Reiki FAQ's

What is Reiki? 

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words - Rei which means "God's Wisdom or the Higher Power" and Ki which is "life force energy". So Reiki is actually "spiritually guided life force energy."

Do All Healers Use Reiki?

All healers use life force or Ki, but not all use Reiki. Reiki is a special kind of life force that can only be channeled by someone that has been attuned to it. It is possible that some people are born with Reiki or have gotten it some other way. However, most healers who have not received the Reiki attunement from a Reiki Master are not using Reiki but another kind of life force. People who already do healing work consistently report an increase of at least fifty percent in the strength of their healing energies after taking the Reiki training.

This was verified for me when I first began teaching Reiki. There were two clairvoyant healers I knew who had highly developed abilities. They could easily see the life force flowing through a person's body, as well as see the aura and chakras. They could also communicate with a person's guides and Higher Self. They were adept at moving negative psychic energy out of the body as well as channeling healing energies. In my twenty years of metaphysical work, they were the most accurate and effective psychic healers I had met.

They told me later they had doubted there was anything I was teaching they couldn't already do, but that they took the Reiki training anyway, simply to support me in my new work. After the attunement, they were amazed at the difference they could feel between the healing energies they had been using and Reiki. They said the Reiki energies were more powerful and of a much higher frequency. They noted also that Reiki didn't have to be guided like the other healing energies they were using, and that the Reiki energies began flowing without having to enter an altered state. They also indicated the attunement process itself was a powerful healing experience, releasing restrictions relating to their healing work they had unknowingly acquired when they were healers in past lives. They were very pleased they had taken the class.

Reiki Can Never Cause Harm

Because Reiki is guided by the God-consciousness, it can never do harm. It always knows what a person needs and will adjust itself to create the effect that is appropriate for them. One never need worry about whether to give Reiki or not. It is always helpful.

In addition, because the practitioner does not direct the healing and does not decide what to work on, or what to heal, the practitioner is not in danger of taking on the karma of the client. Because the practitioner is not doing the healing, it is also much easier for the ego to stay out of the way and allow the presence of God to clearly shine through.

Energy is Never Depleted

Because it is a channeled healing, the Reiki practitioner's energies are never depleted. In fact, the Reiki consciousness considers both practitioner and client to be in need of healing, so both receive treatment. Because of this, giving a treatment always increases one's energy and leaves one surrounded with loving feelings of well-being.

Reiki Ideals

During a meditation several years after developing Reiki, Mikao Usui decided to add the Reiki Ideals to the practice of Reiki. The Ideals came in part from the five prinicples of the Meiji emperor of Japan whom Mikao Usui admired. The Ideals were developed to add spiritual balance to Usui Reiki. Their purpose is to help people realize that healing the spirit by consciously deciding to improve oneself is a necessary part of the Reiki healing experience. In order for the Reiki healing energies to have lasting results, the client must accept responsibility for her or his healing and take an active part in it. Therefore, the Usui system of Reiki is more than the use of the Reiki energy. It must also include an active commitment to improve oneself in order for it to be a complete system. The ideals are both guidelines for living a gracious life and virtues worthy of practice for their inherent value.

Reiki Ideals

The secret art of inviting happiness
The miraculous medicine of all diseases
Just for today, do not anger
Do not worry and be filled with gratitude
Devote yourself to your work. Be kind to people.
Every morning and evening, join your hands in prayer.
Pray these words to your heart
and chant these words with your mouth
Usui Reiki Treatment for the improvement of body and mind

The founder, Usui Mikao

In a standard treatment Reiki energy flows from the practitioners hands into the client. The client is usually laying on a massage table but treatments can also be given while the client is seated or even standing. The client remains fully clothed. The practitioner places her/his hands on or near the clients body in a series of hand positions. These include positions around the head and shoulders, the stomach, and feet. Other, more specific positions may be used based on the clients needs. Each position is held for three to ten minutes depending on how much Reiki the client needs at each position. The whole treatment usually lasts between 45 and 90 minutes.

