Soul and Spirit Defined

Soul and spirit are words commonly used in metaphysical work. However, each speaker, group or school will usually have its own understanding that they intend to convey in their use. The following is how these words are used in Holy Fire Reiki.

Soul is that part of us that is the repository of all our experiences from this life, from all our past lives and in between lives. It also contains all the attitudes, values and beliefs we have formed about our experiences, as well as the decisions we’ve made about ourselves and about life, and what we have learned. It contains many parts, some conscious but many subconscious. It is also the home of the ego. There are usually many levels of awareness within each soul and each soul is different depending on the experiences each has had and the way the soul interpreted those experiences. There can be parts that have been traumatized, and not recovered, parts that are sick, angry and sad, injured, and have low levels of consciousness. There can also be evolved parts that have healthy positive qualities, such as wisdom, kindness, love, joy, vitality, and have highly evolved levels of consciousness. The soul is who we are as a unique individual, and it is at soul level that Reiki Attunements and Placements are received.

The spirit is that part of us that is connected to Source, connected to God. The spirit can evolve too. This means that it can develop a greater connection to God. Since God is infinite, there is no limit to the development the spirit can experience. There will always be a higher level, a greater experience that will give access to more of God’s resources, experiences, and states of consciousness. Because the spirit connects to God, it is the spirit that provides mystical experiences, including a feeling of oneness, of being connected with all other beings, all of life. It is through the spirit that we have a feeling of love toward everyone and everything. The spirit makes its awareness and resources available to the soul. As our spirit evolves and becomes more refined, so to our various levels and types of consciousness. And it is the spirit that experiences the Holy Fire Ignitions and then sends the energy into the soul.

Reiki Heals Insomnia

I received a phone call from a new client who explained that she struggled with insomnia. She said she would try anything to help her to have a good night’s sleep. However because of the lack of sleep, she felt anxiety about her normal activities.

She expressed her concerns that she was in her 70s and afraid that Reiki would go against her Catholic beliefs and was looking for guidance how to move through this fear. She wondered if she was doing the right thing.

I was born and raised Catholic and attended Catholic school from kindergarten, and I explained that receiving Reiki healing will not go against her beliefs. She was guided to find my name and phone number. She felt comfortable after we spoke and booked an appointment.

It was a beautiful fall day with a crisp chill in the air during the session. The fireplace was radiating a light heat, and the music softly played in the background. While she was lying on the Reiki table to begin the session, I covered her with a light fuzzy, cozy blanket.

After the session was complete, she was still lying on the table and I asked her how the Reiki experience was and would she share her experience with me? She said, “it felt like I took a wonderful deep nap and felt an amazing warmth throughout my body and waves of soft pulsation.” Before the session, she hadn’t informed me that her left arm was causing her pain. Now she said it had felt like someone was massaging it with a cold and warm heat from the inside out.

I asked her to take her time in getting up from the table, and I would sit in the room on the couch until she was ready. Then as I walked away, we both heard a loud sound, like crashing glass on a wood floor. She asked, “what was that dear”? I said I wasn’t sure. Then, within seconds, the same sound happened again, but it came from the opposite side of the room of the original sound. She sat up on the table, and I walked over to the area where I heard the first sound. I saw a patron of Saint Jude medal on the carpet and placed it in my hand. Then, walking to the opposite side of the room where the second noise came from, I found a second medal of Saint Francis of Assisi. “ Do these two metals belong to you?” I asked. She said, “Oh yes, I never leave home without them. I always have one in each pocket. I feel they keep me safe and peaceful, but how did they get out of my pockets covered by this blanket and make such a loud sound when your room is carpeted?” I replied, “I’m sorry I cannot answer either of those questions, but have faith that everything is for the highest good.”

We both had little to say after this experience, but she paid me cash for my service. We hugged, and she went on her way. Afterwards, I thought I would never hear from this woman because of what had occurred. But I received a call, and she said, “Hello dear, I am the woman who had the two metals in my pockets. I have been sleeping like a baby every since I saw you and I would like to schedule another Reiki session with you.”

Such experiences are what I love about this beautiful gift of life force energy that knows exactly what to do and heals what is being sought.

