Reiki is a beautiful energy to work with because it gently supports your self-healing process. Learning to do Reiki yourself gives you access to this healing energy whenever you need it. You can also share it with others you love.
What is Reiki?
Reiki is often described as pure love. Love flows in and through everything bringing healing to all it touches. Reiki was first practiced in Japan by Mikao Usui, the first person to connect with Reiki energy. He spent years learning how to work with it to heal others. He also shared the ability to channel Reiki energy and the knowledge of how to use it with his students. Since that time, Reiki has spread freely around the world. These days you can find Reiki practitioners almost anywhere. For more on the basics of Reiki, check out my post here.
The standard description of Reiki is that it promotes relaxation, stimulates the immune system, and decreases stress. Together, these all support healing. It has become so widely accepted that you can find Reiki in hospitals and cancer care centers. There is, however, much more to Reiki.
Reiki essentially works in two ways. It can help clear away energy blocks from the physical and energetic bodies. Energy blocks can come from all kinds of things such as past illnesses, emotions, traumas, injuries, or substances in your body. Present beliefs, relationships, habits, and more can also disrupt the energy system. Even inherited family issues or social energy patterns can mess with your personal energy body. We all have energy blocks just from the normal course of living. Reiki can help move those blocks out so that your body can do what it is supposed to do: self-heal.
Once the body is clear of energy keeping it stuck, it shifts into healing mode. Physically, emotionally, and mentally your body and mind will seek out what it needs to return to health. Reiki doesn’t magically heal your body, but it does support and speed up the healing process.
Can Reiki heal everything?
Many people in the energy world think that Reiki can heal every physical, emotional, and mental problem we are facing. While I agree that Reiki can support any healing you need, it can’t necessarily do all the work for you. There are beliefs, traumas, relationships, and more that you will need to understand in order to fix it. There are times when you will have to consciously process events out of our bodies and minds. There can be behavior patterns in your life that can only heal by getting help and doing the hard work of changing your ways. Reiki can support you in all that, but it can’t magically fix it all. It can clear the energy around an issue so you see what you need to do to heal, but it can’t force you to do your healing work. That’s up to you.
That is why going to see an energy worker is really only the first step in a process. When you go to see a Reiki practitioner, the Reiki energy flows through them and into you so your body can use it to clear and heal. Reiki practitioners are trained on at least three levels. Those who have been practicing for a while and/or have trained up to level 3 tend to be able to clear more in a session and support deeper healing. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but is often the case. A 60-90 minute Reiki session can move a lot of energy blocks out of your body even in that short time and stimulate many days of self-healing. Reiki practitioners also bring their years of experience with them, which can help you focus on the work you need to do when you leave them.
Once you go home, your body will continue to self-heal and you will follow up on whatever has come up that you need to consciously deal with. The positive effects of a Reiki session with a skilled practitioner can last for weeks. You are, however, the one doing the healing work, both consciously and unconsciously.
Despite this, I still think there is a lot of benefit to learning to do Reiki yourself. Once you learn Reiki you are able to access that energy for the rest of your life. You can use it on yourself at any time to support your own healing. You can even share it with others, which is a special gift you can give to friends and family.
What do you need to learn Reiki?
All you need to learn Reiki is an open mind and a Reiki Master who can attune you to the Reiki energy. Now, some people get all freaked out when they hear the words “attune to,” but it’s nothing to be afraid of. Think of it as having someone show you the correct station you should tune in to on the radio to hear the music you like. A Reiki Master will help you get to the right station so you can always find Reiki energy when you want it.
Having said that, there are some Reiki Masters who like to swing into mystical healer mode with incense and chanting and whatever. If that’s your thing, then go for it. If not, simply look for a Reiki Master who is more your style and learn from them. What’s beautiful about Reiki is that it is widely received by a vast array of people. There is a huge spectrum of Reiki practitioners that run from the extremely-out-there-weird to the down-to-earth. I personally tend to fall on the practical side of things. If you want mystical ceremonies, I am not your girl. If that’s your style too, then we’d be a good teacher-student fit. Look around and find someone you think you’d like to learn from.
