What is Reiki (and what isn’t it)?

I’ve been scouring the internet for good Reiki blogs lately. As I scroll through my Google search, I cruise along, seeing all these warm, loving names for Reiki blogs around the world. Once in a while, I get hit with a blog that is completely anti-Reiki. It always feels sad and a little gross, but I read them, just to see what people are experiencing that makes them think differently about Reiki than I do. Usually, it has to do with a misunderstanding about Reiki. From what I’ve read, it’s not exactly the person’s fault – they’ve either been told something untrue, promised something unrealistic, or preyed upon by someone who is using the disguise of Reiki to do things that are not born of love and light.

I think it’s important to distinguish that healing does not necessarily mean curing. There are small “injuries” that we sustain daily, such as our feelings getting hurt, miscommunications with people, disappointment. We can either leave these to fester and become infected, or we can heal them. Using Reiki energy to help soften these pains does not mean we will forever be immune to having hurt feelings. It does, however, help us move past those moments and not become stuck in them. Healing should be part of every day. Our bodies are designed to heal themselves. Our behaviors and thoughts are what interrupt that process. Over time, those minor stresses build up to create huge blockages, which create disease states.

Reiki energy can be the wholesome, healthy, clean meal you feed your spiritual, emotional and physical body to nourish and rejuvenate you. Someone who is a true Reiki Practitioner is facilitating energy healing for the good of all, free of expectation or attachment to outcome. It isn’t my job as a Reiki Practitioner to make promises to you about what you will experience. It’s like promising you that you’ll love spinach. It’s good for you and packed with nutrients, but that doesn’t mean you’ll love it – or that it will taste the same to you as it does to me. I can suggest it to you, and I can serve it to you, but what you experience is beyond my control or imagination.

I have said about a thousand times that I think everyone should at least be attuned Level One. To me, that’s like saying everyone should work out at least 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Or everyone should meditate at least 10 minutes a day. Or everyone should eat balanced meals, with more fruits and veggies. It’s a practice and a discipline. When you do it consistently, you will probably feel great. But I realize not everyone works out (this is definitely my weakest area!), not everyone meditates, and not everyone eats balanced meals. And most people don’t do these things all the time.¬†Those who are motivated to feel really good in their bodies and lives will do these things, though. And if that’s you, I recommend you getting your butt to a Reiki Master Teacher asap and getting that first attunement!

Reiki isn’t going to solve all your problems. It isn’t going to take away the normal ups and downs of life. But what it will do is pad the ride a little. I think it’s important to be wary of people who make bold promises about Reiki. There is a line in my Level One packet that I got from my Reiki Master that says, “Reiki is not an emotional panacea.” Just like with everything else that you use to better yourself, you have to do some work. It’s no magic waving of hands and voila – you’re forever in a perfect state.

Reiki also isn’t channeling demons or anything like that. When you begin a Reiki session, you call upon spirit (whatever that means to you – God, the Universe, whatever) to join you for the greatest good for all involved. It’s not a hex or a seance or anything like that. It’s just light. Energy. Healing. All for the highest good. Sometimes with healing, you do get a hit on an uncomfortable feeling or memory. If you do, it means you’re ready to heal it and release it, and generally, you will feel a tremendous relief when the session is over. But when I’m performing Reiki, I’m not calling upon any singular entity to infiltrate your spirit. In true Reiki, you are always safe. It’s like turning on your faucet. There is a large body of water in your water heater, and your plumbing channels it to the sink. You’re not summoning one large drop to cleanse your hands, you’re calling forth all the millions of drops to wash away the dirt. As a Reiki practitioner, we are taught to keep our pipes clean, so we can be a clear and loving channel for healing energy. The reason I mention this is that I read a blog about how Reiki is channeling demons. This was a realization the blogger came to after feeling better from having learned and practiced Reiki, but heavily questioning the practice through her personal religious values. I am sad that she felt the need to question her own joy in order to negate it and discard it. But I wish her well on her journey.

So here’s the bottom line: Reiki is a non-religious spiritual practice that, when used regularly can enrich your spiritual, emotional, and physical body. It is something that is most beneficial when practiced regularly, like a wholesome diet or exercise program. Reiki is not witchery or dark arts or sexual in any way, and will not compromise your soul or afterlife. If you are deeply religious and skeptical, I invite you to explore the origins of Usui Reiki. I have the condensed story on my homepage, but you can certainly do your own research on Dr. Mikao Usui.

Have you had an experience with Reiki? What do you think Reiki is – or isn’t? I love to hear your thoughts, so please comment below!

With much love, light, and gratitude,

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