Reiki Heals Depression – by Jackie

One of my friends had been in an emotionally dark place for nearly a year because of failed and hurtful relationships in addition to a lack of work and income in spite of the fact that she had a college degree. She and I were out for a drink and bite to eat, and as friends do, I put my hand on her back to console her. I felt energy so strong I was actually stunned. Truthfully I hadn’t been practicing Reiki very much for quite some time at that point. Still, I felt very strongly that she needed a full session, and we did that the very next day. After her session she described her experience, and I suggested that she look into finding a Reiki Master in the area so that she could take Reiki Level I in order to do self-Reiki every day and begin to heal. Don’t you know—she actually listened! Within a week’s time, not only had she received Reiki I but also Reiki Level II during a retreat. After her four-day weekend retreat, my friend returned with a clear mind and also a new outlook on her life and her relationships and a clear focus on her future. Gone was the depressed, sad friend, gone was the deep pain and suffering. I only could see a bright, sunny and relaxed friend who had begun to heal her heart and move on in a positive direction. We both plan to take a Reiki Master course, and I have a new openness to let Reiki back into my life!

Sometimes Reiki Is the Only Answer

By Dawn Fleming

With the marvels of modern medicine, you would think that there would be a solution to every disease, illness or ailment that humans can contract, but there are not.

I have been working with Reiki for over 24 years and have had a lot of situations with clients where Reiki was the only thing that resolved their issues.

There are so many mysterious illnesses that send many people to the doctor. They have their blood analyzed and undergo many tests, yet the medical experts cannot quite put their finger on what is going on in their parent’s body. Sound familiar?

I have worked with many clients who were in car accidents. The medical world was very good in repairing their broken bones or helping to heal their wounds. However, within a few weeks or a couple of months, the client is experiencing autoimmune type symptoms. They have weakened muscles, firing nerves, irritable bowel issues, or all of these. My latest client went through visits to the emergency room, lots of blood tests and nerve testing without a diagnosis. He felt as if the doctors thought it was all in his head. Many times with people who have been in accidents, their energy field is very fragmented and just needs to be put back together with Reiki. Also I find that they are still holding the emotional energy of the accident in their body as well, and I use Karuna Reiki to release the energy blocks around the emotional issues surrounding the accident. After three sessions, my client who had this mysterious nerve pain and muscle weakness, was able to resume his normal life and go back to the gym feeling stronger without pain.

There are some medical issues where nerves are inflamed and cause many problems, such as in Bell’s Palsy or Sciatic nerve pain. The medical world in most cases has the patient ride it out or take a drug that reduces the inflammation hoping it will reduce the time the person is experiencing the condition. Reiki brings balance by unblocking the backed up energy, impacting the nerves and creates calm. My husband and I were asked to do Reiki on someone diagnosed with Bell’s palsy. She had been diagnosed three days earlier and could not move the one side of her face. The doctors did not offer any drugs and she was told that it could be one to three months before her face could return to normal. She had a plane ticket for the next day and wanted to have more function in her face before going on the trip. We worked on her, and within 30 minutes she could blink her eye and slightly move her mouth. We were all excited about what the Reiki energy did. The next morning, she had more movement. She was able to go on vacation. With further sessions upon her return, she was completely back to normal in less than three weeks.

Let’s look at eye issues. Once a patient is categorized as legally blind, the medical system does nothing more to work to restore a person’s vision. Reiki works very deeply on the energetic level and can unblock energy, restore diminished energy, and boost the energy to help any part of the body get a jumpstart on healing. I have found that if the eye has any eyesight at all, there is enough energy moving through the eye to be able to work with, helping to restore balance and eyesight. One of my clients in his 70s lost his driver license because he was considered legally blind from macular degeneration. The doctor said that is just the way it is; there’s nothing more we could do for him. After several Reiki sessions, his eyesight improved enough where his driver license was restored.

