Introduction to Reiki: Part I

by Jennifer E. Jacobsen, LMT, RM, CYT

In my eight years of being a Reiki Master, I have heard many things from my clients and students about Reiki. Many swear by its ability to heal, calm, and restore. Many are shy, fearful, and even wary to try a Reiki session. Many are not exactly certain what Reiki is. And others think Reiki is a silly, “woo-woo” New Age practice. Some say they have experienced a Reiki treatment and not felt anything. Others say they were blown away by their experience and received more benefit from Reiki than from a massage.

Regardless of the varying viewpoints, Reiki is an amazing healing system that works with the body’s energy. It has been found so healing and helpful that it is now recognized by the Florida Department of Health as a treatment for the diminishment of pain in various cases and a tool to assist in the treatment of cancer. Therefore, as it is considered a medical discipline, a Licensed Massage Therapist, Physical Therapist, Nurse, Medical Doctor, or some other state licensed individual authorized to touch are currently the only ones who can perform Reiki in Florida. Reiki can also be administered by a clergy member as a spiritual “laying on of hands” transmission.

Reiki means “universal life energy” or “unseen spiritual force”. The root rei means “spirit” and “bringer of life”. The root ki means “energy” or “force”. Reiki is a Japanese word which derives from Chinese lingqi, the most highly refined form of qi (energy/essence) which is accessed and developed in an individual’s body through the Chinese system of Qigong. The energy of Reiki, the ki, is the same energy spoken of in other paths and cultures. Its other names are qi, chi, prana, baraka, mana, and huna, among others.

Today there are many paths of Reiki that exist, just like there are many different types of Yoga. The original system of Reiki practice, however, is the Traditional Usui Reiki system, named for the system’s founder, Mikao Usui. Usui was a Tendai Buddhist, born August 15, 1865 in Gifu, Japan. He studied and practiced Buddhism, travelling to China and other places for his spiritual education. After coming upon some severe bad health, he took a personal 21 day retreat at a Buddhist temple on top of Mount Kurama to perform his spiritual practices.

Usui wanted to know where the power to heal comes from, and he fasted, prayed, and meditated for answers. Legend tells it that he had a spiritual experience where he felt energy pouring through his crown chakra, he saw the Reiki symbols, and was blessed with the knowledge of the symbols and how to use this energy for healing. He first tried Reiki on himself, healing himself completely of his illness. He then successfully performed Reiki healing on his family. In April 1922, he opened a clinic in Harajuku, Aoyama, Tokyo. This is the first technical start of Reiki. Mrs. Hawayo Takata was a student of Usui who brought Reiki from Japan to the West in 1937, and she continued to practice and teach until her passing in 1980.

It is due to Usui and Takata that we now have the Traditional Usui Reiki system of healing. Reiki is one energy path of many, but it is an extremely effective one. In order to practice Reiki, one is trained in three levels of the Reiki system. Level One deals with the physical body and allows a practitioner to heal at the physical level. Level Two deals with the emotional and mental bodies and allows a practitioner to heal at the emotional and mental levels. Level Three is the Master Reiki level where one commits to learn self-mastery of the Reiki energy and learns how to teach Reiki and pass the symbol attunements.

A Reiki session is performed with the client fully clothed, laying face up on a massage table or sitting in a chair. In the Usui system, the Reiki energy is then passed through a hands-on series of hand positions, moving mostly joint to joint after having worked the energy of the chakra points and the energy points at the head and feet. Energy is within us and all around us. The Reiki practitioner concentrates his or her mind on the Reiki symbols, allowing only pure healing energy to flow through with loving, positive intentions. That energy then moves into the client’s body. All energy is intelligent and so moves from there where it is needed most for healing.

A Reiki session generally lasts one hour. In that hour, the client may feel heat from the Reiki practitioners hands. Inside his or her own body, the client may feel cool sensations, tingling, spinning, lightness, heaviness, or a host of other internal sensations as the energy of the body is rebalancing itself. When the session is over, the client will feel light and energized, possibly slightly spacy. Walking around for a few minutes to ground will relieve the spacy feeling. I have never had a client react negatively to a Reiki session.

In Part II of Introduction to Reiki, I will discuss how Reiki works in the body and what exactly is happening on an energetic, mental, emotional, and physical level to bring relief and healing to the many people Reiki helps.

If you are interested in receiving a Reiki healing session or are interested in learning Reiki from Jennifer, please contact her at 904-417-8620 for more information or to book your appointment! Book Online Here

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