What is Reiki & Can Energy Healing Help You? What Happens During a Reiki Session?

By Dominica


Last Updated: June 6, 2022

Reiki is a holistic energy treatment modality that is becoming more and more popular in and out of the medical field.

The term “Reiki” is a Japanese word that means “universal life energy”. This healing method was discovered and cultivated in the early 20th century by Mikao Usui, after experiencing a profound spiritual experience. 

Since then, smaller branches of Reiki have risen, but the most common system is the Usui System of Natural Healing. Students are trained by a Reiki master through a series of educational sessions and an attunement. 

Essentially, an attunement occurs when the Reiki master opens the practitioner’s energetic pathways so that healing energy can freely flow through them toward those they treat. It’s a spiritual experience that’s usually quite profound for the students.

For many years the validity of this holistic healing practice has been questioned, but it is now gaining much respect among professionals. 

In fact, some medical facilities, such as John Hopkin’s Medical Center, are now utilizing alternative healing methods, such as Reiki, to help patients and documenting the beneficial results.



Energy As a Healing Agent

Reiki is an alternative treatment that uses universal energy as a healing agent. 

This energy has been known to bring relaxation and healing to the mind, body, and spirit. It is not a religion. Rather, it is a technique where practitioners are used as healing vessels that allow energy flow to reduce stress and restore balance to the body.

The healing energy of Reiki is transferred through a practitioner to a person. It is believed the healing energy or vibrations go through the hands of the practitioner into the energetic body of the healing recipient.

It has become very popular, with at least four million people worldwide who are Reiki certified at the 1st level, according to the International Center for Reiki Training. 



Everything is Energy

At the core of existence, everything is energy.

From a quantum physics view, this energy forms a field that exists amidst the planet, galaxy, and perhaps even beyond. As humans, we are made of matter, but if you study matter at its smallest makeup, you’ll find energy particles and waves.

You’ll find an energetic system that has been created by a Divine Intelligence. When aligned with the source of all creation, the physical body operates in harmony. However, at times we can experience “energy blocks”, that can create a state of dis-ease.

Receiving Reiki treatments can help remove such energetic blocks and restore harmony to the systems of the body. A Reiki practitioner will typically use their hands as a conduit for healing energy to flow from the universal energy source to the patient.

Reiki can also be done via distance, resembling what some would call prayer with an intent for healing.



What Happens During a Reiki Session?

A typical Reiki session lasts about an hour.

When you arrive at your session, whether in person or via distance, the practitioner will have a short discussion with you to discuss any problem areas or concerns. They’ll want to know why you’re there or what you’re hoping to get out of the session.

You’ll be fully clothed for your session and lie on a massage table. All you have to do is lie there. You can relax and let the practitioner “treat” you. 

The practitioner will hold their hands a couple of inches from your body, allowing the universal healing energy to flow through them into you. They’ll cover your entire body, placing their hands on the standard positions, such as the chakra areas.

You may feel various sensations, such as warmness or tingling. You’ll likely feel deeply relaxed and at ease.

If you’re not comfortable lying down, Reiki can be done while you’re sitting in a chair. Also, if you desire to have hands placed on your body during treatment, you can simply ask your practitioner to do so.



Reiki Research

Various studies have been done on Reiki over the years. The National Institute of Health reported in 2017 that the findings of 13 placebo-controlled studies of Reiki stated that it was more effective than the placebo effect.

In one particular study, Salles et al studied 66 participants with high blood pressure in three groups. One group was treated with Reiki, the other a placebo, and the third group no treatment was performed. 

It was found that in all groups, blood pressure decreased after each session. But the most significant decrease was in those who were treated with Reiki. 

With such positive reports, it’s no surprise that more Reiki practitioners are asked by medical facilities to come on board. And, more of the public is opening up to the powerful healing effects of Reiki.

In a nation where medical care costs are outrageous, alternative healing modalities such as this are exploding. The biggest reason is because healers are getting results – and that’s wonderful news.