Many women are waiting later in life to start a family and a large percentage of women in their 30s or 40s seem to have problems getting pregnant. In some cases, the doctors cannot even pinpoint why they are having issues or label the situation as low hormones or a decline in egg production. They start them on hormones to prepare them to undergo IVF, a procedure that forces the ovaries to produce follicles that are then harvested, fertilized, and then placed back into the woman. This is very expensive and there is no guarantee it will work. With all of the cases I have worked on with Reiki, I see how the energy in the reproductive energy center is out of balance, and very well could be the cause for the fertility issues. Reiki can unblock the energy and restore the balance to a woman’s reproductive system. Reiki energy can also boost a woman’s energy if she is going through IUI or IVF. I am currently working with a woman who had been through two rounds of IVF with no luck. She had just turned 36. We began working in between her second and third rounds. After the second Reiki session, she produced several follicles. Her doctor was so excited. She’s in the mist of the third IVF cycle and has asked for Reiki to support the entire process. We both are very hopeful for the success of this process. 

Let’s talk about menopause. There is really no secret pill or surgery that can restore the physical and emotional balance wreaks havoc in a woman’s body. The hormones are crashing and it makes the body feel as if it has no physical energy and creates terrible mood swings that are unbearable. When I was going through menopause, I prayed for magic pill to make this all go away. I turn to my Reiki toolbox and began to use Karuna Reiki every day. It not only helped with all of the symptoms, it also helped me to focus on what I truly wanted to do and to manifest in this new phase of my life. Daily dose of Reiki allowed me to reflect on where I was and where I wanted to go. It was a marvelous calming gift that no drug can ever give me at this phase in my life.

One of my Reiki students was diagnosed with Lymphoma. She had a few enlarged nodes, which was how she noticed there was an issue. After blood work and being examined by the specialist, he said that they should just wait and see if the nodes got any bigger before doing anything about her situation. He checked her every six months. With her permission, I added her name to several online distant Reiki groups. She did Reiki for herself daily, and I was sending Reiki. She researched the right herbs to help support her body to heal and added those into her diet. Within two years, her body was healed without any prescription drugs or medical interventions.

My husband was diagnosed with reactive airways disease before we met when he was in his early 30s. His physical activity was very limited because he would get so winded. The only treatment the doctor offered was a prescription inhaler. The attitude was “learn to live with it”. We met and he discovered Reiki. After Reiki I, he began doing self Reiki, not necessarily on his lungs but on his whole body. He also was introduced to Reiki shares, which he participated in on a monthly basis. Overtime, we both noticed that he rarely used his inhaler and he was able to go Kayaking and do other activities that would have normally been too challenging for his breathing. We married and two years later he went to get life insurance. Since he had a reactive airways disease in his medical records, the insurance company asked that he go get a chest x-ray and breathing test so they could determine how bad it really was. The insurance company came back and said that the report showed that his lungs were cleared and there were no signs of any respiratory illness. We should have known he experienced a healing, based on all the things that he could now do without needing to stop and sit down.

There are so many other situations where the medical arena does not have all the answers. If they cannot find what is wrong from observing the person, through tests, or lab work, many times a person becomes a medical mystery. They continue to suffer with whatever the ailments are or they are given drugs, which makes them feel even worse. The answer to situations like this just might be Reiki because the issue just might be caused by an energy imbalance. The only thing that can restore an energetics imbalance is energy work. Reiki is a gentle yet very powerful form of energy work!

Reiki is a personal experience 

Reiki is a personal experience for each person who receives it. Some are called to Reiki to heal themselves of physical, emotional and spiritual pain, some are called to spiritual growth and development and others a call to practice Reiki as a professional business. I had no idea that I would be called to a professional Reiki practice and full-time business. It was not on my radar at all. I already had a successful business that I liked. In addition I couldn’t manage my empathy; if someone felt pain, I felt pain. If they cried, I cried. And I knew that wouldn’t be helpful for a practitioner. However, I was completely compelled by Reiki. All I knew was that I wanted to do Reiki all the time. I wanted to talk about it, give it and receive it with whomever would talk about it with me. Through a winding path, I sold my other business and I created Reiki lifestyle and a full-time Reiki practice. I would like to share the blessings I have experienced in following my professional Reiki path in case you are considering your own professional Reiki practice.

It began with a horse.

