The question I am most often asked when I tell people that I am Reiki is, "What exactly IS Reiki?" Some have heard the word and some have not. The origin of the word Reiki is Japanese and translates roughly into "spiritually guided universal life force energy." Rei represents the universe or "higher mind" and ki means spiritually guided life force energy. You might recognize that the ki part of the word Reiki and the Chinese word chi seem a lot alike and you would be correct because they both refer to life force energy.
To respond in explaining Reiki I often say simply that it's a form of healing, hands-on healing. But even that is misleading for I do not need to put my hands on a person to deliver Reiki, or even be in the same room, town, country or galaxy, for that matter. Sounds unbelievable, doesn't it? It is almost too good to be true, except that it IS true. Reiki transcends space and time. It heals the body physically, it heals one's emotions and it heals us on a spiritual level as well.
Though a healer, or person who is attuned to Reiki, delivers the energy s/he does not control the destination in the body or the flow of energy. That means that the healer is not responsible for the healing. Creator or spirit does it all. Spirit decides what the person needs most and delivers the healing in the correct dosage to whatever requires the most help. It's foolproof.
There are three levels of Reiki. Level I, or beginner Reiki, means that the one attuned can do hands-on healing or even hands "above" Reiki. That means that a person attuned at the first level needs to be present to deliver healing energy to another or to oneself. That seems logical. But then it gets more interesting!
Level II Reiki allows one to deliver healing energy in person and also to send the healing energy distantly to another person. The other person can be anywhere in the world. In fact, one can even send Reiki backwards in time or forwards in time, to situations, relationships, ideas, and even inanimate objects! I made this exciting discovery after being attuned to the teaching level and reading a remarkable book by another Reiki master, a teacher at the Omega Institute in New York, Brett Bevell, who is what I'll call a bit of a Reiki maverick. He's a Reiki scientist.
Bevell uses Reiki in new and exciting ways not used traditionally and is fearless in experimenting with new uses for Reiki. I have used many of his techniques with success and have been awed by some of the results.
Lastly, Level III or the master or teaching level allows the teacher to attune others into the Reiki energy and transmits the responsibility of teaching another the healing art of Reiki. Usually only those who are called to be teachers receive this level of attunement, though anyone who wishes to receive it may certainly do so even with no desire to teach others.
Usually healers deliver the Reiki energy through the palms of our hands, though, I have read about persons attuned to Reiki without hands who can still deliver the healing energy through feet or other limbs. One may also deliver Reiki with the eyes as well. Using the eyes to deliver Reiki is very handy when one cannot get close enough to someone to touch them, or if one needs a subtle and unobtrusive delivery.
Usually when I am giving Reiki the subject is lying down. Not always, though and that is really not important. In my healing practice it has been my experience that most who receive Reiki relax so much that they want to lie down so I use a massage table for the client to lie upon. Reiki is extremely relaxing and that is one of its most important benefits.
Reiki is an important healing tool given to humankind for the benefit of all people. All who wish to be attuned into its energy can be attuned and all who wish to receive it may do so from a proper practitioner. But it is neither a substitute for proper medical care, prescribed drugs and medicines nor the responsibility of eating and sleeping well and exercising regularly. Rather, regular Reiki treatments help keep us healthy and one can think of Reiki as another tool in our self-care toolboxes.
Carolyn Halcrow is a practicing Reiki master/teacher, psychic, medium, and angel therapist, who loves to laugh, is a sometime musician and who is interested in all things esoteric. She recently returned from a three-month stint teaching English in Xiamen, Fujian, China. She lives in Thompson, smack dab in the middle of the boreal forest. She can be reached by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can learn more about her by visiting her website: www.reikigoddess.net