Copyright © Betty Barnes. All rights reserved.
Rediscovered and techniques/usages structured by Sensei Mikao Usui in the early 1900s, Reiki is the use of Universal energy, or life force, to aid in relaxation and healing and to promote general well-being. While this Universal energy is present in us and all around us and we all have the capability to call upon it, Reiki techniques and teachings are traditionally passed from Master to student. What are known as “attunements” are performed by the Master during class, awakening the Reiki capabilities within the student. Think of turning on a tap and allowing the water to flow through the faucet. During the attunement, the student’s Reiki “tap” is turned on and the Reiki energy begins to flow. Once you have received the attunements, Reiki stays with you your entire life. The more you use it, the stronger it will become.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Reiki can be performed hands-on or in the subject’s energy field. The energy flows through the practitioner’s hands to the subject. One can perform Reiki on oneself, making it a tool of empowerment for those with chronic pain, cancer patients and the like.
HOW DOES IT FEEL?
My hands become very warm, with the heat emanating from the center of the palms. I will often feel subjectively warm throughout, although I have taken my temperature at those times and it is normal. Finishing a Reiki session on a student and asking her how she felt, she responded by asking me how I felt. No one had ever posed that question to me. I responded that I felt very tranquil, relaxed and whole. Being able to help ease someone’s physical pain, to help them sleep, to assist in calming anxieties or fears is a very humbling experience. My clients/subjects feel the heat from my hands when placed on the body. I’ve been told my hands feel like nice wee heating pads. The energy recipient typically feels relaxed; I’ve had folks fall asleep on the table and start snoring. Those are typical reactions; however, everyone experiences the energy differently. Although Reiki is not a religion, many clients and students find it to be quite a spiritual experience.
ANIMALS AND REIKI
Animals love Reiki! When ending a Reiki session on my elderly white cat, she often would paw at me for more. Well, naturally, I obliged! She would also lie on the chest of clients during their sessions if allowed to do so. My dog Baby actually was Reiki II attuned. She used to hang around in classes, often lying in a circle of students to offer herself as a test subject. During one class, she lined up with the rest of the students during an attunement, sitting patiently at the end of the row. She was telling me she was ready, so she received her Reiki I/II attunements!
Reiki I and II are the core basics with the student leaving on the last day of training equipped with the philosophy, techniques and usages of Reiki. They are able to go forth and help not only others, but themselves. Students may be seeking a way to reduce their stress or perhaps to help ease the suffering of a family member in chronic pain or at end of life. Advanced and Master levels are for those who seek a further understanding, who would like to have additional techniques available to them for practical use and those who want to teach others. The term “Master” certainly does not infer that one has mastered Reiki. Quite the opposite, it might be considered that one has allowed Reiki to master them. Becoming a Master is not simply acquiring a certificate and new book; it is acceptance of a way of life and not to be taken lightly. Masters are those who pass on the Reiki principles, techniques and philosophies to others.