My horse Dakota became lame at five years old. I have always had horses; in fact most of my major life decision were because of my love of horses. Dakota was my life time dream horse. I spent hours with him, and when he went lame, it was very difficult for me. I asked him what had happened and he told me that he went lame to deliver me to my power to heal. And then through inner vision he showed me giving him Reiki. I didn’t believe in the effectiveness of Reiki at the time. And I knew that it was passed from one person to another through a ritual called attunement and I didn’t think that was possible. I had been taught and believed that if I wanted something, I had to work hard for it. I couldn’t comprehend that Reiki could be given to me simply by my willingness to receive it. So I procrastinated and didn’t pursue Reiki for a long time.

Then one day, a woman came into my business in downtown Portland. She told me that she was a psychic and that she had a message for me from my horse. She said that he had told me to do something and I hadn’t done it — that I needed to do it because life was coming and I was going to need it. I listened and this time I didn’t procrastinate, I received my first Reiki attunement within two weeks!

I still remember the feeling of my first attunement. I was surprised that it was so physical. A current ran from my hands to my elbows for months. The energy was actually so uncomfortable and strong that I would place my hands on the roots of our big fir tree to discharge the energy. The experienced completely expanded my belief system. I thought, “if this is real, what else is possible? What else is true?

My Reiki attunement changed my world. I finally found what I had been seeking. I realized that I had been looking for a way to discover my own inner authority and true spirituality. I was looking for a way to have a direct relationship with God without an intermediary, I believed in Gandhi’s teaching to be the change I wanted to see in the world. Reiki is a spiritual energy and practice that give me the tools I needed to accomplish my purpose and goals.

A Reiki I class created my spiritual awakening

After experiencing a traumatic panic attack in 2013, I forged an alternative path and embarked on my spiritual journey. I had to being offered a new lease on life because after suffering from severe depression on and off for several years, I never knew that by simply cherishing the simplicities of life, I could embody profound joy each present moment. The fog of depression I had grown accustomed to living in had been lifted, and I no longer desired surface level experiences or attachments because of such clarity. So, I deepened my yoga practice started meditating and taught myself affirmations. Honestly none of these practices sounds like a choice but more like a necessity to survive.

Not long after, my dear cousin Nicole reached out to me to let me know she would be taking a Reiki level one training and that I should join her. I knew little about this. “Energetic healing”? I asked. I was open to anything that would expand my consciousness, so I enthusiastically agreed. I trekked a couple of hours to her massage studio space on the New Hampshire Vermont border and dove headfirst into something I knew little about but would change me forever.

Nicole, her friend Paige and I spent several hours with Linda Kali Usui Holy fire III master teacher. Her calm, ethereal demeanor facilitated a soothing learning environment, and by the time we were beginning the attunement process, I already felt very connected to my spiritual core.

During the few weeks following my attunement, it was as if I were living in a dream simply floating through my daily life without a touch of anxiety or negativity tagging me back down to the reality that was once my life before the attunement. As soon as you have been attuned, there is no going back. It opens the door for the essence of your pure light to experience universal energy in a way that you could never have imagined. Of course, it was easy to read about this in my level one manual, but experiencing what that meant was entirely different story. I find my Claire senses were awakened in the days after my attunement.

Briefly, there are some of the Clair senses: 

Clairvoyance (clear seeing)

Clairaudience (clear hearing)

Claircognizance (clear knowing)

Clairintellect (clear thinking)

Clairemphathy (clear emotion)

Clairsentience (clear physical feeling)

I will share two experiences, one illustrating sudden Claircognizance and another, Clairsentience.

Claircognizance or clear knowing is experiencing a sudden knowing. You know it to be true in your mind’s eye, even thought you did not hear or seat. It may be a stroke of instant insight or a download. This Clair can also manifest as instincts. 

My experience was that after about five minutes in a social setting, I knew that the acquaintance I adored was in the early stages of pregnancy at that perhaps she was experiencing some health complications. After somehow knowing this information, I hesitated about my next step. What if I reach out and I’m wrong? What if she has recently suffered a miscarriage, and I will trigger her by asking? But somehow, I still knew the truth. 

