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Learn about Reiki

What is Reiki?

REIKI (pronounced RAY KEY) are two Japanese Kanji which, when translated into Western dialect, mean Universal Life Force Energy or Spiritual (not religious) Energy.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines Reiki as "A healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body and restore physical and emotional well-being".


The underlying philosophy of Reiki is that if a person’s energy is low, they are more likely to be unwell or stressed. If it is high, however, they are more capable of being happy and feeling well. Reiki will not cure illnesses or diseases, but it may help your body to feel more relaxed and peaceful.

Expierience a Reiki Treatment

When you Google "what is Reiki", you'll find many contradictory and confusing results.


Experiencing a Reiki treatment is the best way to understand what Reiki is.

The System of Reiki is a Complementary, safe, vibrational / energy healing practice/therapy, that promotes balance in mind, body, and spirit. It is painless, non-manipulative, non-invasive and does not interfere with any form of medical treatment.

ARC prefers the following explanation: by WendyJoy Smith:

"When asked the question, what is Reiki, much has been written, by many distinguished scholars of Reiki, about what Reiki is, but there are still many people who have not been able to find the words that resonate with their own experiences of this hands-on healing technique. I find that sometimes words still escape me.

It is the vitality you can feel when all is going well; it is the energy you feel when sitting still, under a tree; it is the energy of prayer; it is the feeling of being centred even when confronting anger, or negativity. It is like the feeling of warm drink going down, when you feel it go all the way down on a cold night. Or the cold drink on a hot summer night. The energy you feel when sitting on the beach with the water gently rolling over you, energy can be experienced in any of these ways.

The depletion of energy can be felt too, if we are attuned to feeling it. Reiki will restore the feelings of wholeness and wellness, but the experience of Reiki is unique to the individual. It can be felt as heat, cold, tingling, vibration, but often one will feel sleepiness. Whatever the feelings though Reiki will be of benefit.

Yes, it is an experiential thing, one must feel in order to know, and talking about it does not do it justice. Yet one must find the words to adequately discuss Reiki, when questioned by anyone new to energy work. So, what do you say? What is this energy that enlivens me, what is it about Reiki that soothes me, or brings me back to centreIt is the energy of creation the energy that sparks one into existence, that one can easily deplete in this day and age just by the mere practice of going to work, being the family taxi, or just plain doing too much. It is the feeling of replenishment, the feeling one gets when all is well.

Reiki Therapy
Reiki energy healing

In today's world we are beginning to see modern medicine and many older forms of healing unite. In particular, it is common for the terms East and West thinking, coming together to be discussed. In the East the concept of energy running throughout the body has been mapped out for around 5000 years. This concept has been not so prominent in Western thinking, where the focus has been on healing the physical. Yet, within our thinking we have the language of energy.


Energy is within and around us, but perhaps you do not think of it that way; just think of the language you use if you have had a long day, I'm drained of energy, or so and so just used up all my energy. This lost energy will of course be replaced over time if you recognise that you should rest, eat well, exercise etc.  Reiki is a simple way of stopping energy loss, and of replenishing energy in a loving way, for yourself anytime, wherever you are, it will be there for you. You don't have to feel drained or ill for Reiki to be of benefit to you though. It can be likened to meditation for oneself, without having to stress out over whether you can or cannot meditate.


I feel one must re-evaluate what it is to be well.  Modern Western medical thought is beginning, it would appear, to bring about a change in consciousness, to allow the notion that how one is feeling in body mind and spirit has an impact on how the body will heal. It is now recognised that laughter is extremely beneficial for the healing of body mind and spirit. The work of Doctor/Clown Patch Adams can testify to its benefits.

So, with the concept of physical healing we can integrate energy healing, to promote total body mind spirit healing. Reiki is a healing art that is simple, unobtrusive, complementary, soothing, and wont interfere with existing medical treatment. It is so beneficial that many hospitals accept it, along with other forms of hands on work, we can only benefit from Reiki treatments.  


Reiki has been tested many times on various medical equipment, all going to support the fact that Reiki among other things, can: 

  • Increase the hematocrit values in the blood

  • Increase the healing rate of wounds

  • Reduce pain

  • Induce a relaxing state of mind.  


A Reiki treatment will quite often send a friend to sleep; this is probably what is in order, to shut down the responses, so the body can take refuge in silence. Many people have said to me, Oh, that Reiki, it doesn't really do anything, it just sends me to sleep." To which I reply, "well is that what you needed, were you stressed, tired, run down?" We do need to stop and rest, if we don't we use even more energy. Sometimes we expect miracles or lights, bangs and whistles, the answer could be as basic as, in the body's hierarchy of needs that sleep is of the highest priority.

Reiki is a Healing Therapy
Benefits of a Reiki Healing

On subsequent treatments, one's perceived body needs will be addressed, however not always according to our expectations. For I have seen, some who do not see any benefits from Reiki, yet go on to make life changes, and improve their way of life. Reiki may not even be given a thought, but it may have been the trigger to get the change of thought processes into gear. Reiki often works beyond our scope of comprehension. 


Reiki is not only for energy re-balance work; it also promotes healing. Healing is to make whole, whatever that may mean to you, it is an individual thing. So the idea of Reiki is simple, yet complex. It is not easy to describe Reiki in English, as the word energy in our language does not quite describe what we mean when we talk of healing energy. Yet to try Reiki is to understand Reiki. How does one describe in words how a rose smells, or how an orange tastes? Reiki is the energy of creation; allow it to create the words for you.

May be reproduced provided if it is referenced with the author's name. ©Copyright 1998 -2023

Founder of Australian Reiki Connection Australia's Leading Reiki Association

Wendy Joy Smith

Founder of Australian Reiki Conncection

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