Have you had a Reiki session? If so, how did you feel it went? Did you benefit from the experience? If so, how?

Photo by Rainer Eck


20 comments on “What is Reiki & Can Energy Healing Help You? What Happens During a Reiki Session?”

  1. After my mum died, I was offered Reiki at the hospice where she was at. I was very sceptical and convinced it was nonsense until after about half an hour in. I was resisting the whole time when I finally felt a release and a warmth. After the session, I felt a great sense of well-being. I felt it helped me with the shock of losing my mum, after a few sessions I felt I I had a sense of peace and acceptance.

    1. That's wonderful to hear Karen! So happy you found relief and thank you for sharing your story with all of us.

  2. Yes I have had a few Reiki sessions and the experience is unbelievable. I will recommend anyone to get at least one. The results is unbelievable and we always tend to run to medicine to treat the root problems, but the problem is mostly imbedded in our subconscious mind. Reiki treatments go into your soul. Absolutely believe in it, and has pulled me through very dark experiences. For those that are skeptical keep an open mind it all about energy, and everything is energy.

    1. Thank you for the feedback Belinda! That's really helpful for some of our readers to hear from someone who has found relief in Reiki.

  3. Thank you for the article on Reiki.
    I was one of the first 50 to be Reiki Certified in the 80’s. My master instructor, Beth Gray, was taught directly by Usui’s first student. Beth told the 5 people in our class that in 20 years (which would be around 2006) that Reiki would be hospitals.
    Well sure enough, in 2007,
    there is was a couple of Kaiser Permanente locations in Northern California that offered Reiki.
    It was an amazing experience back then. Of course word of mouth was the only way people weren’t as skeptical then because the results the recipient experienced were amazing.
    36 wonderful years as a catalyst for universal energy made many lives the spark to continue on their wellness journey. I will never say I’m a healer as I was simply a conduit for what is already available to “tap into”.

    1. Wow, thank you so much for connecting with us Marilyn! That must have been an amazing experience to be so invested in Reiki so early on, and to learn from masters. Reiki has helped so many people, it is incredible to see it gaining notoriety and respect now. So grateful to hear from you, thank you 🙂

  4. Am interested to know if Reiki would
    Relieve the constant pain from Spinal
    Stenisis. I cannot walk more than a
    Short city block without my hips
    Seizing up so am limited to using a 3
    Wheel electric scooter. On good days
    I use a Walker close to home. I live alone so need to be pain free to do
    Daily chores. I also am Anemic and Angina and COPD & Kidney disease.

    1. We're so sorry to hear about your pain Barbara. The best answer is for you to connect with a Reiki expert to find out more about what they can do for you. Reiki can be beneficial as a complementary treatment, meaning you use it alongside other types of medical treatment. Make sure to talk to your doctor before trying any additional treatments!

  5. Reiki is marvellous modality for people to learn, however, it's a hands on treatment, and yes, one can do Reiki hands off. But why would one do that when the one can put the hands anywhere to do Reiki. It can become tiring to hold hands above the body. As a reiki teacher, I teach hands on, hands off only if someone if not comfortable with hands on the body.

  6. It is very encouraging. But if you are not able to find a practitioner would you recommend to us reiki on yourself? I have been initiated few years ago.Thank you.

  7. Would Reiki help with ulcerative colitis. I have been struggling with this for years. I would like to get off medications. I just want to be normal again.

  8. A Reiki Teacher for 22 years and use it for myself too. Distant healing is the way I can reach the most in need in people who have less funds and ability to travel for treatment. I have a Reiki prayer list and those who ask for it can have distant healing free, I just need full name
    I have found a sense of gratitude of all we have, recording a night before bed and reminding of our blessings each morning helps us know how fortunate we are and become more awareness of nature around us and the benefits of sitting or walking in the outside.

    1. It sounds like you've helped a lot of people Patricia. Thank you for sharing with us!

  9. I am 2nd degree Reiki, that means I did not complete to be Master Reiki, the only difference is that I can not open the energetic pathways for others. I love it I have received it and it does heal.

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