What is reiki and how does it work?

What is Reiki?

Reiki (pronounced “ray-key”) is a form of healing, where a healer lays her hands on the parts of thejapanese-reiki-healing body that are in pain or require healing. Energy (“ki”) comes through the healer’s hands into the parts of the body that lack energy. In Western reiki, there are fixed hand positions, usually starting with the head then moving down to the feet. With Japanese reiki, the treatment is given directly focused on the place where there is pain or discomfort. For example, people often carry a lot of stress in their shoulders and lower back, so the healing can start where the person carries the most stress. If you don’t have any particular pain and just want to have relaxation, then the session can start from the head and move down to the feet.

How it can help you?

Reiki gives relaxation and restoration of health. It also works as to prevent illnesses and keeps you healthy. If you are feeling tired, physically or mentally, it works as a great alternative to a massage. In some cases, it can help the recovery process after an operation and alleviate pain. There are hospices in North America that offer reiki to their patients to ease any pain and help them relax.

Reiki’s five principles

reiki-in-old-charactersI think generally people associate reiki with hand healing. Reiki does involve healing by hand, and it is a simple technique too. But I think reiki’s Five Principles are what makes reiki unique and they are the real secret to the maintenance of our health (and happiness).

What are they? There are many English translations of the “Go-kai” (five principles), and here is one simple version.

Just for today:

  1. Don’t be angry
  2. Do not worry
  3. Be thankful
  4. Work hard
  5. Be kind to others

These principles can be applied to all aspects of our lives.

If you are always angry, worried or ungrateful, no matter how much you try to eat healthy and exercise, you probably won’t be able to achieve your optimum health, let alone maintain your health. Even if you receive reiki treatments regularly, if you didn’t have a positive attitude toward yourself and those around you, chances are that you won’t feel truly happy.

I believe that “working hard” has several meanings. It can mean doing your daily work wholeheartedly, giving it your full attention. It can also mean serving those you’re serving with respect and care.

“Being kind to others” may be easier said than done. I personally think that being kind to others is reciprocal. As in the “law of attraction”, kind people attract each other. So when you’re kind to others, others will be kind to you, and you’ll be surrounded by kind people.

Your mind controls your health

Needless to say, if you don’t have the right attitude towards becoming healthy and make the commitment to staying healthy, it won’t be easy to maintain your health. That’s why I think the five principle of reiki are the real secret to your health, and just as important (if not more) as attunements, symbols and healing sessions.peaceful-mind

14 thoughts on “What is reiki and how does it work?

  1. I found this page to both informative and inspiring. I have heard the term reiki but really knew nothing about it. I assume it is similar to massage therapy. The 5 principles were what attracted me. If those principles are applied in life, health will improve. You article is “peaceful” if that makes sense. In a world where instant information, quick profits and more stuff is so important, I felt myself relaxing just reading the page. I am going to take the time to look at this more in depth . Thanks for the article.

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment! If the “peacefulness” has come through, the page has accomplished something meaningful:).

  2. short and too the point. I received my reiki initiation some 20 years ago – it is great either on it’s own or to boost other therapies. I always end my massage sessions with some reiki – i think it leaves me feeling as good as the clients.
    I wish you all the best with your continued work

  3. It’s great the way it teaches how we are somewhat responsible for our own well being. I have had to practice those five principles to stay healthy in my life. Not always easy but very powerful.

    Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Hi Steven
      Thanks so much for your comments! I also love how the reiki has taught me that we all have the ability to heal. It is so simple yet so profound.

  4. Hi Ayako

    I enjoyed my visit to your website very much. One of the lessons in course 2 dealt with how to structure the content you have written so that it is easy to follow.

    That’s exactly what you have done. You start reading and before you know it you’re at the bottom of the page.

    Along the way the reader has absorbed the information and wants to read more.

    My wife works in a natural food store so I had heard of reiki. This treatment as well as other alternative practices do far more towards healing than conventional medicine.

    Once again, you have done very good work. Wishing you success.


    • Hi Luthor
      Thank you for your great feedback which is both encouraging and supportive. I’m reminded everyday how lucky I am to be part of this amazing community of supportive people. How wonderful that your wife works in a natural food store and has understanding for alternative medicine!

  5. Reiki has always been a vague healing technique for me probably because I can’t ‘see’ or ‘feel’ the effect immediately. The idea that someone carries this energy and using it for health treatment also seems a bit far fetched. At least, that’s what in my mind.

    I like to believe that this type of alternative medicine do exist. Guess I just need a little more convincing and some visible testimonials that this method actually works.

    • Hi Cathy,

      Thanks for your comment. You’re not alone in thinking that reiki as a vague healing technique, and that is one of the reasons why I have created this site. There are many people who have benefited from reiki healing, and it all depends on the healer and the circumstances of the people who receive the healing. I hope you’ll have a chance to try it one day from a good healer and experience the benefits. If you ever feel unwell, instead of reaching out for a pill, give it a try and see how it goes (not just for reiki but holistic medicine in general). Thanks again for your comment and honesty! I really appreciate it.


  6. I’ve heard of Reiki before but have never tried it. I get stressed out about my job a lot because I don’t particularly enjoy it and it pushes my patience. I know that being in a constant state of stress can be really bad for my health. Would Reiki help with this? How do I go about finding someone that practices?

    • Hi Katie

      Thanks so much for your comment. Stress is harmful to your health and I hope you can find ways to manage your stress. Reiki is definitely helpful for your mind and body and I hope you can find a reiki healer near you. If you can find a “Jikiden Reiki” practitioner even better! Google “reiki healers” near you and check out reviews and ask for referrals. I would also recommend going for walks in nature, eat healthy foods based on vegetables. Please take good care and be kind to yourself!


    • Hi Ai,
      Thank you for your comment and please do try reiki on your nose and I am sure it can help. Please do consult your physician too. Take good care!

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