Reiki original symbol

The human body will heal itself given half the chance and the right circumstances.

We are naturally pre-programmed toward healing. Parents and close ones already intuitively know how to soothe, calm and heal those they love using touch, kind words and holding a certain emotional and energetic space. Reiki rides on this wisdom, supporting and  accentuating this natural healing ability while working on all levels of being: body, mind and spirit. Through these three levels, Reiki reaches deep within us to the roots and causes of imbalance and disease. 

The word Reiki has been translated most frequently as “Universal Life Force Energy,” one that is spiritually guided and with a certain kind of healing intelligence. But the word can also be translated to mean “Divine Will” or even “Holy Presence.” The old Japanese character for Reiki is a depiction of three open mouths being nourished by rain. This image seems to perfectly capture Reiki’s essential quality.

Reiki is applied through the gentle laying of hands on or over the body. This is done with receiver fully clothed, and with no massage or physical manipulation applied. It feels supportive and relaxing, promoting a sense of vitality and wellness. It is excellent at reducing stress, and therefore is increasingly being used in hospitals as a complement to western medicine to reduce anxiety, pain and to lessen the side effects of medicine and the discomfort of various conditions.

Interestingly, Reiki was initially used in Japan as “energy medicine” where it was sought as an alternative to more traditional and invasive modes of treatment. While still used as such, it has become a reliable means of relaxation and stress reduction for both humans and animals. (See the article: Animals Never Lie: Energy Healing Stories)

Reiki differs from many other forms of energy healing systems in a few key ways. For one, it provides an easy and effective way to give self-treatment. Also, it does not use the energy of the practitioner and therefore does not deplete one’s own energy. It can be easily incorporated into other healing systems, whether esoteric or scientific, eastern or western. It cannot cause harm and there are virtually no contraindications.

Indeed, it can be hard and frustrating to explain what Reiki is in words. And the best way to know Reiki is the experience we have when we use or receive it ourselves. For me, the most powerful part of Reiki is as a tool to turn inward, to listen and care for myself with compassion and acceptance.

Through receiving Reiki, its energy becomes woven into the fabric of our bodies, and we know it from inside out. It supports and nourishes our vitality, radiance and life force. When we experience Reiki, we begin to have a glimpse of what it is to be human, and the joy and mystery of it.


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