Most of the time a person will feel relaxed and uplifted by a Reiki treatment. However, sometimes a person will have what is called a healing crisis. As a person’s vibration goes up, toxins that have been stored in the body will be released into the blood stream to be filtered by the liver and kidneys and removed from the system. When this happens, sometimes a person can get a headache or stomach ache or feel weak. If this happens, it is a good idea to drink more water, eat lighter meals and get more rest. The body is cleansing as part of the healing process so this is a good sign.

A Reiki treatment usually will cost between $25.00 and $100.00 depending on the area of the country. However, some practitioners offer treatments free of charge or for a donation.

How Does Reiki Help People?

Reiki is a type of energy work that originated in Japan. It’s a simple method of light touch that is based on the Asian concept of ki or life energy. A session feels like a glowing radiance that flows through and around you. The experience is very soothing and results in the client entering a wonderful state of relaxation in which one’s worries and cares seem to melt away.

In a session the client lies fully clothed on a massage table while the practitioner gently places his or her hands in positions around the head and shoulders, the abdomen and the legs and feet. The hands can also be positioned an inch or so away from the body. The method is easy to learn and is taught in a weekend class. Once trained, a person can give Reiki to others or to oneself.

Its popularity is increasing and a recent survey indicates that over a million people in the U.S. have received Reiki sessions.(1) Its value is recognized by over 800 hospitals that offer it as a standard part of patient care.(2) And rigorously designed scientific pilot studies have demonstrated its therapeutic effects.(3)

The concept of ki or life energy has been recognized around the world since ancient times and goes by many names: in China it’s called chi, in Japan, ki, in India, Prana and science calls it biofield energy. This is an unseen energy that flows through all living things and directly affects the quality of health and one’s sense of well-being. When your life energy is low, you’ll feel weak and be more susceptible to stress and illness, will lack confidence and not think as clearly as you usually do. When your life energy is strong, you’ll feel strong, be sure of yourself, be more creative and resourceful, have clarity of purpose and feel good about yourself and about life.

The main thing that reduces life energy is stress, and yet our lives can contain stressful experiences. As an example, there is often stress at work or at home with one’s spouse or children. There can be stress about money and about illness or unexpected events or plans that simply don’t work out. And in fact, stress is a normal part of life. And because of this, people who live happy, healthy and abundant lives aren’t people who don’t have stress in their lives; they are people who have learned to deal with stress in a healthy way. Reiki is a method of dealing effectively with stress, and its use can lead to living a happier, healthier, more abundant life.

By reducing stress, Reiki will improve your health, making it less likely that you’ll get sick. It can also promote the healing process and works well for simple things like headaches, stomachaches, sprained ankles, bee stings and so forth, but can also work alongside regular medical care for more serious illnesses or conditions such as heart disease, cancer and serious injury. Reiki has been known to reduce the negative effects of medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, thus making it easier to follow through with prescribed medical treatment.

The following is a list of conditions and situations that Reiki has been known to help. However, keep in mind that for serious conditions or injuries, it’s important to seek medical care in addition to using Reiki.


The relaxing effect of Reiki can be used on yourself or on your spouse or children to help them get to sleep. Simply place your hands anywhere on the person’s body such as the head, shoulders, legs or feet and allow Reiki to flow. Soon the person will drift off into a very pleasant sleep and often sleep soundly all night. To treat yourself for insomnia, simply hug yourself by placing your hands on your shoulders.


Hold the person’s head with one hand over the forehead and one on the back of the head, or place your hands on both sides of the head. Do the same for yourself.


Place your hands on the abdominal area or one hand on the abdomen and one on the back opposite the abdomen. Also, simply placing your hands on the person’s shoulders will help too. Often a stomachache will be caused by something other than what’s going on in the stomach. Focus on your inner awareness and ask to be shown the best place to treat. Trust what you become aware of even if it doesn’t make sense and place your hand(s) there. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results. Do the same for yourself.

Aches and pains

Place your hands on or near the area in distress. Reiki will relax sore muscles and provide a wonderfully soothing feeling that will bring comfort and reduce or release the pain. Do the same for yourself.

