind you, time is a main ingredient.
That which isn’t given time, cannot change.
As a result, over time, through our life experiences: the trauma; the heartache; the physical, mental and emotional pain; the beliefs we hold (that actually seek to limit us—more on that later); various burdens and fears—they begin to weigh on us like a heavy armor that we subconsciously built to protect ourselves.
This heavy armor—the accumulation of all these different stresses, events, and experiences—begins to hinder the flow of this energy, disconnecting us from the natural flow we human beings are born with.
Remember being a baby? Maybe a few moments here and there, but do you remember the day-to-day work of crying when you need something, sleeping when your body asks for it, observing and laughing at trees, and loving every gift you receive, even if it’s a paper clip?
One of the reasons human beings love babies is that babies have uninterrupted flows of this life-force energy. It’s pure, flowing energy. When they need to feel something, they feel it, unapologetically. They’re 100% okay with their emotions and because of that, they know how to love themselves and others unconditionally.
It’s not commonly talked about, but this life force inside of us is an important part of maintaining spiritual, emotional, mental, and even physical health.
“Okay… so what? So what if my energy is out of wack?”
When Energy is Out of Wack
When our life energy is not flowing properly, a myriad of health problems can arise.
Have you ever had back pain that started off small, perhaps a long time ago (so long ago you maybe don’t even remember), but it naggingly got worse over time, and never seemed to go away?
When a certain chakra is out of balance, physical symptoms can occur, as well as emotional ones.
Back pain, stiffness, neck pain, joint pain, IBS and other stomach issues, depression, irritability, or even just a bum mood: these are all ways our bodies communicate to us that our energy is out of alignment, and proper energy flow is pertinent to our well-being in any area of our lives.
These symptoms arising is our soul’s way of telling us “Hey, I know you’re busy and all, but we need a little healing! If you don’t pay attention to me, you’re not going to be able to do any of those things!”
One of modern society’s major areas of improvement (particularly in western society) is listening to our souls. These days they’re drowned out by all the noise—physical and mental—and often get put on the back burner. Sometimes it gets put on the “To-Do” list that we know we’ll never get to.
Now, one more time:
What is Reiki?
Reiki is an energy-healing technique that creates balanced movement and flow of energy within each of our chakras, healing emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual wounds.
So, What’s a Reiki Session Like?
Reiki sessions take place with the client lying down on a massage table. Then, as a Reiki Master, I do energy work above and around you.
The Reiki Master acts as a channel for the life-force energy to make a soul-to-soul connection with you. They’re a channel that allows the energy of unconditional love to work through you. Think of Life Force having one momentum, and the life force that is flowing through your chakras as another. The Reiki Master guides energy in and out, to make the momentum of energy inside of you match that, as much as possible, of the general life energy all around us.
During the session you may feel energy forces moving within your body, seemingly magnetic forces. You may get goosebumps. All are possibilities in the process of smoothing out blockages of energy within you.
You can hear all about Reiki, but at the end of the day, you’re not going to truly understand it until you experience it. When entering your first Reiki session, it’s hard to know what to expect. To calm your First Session Nerves (the first session always yields nerves!), I’ve created a Reiki session guide to help first timers understand what’s going on. These are based off what my clients experience! Without further ado, here’s Lauren’s 7 Things to Know!
Lauren’s 7 Things to Know: A First-Timers Guide!
- Think of Reiki as a massage experience without an actual massage.
- Reiki sessions all about comfort, so you’ll want to wear something you would lounge around the house in, like sweats.
- Reiki can be done anywhere or on anything. Most likely, you’ll be on a massage table, but it can be done on a couch, a Laz-Y-Boy recliner, a bed, a yoga mat, a chair (especially great for on-the-fly sessions, say at the office or something). If your practitioner is at least at a Reiki II level, they can even send Reiki to you from any distance! If you’re on a massage table though, you can expect to lay down and get comfy.
- Your Reiki practitioner will be doing energy work above and around you. Some may be guided to place their hands on you at certain Chakras, others will do the work completely hands-off. You’ll have your eyes closed, but if they were open, you would see us doing a bunch of weird hand movements over your body… it’s just how we are being intuitively guided to move the energy around!
- Throughout your session, you may feel energy being activated in different ways: as heat, vibrations, or emotions. What’s going on is old emotions that have blocked the energy are being broken up and cleared. However, the way to move beyond something is to feel it completely, so if during your session you feel the urge to cry, cry. If you feel you need to laugh, laugh. Feel angry? Get angry. Let it all out.
- Or you may just fall asleep and not feel anything at all. That’s okay, too! Each session is different.
- After your Reiki treatment you may discuss what came up with your Reiki practitioner. This helps validate what you experienced in your session and gives you insight on how to move beyond any problems you’re experiencing in your waking life.
But as I said before, the best way to understand it is to experience it for yourself, so if you’ve been feeling drawn to check it out, why not? You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
If you are considering trying out Reiki, you’re going to want to make sure you choose the right Reiki practitioner for you.
How to Find the Right Reiki Practitioner For You
Well, now that you know what to expect from a Reiki session, you know it’s all about feeling comfortable. Here are some things to think about when choosing a reiki practitioner.
- Feel it out. Tune into the feeling you get when you inquire with a practitioner. Do they support your excitement of the experience, or are they short and feel a bit cold? Do they feel like they’re being standoffish? Since you want to be comfortable, go with your gut when it comes to first impressions. Don’t be afraid to inquire with several different Reiki professionals to see who feels like they’ll make you feel most at home.
- A Reiki practitioner should never put you in harm. If you are put into any situation that makes you feel unsafe during your session (ex: they tell you to take your clothes off or try to touch you inappropriately), you have the right to leave immediately.If they hint at anything along these lines prior to your session or make you feel uncomfortable in any way, inquire elsewhere.
- Check reviews or ask others you know who have experienced Reiki who they would recommend. My Reiki practitioner who became my spiritual teacher ever since my first session was found because my friend recommended her to me!
- Comfort is also about convenience. If you’re looking to get away for an escape from your everyday life, I’d recommend finding a practitioner who has their own location; however, if you have health issues and need to stay in your own home, some practitioners like myself are more than willing to bring the session to you. Plus your whole home gets to benefit from Reiki energy that way!
The intention of Reiki can be summed up in one quote:
“Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.” (Author Unknown)
If you want to learn more about what I offer, check out my own Reiki services.
Godspeed, my friend!