Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words - Rei which means "God's Wisdom or the Higher Power" and Ki which is "life force energy". So Reiki is actually "spiritually guided life force energy."
Usually, the client lies on a massage table fully clothed while the practitioner lightly touches or holds her hands above the client's body. A treatment feels like a wonderful, glowing radiance that flows through and around the client. Many report a warm, tingly feeling; some become so relaxed that they drift off to sleep.
Reiki treats the whole person, including body, emotions, mind and spirit--creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security, and well-being. Many have reported miraculous results.
Distance Reiki, or remote Reiki, is a healing session that is given while you are (typically) in your own home and your Reiki Practitioner is somewhere else. You do not have to attend in person to receive the benefits of Reiki healing.
Many people are skeptical of distance or remote Reiki until they experience it for themselves. Some clients describe a tingling or warm feeling in different parts of their bodies. Others just experience a deep state of relaxation.
A couple of years ago, a client requested a distance session to help her relax because her daughter was stationed in Turkey with the military during a particularly stressful time. During the session, I kept feeling something wrong with her left hip, so when I got back on the phone with her, I told her I spent some time on her hip. Surprised, she texted me a picture of a huge bruise on her hip from a fall the day before. She had forgotten about it with her worry over her daughter.
Because everything is made of energy, we can connect through space and time. Clients can receive deep healing through distant sessions. In fact, sometimes the sessions are better because the clients can relax more in their own homes.
When you receive distance Reiki, I want you to be in full receiving mode, relaxed, comfortable and uninterrupted. The process is very similar to an in-person session:
An interesting article discusses the science supporting all forms of distance healing, Distant Mental Interaction with Living Systems (DMILS).
Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery. Many hospitals around the world integrate Reiki into their programs, from surgery to chemotherapy. It is also beneficial in palliative care and hospice programs.
In her Living Well article "Reiki in a Hospital Setting," Michele Anderson gives a couple of examples:
"Mary, a yoga instructor and registered nurse, tried Reiki treatments out of curiosity. After her first session, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that Reiki had the ability to work beyond just the physical level. “Not only did I feel totally relaxed, but I found for two months after the treatment, my sleeping was better, I had a more positive outlook, and…experienced a reduction in peri-menopausal symptoms,” she says.
Like Mary, clients often report an improvement in physical maladies as well an overall improvement in mood, mental clarity, and stress levels.
When Kate Peterson from Red Hook, NY had her first Reiki session, she was suffering from stress and anxiety coupled with chronic back pain. While she wasn’t sure to expect from the treatment, she soon became relaxed and comfortable. Within moments, she began to feel a pulsing sensation in her lower back which lasted the duration of the session.
“After my session,” says Peterson, “I felt great. But the next morning was the best part. I got out of bed quickly, forgetting the fact that I normally have to do it slowly or have my husband help me.”
According to William Rand, founder of the International Center for Reiki Training:
"We are alive because life force is flowing through us. Life force flows within the physical body through pathways called chakras, meridians and nadis. It also flows around us in a field of energy called the aura. Life force nourishes the organs and cells of the body, supporting them in their vital functions. When this flow of life force is disrupted, it causes diminished function in one or more of the organs and tissues of the physical body. The life force is responsive to thoughts and feelings. It becomes disrupted when we accept, either consciously or unconsciously, negative thoughts or feelings about ourselves. These negative thoughts and feelings attach themselves to the energy field and cause a disruption in the flow of life force. This diminishes the vital function of the organs and cells of the physical body.
Reiki heals by flowing through the affected parts of the energy field and charging them with positive energy. It raises the vibratory level of the energy field in and around the physical body where the negative thoughts and feelings are attached. This causes the negative energy to break apart and fall away. In so doing, Reiki clears, straightens, and heals the energy pathways, thus allowing the life force to flow in a healthy and natural way."
An amazingly simple technique to learn, Reiki is not taught in the usual sense, but is transferred to the student during a Reiki class. This ability is passed on during an "attunement" given by a Reiki master and allows the student to tap into an unlimited supply of "life force energy" to improve one's health and enhance the quality of life.
Its use is not dependent on one's intellectual capacity or spiritual development and, therefore, is available to everyone. It has been successfully taught to thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds.
Many hospitals have programs to train parents of ill children and caregivers to those in palliative care.
“Animals live in an energy world and have an innate understanding of Reiki and its healing ability. Animal Reiki is a Reiki frequency that connects to a practitioner’s existing Reiki energy regardless of style or lineage." --Robyn Benelli, Sioux Strong, Colleen Benelli, and Pamela Allen-LeBlanc, co-founders of Animal Reiki
As a Licensed Teacher with the International Center for Reiki Training, I had the privilege of being part of the pilot classes in Animal Reiki. Honestly, I had been using Reiki on animals for years with amazing results, and I wasn't really sure how this energy would be different.