Sprained Ankle or Wrist

This works best the sooner the sprain gets treated; immediate treatment is best. Simply place your hands gently over the sprain. This is the main area to treat, but sometimes you’ll be guided to treat the joints close to the sprain such as the knee and hip or the elbow and shoulder. It is amazing how quickly a sprain can be healed with Reiki. A second session may be needed later.

Sports Injuries

Any type of sports injury can be helped with Reiki. Simply place your hands on or close to the injured area. I was once playing a game of volleyball and injured my wrist. Knowing Reiki, I stepped to the side of the court and gave my wrist Reiki as the other team members took over my position. However after only a few volleys my wrist had healed enough to continue playing and I was back in the game!

Not Feeling Good

Life can sometimes be difficult and from time to time either you or your spouse or children don’t feel good. This can be from emotional upset, overwork, lack of sleep or other stressful situations. Sometimes the person will not know why he or she doesn’t feel good. At times like these, Reiki can often be exactly what is needed. Offer to give the person Reiki and do so in a comforting way. It will be good for both of you. If you’re the one in need, take some time to give yourself Reiki or ask a friend who has Reiki for help. Reiki will care for you, helping you to relax and let go of what’s bothering you. You’ll feel lighter, move into a place of greater freedom and you’ll feel better.


It’s always important to “put our best foot forward,” to be in touch with who you are and to feel that you are capable of “getting the job done.” But sometimes the challenges life presents to us can bring up feelings that get in the way of being in touch with our inner strength—feelings like fear, worry, anger, regret, shame, ambivalence, anxiety and so forth. Reiki is a healthy way of dealing with these feelings that helps them heal. The relaxation of Reiki will work on any unhealthy emotions you might have and allow them to release and be replaced with their healthy counterpart such as trust, self-acceptance, forgiveness, self-esteem, kindness, peace, joy, love, clarity of purpose and confidence. Just place one hand on the solar plexus and one on the heart or back of the neck, or simply allow yourself to be guided to the places that feel right.


This comes with emotional and mental flexibility and a sense of feeling relaxed and safe. In fact children at play are in a wonderful state of creativity. And Reiki can help you move into this state of mind in which you connect with your feelings and have the curiosity and initiative to try new things—to combine balance, proportion and flair in a way that expresses that deeper part of yourself that means so much to you. Giving yourself Reiki before you start a project and giving yourself more Reiki from time to time during the project will keep your mind fresh and your purpose clearly defined.

Serious Illness or Injury

Along with the problems directly related to serious conditions, stress about the effects of the condition can add to the difficulty of dealing with the situation. In addition stress can restrict blood vessels and capillaries thus decreasing the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues of the body and interfering with the transport of toxins away from areas of illness or injury and out of the body. The relaxation provided by Reiki will allow the stress and anxiety associated with the illness or injury to be released, thus increasing one’s sense of well-being and allowing one to deal with the situation in a more effective way. Also, hospital nurses report that Reiki improves appetite, improves sleep, improves wound healing, decreases nausea and reduces pain.(4) Reiki has also been known to decrease the negative side effects of many medical procedures such as chemotherapy, radiation and drugs.

End of Life

Reiki has proven to be an effective part of the palliative care given to hospice patients. This can be a stressful time, often involving fear, regret, anger and pain, not only for the patient, but for family members as well. Reiki can help release negative feelings and replace them with peace and acceptance, thus helping to make the loved one’s transition into the next life a more positive experience filled with love, compassion and dignity. And giving Reiki to the family is as important as giving it to the patient.

Being able to offer Reiki is a wonderful skill since as we have seen, Reiki makes life’s difficulties easier to deal with and can also increase the effectiveness of our talents and abilities. The above list is a sample of the many ways Reiki can be used to help yourself and others. One of the wonderful things about Reiki is it provides a way to help people regardless of the situation. There is something very healthy about doing this as it is a way to fulfill an important human need—the need to connect with others in a kind and caring way. May you always be blessed by love, joy and peace.