HomeHealth articlesheart problemWhat Is Reiki?

Reiki is a science and art of alternative medicine where the body is healed through universal energy. Read the article to learn more about this technique.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sneha Kannan

Published At December 19, 2019
Reviewed AtMarch 2, 2023


Reiki is also called ‘Ki’ in Japanese and ‘Chi’ in Chinese. Reiki is based on the idea that healing occurs through universal or life energy, which flows through everyone. This universal energy is also called Tai Chi in Chinese. Reiki energy resides inside the body and flows throughout the body. This energy is not visible through our naked eyes; however, Kirlian photography allows us to see this energy.

What Is Reiki Technique?

Reiki is a Japanese healing technique that is administered using the palms. Usually, a person falls sick whenever their universal energy is low or imbalanced. In such cases, a Reiki teacher would connect with the universal energy and pass it to others through their palms by laying them on their specific affected body parts, which are deficient in energy.

Reiki is based on the belief that the act of helping others would produce similar benefits to the self as well. So, helping others would help the Reiki practitioner as well.

What Is the History of the Reiki Technique?

Buddhist priest Mikao Usui (also known as Usui-Sensei) developed the Reiki system in 1920. However, according to the international center for reiki training, other styles of Reiki were practiced in Japan before Usui created his own style called Usui Reiki. Usui opened a clinic in Tokyo to practice the Reiki technique.

Hawayo Takata, a Japanese-Hawaiian Reiki master, began teaching the Reiki technique in Hawaii in the 1930s, and from there, it traveled to the rest of the United States in the 1970s.

Today Reiki is being practiced in both hospital inpatient and outpatient settings as a therapy for various surgeries, cancer, and AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

What Are the Uses of the Reiki Technique?

Reiki can be beneficial in treating many illnesses resulting from imbalance at the physical, mental, and spiritual levels. The uses include:

  • Reiki helps reduce stress, anxiety, pain caused by physical ailments, and mental or emotional ill-health. Moreover, it also helps to reduce fatigue.

  • It helps you reconnect with the current world and forget the traumatic past.

  • It alleviates long-term chronic health problems like arthritis, asthma, cancer, heart problems, and many more.

  • It is beneficial if given with medical and other treatments, for instance, after surgery or cancer treatment.

  • It helps in enhancing the quality of life. The positive benefits of Reiki can enhance the overall well-being of a person.

  • It helps improve mood by relieving anxiety and depression.

  • The Reiki technique may also help treat symptoms and conditions such as:

What to Learn From Reiki?

A person does not need special educational background or skills to learn Reiki. People from all backgrounds and of any age can learn Reiki. The authentic way to learn Reiki is through a Reiki master who has attained a third degree in Reiki training. The skill of Reiki is transferred from the master to the student through attunement, which takes place during the in-person Reiki class. Some people prefer to learn Reiki through distance learning or online, which can be effective in gaining the basic knowledge of Reiki. However, a person might not be able to achieve complete knowledge, and it will not be as effective as in-person training or attunement.

There are different degrees of attunement. At different levels, a person can learn different techniques, such as:

  • At the first level, beginners learn the basics of Reiki and hands-on techniques.

  • At the second level, Reiki practitioners teach distant healing and hands-on techniques with the mental connection.

  • At the third level, which is the highest level of training where a person becomes a master in Reiki, they can then achieve an attunement from the master.

How Does Reiki Work?

  • The Reiki practice will usually take place in a peaceful and private setting. However, it can be given at any place.

  • During the session, the client is told to lie on a massage table, fully dressed, and the practitioner will place their palms on or just over the different body parts, which are considered the hubs for energy.

  • Practitioners can position their hands in 15 different ways and decide how long the palms must be placed in each spot depending on the flow of energy they sense through their hands.

  • The hands are placed lightly over the specific areas of the head, limbs, and torso, and the hands are placed in these positions for at least five to ten minutes.

  • If there is any injury on the body, the practitioner will hold their hands above the wound.

  • During this process, an energy transfer will occur when the practitioner holds his hands over the body. At this point, he may feel a warm or tingling sensation in his hands.

  • The practitioner will hold each hand in the specific position until he senses that the energy flow has stopped.

  • The client may also feel a heat or tingling sensation in their body where the hands of the practitioner are positioned. However, the client may also not notice any change, but they feel so relaxed and calm during the therapy that they even fall asleep.