Several days after the social event, I messaged her, saying I received a spiritual download of information regarding her pregnancy and that her baby would be fine despite some upsetting health concerns. She assured me I was, in fact, correct about her being pregnant and that the doctor had informed her of potential issues with her babies development, which all turned out to be a force alarm. Seven months later, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

Clairsentience is a clear physical feeling. You actually feel the physical feelings in your body that others are experiencing. An example is if someone has a stomach ache, you feel either pain or a sensation in your stomach too. You may also feel emotional injuries were they may manifest in the body. To me this goes hand-in-hand with empathy, and I genuinely believe all Healer’s are empaths. Sensing other people’s feelings, pain, and hardship has been an essential tool guiding me in my practice as I pick up information through emotions.

For example, during my level III training, I received information regarding a loved one of the person with whom I was practicing my hand placements. I Suddenly sense she had a son, and he was somewhere far away, and he missed her greatly. Once the practice had ended, I told her I could sense she had a son and felt how he missed her. She said that yes, indeed she did, and he was away at college on the West Coast. She was thrilled to know he was thinking of her. I was also happy feeling at one with all the love between the two of them.

Although there are positive examples of how I have experienced spiritual downloads since I have completed my Reiki attunements, some instances are not as pleasant because information can come through that isn’t exactly enjoyable. Navigating these experiences without a rulebook was never something I expected when I agreed to my level one Reiki class. However, I have learned that I can take measures to prepare myself and protect my energy.

First, I can create a shield of Reiki light around me when I feel unsafe to protect my energy. This step can be taken before practicing Reiki or simply before a social event I feel might make me anxious. For example, I often shield when I am having a tough conversation at work or if I find myself in a situation out of my control that is unnerving.

Second, learning about, acquiring, and using crystals in my every day life and Reiki practice has been immensely helpful. Studying the different energetic properties of crystals and which ones can facilitate grounding, protection, and healing has been such a joy and a journey I will continue because quite simply, they’re gorgeous to have around! Keeping crystals close by has been a wonderful tool in my protection toolbox.

Several years have passed since those weeks I spent existing in the clouds in a dream like state following my first attunement. If only then I had known that the door through which I had just entered was the same door that would connect me with a true essence of my spiritual well-being – blissful and chilling experiences included. I might have been fearful, but of course, Reiki allows me to tap back into the space of uttermost peace, which I believe is a true essence of Reiki energy. I can access that peaceful place anytime I’m feeling unwell. My utmost goal as a Reiki Master is to guide others to access that peaceful place. Everyone who has been and decided to become attuned will not have the same experiences as they go forward in their practices because the Reiki energy touches us all uniquely. Still, if you have ever had a feeling to follow the course of Reiki on your spiritual path, you might find yourself walking through that very same door.

Unbreaking my heart: a Reiki journey into self-love and acceptance

By Ashley Gregg

Just four weeks shy of my 38th birthday, I re-evaluated my life, where I’m going and where I have been. I have done this to understand my heart’s most authentic intentions, my soul’s purest desires, and my life’s purpose for my time on this earth.

And I will tell you, I’m not sure where this journey will take me. I’m still learning. I’m still deep diving, and I’m still discovering all the beautiful things that make me, well, including writing this article.

At 26 years old, I was very ill and diagnosed with five auto immune diseases. While undiagnosed, I had struggled with these on some level for most of my life. I was on medical leave at work and trying to be a decently good young mom to two amazing children who were active in school and sports, and I was really struggling. Even day-to-day normal activities like showering and making myself semi presentable felt like I was trying to climb Mount Everest. My energy was twiddling, my life was seizing to exist outside of sickness, and the impact was significant every relationship and interaction I had. My emotional, spiritual and physical health were all suffering.

In a last-ditch effort for relief and a glimmer of hope, one of my intuitive friends referred me to a Reiki practitioner in my area. So I started researching Reiki, what it was, how it worked, and reading reviews from other people who had similar journeys relating to mine. I learned how hospitals began using it for relaxation, cell regeneration and healing, and I dove in headfirst. The minute I made my first appointment, I knew deep in my soul that this was not only the beginning of my personal healing journey, but that of helping others.

I need to be very clear when I say – healing yourself with Reiki is not all light and love, and it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. It takes a lot of commitment, dedication, hard work, and mostly grace to see yourself as you are right now, at this moment, as messy as you are and as you have been before. While some encourage you not to look back on the past and to focus solely on the now, I favor real self-evaluation for real self-evolution. Looking back is a perfect way to use your distance Reiki, to send love to your energetic self to those years you might have been struggling or not acting according to your inner compass. To know oneself is to see oneself in all the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between; to honestly, in your heart, acknowledge and meet each facet of you with compassion and radical self acceptance.

