Understanding Reiki

Originally published for Sojourn Healing Collective.

By this time, you’ve probably heard that reiki is making people happier and healthier all over the world. It is a seriously enjoyable and effective way to:

-reduce stress and anxiety

-reduce pain and decrease healing time

-improve sleep

-promote physical and mental wellbeing

-promote emotional balance and healing

…and that’s just the beginning.

Used in more than 800 Hospitals nation-wide as a standard part of patient care, and in countless homes, clinics, massage rooms, and yoga studios, reiki is effective no matter your health, age, belief system, or level of skepticism. It’s not the placebo effect at work - - it’s the extremely low frequencies (3-30Hz) emitted from the hands of the reiki practitioner that effect the bio-fields of the client’s body and mind to promote healing on the physical, mental, emotional, and energetic levels.

Reiki is “universal life force energy” (similar to Ki, Chi, or Prana) that is channeled through the practitioner, bringing rest, relaxation, and healing to the recipient. Bonus: the practitioner also receives benefits from channeling reiki. On a physical level, we can measure the effects of reiki by assessing pain reduction, changes in cell health, etc.  

This article  is my favorite compilation of reiki science information.

If you are interested in seeing some scientific studies, check out this link.

But what else happens during Reiki? Why do people associate Reiki with emotional and spiritual healing, esoteric studies, and mysticism? How does it work on pain, happiness, and spiritual awakening at the same time? Why do some people just feel relaxed from a reiki treatment while others have life-changing spiritual awakenings?


To understand the way reiki works, we’ll talk in terms of energy. It’s important to understand that we (and all things) are made of energy, which takes different forms. Our body, mind, and soul are all made of energy which we perceive and experience in different ways. Quantum physics posits that solid matter doesn’t really exist - - and that everything is actually energy. According to this theory, atoms are energy in motion, and since everything physical is made of atoms, everything physical is really energy. (You can read about Quantum Physics vs. Newtonian Physics here.) If this is tripping you out, just know that Einstein was on your wavelength when he said “Reality is merely an illusion, although a very persistent one.”


Reiki is described as “universally guided” or “intelligent” life force energy. This doesn’t mean it’s guided by an all-powerful entity, but that it automatically goes where it’s needed. Think of it like magnetism. The reiki (healthy energy) is attracted to its opposite (“byoki” or unhealthy energy) – working like opposing magnetic poles. Even if a reiki practitioner has their hands near a client’s head, the client may report feeling sensation elsewhere in the body as the reiki goes exactly where it’s needed. The feet, the left hip, the soul, or an old memory might be what needed to receive the reiki, and that’s where the reiki will go.


Some people will experience simple relaxation during a reiki treatment, and others will have life-changing spiritual awakenings. (In-between experiences might include tingly sensations, cooling or heating, pulsing sensations, memories or images surfacing in consciousness, seeing colors, feeling other presences in the room, receiving sudden inspiration, sensing subtle energies, and more.) What accounts for the difference in people’s experiences? Let’s compare it to radio frequencies. If you are listening to 96.5 FM, you’re not going to hear what’s happening on 101.5 FM. If your mind is accustomed to perceiving at the level of “I’m relaxed” and “I’m anxious,” it might not perceive “my energy body is changing frequencies” or “my spirit guides are present and communicating with me.” That doesn’t mean those things aren’t happening. The mind’s energy is as powerful as any other energy force. (Maybe it’s even more powerful because we are so invested in it.) The mind can absolutely dictate what we are able to see, feel, or perceive. The more we can relax the mind, the more we can explore its expansive capacity to perceive differently. When we begin to perceive differently, we open the door to new ways of living our lives.


The first thing that happens in a Reiki session is relaxation, which can lead to a quieting of the mind, feeling similar to meditation. It can also lead to a relaxation of the blocks or boundaries that usually stop us from experiencing ourselves as truly whole and complete beings with infinite potential. This mind-quieting and block-loosening allows us to have an increased awareness of our subtle body – including our energy field, chakras, and more. There’s no limit to how deep a person can go into the knowing of their inner truth through the gateway of Reiki, but some side effects may include:

-Seeing your own potential

-Discovering your life purpose

-Finding answers to lifelong questions

-Feeling, seeing, hearing, or knowing your guides, angels, and spirit helpers

-Putting the pieces together – seeing how the events of your life are serving you now

-Discovering hidden talents, gifts, and skills

-Remembering suppressed memories, expressing suppressed emotions

-Seeing your own perfection

Whether you want to heal your long-time ailments, get over a break-up, help your cousin recover from surgery, send positive vibes to an iffy situation, give your boyfriend a relaxing hour of rest, give reiki to your pet, or start a healing profession, reiki can add value and subtract stress. Join me for Reiki 1+2 Training at Sojourn November Sunday, November 25, 2018 and Sunday, December 2, 2018 to learn more, and become certified and attuned to give reiki to yourself and others during a weekend of self-discovery. Your life will never be the same.

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