Answers to frequently asked questions about Reiki

Is Reiki a Religion?

This is a question that may arise early in a discussion about Reiki. By the definition of Reiki, we know there is a life force that is guided by a Higher Power. However, Reiki is clearly not a religion. In fact, Reiki knows no boundaries. It works on all people regardless of faith, culture, or creed.

If one chooses, Reiki can be very spiritual. Many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their religion rather than having only an intellectual concept of it. Reiki can also be used with the "power of prayer". Since Reiki has the ability to transcend time and space, it is possible to call upon religious figures (Jesus, Buddha, etc.) to assist in a healing.

Reiki has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. It is interesting to note, that for Reiki to work, one does not even need to believe in Reiki itself.

Can Anyone Do/Learn Reiki?

In a word, yes. As mentioned above, Reiki knows no boundaries. This is true for all people, regardless of ones intellectual capacity or spiritual development. There are no prerequisites such as previous healing or medical experience. Since it is not dependent on anything, it is available to everyone. It has been successful for millions of people of all ages and backgrounds.

The Attunement

The giving of the ability to do Reiki is called an attunement. During this process, the student gets "attuned" with the universal energy by a transferring of energy from a Reiki master to a student. Once attuned the student will have the capability to do Reiki immediately. It is that simple.

Through a series of energy symbols, the Reiki master "connects" the student's internal energy centers (chakras) with the universal energy (Reiki). This then gives the student the ability to use Reiki.

Once you have received a Reiki attunement, you will have Reiki for the remainder of your life, whether you use it or not. It does not wear off and you can never lose it.

The attunement is usually a very pleasant experience with calming and relaxing feelings.

What is Reiki Energy?

We know that there is a "life force" within all of us and it is this that keeps us alive. This is the "KI" part of Rei-ki. It is called by various names in different parts of the world: "prana" in India, "qi" or "chi" in China, "spirit" in Western traditions, etc. When the life force is "blocked" we experience disease, sickness, mental/emotional stress, etc. When our life force is depleted in our bodies, we are no longer alive, i.e. death.

Reiki draws upon the universal life energy so we can apply it to specific needs. In so doing, Reiki clears, straightens and heals the energy pathways, thus allowing the life force to flow in a healthy and natural way. This is not unlike the concepts and theories of acupuncture. By harnessing the universal energy, we replenish some of the lost energy.

Reiki can heal by flowing through the affected parts of the energy field and charging them with positive energy. This causes the negative energy to break apart and fall away

What Does Reiki Energy Feel Like?

Most often, during a treatment, the energy experienced is a warmth. That is, the practitioner will feel some warmth or heat on their palms and the patient will feel some warmth or heat on the area that the practitioner is treating. However, Reiki can be felt in other ways as well, such as a mild tingle (as when an arm or leg has "fallen asleep"), a throbbing, or a pulsing.

The energy comes through in what is referred to as a "rise and fall." It may take a minute or two before you feel anything in your hands. Then, you'll feel the warmth, heat, or other sensation. This can last for another minute or two. Lastly, there will be a drop-off of the energy and you will not feel the same heat intensity. One rise and fall is called an energy cycle and is usually between 3-5 minutes.

Keep in mind that you may not feel anything during a treatment and vice versa for the person you're treating. For example, you may not feel anything in your hands, yet the person you're treating may feel a lot of heat. Don't be discouraged. Treat an area for a completion of one energy cycle (i.e. 5 minutes).

Some people, especially healthy and stable, may not feel any physical sensation but may feel mental or emotional changes, such as a sense of calm or peace, and very relaxing. Most of us, however, feel discomfort somewhere in our lives, and can benefit from receiving Reiki.

It is also sometimes difficult to feel the energy during a self-treatment. This is probably due to an equilibrium of energy coming through your body, out of your hands, and back into your body.

What Can be Treated?

Reiki can be either powerful or gentle, depending on the need. It has aided in healing virtually every known illness and injury, including serious problems like multiple sclerosis, heart disease, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and cancer. People, who do Reiki, also use it in treating common ailments such as migraine headaches, colds, flu, sore throats, and "everyday" aches and pains. Others use Reiki as a technique for stress reduction and relaxation.

Reiki also goes past the physical body and can help in treating emotional and mental concerns such as anxiety and depression, lack of confidence, hyperactivity, confusion, negative programming, and can help create optimism, etc.

Sometimes it is difficult to remember all that Reiki can do. However, once you are in the habit of using Reiki, you will probably find its uses unlimited. Try Reiki on cuts, bruises, broken bones, sunburn, etc.

It is nearly always beneficial and works to improve the effectiveness of all other types of medical treatments. It will reduce negative side effects, shorten healing time, and reduce or eliminate pain.

Also, Reiki is a terrific health maintenance system. Use as much Reiki as you can in the hope that you do not become sick. So even if you do not have a specific problem to treat, Reiki can be of tremendous value.

Reiki can never cause Harm

Reiki is guided by a Higher Power, therefore, does no harm. It is pure "good" energy. There are no side effects, unlike medicine, you can't overuse it. Reiki is always helpful and should be used whenever and wherever possible. The energy cannot be depleted, so use as much as necessary. It knows what a person needs and will adjust itself to maximize treatment of that need.

Reiki never violates the free will, so it will work to the degree that one is willing to receive the energy. If a person, for whatever reason, is not willing to receive a treatment, no energy will be transferred.

Reiki Warning

Reiki is not a substitute for appropriate medical or emotional treatment. Reiki is a complementary treatment, and should be used only as a supplement when other forms of treatment are necessary. Reiki can only enhance whatever natural healing is taking place and it cannot be used to guarantee outcomes.


Rand, William. Reiki, The Healing Touch. Southfield, MI: Vision Publications 1991


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