Reiki: Unseen Healing Forces

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By Amanda Hawley

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a healing practice dating back to at least the mid-1800s. The word reiki, in Japanese, translates to: “spiritually guided life energy.” Basically, it is the art of laying hands over (sometimes, on) someone and guiding universal energy with positive, healing intentions.

“Life force (or, universal) energy” has many words and translations, some of which include: qi (pronounced “chee”), ki (pronounced “kee”), and prana. In these cultures, it is assumed that “dis-ease” and illness comes from blockages in this energy system.

In using a type of energy work, like reiki, energy is directed to areas that may be blocked or in need of repair, thus allowing energy to flow to the affected area so the body may heal itself (given proper nutrients, environment, etc).

What is it not?

Reiki is not a “quick fix.” Reiki is not voodoo. Reiki is not affiliated with any religion. And, reiki is not a substitute for another medical treatment.

It can be a good idea to use it in conjunction with whatever plan a person has in place with their doctor, but everyone should always work with their doctor when it comes to medical treatments.

How does it work?

Dr. James Oschman explains: “Healing energy, whether produced by a medical device or projected from the human body, is energy of a particular frequency or set of frequencies that stimulates the repair of one or more tissues.”

Using tools that measure energy and frequencies, we are able to see that a “healer,” or someone who practices energy work, therapeutic touch, and the like, are capable of producing frequencies that are capable of inducing tissue repair (0.3 – 30 Hz). Some studies even show that they more often become in sync with earth’s electromagnetic field (7.83 Hz) which is known as the “universal energy” mentioned above.

Given Ampere’s Law, true energy transference of electrical and magnetic energy is really just basic physics, and is measurable. Reiki really is a marrying of science and holistic healing, despite its mysticism.

What would a Reiki Practitioner (“Reiki Master”) want someone to know before a session?

Man receiving reiki massage

The human body has an energy field that surrounds it. This energy field extends from the body by at least a few feet (and up to several feet, at times). This is the energy field a Reiki Master works with. By pulling universal energy and using themselves as a conduit, energy can be fed to various areas of the body.

Intention can help direct and amplify this energy so it is a good idea to be on the same page with the practitioner with each session’s goals and intentions when receiving reiki to ensure the most benefit.

What can someone expect during a session?  

Warmth, vibrations, and pulsing can sometimes be felt.

Sounds or words may be heard.

Visuals may occur in a sort of dream space way.

Old memories and/or traumas can come up or be re-experienced.

Emotional releases can happen.

A reiki practitioner understands all of this, and will give the person the space and security for it to happen.

What are the benefits?

Everyone will have a different experience with their reiki session. Depending on what the person needs in order to heal, reiki will grant each person who receives it the opportunity to “see” or “hear” that. It is up to them to do the work, and follow through with life changes that need to be made in order for the proper healing to take place.

A Reiki Master is a facilitator of healing and a bearer of light, healing energy.

If someone is not willing to make changes, reiki may not be the best use of their time. If the person receiving reiki’s intent is open, the benefits are really endless.

Communication between therapist and receiver is crucial so that each session and each person’s goals are met.

According to Bernadette Doran, BS, RMT, the director of Equilibrium Energy + Education, a wellness center in Chicago dedicated to state-of-the-art energy-based therapies, 2 Hz is needed for nerve regeneration, 7 Hz for bone growth, 10 Hz for ligament repair, and 15 Hz for capillary formation.

Who can it help?

Anyone who is open and willing.

People who are receiving treatment for cancer can benefit immensely given the studies on it for this purpose. A study done on mice with cancer had significant benefits when compared to their control group. The group of mice who received reiki while infected with cancer lived a normal lifespan, and held even after being reinjected with the cancer.

Everyone has a biomagnetic field, therefore everyone is able to receive reiki energy and use it how they see fit. If someone has the desire to heal and “get better,” reiki can help them with that path.

For more information on reiki and other alternative and holistic health services, visit The Green Witch’s Alternative at



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