Reiki is a commonly accepted form of healing therapy in modern society. It is enjoyed by many people of all backgrounds and does not seem to carry too many ‘weird-hippie’ stigmas with it. I got thinking about what constitutes socially acceptable spiritual practice and why channeled energy flow of other names don’t quite cut it.

Reiki is a traditional Japanese technique that encourages relaxation and tension reduction through the placement of hands on the body in different positions. When translated, Reiki means, “universal life force” and this is precisely what the practice is all about. The Reiki healer connects with the energy field or aura that surrounds the physical body and attempts to tap into the imbalances caused by tension. Then, by holding those areas and channeling healing energy, the flow is encouraged to move freely once again.

The history of energy healing is rooted deep within ancient teachings across all cultures. It is understood that Buddha and Jesus knew and practiced a version of Reiki healing in their work with the sick and disadvantaged. The version that you may have experienced was rediscovered by Japanese Doctor, Usui Mikao at the end of the 19th Century. It is said that his brush with Cholera led to a spiritual awakening where he joined a Zen Monastery and studied ancient Sanskrit and Sutras. Unsatisfied with his inability to utilise these teachings as a physical practice, Usui embarked on a 21 day meditation in which he collected 21 pebbles and threw one away each day. In this time, he sang, prayed and read the sutras. On the last day of his retreat, he asked God for a sign and was hit by a bright light between his eyes that rendered him unconscious. In this state he is said to have found the key to ancient principles of Reiki.

Four miracles occurred as Usui descended the mountain where he had been meditating, each miracle testing his ability to heal himself and others with little more than his hands and concentrated awareness:

  1. He cut his foot on the mountain and instinctively placed his hand on the wound, alleviating the pain.
  2. He ate a full meal after 21 days of fasting with no side-effects.
  3. He healed a girl with a toothache.
  4. He soothed the pain of a monk with arthritis.

Dr Usui coined the term Reiki after his enlightenment and went on to heal many people throughout his life, including the beggars in the slums of Kyoto. He was reminded here that in order to heal the body, one must also heal the spirit and mind. Reiki focuses on removing the emotional and physical blocks that reside within the body and soul.

I am always asking questions of my healers. I am interested to know where methods come from, what they are fundamentally about and how I can connect with the session to deepen my experience. In the past, my questions have purely been mind-based. I had not yet tapped into an awareness of vibrational frequencies and my ability to mediate was clumsy at best. I was still able to feel benefits from healing sessions but these were rather fleeting and temporary.

It makes me wonder how other people perceive healing modalities such as Reiki. What do they feel that keeps them going back and promoting it for others. I am very aware that some readers of this blog are connected with energy and understand the bigger ideal but what about the rest of us? How can we accept therapies without connecting with the underlying energy force?

My guess is that Reiki is a bit like the term ‘mindfulness’, it’s a buzz word at the moment and if the celebrities are doing it, I must get on board. It reminds me of the recent ‘cupping’ phenomenon that hit the media regarding the USA men’s olympic swimming team; highlighting another ancient practice slowly being caught onto by the mainstream. I understand that some modalities are easier to grasp than others and honestly, any attempt at higher consciousness is wonderful in my book. But Usui’s wisdom reminds us that the body cannot be truly healed without awareness of the subconscious.

My most recent experience with Reiki was extremely fulfilling. Through my new-found perception of energy, I felt I was able to work with Maria as she healed disturbances in my aura. Without speaking, Maria found the areas of my body that were suffering tension and I was able to tap into the healing and receive direct messages from my subconscious. I know right, mind-blowing!

I am new to this kind of body-soul connection but I suggest that if you are struggling to grasp the idea of talking to trees and crystals with energy or visiting your past-life, perhaps give Reiki a go first. It is accepted enough that you don’t have to keep it like a dirty secret from your loved ones and the relaxation you experience at any level of your journey is extremely rewarding. Like the title suggests though, it is a gateway drug so just be aware that you might become hooked to this ancient substance and then there is no turning back!

I will leave you with the five principles of Reiki as outlined by Dr Usui:

Just for today, do not be angry
Just for today, do not worry
Just for today, be grateful
Just for today, work hard
Just for today, be kind to others

Tell me about your experience, add a comment below.


International Centre for Reiki Training, ‘What is Reiki?”,, ‘The History of Reiki’ (video),

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