FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS REIKI ENERGY?
Reiki is a traditional Japanese form of healing and energy work, that is often used for stress reduction, relaxation, and to promote healing.
Everyone and everything in the universe is made of the same universal life energy (called 'ki' in Japanese, similar to qi, prana, mana, and other names in many other languages). When our energy is strong and healthy, it may feel like a strong mountain river, and we feel connected to our environment and others around us, as part of a larger ever-present interpenetrating sea of energy.
The word 'Reiki' can be literally translated as 'spiritual energy' ('rei' meaning spiritual, and 'ki' meaning energy). 'Ki' is the energy that is in every living—and non-living—thing. 'Reiki', meanwhile, is believed to be a very high-frequency type of energy, the kind that our very souls are made from.
However, even though our innermost nature is Reiki, our energy can become weak, blocked, or stagnant. We may feel stressed, sick, disconnected, unmotivated, distracted, or stuck, without realizing that there is an energetic aspect to the issue. Reiki practitioners routinely practice the system of Reiki, continually purifying and heightening their own energy, so they can be a catalyst that “jump starts” other people’s (and animals’) life force energy.
During a Reiki treatment, the practitioner goes into a meditative state (called 'the Reiki space'), to act as a conduit for the Reiki energy. Then, the practitioner places their hands on or near various places of the client’s body to help the energy flow. They can often sense where the life force energy is blocked, weakened, or unbalanced. This is the area that the practitioner focuses on to clear, enhance, and balance the client’s energy. Sometimes these blocks can be cleared immediately, while other times, blocks can take longer to clear.
WHAT IS THE SYSTEM OF REIKI?
The system of Reiki was developed in the early 20th Century by Usui Mikao of Japan. He incorporated five elements into the system: meditations and techniques, hands-on-healing, developing the spiritual and mental connection, attunements and reijus, and mantras and symbols. Usui drew from his own life experiences to develop the system, such as Tendai Buddhism (meditations), Shintoism (palm healing), martial arts (Usui was trained in aiki jutsu, the forerunner to aikido), and Shugendo (ascetic practices). Reiki—the system—was brought to the USA in the late 1930’s. Since that time, many nuances have been added to the system here in the United States. Depending on the Reiki practitioner’s teacher’s lineage, the elements of the system can vary greatly.
Los Gatos Reiki uses a traditional Japanese form of Reiki called Usui Reiki Ryoho. This form has its roots in Japan and is not the same form as is often taught in the West. With Usui Reiki Ryoho, the focus is on personal and spiritual development in addition to hands-on-healing.
C'MON, IS THIS 'ENERGY' REAL?
I know that some people may be skeptical, and doubt that Reiki energy is real, or that it can help us be more whole and balanced. Since I came from an intellectual background, with a Ph.D. in Linguistics, I understand the urge to understand everything rationally. However, the empirical method also says that we shouldn't prejudge the result of a new approach without trying it. Sometimes we need to suspend our disbelief, and see what happens.
One wonderful thing about Reiki is that it helps us experience energy in a very direct way. It's one thing to intellectually know that our bodies emit biomagnetic energy (which we usually experience as body heat), it's another thing entirely to feel the flow of Reiki, and see the effects it has. Besides, practicing Reiki is a powerful way to see the limits of the rational mind. When our minds are busy with thoughts, the Reiki energy won't flow, but once we quiet down and enter the 'Reiki space', the energy starts to flow. Even if you aren't interested in healing yourself or others, Reiki can be a useful diagnostic tool to see when you're balanced, or when you're stuck in your head.
There is a lot more that can be said about scientific studies of energy, about how the medical community is starting to embrace Reiki (hospitals now have Reiki practitioners preparing operating rooms with Reiki energy), and how Reiki has changed people's lives for the better. However, nothing persuades more than experiencing Reiki for yourself. Give it a try!