What is Reiki?

Table of Contents

Reiki is an ancient healing practice, created by a Japanese Buddhist named Mikao Usui.

It relates to the flow of energy around the body, and advocates claim it can treat a range of physical and mental conditions.

Reiki is also referred to as energy healing. The word ‘reiki’ comes from the Japanese words ‘re’ and ‘ki’, meaning ‘universal’ and ‘life energy. Reiki meditation is a form of healing, focused on energy pathways around the body.

Blocked energy often stems from physical injury or emotional pain, and a reiki practice can encourage energy to flow freely so the body can begin healing.

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What is Reiki Meditation?

A reiki meditation is different to traditional meditation. It is a healing session led by a reiki healer who uses hand movements to unblock stagnant energy in the body. Once energy is able to flow freely through the body, mental and physical healing can start. 

As already mentioned, a reiki meditation isn’t a ‘meditation‘ in the way most people might think of it. There’s no sitting and focusing on your breath.

Instead, a reiki meditation is a hands-on (literally) healing session or treatment. During a reiki meditation, a healer will lay their hands across the parts of your body that require adjusting.

These gentle hand movements guide the flow of energy and allow the body to begin healing. While the reiki practice itself won’t heal your body, releasing unblocked energy can encourage your body to heal itself.

Reiki is a non-invasive practise with no harmful side-effects. While not intended to replace any traditional medicine, it can be used to supplement a doctor-approved treatment plan to further lessen symptoms and promote greater wellbeing.

What is Reiki? - techniques
Reiki aims to release blocked energy.

Reiki Techniques

A reiki meditation uses a number of techniques to help release stagnant energy. Each session lasts between 60 and 90 minutes, with different hand positions held for up to 10 minutes each. 

Techniques can vary between teachers, but each reiki session has the goal of releasing blocked energy.


Part of a reiki practise involves cleansing your aura. Our ‘aura’ is the energy that surrounds us, and it is responsible for the energy we project into the world.

Cleansing your aura can be done either during a reiki practice or using a range of other techniques such as breathwork and journaling.

Chakra Focus

There’s 7 major energy centres in the body. When these are blocked or unbalanced, we experience a range of physical and mental issues. Reiki healers seek to release these energy wheels, bringing the chakras back into balance. 

Reiki works alongside the chakra system. The chakras are energy centres or wheels found throughout the body, with the 7 major chakras running from the base of the spine (root chakra), upwards to the crown of your head (crown chakra).

The chakras represent different wheels of energy, and it’s important that the wheels are balanced. Each chakra represents specific aspects of our consciousness, and can help us exhibit certain qualities.

For example, the root chakra helps us feel grounded and safe, while the heart chakra relates to love and compassion.

When these are unbalanced, low on energy or blocked, we will struggle to express the qualities associated with that chakra.

Reiki practitioners may place their hands over the corresponding 7 major chakra centres, specifically those which appear to be blocked. Your practitioner can help to rebalance and open the chakras, leading to better balance and wellbeing.


Reiki healers use their hands to encourage energy to flow through the body. A variety of hand positions are used to target the areas of the body which need adjusting. 

A reiki healer uses a variety of hand positions to help balance the energy in your body, reducing stress and allowing your body a chance to fully relax and begin healing.

Contrary to belief, there’s no manipulation or massage techniques used to unblock energy, simply a gentle hand pressure on various parts of the body.

Some of the most common hand positions include palms placed lightly on your forehead, over your eyes, around your temples and above your collarbones. It’s also common for the practitioner to place their hands between your shoulder blades and across your lower back.

Using hand positions and applying a gentle pressure across various parts of your body can encourage deep relaxation, allowing your body to begin healing.

Evidence suggests this deeply relaxing practice encourages your body to switch from a stress response to a relaxation response, supporting your own healing mechanisms.

What is Reiki? - Hands
Reiki healers use the to transfer energy.

Benefits of a Reiki Meditation

A Reiki healing session can lead to a deep state of relaxation, putting the body in the best position to start healing. Reiki can help with anxiety, depression and insomnia, as well as easing physical symptoms of a number of health conditions. 

While Reiki isn’t without its sceptics, those who practice it report a number of benefits to their mental and physical wellbeing. Perhaps the most apparent benefit is that Reiki brings about a state of deep relaxation.

While many are sceptical of Reiki’s ability to heal the body, there’s no denying the physical and mental health benefits that come from this deeply relaxing practice. When we are relaxed, our bodies can better heal and cope with difficulties.

Reiki has been used for centuries to treat a number of conditions, including heart disease, anxiety, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Many of those who have undergone a reiki session report that they think clearer and experience less physical pain.
Reiki can also help those who are constantly feeling tired, overly emotional or overwhelmed.

While unblocking energy pathways in the body will help give you a boost, the soothing feeling of hands being placed on the areas that hurt can help reduce symptoms.

Bringing Reiki Principles to Daily Life

Reiki is based on a set of principles that can be taken into your everyday life to further extend the benefits of this healing practice.

The 5 principles include releasing angry thoughts, releasing worry, cultivating gratitude, expanding consciousness and being kind to all beings.

Living by these 5 principles can bring about the natural healing of energy, and unblock stagnant energy wheels in the body.

Key Facts

  1. A Reiki healing session is a powerful practice that can help ease symptoms of a number of mental and physical issues.
  2. Reiki aims to unblock stagnant energy in the body, putting the body in the best position to begin healing.

  3. A reiki healer uses a range of hand positions and movements to increase life energy and promote healing.

  4. Those who practice reiki report feeling deeply relaxed following a session, often with reduced symptoms of both mental and physical illness.

  5. A reiki meditation can help ease anxiety, depression, and insomnia.