How is that possible though? How does Reiki help someone learn to love themselves wholly, intimately, and without judgment or sleight-of-hand? After 12 years of receiving Reiki, taking Usui/ Holy Fire III Reiki Master training, experiencing the difficulties of the spiritual, physical, emotional and mental healing aspects, I’m going to share some ways that Reiki not only allowed me to reframe my outlook and mindset, but also genuinely see myself as amazing, unique human being with so much authentic goodness to offer this world. Here are ways Reiki has changed my mindset, outlook, and life.

Reiki helped me learn to see people, situations and energy precisely as they are without expectations of how they should be. In the Reiki healing principles, we focus on the here and now, just for today, and we do it with compassion, calmness and kindness. By starting my day by repeating the Reiki principles and understanding that the only thing I can control is the present moment, I can direct my energy into a space of peace and love very early in the day.

Reiki taught me to breathe deeply, allowing energy to moved through my body and heart, and to open up and feel all my feelings. The healing energy moved the feelings of grief, anger, hardness or armor. It helped make space for me to be open to giving and receiving love, it also helped me find that voice that shakes, speaks up when something is wrong and sets healthy boundaries for itself.

Reiki has taught me to be gentle with myself and others. We are all spiritual beings having authentic human experiences. And while the mud may feel deeper to some than others, Reiki helps me have realistic perspectives on day-to-day tasks, to be forgiving when someone may have wronged me, and even more forgiving when I feel I may have let myself down.

Reiki is about integrity Pureness. Healing energy that holds your feet to the fire in a state of alignment. And while no one is perfect, Reiki has helped me maintain clarity and consistency in my values and morals.

Reiki is love in its purest form. Prayer, invitation, invocation, and energy. It heals, does no harm only loves, and loves people from their darkest days into their brightest nights. It illuminates, shines, and envelopes. Its feeling is unlike anything else ever felt, magnetizing, energizing and peace-giving all at once.

By putting the principles into practice each day by giving yourself the gift of self-Reiki, by providing Reiki healing to others, and by aligning myself to the art of living and being Reiki, I have been able to learn to love myself just a little harder and a little longer. I have calmed the stressors, identified them faster and healed my dis-regulated nervous system and physical and energetic bodies. These actions effectively put my autoimmune conditions into remission. I’ve learned to silence the nay-sayers in the world around me, create boundaries with unhealthy family relationships, remove toxic friendships that no longer walked a healthy path or served a higher purpose, and lay down my sword of judgment and shame I held against myself.

I’m not a perfect person. I have a thousand flaws that I could quickly write out in a matter of minutes (while simultaneously taking hours to write out the fantastic things I also encompass and embody). But with Reiki and my daily practices, I have learned to love the shadows, embrace the darkness, and allow the light to shines through. I am excited to see where my journey with Reiki will take me next. So cheers to 38! It is going to be great. I feel it!

Becoming Who You Are Meant to Be

by William Lee Rand

I was in between lives, contemplating the possibilities for my next incarnation when I found myself in a cloud high over the earth. I was a radiant light and as I moved to one end of the cloud, I went into the past, and the other end was the future, and in the middle was the present. I was free to move at will and explore and seek an understanding of the possibilities for life on earth.

Then I was a fetus in my mother’s womb. And at first, the only thing I knew was that I am. Then, gradually, awareness grew and developed into something wonderful. Love surrounded and bathed me, and this was the first and only thing I was aware of outside of my existence. I remained in this beautiful state for some time.

After a while, I became aware of a change taking place. Something was different. Being able to communicate with my mother’s spirit, I asked her what this was. She said there is a big wonderful world out there, and I was getting ready to enter it. And I asked, what is the world? She said the world is a place where there are things that you do. And I understood that to be able “to do” was an amazing gift. To my new mind, being able to understand anything was in the very beginning stages of development. And so, at that point, there were two things I knew; love and do. And while I understood love, I wondered, what would be my do?

