The Oxford dictionary defines Reiki as “A healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical well-being and emotional well-being” (ReikiFed, 2021). I prefer to say a Reiki practitioner is able to draw upon the universal energy easily, due to the attunement process and practice, rather than use the word “channel”.
It is not the Reiki practitioner who “heals” the client. Rather, the clients themselves, who are ready to shift the necessary energy to bring about a new norm or energy evolution in their own lives ,“heal” themselves. This can be expressed as a Reiki practitioner being a conduit, transferring universal energy to the client. (Hicks, 2021)
To me, Reiki is more than just the ability to channel energy. It encompasses a holistic, science-based approach where it is important for the Reiki practitioner to have the knowledge and understanding of the human body and its functions, an understanding of the mind and how our thoughts, feeling and emotions affect our body, along with an understanding of the energy centres and their function within the human body.
While at this point, we may have limited information to scientifically describe how a Reiki practitioner draws upon the universal energy, the techniques used in a Reiki session have their bases in physics, biology, metaphysics, and developmental psychology.
We can explain the energy shifts or transfer of energy from the Reiki practitioner to the client using the laws of physics and thermodynamics. Physics tells us energy is a property of matter which, as per the first law of thermodynamics, cannot be created or destroyed in an isolated system without interference from outside sources (Moskowitz, 2021).
Our constant interaction with the environment around us generates a certain amount of disorder in our body and mind to keep the energy flowing. Our thoughts, emotions, belief systems, feelings, and people who we come in contact with help keep this energy flowing. When the flow of energy is disturbed, we may begin to see a deterioration in our physical and mental well-being. The energy within the body is either not flowing freely, blocked, or may have excess or depleted reserves. We may feel stuck in our current situation, unable to shift the old habit, belief system, patterns, or the ailments that have come about. With the help of a Reiki practitioner a client is able to either shift or move the stagnated energy.
To be able to effectively transfer energy to parts of the physical body, or understand the old habit or belief system, and patterns that are manifested as ailments in the physical body, a Reiki practitioner should have a thorough understanding of the human body and its functions (biology), an understanding of the energy centresthrough metaphysics, and an understanding of how our thoughts and belief systems influence us in our formative years and beyond, through developmental psychology.
When working with a client, the Reiki practitioner needs to understand the ailments and the organs associated with the ailment and have an understanding of the human body and its functions. The practitioner should understand the function of each organ, gland and bone, and how it supports our day-to-day function.
To help the client deal with emotional issues, the Reiki partitioner should have an understanding of how our thoughts, emotions, and feelings can impact our mental health, e.g., persistent negative thoughts and emotions can contribute to depression, anxiety, and stress. Excessive stress can impact on our physical health too, giving rise to high blood pressure and poor heart conditions.
The belief systems, the habitual and speech patterns we develop in the formative years (developmental psychology) of our lives help to build the foundation on which our lives are structured. Even our acceptance of certain characteristics in people helps influence the career we choose or the relationships we establish. An understanding of this enables a Reiki practitioner to help clients identify people, places and belief systems that may have contributed toward negative situations and circumstances they are currently facing
Metaphysics helps with understanding the seven energy centres/ chakras within the human body. Our chakra system are centres for receiving, assimilating and transforming the universal life force energy. (Hall, 1999). Each energy centre has its own characteristics for excess and deficit energy flow. If we have sufficient supply of energy in our chakra, we can draw upon the energy from a particular centre to help us navigate life with ease. If there is a deficiency of energy flow, then we may find ourselves procrastinating.
Knowledge of the energy centres and their corresponding characteristics enables Reiki practitioners to direct Reiki energy to a particular chakra where the flow of energy is in disharmony.
Having knowledge of all these aspects, and being able to interpret the information, is what helps make a good Reiki practitioner. Hence Reiki is more than just channelling universal energy, it is a holistic science in itself.
Reikifed, 2021, Reiki Healing. [online] UK Reiki Federation. Available at: https://www.reikifed.co.uk/reiki-healing/
Hall, M., 1999. Reiki for common ailments. 1st ed. London: Piakus, p.10.
Moskowitz, C., 2021. Fact or Fiction?: Energy Can Neither Be Created Nor Destroyed. [online] Scientific American. Available at: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/energy-can-neither-be-created-nor- destroyed Hicks, A., 2021. Reiki Healing. How Does The Energy Work?. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2axXxsxDJA
Article by Meghana Millin