Reiki 101

What is Reiki?

Reiki, or energy healing, is a self-care practice that is gaining a lot of popularity in our culture.  Although it’s new to most of us, energy healing has been around for thousands of years.  Reiki originated in ancient Tibetan Buddhism and, much like ayurveda and yogic philosophy, assumes that both physical and mental ailments can be traced back to an imbalance in an individual’s energy fields. 

The premise of reiki is that we can stimulate and direct the flow of energy in our body, which will balance our systems and result in better mental and physical health.  Reiki can be used to balance our chakras, reach deep states of meditation, and release the energy blockages caused by trauma in our lives. 

Reiki and Yoga

Much like meditation and pranayama, reiki can be an amazing supplement to your yoga practice.  Stagnant energy and energy blockages can contribute to a wide variety of suffering that we experience in our lives.  These blockages are caused by the disruption of the natural flow of life energy, or prana, through our systems. 

Trauma, physical injury, or just dealing with the stressors of daily life can all cause the energy that flows through us to get stuck somewhere.  Reiki can restore balance to the energy flow throughout our bodies, and release energy blockages.  Because reiki can be very relaxing, it’s also helpful for reaching deep states of meditation and spiritual reflection. 

It is becoming more common to see yoga classes that specifically incorporate reiki.  The combination of asana and reiki can be a powerful force for healing.  With asana, we are already activating movement of the energy in our bodies and releasing toxins and stagnant energy in our systems.  From this foundation, an instructor who incorporates reiki touch can move that freed up energy around for even deeper healing. 

What is a Reiki Healing Session Like?

A reiki practitioner is someone who has completed the requirements to do so, and yes, there are requirements.  There are three different levels of reiki certification, and they each require a certain amount of schooling and client practice.  We won’t go into the specifics of each level in this post, but if the topic interests you, you can read more about reiki certification here.

A reiki healing session is typically set up similar to a sound bath (read more about sound healing here!), and many healers will incorporate the use of singing bowls, tuning forks, or other instruments used in sound healing during their sessions.  Reiki is different than sound healing in that it utilizes the practitioner to guide the flow of energy, whereas sound healing uses vibrations from the sounds of the instruments. 

A reiki practitioner will use various hand positions either directly on, or over, certain parts of your body to promote the flow of energy and the release of blockages.

The client will lay down on a massage table or something similar and be guided into meditation to help relax the mind and body.  Your reiki healer might use things like crystals, essential oils, or sage to promote relaxation and clear out any negative energy in the physical space. 

I saw an energy healer for several years, and she would put specific crystals on my body to stimulate the energy in my chakras.  She also incorporated aromatherapy and music which were essential in bringing me to a state of mind where I could be fully present for the experience. 

Reiki is almost completely passive on the part of the client, but your experience will be more beneficial if you are relaxed and as free from external and internal distractions as possible.  It’s when we are most free from mental fluctuations that we can allow our bodies to rebalance and heal themselves naturally, utilizing the energy that is both around and within us. 

A reiki practitioner will use various hand positions either directly on, or over, certain parts of your body to promote the flow of energy and the release of blockages.  A trained energy healer will be able to detect where there might be stuck energy and focus on that specific area.  They might place their hands on or just above your chest to release energy in the heart chakra, or near the top of your head for your crown chakra. 

The healer will move from location to location, and may incorporate moments of music, instruments, or guided meditation.  At the end of the session, you’ll be invited back into the room as you begin to come out of meditation.  You might feel drowsy; it’s common to reach a state of consciousness somewhere between asleep and awake during a session that can linger after the session ends. 

Final Thoughts

Reiki, yoga, Ayurveda, and meditation are all things that can improve our health.  The Western world is beginning to revisit these ancient methods of healing, as we discover that our ‘pill for an ill’ approach to health isn’t always that effective.  In fact, many medical practitioners are starting to use reiki as a supplement to other treatments. 

You can look for a reiki healer near you or find a yoga class that incorporates energy healing.  If you decide to do a one-on-one session, go with an open mind and allow the experience to take you where it wants.  At the very least, a reiki healing session will be the best guided meditation of your life. 

Energy blockages aren’t one and done though; the experiences we have in our lives can cause our energy to become stuck, and most of us are constantly experiencing obstacles and difficulties, all of which leave imprints in our beings as we hold the energy in out of fear.  Just like any of our other spiritual practices, reiki healing is most effective as a lifelong treatment. 

If you decide to do a one-on-one session, go with an open mind and allow the experience to take you where it wants.  At the very least, a reiki healing session will be the best guided meditation of your life. 

That doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from a single energy healing session, however.  I like to think of it the same way I think of going to the chiropractor.  Regular adjustments are a great way to maintain consistent alignment of our spines, but even one visit will temporarily correct the imbalance. 

Over time and as we misalign again, we could benefit from another adjustment just like the energy blockages we acquire could use the occasional flushing out, even if we’re not able to incorporate a regular schedule of reiki. 

At Inspiring Actions, we invite you to experience one (or more!) or these practices with us.  At our studios in Hudson and River Falls, Wisconsin, as well as online, we offer a variety of classes that incorporate other practices for holistic health. 

Check out a full list and descriptions of our classes here; we’d love to see you!  No matter which practice you’re into, we have something for you at Inspiring Actions.  You are welcome here!

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