What exactly is Reiki and what does it entail to become a practioner? Can anyone learn Reiki?
Reiki originated in Japan, ‘discovered’ by a man called Dr Mikao Usui. He reported that while meditating on Mt Kurama he was given the Reiki symbols, methodology and teaching process. However, quite a lot of the background information about Dr Usui is vague and unproven. For example, it is claimed he attended Christian schools in the US, but no records of his attendance have been found.
The tradition of Reiki is surrounded by modern day mythology. And while some of it might be true, there is no way to actually verify it. Reiki is sustained by the belief of its practitioners and supporters. It’s very possible Reiki is an energy healing system very similar to any other energy healing method.
It’s All About Belief
Reiki practitioners can be fanatical in their defense of the necessity of formal teaching and attunements; a process where the student is given degrees: Level 1 through to Level 3. They say that these attunements confer an immediate and constant connection to the source of healing.
Attunements can be given, either in person, or long-distance. I have received a Reiki Master attunement, and I can honestly say I felt no differently after it, although I wanted to very much. However, I have long practiced energy healing on myself, friends and family. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. As a reflexology practitioner, I incorporated Reiki into the final few minutes of a session.
Personally speaking, I think anyone can practice energy healing and call it what they want. The results are the same. But, as they say, you pays your money and takes your choice… and it’s quite a lot of money in some cases. Teaching Reiki is an industry nowadays.
How Does Reiki Work?
The practitioner works both hands-on and hands-off. They can also do distant healing. The practitioner places his or hands in certain positions and certain points on the body, makes prescribed movements, and visualizes the appropriate Reiki symbol. They feel the energy flow through their body, into their hands and thus into the patient. Some practitioners and patients report a warming sensation. Often there is no immediate relief but patients report a deep sense of relaxation, followed by much improvement in the following days.
In essence, the Reiki practitioner is a conduit for healing energy. They are not attempting to heal with the power of their mind or their own energy.
The Reiki Degrees
There are three Reiki degrees. The first opens the channel so that energy can flow through your hands (hint: you can do this anyway). The second bestows the Reiki symbols upon you, allowing you to transmit energy anywhere you want to. The third gives you Master status, with access to more symbols and the ability to confer Reiki degrees onto other people.
I received all mine in one go, having had some interaction with my teacher via an email list. What was interesting is that afterward she described several elements of the room where I was at the time, even though we were on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
Are the Reiki Symbols Necessary?
If you are going to call it Reiki, then yes, they are necessary in the healing process. They must be learned so that the practitioner can recall them easily. It’s very likely that you would have the same results if you created your own healing symbol, which helped you focus the energy.
When I learned and received my attunements back in the early noughties, there was an awful lot of secrecy surrounding the magical symbols. They had to be passed on surreptitiously from Master to student, with promises made not to share them. Nowadays, you can find them all over the internet.
Do You Have to be Attuned to Practice Reiki
Again, if you are going to call yourself a Reiki Practitioner, then it is wise to have the attunements. However, if you are going to use the Reiki methods and simply refer to yourself as an ‘energy healer’, you don’t need attunements.
The Problem With Ego
Reiki practitioners are very proud of their lineage. They like to point out that the person who attuned them were, themselves, attuned by someone, who was attuned by someone who was attuned by Dr Usui. The trouble is that this pride often results in a very big ego. There is an awful lot of ‘my attunement is more valid than yours’ going on in Reiki communities. Many practitioners undergo multiple attunements in order to get closer to the source. Which is strange, and seems to indicate there is a level of quality in these attunements. As I mentioned earlier, it’s an industry.
So, Can Anyone Learn Reiki?
Pretty much. If you have the will, the ability to visualize, and are able to feel changes in energy, either physically or psychically, you can learn Reiki. You will also need to practice regularly, as all energy healing tends to improve and become more efficient with experience.
If You Want to Be a Reiki Healer
- Read up about the different forms of energy healing.
- Have a try at energy healing by practicing on yourself, your friends and your dog. Just focus on giving your ‘patient’ a relaxing, anti-stress healing. Ask them to report back how they felt later.
- At this point you have a choice: you can either continue to investigate energy healing in general and learn how to apply it. Or you can enroll in a Reiki course and obtain all the necessary attunements.
There are Reiki schools in most cities all over the world, so consult a search engine to find one near you. Beware, it’s going to be expensive, unless you can find a solitary practitioner who is not in it for big bucks. There are also many online schools around, but it’s up to you to do your research.
If Not Reiki, What Other Energy Healing Method?
There are many other kinds of energy healing methods out there. Learning Reiki is just one path you could choose. Many practitioners and authors have coined their own energy healing terms, and trademarked them. For example:
EFT, or Emotional Freedom Technique, developed by Gary Craig, and now appropriated why a whole host of others. EFT involves gently tapping on various points of the body. Gary is the real deal and gives a lot of information away free, including e-books and videos, and his training is very accessible.
Donna Eden’s Energy Medicine is based on healing on all levels. Her method is described thoroughly in her books and she also runs workshops.
Quantum Touch (R) and Healing Touch are very similar. Quantum Touch uses breathing techniques to raise the practitioner’s energy levels. Healing Touch is simpler and involves channeling energy in a similar way to Reiki. Its focus is on balancing the patient’s energies and chakras.
There are many more healing methods available, too many to mention here. If you have an interest in becoming a healer, spend some time exploring all the possibilities.
Rob Daugherty: Is Reiki Attunement Necessary?