What is Reiki?

The word “reiki” combines two Japanese characters or kanji: “rei” means spiritual or transcendent, and “ki” means energy or vital force. It is most simply translated as “spiritual energy,” and is intelligent, self-organizing and accumulative in its effects.

Reiki also designates a system of vibrational or spiritual healing that promotes homeostatic balance and greater overall well-being. The Reiki system is gentle and non-invasive, and a practitioner uses a soft, light touch to focus and infuse vibrations into areas on or above the body.

Unresolved or chronic stress is acknowledged as the underlying cause of most physical and psychological challenges. Reiki vibrations induce a reorganization of the physical body system and the bio-field in and around the body. This results in a “relaxation response” that allows the mind-body continuum to adjust and rebalance itself—either immediately, or over time with regular sessions—depending upon the client and their individual concerns and needs.

Reiki sessions are not a replacement for any treatment prescribed by a doctor, licensed health care practitioner or mental health professional. However, Reiki supports and accelerates such prescribed treatment.

Where did Reiki originate?

Reiki began in Japan around 1915, founded by Mikao Usui, a Buddhist monk, who originally taught Reiki as a system of spiritual development. It was out of this spiritual development that the practice of hands-on healing gradually evolved.

As the word of Usui’s spiritual development and healing practice spread in Japan, he attracted more and more students, some of whom were medical doctors. Through the efforts of Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, who became a Reiki teacher, codified Usui’s teaching into a system of spiritual healing practice with hands-on techniques and protocols. This is what we know as the Reiki system in the West today.

When did Reiki come to the West?

Reiki first came to the West in 1936 through Hawayo Takata, one of Dr. Hayashi’s students. She practiced and taught in Hawaii, British Columbia, and California from 1936 until her death in 1980. Her dedication and commitment opened the door for the Reiki system to expand and reach people all over the world.

Who can learn Reiki?

Anyone can learn the Reiki System—the entry level of training is open to anyone. As someone progresses in their personal practice of Reiki, they may decide to go on to professional and/or public practice. A few will go on to become full-time Reiki teachers, in addition to maintaining a personal, professional and public practice.

What happens in Reiki training?

In Reiki system training, (1) an individual’s natural ability to receive and transmit spiritual energy is amplified and enhanced, (2) spiritual centering practices for personal growth and spiritual development are provided, and (3) hands-on techniques and protocols for self and for others are taught.

The Reiki system is about “receiving” spiritual energy rather than “doing” healing. Therefore, daily self-care and spiritual centering practices are an integral and essential dimension of “Reiki training at all levels and in all areas of practice.

What are the steps of Reiki system training?

All Reiki system trainings include Reiki 1, Reiki 2 and Reiki Master. Some trainings have additional levels, such as Advanced Reiki or Advanced Practitioner after Reiki 2 and before Reiki Master. Reiki Master training is sometimes divided into two or more levels, such as Reiki Master Practitioner and Reiki Master Teacher.

There are three general approaches to training in Reiki: (1) an individual apprenticeship with a teacher, (2) structured program with coursework and requirements and (3) programs that combine structure, coursework and requirements with individualized mentoring.

Is certification given for Reiki training?

Certification is usually given as recognition of accomplishment at each level of training; however, requirements for certification vary from teacher to teacher, school to school.

Joanna Crespo, MBA, is the director of The Open Center’s training program for Reiki Systems of Natural Healing and a Reiki teacher and practitioner with more than ten years of experience. Joanna is also certified in Chinese Herbalism and Family Constellation work, which is an effective therapeutic process that helps break destructive family patterns of unhappiness, illness, failure and addiction. She is also a KRI Certified Instructor of Kundalini Yoga. Joanna has a private practice, Reiki Rhapsody, in Montclair, New Jersey.


Reiki 1: The Entrance
(5 Sessions) Mondays and Wednesdays
November 3 – 17, 7:00 – 9:00 pm ET

Reiki 2: Deeper Within
(5 Sessions) Mondays and Wednesdays
December 1 – 15, 7:00 – 9:00 pm ET


*Originally published here reikirhapsody.com/reiki-faq/

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