Are you intrigued by Reiki?


A recent international study focused on a small group of women who had a Reiki session after having a traditional medical treatment. Although the group of women didn’t know much about Reiki before their session, after it was over, they reported the following results:

  • Release of emotional strain
  • Clearing of the mind
  • Inner peace and relaxation
  • Hope
  • A sense of being cared for
  • Physical sensations such as pain relief

They also reported other physical, emotional and mental improvements after more Reiki sessions. Those included better sleep, a sense of calm and peace, less depression, and more self-confidence.

Can Reiki help you?

Another recent study showed that among U.S. adults, women use complementary and alternative medicines (Reiki is considered a complementary medicine) more often than men. They felt they benefited from Reiki to help with severe headaches, migraines, and mental distress.

Are you intrigued by Reiki? Then you may find these tips useful for learning more about this 100-year-old practice.  

The gentle spiritual energy of Reiki

The most predominant form of Reiki, called Usui Reiki, was developed more than 100 years ago by a Japanese man named Mikao Usui. It’s a hands-on natural healing practice that uses what it considers “universal life force energy,” or “ki.” This energy flows through all living things to help the body heal itself.

Reiki isn’t tied to any specific religion or nationality and it’s used all over the world, including in well-known hospitals. 

Reiki isn’t tied to any specific religion or nationality and it’s used all over the world, including in well-known hospitals. Reiki practitioners and patients see it as a way to help ease pain and relieve stress.  There’s more research being done on its benefits and ability to heal.

How Reiki works

The basic idea of Reiki is that the person who performs it (the practitioner) is the channel between the patient and the universal life force energy. That energy flows into the practitioner’s hands then into the patient. You’ll lie on a massage table with your clothes on while the Reiki practitioner gently places his or her palms on, or just above, your body.

There’s no pressure, massage, or manipulation. You may feel heat, tingling, or painless pulsating — or you might not notice any change at all. However, many people feel relaxed and even fall asleep during the treatment.

The levels of Reiki training

In Reiki, it takes three degrees, or levels, of training to become a Master Teacher. You’ll want to keep them in mind if you’re thinking about training in Reiki or are looking for a practitioner.

Note that the word “attune” or “attunement” is used when describing the three degrees of training. During Reiki training, attunement means you’re put “in tune” with the Reiki energy. Then you’ll be able to channel that energy for the rest of your life.

  • 1st degree or Reiki I: During this entry-level training, you’ll study Reiki history, perform self-Reiki, and learn how to give Reiki to someone else. You are attuned to the Reiki energy. This level is called Shoden in Japanese.
  • 2nd degree or Reiki II: This training teaches you how to use three Reiki symbols and perform distant Reiki techniques. You’ll also be further attuned to the Reiki energy. After this training, you’re considered a Reiki practitioner. This level is called Okuden in Japanese.
  • 3rd degree or Reiki III: For this Master Teacher level of Reiki, the class may be broken up into two parts. You learn the Master Reiki symbol and receive the Master Reiki attunement. You also learn how to give the Reiki attunements to others. This level is called Shinpiden in Japanese.

The benefits of Reiki sessions

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health says that people use Reiki to lower stress, relax, and get relief from certain symptoms. There are several things a Reiki treatment may do, including:

  • Support a patient’s well-being before or during medical treatments
  • Help relieve pain
  • Detoxify the body
  • Create a deep state of relaxation
  • Dissolve energy blockages

What Reiki is — and what it’s not

If you choose to use Reiki, keep in mind that it should only be used as a complementary approach.  This means it’s best to use Reiki along with traditional medicine — not in place of it. Since Reiki doesn’t show any harmful effects, it may be worth a try if you’re in pain. Just don’t put off seeing a doctor if you’ve been dealing with severe or long-lasting symptoms. A doctor may need to provide treatment right away.

Let your doctors know if you’re using complementary approaches like Reiki. That way they’ll have the total picture of what you’re doing to manage your health. It’s a team approach that can help make sure you get the safest, most complete care.

The content of this article is for information purposes only. We recommend before you engage in any type of alternative treatment that you consult your primary care doctor. If you don’t have one, you can find one here in our provider directory. Or you can find one using a regional directory below:







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National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

About the Author

The Providence Body & Mind Team is dedicated to providing medically-sound, data-backed insights and advice on how to reach and maintain your optimal health through a mixture of exercise, mindfulness, preventative care and healthy living in general.

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