What is Reiki?

Prospective clients often ask, “What is Reiki?” That’s a hard question, because the answer is both very simple and very complex. Sometimes translated as “Universal Life Force,” Reiki is Unconditional Love transmitted through the hands and heart of the practitioner to the person being healed, which sounds (and is) lovely…but what on earth does it mean? That’s a bit more difficult to explain.

What happens in a Reiki Session?

In a traditional Reiki healing the client lies on the table and the practitioner lays hands on him or her in a series of specific hand positions. Recipients often experience the healer’s hands as “hot,” although some people feel tingling or coolness, some see colors or images and some don’t feel much beyond “very relaxed.” No two people experience Reiki in quite the same way and no two sessions are alike. Each encounter with Reiki is a new adventure for practitioner and client alike.

I always tell people that “Reiki does what Reiki does.” The energy goes where it is most needed and that is not always the same as what intellect or logic expects.

What is Reiki like for the practitioner?

I continue to be awed by the process. Often my hands will be “pulled” to a spot on a person’s body which my logical self thinks is “wrong.” Or sometimes my hands will get “stuck” to a spot, although my restless rational self says “long enough.” I have learned to trust the wisdom of my hands. They are usually right. I did energetic healing before I was initiated into Reiki, and I don’t believe that I had the kind of clarity when working on people which I do now. Some of this may be chalked up to experience, but I believe that the Reiki energy has a profound intelligence of its own which communicates itself to and through the healer.

Reiki, for me, has been a magical adventure. I have had some amazing experiences. My nephew, a skeptic if ever there was one, got on my table to humor me, and was baffled and astonished when the pain in his elbow and wrists (a side-effect of Akido training) disappeared almost instantly. Another young man had injured his shoulder in a car accident. In pain, unable to fully extend his left arm, he had gone to doctors, chiropractors, everyone he could think of. Nothing had worked. As I worked on the arm, it seemed to disappear and I sensed, felt – I don’t know quite what – that he was bleeding to death on a Civil War battlefield, unprepared to die without saying goodbye to those he loved. By the end of the session the arm felt better and within days it was completely healed. Several clients have had visits with deceased parents and found closure for unhealed grief or wounds. Once I removed a rotting Roman uniform from the midriff of a client. It was kind of frightening to do, because removing it (all this is in a symbolic, astral realm) was difficult, taking skin with it. As I applied a Reiki “bandage” after, she was surprised that the heat she usually felt from my hands had become coolness. She’s a nurse, and we realized as we discussed it that cold compresses are what you would apply to such a wound. Reiki is very smart energy.

Who can learn Reiki?

I believe all human beings have an in-born, inherent capacity to channel healing energy. Many of us do it instinctively without even being aware that we are doing it. Mothers who lovingly hold and caress their children are channelling love with their touch. Many nurses are currently learning a technique called “healing touch.” There are dozens of methods and formulas for offering healing, each with its own special qualities and advantages. One advantage of Reiki is its simplicity. All you have to do is be initiated, learn some hand positions, and open your heart to the flow. It’s easy. You can use Reiki on yourself as well as others and it automatically teaches what is sometimes hard-learned or forgotten in other modalities — that healing comes not from but through the healer. Approach any energetic healing method with that knowledge, with personal judgments set to one side, and with no attachment to the outcome (death also heals and pain sometimes teaches our greatest lessons) and you cannot go far wrong. I always pray for guidance and for the best possible outcome for the person on the table. Reiki and Spirit do the rest.

Aura – before and after Reiki

I thought it might be interesting to share the following two aura photos. A friend and I did a healing workshop back in 1996 and as part of the process we all had aura photos taken before and after the session. These are mine:

aura before summer 1996aura after summer 1996

Reiki Session Fees

In Person Sessions: $50.00
Long-Distance Reiki for Humans: $30.00
Long-Distance Reiki for Animals: $25.00

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