Surprisingly, my life began to shift after the Animal 1 & 2 class in November of 2020, but I attributed that expanding awareness to the residual effects of the upgraded Holy Fire III Reiki® I received in response to the Covid-19 pandemic so we could teach live, online classes. Being forced to deliver all my sessions remotely and teaching online demolished my imagined barriers about how Reiki works. We are all connected energetically. My experiences with clients and students reinforced this deep understanding with sometimes alarming certainty.
After completing Animal Reiki Master in early June 2021, I found myself discovering new healing abilities that were apparently lying dormant in me, waiting for the right time to emerge. I have always been connected to nature, but that kinship has deepened.
Animal Reiki isn't just for the four-legged animals. It's for us, the two-legged caregivers of domestic animals as well as the defenders of the wildlife we depend on as part of Earth's complex ecosystems.
And it's for Earth.
Delivering Reiki to animals requires special attention to safety if practitioners are delivering in-"person" sessions. We discuss safety precautions in Animal Reiki 1 & 2. At present, I am delivering Animal Reiki session live through Zoom. The animals are incredibly sensitive to the energy, which works simply, efficiently, and effectively.
Most sessions last between 15-40 minutes with the animal drawing the energy. I schedule each session for one hour to allow time to discuss the session before and after.
Many people schedule a session for their pets' problems, but frequently, the caregiver also needs healing. Pets and their caregivers are closely tied together, so I require the caregiver to be present during the entire session.
One client described the energy she felt while her dog received the treatment as "waves of calm." She had rescued this dog and had worked for three months to help her adjust. She had instantly connected with the dog and felt her grief and anxiety. The dog was afraid to walk in grass, probably because she had been tied in a dog run and her infinite back-and-forth path had worn down to dirt. Three hours after the session, the caregiver contacted me to tell me the dog was still relaxed and had just rolled in the grass for the first time since she got her.
William Lee Rand, president and founder of the International Center for Reiki Training, and publisher of Reiki for Animals, says, “Animals have a natural understanding of Reiki and enjoy receiving it. Reiki provides them with the same benefits and healing we experience as humans, making it an effective method of caring for injuries, emotional issues, or virtually any problem an animal might experience.”
Animal Reiki is a different frequency, but it incorporates many of the same techniques from Usui Reiki, such as the Gassho meditation and Reiji-ho. Practitioners still need to clear and ground themselves.
However, gaining consent from the animal and the caregiver (if the animal is domesticated) is important, and practitioners are trained in how to observe and receive information from the animals. The energy works the same--although this frequency seems to work much more quickly. The energy seeks blocks in the mental, emotional, and physical body of the animal and releases them.
I was surprised to discover, for example, that my rescued tomcat's body felt so different after receiving the energy (he attended all the attunements for the Animal Reiki classes I took). I thought he was just a muscular old tomcat, but he actually feels almost squishy now because he is so much more relaxed. The vet said he was about 7-8 years old when he found me two years ago. He is missing 2/3 of his tail. He has had a hard life. Of course, I gave him Reiki, and he healed from his physical wounds pretty quickly after he adopted me, but he still carried trauma in his muscles. The Animal Reiki released it.
Like regular Reiki, anyone can become attuned to the energy and learn how to administer it. People with different relationships and philosophies about animals come together with a focus on how they can individually best serve the Animal Kingdom, and the class is open to animal activists as well as farmers, veterinarians as well as fur-baby parents. The objective of the course is to attune students to the healing energy, help them deal with grief and compassion fatigue, and teach them the techniques they will need to deliver the best sessions or to teach others.
Because Animal Reiki is so specialized and created to harmonize with the existing Reiki energies, applicants for Animal Reiki 1 & 2 must be Level 2 (Second Degree) in any lineage. They should already have the knowledge of the history of Reiki and how it works as well as how to send Reiki remotely so they can focus on how to deliver Reiki to the animals.
To enroll in Animal Reiki Master, students must have taken Animal Reiki 1 & 2 and be a Reiki Master in any lineage.
Therefore, students who are new to Reiki would take at least six months to complete Animal Reiki Master because the International Center for Reiki Training requires at least 6 months' practice at Level 2 as a prerequisite for Reiki Master, which is a prerequisite for Animal Reiki Master.
Students who have been Level 2 Practitioners for six months could take Animal Reiki 1 & 2 and then immediately take Reiki Master followed immediately by Animal Reiki Master. However, I have enjoyed letting the energy lead me at a comfortable pace that aligns with my own mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. We are all different and should follow our own guidance.
Would you like to learn Reiki but aren't sure where to start? Do you have questions? Karen is available to answer your questions about how Reiki can help you--whether you want to practice on yourself, friends, family, and pets, or if you want to become a Reiki practitioner or teacher.