Reiki is an ancient form of hands on energy healing rediscovered in the 1800’s by a Japanese minister, Dr. Mikao Usui.  The term Reiki means “Universal life energy.” This ancient form of natural healing, called Reiki, uses simple hand placements on a fully clothed person to provide that balance so the body heals itself.  Because of its simplicity and non-invasive nature, Reiki is incorporated into many treatment plans and adapted to the presence of medical equipment, casts, and surgical dressings.  It can also be used in conjunction with other complimentary healing modalities.

How Reiki is Performed

Simply put, the receiver of Reiki is interviewed by the practitioner to get a sense of the goals the individual wants to achieve. Next, the receiver lies fully clothed on a bodywork table, bed, or sits in a chair. The practitioner assesses the energy field, and begins the session by placing the hands lightly over the client’s torso, head, back, legs, and feet, covering the major organs and systems of the body. Reiki is performed for a few minutes per position or longer, depending on the problem. This session lasts an hour to an hour and one half. There is no limit to the number of times you receive Reiki. When a problem is acute, you can work daily until you see improvement, then weekly, and then finally decreasing the number of sessions based on the individual’s progress.

Benefits of Reiki

The most significant benefit I have seen patients experience in my practice is the sense of peace and relaxation, usually within fifteen minutes from the start of the session. Breathing becomes softer and deeper. There is a sense of warmth, tingling or vibration that the client senses, as energy becomes unblocked and begins to flow. The sidebar list some of the benefits discovered in my private sessions and in current hospital based research.

How Reiki Works

The practitioner acts as a conduit for the flow of energy to the receiver. Through an attunement process that the practitioner undergoes, energy bypasses the practitioner’s energy system to be taken up by the cells. This protects the practitioner from becoming tired.

Studies have been performed looking at the effectiveness of a practitioner’s hands in the healing process. Dr. John Zimmerman of the University of Colorado Medical School measured not only a difference in the vibrational frequency coming from the non-trained practitioner’s hands, but from the trained practitioners. Using hertz (Hz) or cycles of energy to measure, he found the hands to emit a range of .3 Hz to 30Hz of energy with the most activity in the 7-8 Hz range (the vibrational frequency found most often in nature in harmony and in the music that research has shown to be the most healing.) Dr Zimmerman also worked with animals in the lab and found that it took the following Hz of energy to heal the following problems: 5Hz for capillary formation, 10HZ for ligament healing, 7 HZ for bone growth, and 2HZ for nerve regeneration. Later studies in Japan backed up these findings.

What happens specifically during a Reiki session is as follows: As soon as the hands touch, energy begins to flow through the practitioner (bypassing his/her energy system) and out through the hands. The recipient then takes up the energy he/she needs to balance the operation of the body, mind, and spirit. When balance is achieved, the body begins to heal itself in whatever way that means for the individual. In some cases, there is just a simple easing of the emotions (anger, resentment, sadness) related to the problem. In others, it is a sense of acceptance of the outcome, and/or a relief from the pain and discomfort associated with the problem.


The theory of Reiki that has been passed on through the years is that energy follows thought; i.e., if you have a positive thought, you strengthen your energy field, which then makes you feel good. The opposite is true of a negative thought. In my workshops, I use a Kinesiolgy technique to test this theory. Having a student stand up in front of a class, I ask that he/she position one arm out straight and hold it up strongly. I then attempt to push it down. That is what I consider their baseline strength. I then ask them to think of something sad or negative. The student tells me when he/she is in that thought pattern and again, I push down on that arm. This time, the arm is easier to push, which indicates a weakness. Then I ask the student to think of something pleasant or positive. The arm returns to baseline strength.

Western physicists acknowledge that at the deepest level of the natural world we find the quantum field. Dr. Deepak Chopra talks about the quantum mechanical human body in his book, Perfect Health. A quantum is defined as the smallest unit of light, electricity, or other energy that can possibly exist. An atom used to be considered the smallest particle of matter in creation. Yet, up close, an atom is composed of tinier bits of matter whirling at lightning speed around a huge empty space-so empty that it rivals the void of intergalactic space; the interval between two electrons is proportionately wider than the one separating the earth and the sun. He states that the quantum mechanical body is the underlying basis for everything we are: thoughts, emotions, proteins, cells, organs – any visible or invisible part of ourselves. So, if we are made up of energy, it makes sense that we use energy to heal. Throughout his book, he talks about the use of sound, meditation, music, and aromatherapy as vibrational techniques that heal the body. All of these techniques, including Reiki, affect the flow of energy in the body by balancing and restoring the energy to its natural state.


Self-Reiki is taught during Reiki First Degree workshops. It is one of the most important gifts of Reiki and very simple to perform. Later I learned that it is one of the few healing techniques that can be performed on one’s self. Statements from my students who have learned self-treatment in Reiki Workshops are overwhelming.



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