Once you find a Reiki Master you like, you usually sign up for a Reiki class with them. Classes run from 3-8 hours long and generally cost between $100 and $150 for Reiki Level 1 (private sessions are a little more expensive). In the class you learn a little about the history of Reiki and how to use it, you receive your attunement, and you get some time to practice. You walk out the door with some good advice about consistently practicing Reiki on yourself and information if you want to move on to Level 2.
Many people say that when you learn Reiki Level 2 you can move more Reiki energy. I don’t totally buy this. I have found that subsequent levels deepen your understanding of Reiki and your sensitivity to it but doesn’t necessarily make you a more “powerful” Reiki practitioner. There are many people who never progress past Level 1 Reiki, which is totally fine, especially if you want to just use it on yourself to support your own self-healing.
I also want to mention that there are classes on the Internet that will teach you to “connect” with Reiki energy but don’t actually give you an attunement. What they are teaching you to do is not Reiki, so don’t spend your money on those. There are also some classes that have a pre-recorded “Reiki attunement” session that you can play any time you want. This also doesn’t work to connect you to the authentic Reiki tradition. In my experience, a real Reiki attunement has to happen between two live people in real time. It can be done at a distance, but it should be done live by a Reiki Master attuned to Reiki passed down by Dr. Usui.
Self-healing with Reiki
After your Reiki 1 class you are ready to do some self-healing work. Traditionally Reiki Masters suggest that there is a 30 day Reiki “cleanse” that happens in your first month after your initial attunement. During this “cleanse” period it is recommend that you drink a lot of water, rest, and do Reiki self-treatments every day. Self- treatments consist of 10-15 hand positions that you use to send Reiki to all parts of your body. This is a good practice to get into the habit of giving yourself Reiki consistently. The more often you use Reiki, the stronger your connection to the energy and the more energy blocks you can move out of your system. You also support any healing your body is working on once all that blocking energy is cleared.
However, you can also give Reiki to yourself any time in whatever way feels right. I often give myself Reiki while I drive. I simply put my hand on my leg and send Reiki into my body as I travel to help me stay relaxed and calm. I also find that sending myself Reiki as I’m falling asleep is relaxing. I don’t worry about the hand positions; I just lay there with my hands settled wherever it is most comfortable.
I think that anyone would benefit from learning Reiki and using it on themself every day. Particularly for those with health issues or trauma, it can be a significant source of daily support for your healing journey. You will have a steady source of Reiki energy to draw from whenever you need it. Part of the healing journey is committing to work on it consistently with love, patience, and compassion. Reiki is a big piece of the puzzle because it clears energy you don't need to deal with while also supporting you as you work through the things you do need to consciously deal with.
One of the things I like best about Reiki is that it can help me when I am feeling stuck. Reiki can't solve all my problems, but it can clear energy that is keeping me from seeing what I need to move forward. When I feel like I am flailing and don't know what to do next to change, a self-healing session often helps me erase the distractions keeping me from seeing my next step. Reiki, more than anything, is the power of love supporting you as you create your best life.
Even if you do learn Reiki yourself, I also highly recommend that you see an energy worker regularly (for Reiki or any other modality) because you will benefit from their experience and deep connection with Reiki (or other) energy. I still see other energy workers because there are times when I cannot touch an issue, but another practitioner can. I have found that working with other energy works while also doing my own daily self-healing is the perfect balance.
Connect with me to learn Reiki
If you’ve never considered learning how to do Reiki, I highly encourage you to look around your area and find a Reiki Master you might want to learn from. If you live in Southeast Pennsylvania, I’d be happy to connect with you about teaching you Reiki. I don’t have a regular class schedule at this point, but provide Reiki training when I have requests. I think Reiki teaching and attunements are best suited to in-person classes. However, they can be done remotely if you live in an area where you can’t find a Reiki Master to work with. Feel free to connect with me if you want to talk about learning Reiki! firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to know more about some of the most common questions I get about Reiki, check out my post Is Reiki Evil?