Reiki – What Is It?

This column is for those who may have heard of Reiki, but do not know exactly what it is. I will start off by telling you what Reiki is not.{{more}}

Reiki is not tied to any religion or religious belief; it is not a manipulative exercise such as massage, nor is it in any way related to reflexology or any other form of manual therapy. Reiki is also not a “special power” possessed by the practitioner.

The word “Reiki” is composed of Rei, meaning “higher power,” and ki, meaning “life force energy.” Reiki, in simple terms, does not originate within the practitioner, but is the channeling of energy through the practitioner to the receiver. When Reiki is received, it is drawn to areas of need and serves to restore balance.

Reiki treats a whole person; emotions, body, mind and spirit. Reiki imparts relaxation, peace, well-being and security. Reiki is now offered in many hospitals, including those here in Connecticut, as it has been found to assist in reducing negative side effects from medication, improve the mental attitude of patients and aid in quicker recovery times.

So what, exactly, does it feel like to receive a Reiki treatment?

A person receiving Reiki can feel many things, or nothing at all. What a person feels or does not feel during a Reiki session does not in any way determine if the session was beneficial or not.

In my personal experience people have told me they have felt, among other things, warmth, tingling, a sense of floating, total relaxation, release of emotions, relief. Some people may be surprised to notice tears streaming down their face and will say something to the effect of, I have no idea why I’m crying.

Release of tears during a session seems to go hand in hand with the release of stress, so I always say, let them flow. Some people experience sweating, shivering, feelings of hot and cold or muscles twitching, while some have no discernible physical feelings. Some people experience flashbacks and what they describe as vivid dreams, while others describe bright colors or flashes of light. Some people experience none of this during a session, but come away feeling totally relaxed and “lighter.”

Following a session some people may notice they are feeling more emotional, or notice they are sweating more, feeling thirsty and may need more sleep, dreams become profound and vivid. All of these things are normal and our body’s way of ridding itself of toxins and stressors.

Reiki is dependent upon intention; the practitioner’s intention to channel to the client, and the client’s intention to receive. So if you choose to have a Reiki session, set your intention to receive healing energy for the best outcome.

Sabrina is co-owner with her husband, Ernie, of Sunflower Farm and Connecticut Natural Soapworks, a beekeeper, Reiki Master, and market master of the Milford Downtown Farmers’ Market.