Science & Health

WTF Is Reiki?

Reiki is a form of energy healing that originated in Japan in the early 20th century. It's based on the belief that a universal life force energy flows through all living beings, and when this energy is low or disrupted, it can lead to physical, emotional, or spiritual imbalances or illness. We explore WTF is Reiki and how you can use this holistic modality to improve your life.

Min read
Lydia Mcclendon
January 8, 2024

As we enter the year of healing in 2024, we’re exploring new healing modalities and services to help you find balance, form connections, and develop tools for healing. One healing modality that is gaining in popularity as of late, somewhat controversial, and potentially quite healing; is Reiki. Reiki is a form of alternative or holistic therapy that involves the transfer of universal energy through the palms of the practitioner's hands to promote emotional or physical healing. It's all about channeling energy to help restore balance and enhance well-being.

Curious but confused about Reiki? Read on.

Reiki is a form of energy healing that originated in Japan in the early 20th century. It's based on the belief that a universal life force energy flows through all living beings, and when this energy is low or disrupted, it can lead to physical, emotional, or spiritual imbalances or illness.

What is Reiki?

The word "Reiki" combines two Japanese words: "Rei," which means universal, and "Ki" (or "Qi" in Chinese), which means life force energy. Practitioners of Reiki believe they can tap into this universal energy and channel it through their hands to the recipient, promoting healing and balance.

The purpose of Reiki for the recipient is multifaceted; Reiki sessions often induce deep relaxation, allowing recipients to release stress and tension. This relaxation state is where the body's natural healing abilities are most effective.

Reiki  aims to balance the flow of life force energy within the body. Practitioners believe that imbalances in this energy can lead to physical or emotional discomfort, and Reiki helps to restore equilibrium.

While Reiki is not a replacement for medical treatment, it's often used as a complementary therapy, especially for those who have failed to have success in reducing pain and improving well-being through Western medical options.  Reiki may help alleviate symptoms and promote the body's ability to heal itself.

Reiki is known to help release emotional blockages, fostering emotional resilience, and supporting spiritual growth. Recipients often report feeling a sense of peace and clarity after sessions. As alternative healing grows in popularity, Reiki is an increasingly ideal option for those who want a less invasive, but still powerful, healing experience. 

What Sets Reiki Apart from Other Healing Modalities?

Unlike massage therapy or chiropractic adjustments, Reiki doesn’t involve physical manipulation of muscles or bones. It's a non-invasive practice where the practitioner's hands are placed either lightly on or just above the recipient's body. Reiki primarily focuses on the flow of energy. Practitioners believe that by addressing energetic imbalances, they can impact physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. In Reiki, the practice considers the recipient as a whole—mind, body, and spirit. It's not solely focused on alleviating physical symptoms but aims to address underlying imbalances that contribute to overall health.

Reiki is generally gentle and can be received by individuals of all ages, including pregnant women, the elderly, and those recovering from surgery or illness. Reiki's gentle approach and holistic philosophy make it unique among healing modalities, offering a complementary avenue for promoting well-being and balance. As more people seek healing over hustle, Reiki continues to be a good choice for anyone entering the world of holistic healing and psychedelics.  At Retreat we're fortunate to connect with healers in a variety of modalities. Recently we spoke with Daniel Sears of Neuro Energy Coaching about how Reiki can help heal. He explains to us that "Reiki Energy work has consistently outperformed placebos in studies, reducing pain, alleviating mental health issues, and promoting physical and psychological health. Reiki has been shown to aid in relaxing of the nervous system, boost the body's natural healing process, and develop emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. Sessions often induce a state of deep relaxation, help people cope with difficulties, relieve emotional stress, and aid in the ability to reach deep theta brain states" sothat people can find real healing without the invasiveness of some other alternative options.

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What Happens in a Reiki Session?

How a typical Reiki session unfolds can vary based on the healer, the recipient, or even the issue being treated, however, there are a few commonalities most Reiki sessions will have. 

  • Preparation: The practitioner begins by creating a serene and comfortable environment, ensuring the space is peaceful and conducive to relaxation. Clients usually lie down or sit comfortably, fully clothed, removing any accessories or restrictive clothing.
  • Connecting to Energy: The practitioner centers themselves, establishing a connection with the universal life force energy. They may use meditation, breathing exercises, or visualization techniques to attune themselves to this energy.
  • Hand Placement: With hands positioned slightly above or gently touching specific areas of the recipient's body (like the head, shoulders, abdomen, knees, and feet), the practitioner starts the energy transfer. They employ a series of hand placements, typically spending a few minutes on each area.
  • Energy Flow: The practitioner allows the energy to flow through them, directing it into the client's body. This energy is said to travel through the practitioner's palms, entering the recipient's body to address blockages and restore balance.
  • Sensing and Intuition: A skilled healer uses their intuition and sensitivity to energy to detect areas of imbalance or energy blockages within the client's energy field. They may perceive heat, tingling, or subtle vibrations as indications of these areas.
  • Balancing and Clearing: The practitioner focuses on rebalancing and clearing the energy centers (chakras) and the overall energy field. This process aims to remove energetic blockages, promote relaxation, and stress reduction, and support the body's natural healing abilities.