Then I was born and out, lying in a bassinet, and the nurses were loving me. And this felt wonderful. But then something happened, both sad and puzzling. A couple of other people came into the room, and I could feel their energy, and they felt upset and unhappy about something. Right away, I knew what was wrong. They had forgotten about love. I knew that when love surrounds you, no matter what is going on, everything becomes much easier to do. When love is present, there is always an undercurrent of peace and joy no matter the task or situation with which one is involved with, and there is always a sense of optimism and a focus on positive expectations. It is only when love is not one’s dominant feeling that life becomes difficult. And I sadly realized that the importance of love is something that people in the world had forgotten.

Because of this, I knew that someone needed to help people remember about love. As I contemplated this, I felt the power of a lightning bolt run through me, aligning every cell of my being to a realization—THIS IS YOUR DO!

This is an excerpt from the complete article that appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of Reiki News Magazine.

How reiki taps into our sense of connection with the world around us

This article is published on LA Times on June 27, 2023 and it is originally published in Group Therapy, BY LAURA NEWBERRY. Group Therapy is a weekly newsletter answering questions sent by readers about what’s been weighing on their hearts and minds.

Energy healing, otherwise known as energy medicine, is based on the belief that a subtle energy flows through the human body. Practitioners aim to remove blocks to this flow of energy (similar to acupuncture or acupressure) with the goal of increasing relaxation, relieving pain and reducing other symptoms of both mental and physical ailments by bringing the body back to homeostasis.

Reiki is the most well-known form of energy healing in the West. The practice as we know it today dates to the teachings of Japanese scholar Mikao Usui in the early 1920s. “Usui studied, fasted and meditated to seek an understanding of life,” write Ellen Zambo Anderson and Cindy Wolk-Weiss in their book “Complementary Therapies for Physical Therapy.” “At some point during this quest … Usui dramatically received a powerful form of energy now known as reiki. He realized that this energy gave him a remarkable ability to heal and that he could easily transfer the ability to access and use this energy to anyone.”

A Japanese American woman named Hawayo Takata brought Usui’s form of reiki to the West in the 1930s. She had traveled to her native Japan to seek healing for a lung condition, asthma and an emotional breakdown after the death of her husband, and her experience with reiki was so profound that she brought the practice home to Hawaii, becoming the first person to teach reiki in the West.

The word reiki comes from the Japanese word rei, which means “universal life,” and ki, which means “energy.” Reiki focuses on seven main energy centers, called chakras, in the body.

“This subtle energy, known as ki in Japanese, chi in Chinese and prana in Sanskrit, is the essence that underlies vitality and intelligence of the universe and everything in it,” write Zambo Anderson and Wolk-Weiss. “As a pervasive and infinite energy, ki is organized into energy systems and fields that are penetrable and interactive with each other within individuals and between individuals and the environment, which allows universal energy to be received and exchanged.”

Why people are turning to reiki

In a 2020 article for the Atlantic, writer Jordan Kisner writes that reiki and other touch-based healing therapies simulate “the most archetypal care.”

“Several scientists I interviewed about their work on reiki mentioned the way their mother would lay a hand on their head when they had a fever or kiss a scraped knee and make the pain go away,” Kisner said. “It is not hard to imagine that a hospital patient awaiting surgery or chemotherapy might feel relieved, in that hectic and stressful setting, to have someone place a hand gently and unhurriedly where the hurt or fear is with the intention of alleviating any suffering.”

One explanation for the growing popularity of energy healing is that many modern-day adults don’t receive this sort of attention or care. We can be witnessed in attuned talk therapy, certainly. However, many forms of psychotherapy and other Western interventions target what ails our minds, and neglect to acknowledge our bodies and spirits, said Kenneth Cohen, a renowned practitioner and scholar of Qigong, a method of Chinese energy healing developed thousands of years ago.

Qigong is primarily used as a self-regulation practice, incorporating postures, exercises and breathing techniques, and meditation “to enhance the clarity and supply of Qi, or healing energy, but it can also be performed by a practitioner in service to others.

Cohen considers Qigong and other energy work as a “complement rather than an alternative” to talk therapy.

“Many of these energy healing methods involve spirituality. This isn’t the same as religion or religious dogma,” Cohen told me. “Spirituality is our sense of connection to other people, to the universe and that also has a positive influence on health.”

