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Reiki 101: What It Is, How It Works, and How It'll Transform Your Life

Updated: Jun 27, 2021

It seems like everywhere you turn nowadays, someone you know is getting certified to practice reiki.

Your best friend, their sister, and now your dad (yes, your 6’5” father who has spent the better half of his life as a software engineer, is now a reiki master). It's a never-ending list.

But have you ever wondered what reiki actually is and why everybody seems to be talking about it?

It’s not another trendy “woo-woo” facade, but rather a way of healing that’s been around for over 200 years.

In this article, we’re going over everything you need to know about reiki and how it can help transform every avenue of your life — from health, physical and energetic well-being, and more.

What is reiki and where does it come from?

Lemme be the first to say: reiki isn’t a type of massage, nor is it a new-age cult.

Its roots are deep in Japanese origin, dating back to the 1800s.4

The word itself is a combination of two words:

Rei - Universal life

Ki - Energy

Together, we have reiki, or universal life energy.

Have you ever been to one of our yoga classes (or any yoga class), and hear the teacher mention something about prana, or this energy that runs through everything that’s in our universe?

The Japanese call that energy reiki — but we’re talking about the same thing.1

And when you’re looking at this practice through a scientific lens, you’ll hear it being referred to as the biofield.1 It’s how modern-day science has labeled this intricately layered vibrational energy field that surrounds and permeates the human body (as well as everything else).

It’s also important to note that reiki itself isn’t affiliated with any religion or religious practice.2

With any normal level of suspicion, you may be wondering how we can prove that this field of energy exists when we can’t see, feel, smell, taste, or hear it.

Frankly, there’s little technology that’s been able to document its existence.

However, research has found evidence that suggests indigenous tribes around the world have recognized an evenly vibrating field of energy as the foundation of health and wellbeing. They’ve even seen any disturbance in the balance of this energy field as the beginning of disease in the body.1

The practice of reiki itself has been around for a few hundred years, but this universal energy field is as old as the universe itself.

What is reiki used for?

When we’re talking about an energy source that is infinite and universal we can assume that it’s capable of “fixing” or helping with whatever we want, right?

Well, kinda.

Alyssa Aguila, Sacred Moon yoga instructor and reiki master, helped us clarify for someone who may be skeptical of trying this healing modality:

“Reiki is the act of infusing energy into someone, with the intention that this energy is there to help heal whatever it is that person needs assistance with, in their life, body, & spirit.”

Since reiki is a type of energy, it’s assumed that this energy has its own sense of knowledge.

That’s why you’ll notice indigenious cultures around the world using the power of vibration in their healing ceremonies, drumming circles, and even by creating these vibrations with chanting and humming.1

People have also tried reiki to help with:

  • Relieving stress

  • Alleviating feelings of anxiety

  • Assisting in the healing process

  • Bringing balance to their energy fields

It’s even being brought into places like hospice homes and palliative care centers to help improve their quality of life and reduce feelings of pain and depression.3

If reiki as a healing modality has the capacity to help those who are in-transition, imagine what it could do for you while you’re still in optimal health and vitality.

*cue the totally possible daydreaming*

What does it feel like?

We want to really emphasize that what you experience in a reiki session is completely unique to you at that moment.

That being said, have you ever had that feeling of pins and needles when your hands (or any body part) fall asleep? It feels kinda like that, minus the sometimes painful numbing sensation.

We asked Alyssa how she’d best describe what receiving reiki feels like: “The physical sensations are honestly ever changing, and entirely dependent on what energy is either being received and let go of, or shifted in that moment.”

She also said that the feelings in your body can range from:

  • Warmth

  • Sensations of tingling

  • Feeling a gust of cold air

  • Your hands are getting hot

We could go on and on, but this process truly is unique to the individual receiving it.

It’s even common for you to feel like nothing is happening in the moment.

So, are you feeling like you’re ready to try reiki healing? Keep your eyes scanning, that’s where we’re headed next.

Where can I find reiki healing near me?

Reiki healing is a modality that’s becoming increasingly more popular, especially here in the states. Since reiki has to do with energy, a reiki practitioner doesn't need to be in close physical proximity to practice reiki. So, you can find a practitioner anywhere in the world and they can treat you from afar.

Yoga studios, spas, wellness centers are all starting to offer reiki as more and more people are becoming practitioners.

All you have to do is a little more searching on the interwebs. You can start here to find a remote reiki practitioner.

Or, if you live here in New Hampshire and are close to Manchester, two places you’ll find remedial reiki are here and here. They’re both paired with yoga classes or restorative massages to maximize your body’s healing potential.



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