Working with Reiki

Working with Reiki — the positive universal energy

The positive, universal energy accessed in Reiki practice is the underlying life force that makes it all work. This energy is free, inexhaustible and accessible to anyone who attunes themselves to it with the help of an experienced teacher to guide them. The more that you relax and open yourself up to it; the more you can feel Reiki running like a current through the fabric of the universe.

Every person has both within and around their bodies what we call the "human energy field," which you can measure on the physical level through the body's bioelectric and electromagnetic fields. Reiki also works on the more subtle energy fields too, the ones directly connected to the soul or the causal, underlying intelligence that first created the person. No Reiki practitioner is actually generating the healing energy themselves. Instead, they hold the space and the client’s intention as they witness the healing happening.

Reiki works with the practitioner’s channeling the universal life force energy, which stimulates both the practitioner’s and client’s innate powers of healing and recovery. Reiki stimulates a psychosomatic relief response to prepare the body for more rapid healing. It's the body that can eventually repair itself, once it's gotten a little boost of energy to help jumpstart the process. The body of the person receiving Reiki will naturally absorb as much energy as necessary and direct it wherever it needs to go. In other words, you'll never have to worry about someone "overdosing" or Reiki or not getting enough.

How can you use Reiki energy?

Most of us have some kind of stress to fight off, along with our random bodily ailments that come and go. That's where a good Reiki session comes in very handy to help smooth out any imbalances created in your energy field and your body by the stress of life's many challenges and injuries.

Reiki energy is helpful for:

  • Increase energy levels
  • Accelerates the body's self-healing abilities
  • Mental and physical stress reduction
  • Uplifts your mood which reduces depression and anxiety

Some people find that Reiki is essentially good for everything. We even know of a Reiki practitioner who gave Reiki sessions to their car when it wouldn't start -- and it worked! Others give Reiki to the plants in their garden and get great results. Play with it and see for yourself how fun it can be.

How do you become a Reiki practitioner or master?

Every Reiki practitioner becomes a part of the proud lineage descending all the way from the Japanese monk Dr. Mikao Usui, who experienced the Reiki technique for the first time in a vision during his retreat in the early 1900s. Dr. Usui taught several masters, most notably Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, who set up a popular Reiki clinic in Tokyo.

From there, Dr. Hayashi helped to heal Mrs. Hawayo Takata from her own chronic illnesses, and she became a leading Reiki master herself later by taking the practice of Reiki overseas to the United States by the 1940s. Today, the International Association of Reiki Professionals supports the original tradition's teachings and values from the first Reiki founder while also supporting all independent Reiki practitioners worldwide.

Various styles of Reiki have developed over time with the added influence of additional Reiki masters, but they all have several main points in common:

  • Reiki practitioners lay their hands on or above the bodies of those they treat, normally in specific hand positions recommended originally by Dr. Hayashi
  • Reiki is just as effective when given as a distance healing session
  • Students must practice Reiki for some time before receiving additional training to become level three "masters"

Students receive an instructional booklet and review the basic principles of the practice. At the end, they receive a special attunement of Reiki energy from their teacher that is in essence like "passing on the torch" from Reiki's original source onto the student, which he or she can then use to help heal others and themselves. It's a special ritual intended to help students receive the blessings of Reiki's founders and carry that spirit forward with integrity.

Completing additional Reiki levels happens when both the teacher feels it's time and the student feels ready for it. To receive the best training, naturally you should seek out the best possible teacher in your area by referring to the
International Association of Reiki Professionals or any certified Reiki healer who has reached the master level.

What are the different Reiki levels?

Level One:

As we briefly touched on above, the first level is easy to learn and open to anyone, usually over the course of a weekend. It establishes a permanently accessible connection between the student and the universal life energy. With practice, the student will notice that the flow of energy becomes steadier and gets stronger. Here the focus is on Reiki's healing benefits on the physical level and sensing the energy.

Level Two:

After receiving the first-degree Reiki initiation, a student must practice for typically around three months before they are ready for this level. The teacher attunes the student to level II energies, which allows them to call the Reiki energy through the three main sacred Reiki symbols in healing: the power symbol, the mental symbol and the distance symbol.  This enables the student to begin the practice of distance healing.

Level three:

When a student reaches this level, they receive more of the deeper Reiki teachings. Again the teacher attunes the student to help them transmit and become the universal energy, and this time, they learn the Usui Master symbol that works on healing from the purely spiritual level.

The Master level

This is the highest level of Reiki teaching available. The student's central energy channel becomes as open as possible to receive and transmit the maximum amount of healing to others. The student receives instructions in the last four Tibetan Master symbols. Finally, the student becomes a full-fledged teacher, capable of giving their own Reiki initiations to others.

Reiki Misconceptions

  1. Reiki can't fix everything. The recovery process can take some time, and your diet, lifestyle and other factors all influence the healing process.
  2. For those of you feeling skeptical about Reiki because you're afraid of it being associated with any kind of black magic, don't worry - you're not inviting any weird foreign spirit into your body. Reiki practitioners serve as a conduit to amplify the natural healing power of the universe, which is always around and inside you. We sometimes block this energy with stress and negative emotions.  A Reiki session can help restore this universal energy flow to help your physical, mental and spiritual healing.
  3. Reiki is not a religion. However, it can enhance a persons spiritual practice. Anyone from any religion -- and even people who don't believe in God in the traditional sense -- can practice and get the full benefits of Reiki.

Reiki works

In many practioners’ experiences, they’ve noticed that a Reiki session can make someone feel more relaxed and peaceful while also alleviating some pain or even reducing swelling and inflammation. Of course, the results always vary as each client has their own unique healing process.  These effects aren't hard to believe when you consider some of the studies conducted and later proven the effectiveness of Reiki:

Mendham Apothecary reports that, "Reiki may contribute to reduced perception of pain, improved quality of life and reduced fatigue in cancer patients."

At the
New York Presbyterian Hospital on the Columbia University Campus, "they conducted one of the first studies ever performed to determine the effectiveness of Reiki treatments on the autonomic nervous system ... The results within the Reiki treatment group showed a lowering of heart rate, respiration and blood pressure ... As of 2009, The Touchstone Process has evaluated 25 test studies that appeared in peer-review journals evaluating the merits of Reiki Treatments. Taking into consideration only the most rigorously controlled studies, the team reported that 83 percent showed moderate to strong evidence in support of Reiki as a viable, therapeutic healing modality."

Practicing Reiki

Whenever you learn Reiki and begin to practice on friends and family, hold the space with love. A positive intention combined with compassion and extra kindnesses supports a Reiki session so as the client gets the full benefits of the life force energy. 

Go to Reiki shares or exchange with other practitioners so you too can experience Reiki as a client as well as a practitioner.  Self-care with Reiki compliments any wellness routine.



About the Author: Suzanne Leopold started Living Mavens in 2016 to share some of the products and techniques that help her focus inward and transform her life.  With over 15 years of exploring energy and manifesting modalities, she is passionate about creating a life she loves and sharing her discoveries with others.  To learn more on how to consciously create a life you love, go to