What research says about reiki

Scientists have so far been unable to explain how reiki works — “much less confirmed the existence of a healing energy that passes between bodies on command,” Kisner wrote.

And yet many respected hospitals in the U.S., including the Yale Cancer Center, the Mayo Clinic and Memorial Sloan Kettering, now offer reiki treatment, training and education as a complement to Western medicine.

How is it that a treatment that remains so mysterious to researchers is being adopted by members of the notoriously skeptical medical establishment?

For one, reiki has shown a lot of promise in eliciting a relaxation response, easing pain and boosting mood and sleep for those who receive it. However, it should be noted that while dozens of published studies indicate reiki’s benefits, many of those studies used relatively small sample sizes, experts said. More high-quality research is needed to understand the practice’s benefits and limitations.

Here are two notable studies that point to reiki’s healing potential:

  • Yale School of Medicine researchers measured the activity of the autonomic nervous systems of 37 patients who had just experienced heart attacks and found that those who who received reiki had a higher heart rate variability (HRV) and improved emotional state. Higher HRV is associated with better recovery after heart attacks.
  • A Harvard Medical School study followed 99 people to determine the effects of one 45- to 90-minute reiki session. The study found significant improvements in anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as pain and nausea.

Some argue that reiki’s effectiveness is a function of placebo. Harvard Medical School professor Ted Kaptchuk theorizes that the placebo effect is, as he told the New York Times Magazine, “a biological response to an act of caring; that somehow the encounter itself calls forth healing and that the more intense and focused it is, the more healing it evokes.”

The same argument has been made about antidepressants, which also work for many people for largely unknown reasons. Conditions including depression, pain, fatigue, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, Parkinson’s disease and osteoarthritis have been found to respond positively to placebos.

Placebo effect or not, multiple studies report no negative effects of reiki, though some people may feel emotionally drained or tired after a session.

If you’re reiki-curious like me and are thinking of trying it out, you should know that there’s a wide range of training and expertise among practitioners. Reiki is not a standardized practice, and there are no licensing boards for reiki healers. Experts recommend asking your prospective practitioner about their training and credentials.

As a journalist and a chronic questioner, I get why some people may raise an eyebrow at reiki, because it appears to diverge so significantly from the medical model. But I also think that — for me, at least — it’s important to remain open to that which we don’t yet understand through the lens of Western science.

If you’ve had your own experiences with reiki, drop us a line and we might include your comments in a future newsletter.

Until next time,


Healing Fear 

by William Lee Rand

Fear is rarely useful and the events of September 11 and those that have continued to unfold challenge us to remain centered in our hearts and continue to live our lives in a meaningful way.  Allowing ourselves to dwell on worrisome thoughts or to remain caught in the grip of fear prevents us from living our lives resourcefully, making it difficult to find the best solutions to our own issues.  Fear also weakens our ability to send positive thoughts, prayers and Reiki to those in need and to take effective action.

Because of this, it is important that we first focus on our internal state and be aware of any fear that may exist.  For some, the fear is obvious, but for many, there may be a low-grade fear that lingers in the background and mostly goes unrecognized. By first being aware of your fear, you will then be able to use your healing skills to release it.

There are many techniques one can use to release fear. This one makes use of two Reiki II symbols.  First take a moment to do some introspection and become more aware of your internal state.  Look for any fear(s) that may exist and see if you can localize this energy to any one part of your body or energy field.  Then draw the emotional/mental symbol on your hands, followed by the power symbol and treat the area you have discovered.  At the same time, repeat a positive affirmation.  Use ones like this or create your own:  “I release all fear into the light and it is gone forever.”  Or, “I am always centered in the light and completely let go of all fear now.”

As you do this, you may notice your attention changing from events taking place now to things that have happened in the past.  This is an opportunity to heal more deeply and to release those deeper fears as well.  Just continue with the process as these deeper fears come up.  By doing this, you will be transforming a challenging situation into a positive healing experience. Do this as often as needed. This technique can also be used to treat others. 

By remaining centered in positive thoughts and feelings and allowing yourself to feel joy and peace, you will be helping those around you and be in a better place to send healing for others and for the planet. Remember, you are powerful, you are strong and you are centered in the light!