How to Prepare for the Reiki Appointment?

A person should wear clean, loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. Try to wear natural fabrics, such as cotton or silk. Remove jewelry, shoes, or glasses before the session.

Is Reiki Harmful?

Reiki is considered to be a very safe and non-invasive procedure. It does not have any harmful side effects. However, people with serious health issues opting for this therapy instead of approved medical treatment can negatively affect their health.


In conclusion, it is always good to learn different skills like Reiki, which would help cope with the ill health of the family, and a person can also heal himself whenever possible. This practice is beneficial to the practitioner and others as well.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why Is Reiki Healing Beneficial?

Reiki healing therapy helps reduce stress, pain, and fatigue in one’s body. Alternative medicine works on the philosophy of energizing and making one feel good and relaxed psychologically.


How Does Reiki Benefit Daily Life?

A session of Reiki every day promotes good health and can improve symptoms of pain and anxiety by generating a sense of well-being and lowering depression. Self-treatment with Reiki every morning and at the end of the day helps improve the quality of daily life.


Does the Effect of Reiki Last for a Long Time?

The effect of Reiki can last up to one week. Studies have shown that performing Reiki sessions can help one transmit healing energy that is beneficial for the entire life. Performing Reiki has a long-term effect on the body as it creates a comfortable and soothing environment for the body to heal.


When Should One Get Reiki Done?

People often seek Reiki to deal with stress and anxiety when recovering from surgery or as an adjunct to medical care. Cancer patients and others with long-term illness practice Reiki to reduce anxiety, fear, and pain. Many people often use Reiki to cope with the loss of their loved ones.


What Is the Philosophy of Reiki?

The principles of Reiki are based on the healing process. It provides a path of self-healing and positive energy. The concept of Reiki is based on the following five principles.
- To release angry thoughts and allow the flow of happiness.
- To release worries and negative thoughts to maintain mental peace.
- To be grateful for life and foster positive energy.
- To be gentle to all beings. It enhances spiritual health.
- To exercise, balance energy, and appreciate the present moment.


For How Long Does One Need to Practice Reiki?

It is recommended to have at least four sessions of Reiki to help one evaluate its benefits. A person may space the sessions according to one’s needs and schedule. Each session of Reiki usually lasts for 20 to 25 minutes.


What Are the Drawbacks of Taking Reiki?

After Reiki sessions, many people may complain of side effects, such as discomfort, drop in oxygen levels, increased tiredness, nausea, dizziness, and headache. The flow of energy in the body may cause one to feel vulnerable or overwhelmed.


Why Does Reiki Make One Feel Good?

A session of Reiki involves a range of physical and emotional changes and provides benefits such as improved sleep, pain relief, and mental peace. Practicing Reiki involves deep meditation making one feel profoundly relaxed and leaving the person feeling composed.


Should One Wear Comfortable Clothes for Reiki Sessions?

It is recommended to wear comfortable, clean clothes for Reiki sessions. Before stepping in, the person undergoing sessions should wear comfortable clothes and remove jewelry, shoes, and glasses. It is advised to leave or switch off the mobile phone.


How to Prepare for Reiki Treatment?

Reiki practitioners recommend having a light meal before the session. People should refrain from indulging in alcohol, sugary foods, and caffeine before going for Reiki treatment. A person should engage in deep relaxed breathing during the entire Reiki session.


Which Level of Reiki Is Considered the Highest?

The third degree, or The Shinpiden, is traditionally considered the highest level of Reiki. It is achieved by those who master Reiki practice and can teach and organize a wide variety of Reiki methods. It takes at least six months to one year to master the training.


How Does One Begin Practicing Reiki?

To begin with Reiki, the person should close their eyes and take deep breaths. One may imagine a stream of healing white light flowing in the body by folding the hands in prayer. Gentle touch to the body promotes a positive mental state and relaxes the body.


Is Reiki the Same as Massage?

Reiki is a holistic approach to healing the body and mind. Unlike massage, it is not focused on applying pressure but involves gentle touch to free the body of unbalanced energy. It is a Japanese healing practice that heals the body and mind.


How Does One Feel After the First Session of Reiki?

People often report a feeling of immediate release of stress and deep relaxation in the first session of Reiki. Some people may experience a tingling or heat sensation in the body as the Reiki practitioner moves their hands around their body.
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Dr. Sheetal Kamble
Dr. Sheetal Kamble


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