Reiki and Psychedelics 

Now, when it comes to pairing Reiki with psychedelics or psychedelic-assisted therapy, there's a beautiful synergy that can happen. Psychedelics can open up the mind and facilitate deep introspection, often leading to profound emotional experiences and insights. That's where Reiki comes in like a supportive friend.

We've seen how Reiki can complement this journey. Imagine experiencing a psychedelic session, where you're delving into the depths of your mind and emotions. Reiki steps in as a gentle, guiding force that helps align your energy and support the healing process.

Reiki isn't about altering your mind like psychedelics do. Instead, it is a subtle, nurturing energy that can enhance your introspective journey. It can create a calming, soothing atmosphere, allowing you to navigate those intense psychedelic experiences more harmoniously.

Reiki functions as a sort of emotional and energetic anchor during these profound journeys. The aim is to bring about balance, relaxation, and inner peace, which can be incredibly beneficial when exploring with the help  of psychedelics.

Moreover, Reiki can also aid in the integration phase post-psychedelic experience. As you return to your regular state of consciousness, Reiki sessions can further support the integration of insights gained during the journey, helping you develop them more smoothly into your daily life.

Ultimately, the combination of Reiki and psychedelics in a therapeutic setting like ours isn't about replacing one with the other. It's about creating a holistic, supportive environment that nurtures healing on multiple levels—physical, emotional, and energetic.

Think of it as a harmonious dance between the mind, the soul, and the energy that surrounds us. At retreat, we're here to facilitate these experiences in the most profound and nurturing way possible, and Reiki plays an integral role in that journey.

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How Reiki Works 

Reiki operates on channeling universal life force energy to promote healing and balance within the recipient's body, mind, and spirit. 

A skilled Reiki healer should be able to assist with various aspects of well-being, including:

  • Stress Reduction: Reiki sessions often induce a deep state of relaxation, alleviating stress and tension.
  • Emotional Healing: Reiki may help in releasing emotional blockages and promoting emotional balance and resilience.
  • Pain Management: While not a replacement for medical treatment, Reiki can sometimes complement conventional medicine in managing pain.
  • Enhanced Energy Flow: It aims to improve the flow of life force energy within the body, supporting overall vitality and well-being.
  • Mental Clarity: Some individuals experience improved mental focus, clarity, and a sense of inner peace after Reiki sessions.

A Reiki practitioner acts as a facilitator, guiding the flow of healing energy to where it's most needed within the recipient's body and energy field.

Reiki Tips for Beginners 

The beauty of Reiki is in its personalization. Many Reiki practitioners operate from their own private healing spaces. These spaces are designed to create a serene and comfortable environment conducive to relaxation and healing.

Some practitioners work in collaboration with wellness centers, spas, or holistic healing clinics, offering Reiki sessions in shared or dedicated spaces within these facilities. In recent times, remote Reiki sessions have become increasingly popular. Practitioners can transmit Reiki energy across distances, allowing clients to experience the healing effects from the comfort of their own homes.

When looking for a Reiki practitioner, it’s important to first know what to look for. Although picking a practitioner is a personal experience, there are some universal truths to working with a skilled healer. 

  1. Look for a practitioner who has received proper training and certification in Reiki. While there isn't a universal governing body for Reiki, reputable practitioners often have certifications from recognized Reiki organizations or have completed extensive training with experienced teachers.
  2. Check reviews or seek referrals from friends, family, or online communities for practitioners with a track record of positive experiences and successful outcomes.
  3. It's incredibly important to feel comfortable and connected with the practitioner you choose. A good rapport and a sense of trust are crucial for a successful healing session.
  4. A reputable practitioner will maintain professionalism, including clear communication about the process, respecting client boundaries, and upholding ethical standards.
  5. Consider the practitioner's approach and philosophy towards healing. Some practitioners may specialize in specific techniques or have a unique approach that resonates with your needs and beliefs
  6. Whether it's a private space or a clinic, the environment should be clean, calming, and conducive to relaxation and healing. The ambiance plays a significant role in the effectiveness of the session.

Remember, finding the right Reiki practitioner is a personal journey. Take your time to research, ask questions, and schedule consultations to find someone whose energy and practice align with your preferences and healing goals. A good place to start with your healing journey is with something like an in-person retreat, or coaching paired with psychedelic therapy, so that you can experience other modalities like breathwork and sound baths alongside reiki, to determine what the best fit for you is. 

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About the Author

Lydia Mcclendon

Lydia Mcclendon is a freelance writer and editor within the world of psychedelics, plant medicine, parenthood and the intersection of working in marketing for a taboo industry. She has written for a wide variety of publications, worked within editorial coordination, and loves the creativity and chaos that creative content brings.

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