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What is Reiki?

This healing technique is not very well known, but worth getting to know better!

Image courtesy of Penn Medicine

Reiki is a Japanese alternative healing practice. It is very popular and practiced by over a million people in the country. It eventually spread from Japan throughout the world, leading to many different people having access to these healing techniques. Reiki practitioners use their hands in a technique called “palm healing.” The goal is to transfer energy onto their clients. That involves light touch or hands slightly hovering above the person’s body. It is completely non-invasive and you are the one in charge of your healing. You can have the session tailored to meet your specific needs. 

The word Reiki comes from the Japanese words “rei,” meaning universal, and “Ki,” meaning life energy. Together it means “universal life energy.” Energy is flowing through all of us, impacting our lives, and being impacted by outside forces. It is central to our existence. Energy can stall in the body for reasons related to physical or emotional pain. These energy blockages can cause illness. When energy passageways are blocked, positive energy is prevented from travelling to certain parts of the body. This leads to physical pain as well as mood swings. Reiki practitioners seek to reduce illness by conducting the energy in your body. It works similarly to other practices like acupuncture. It improves the flow of energy around the body by putting it into a state of rest that is optimal for self healing. 

What Happens During a Reiki Session?

Make sure you know what to expect. 

A woman getting a face massage.
Wouldn’t you love to feel this peaceful?


Reiki is normally practiced in a comfortable environment with a trained practitioner. The space will be one that aids with relaxation since a chaotic environment would be the opposite of helpful. The atmosphere will be serene in the location a Reiki practitioner offers. When you go in for your appointment, you will have an introductory talk with the practitioner. This is when they will explain the process to you and prepare you to get started. You can ask all the questions you need to make sure you are comfortable with the process. You also get the chance to ask questions so that you become familiar with your practitioner. At this stage, you must let your practitioner know what you need to have addressed based on the symptoms you experience. You should also disclose whether you have any physical injuries or problem spots that are sensitive to touch. Your experience will be best overall when you are completely open about your needs.

To get started, you will be instructed to lie down on a table or a mat. You may even be seated in a chair. A practitioner will be eager to make sure you are as comfortable as possible. They will help you make sure that you are in a position that works for you. They will begin once you are properly settled and primed for healing. There will likely be soft and relaxing music playing in the background, but this is dependent on you. You can choose to have a silent session if you prefer. It all depends on what you need to feel relaxed. Everything about the appointment will be based on optimizing your comfort. Reiki is all about helping you feel positive energy. You will remain fully clothed, but likely be covered with a towel. The session will be silent, but you should of course feel free to speak up if there is something you need at the moment!

The session can last anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes. The length of time depends on the practitioner you choose to visit. There are many different practitioners to choose from to find the experience you’re looking for. There are Reiki sessions given in hospitals which tend to be on the shorter side. A private Reiki session can last for up to 90 minutes and can even be done in your own home! You must choose your practitioner wisely to retrieve the type of time and attention you require to heal. They will place their hands over your body, mostly concentrated over your head and your torso. Their hands will normally hover rather than be placed directly onto your skin, but actual touch can happen as well. They can focus on any scars on injuries you ask them to. They will make it so your body can cleanse itself of energies that are not beneficial to it. This allows our body to protect itself which is beneficial to our immune systems. 

What Happens After a Reiki Session?

You might feel a little different. 

A person in red sneakers lying on a hammock.
You’ll want to relax after this. 


A reiki session will likely leave you feeling calm. Reiki is known to be a very peaceful practice due to the calm feeling people often leave their sessions with. A feeling of peace is the most commonly reported after effect of Reiki. It is an effect that the practice aims to achieve. Many people go to Reiki to achieve the type of peace that they cannot normally achieve on their own. Some people also leave feeling energized, and some people leave feeling tired. Those feelings often still accompany a feeling of deep relaxation and are less likely to be experienced after a session. If you do end up feeling tired, you shouldn’t worry. it is likely due to your body’s natural healing response. Your body and energy is what will dictate what feelings you’ll develop after your session. Your job is to let yourself feel those things and reap the benefits of your session. 

A few things should be improved on after your Reiki session. Your ability to relax should become better. If you normally have problems getting yourself to relax, after your reiki session, the relaxation you experience should be easier to come by. The decreased stress doesn’t only last during and immediately after your session is over. Your stress levels will have decreased and your general well-being will have improved significantly. Stress is a major factor in many illnesses since your body can’t properly fight off illness when hindered by it. Physical health is dependent on your mental health, which is what Reiki targets. When your mental health is improved by the intensely peaceful feeling that Reiki gives you, your body will respond in turn. 

Patients who have undergone Reiki treatments in the past report feeling mental clarity. People have even experienced improved sleep habits, a result of the state of relaxation that Reiki pulls one into. Sleep is extremely important for your physical and mental health. It gets the body recharged and keeps it running properly. Your mood improves with the more sleep you obtain at night. If your mood is frequently low, lack of sleep could very well be a factor. Getting a decent amount of sleep also helps the immune system operate at its best level. Lack of sleep has the opposite effect, which could be the reason for some of the ailments that you suffer from. Since it releases tension, patients have also gotten rid of headaches from Reiki sessions. Headaches are often the result of stress and sometimes lack of sleep. Symptoms of many other illnesses can improve due to the role that stress plays in halting the body’s proper function. 

Reiki is a practice that benefits your body a lot. If you suffer from stress, or any number of physical ailments that can be influenced by energy, a Reiki practitioner can help you immensely. Once you’ve expelled energies that are not useful to your well-being, physical improvements are sure to follow.

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Stacey Fleurime

Stacey Fleurime is a Freelance Writer.
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