What is Reiki: All the Basics + 9 Ways to Use It on the Daily


What’s all the fuss about Reiki?

What if I told you that your hands have the potential to heal yourself and the people around you? That they could become a vehicle to promote well-being, and that best of all, you already have the innate capacity to access this ability?

If you are reading this, you have probably heard of the term Reiki before. Maybe you have already explored with it. Or, you might still have certain questions surrounding Reiki and would like to know more about how you could incorporate it into your daily life.

This is where I come in. I will demystify this mysterious healing art and surprise you with some creative ideas to fill your everyday life with Reiki.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a healing art technique from Japan where one’s hands are used to channel life-force energy for healing. It is a simple yet profound technique and is based on ancient healing wisdom which transcends time and culture.

To fully grasp the deep subtleties of Reiki, I will dive in deeper into some of its basic elements, which include:


  • The origins of Reiki

  • How does Reiki work

  • Who can use Reiki and how

  • What does Reiki feel like

  • 9 ways to integrate Reiki into your daily life


Origins of Reiki

Reiki is a technique that started in Japan, but it is based on a principle that is innate in all of us. Do you remember how as children, when we hurt ourselves, we would place our hands over our injury to feel better?

Or, when someone you know has a headache, have you ever been driven by an unknown impulse to cover their forehead with your hand in an attempt to relieve their pain?

For as long as we have lived, it is probable that we have been using our hands to heal.

Reiki is one of the languages we have to systematize and organize this ability. It also provides a format to pass on this healing art from teacher to student.

Dr. Mikao Usui, a Japanese professor of theology, is credited with founding Reiki and bringing it to our modern world. Though most of his life remains a mystery, Reiki was systematized by Dr. Mikao Usui after a life-long search for healing wisdom.

Hawayo Takata is credited with bringing Reiki to the Western world. Born in Hawaii, she traveled to Japan to receive Reiki treatments at the clinic of Mikao Usui’s successor.

Takata systematized Reiki into 12 hand positions and set strict guidelines as to how Reiki should be practiced and taught.

How does Reiki work: You do not do much, yet a lot happens

Think of it this way: Reiki energy is wise. It sheds light on consciousness that is present inside all of us and focuses on the root cause of conditions, rather than only the symptoms.

In that way, when channeled, the healing energy adjusts to the specific needs of the recipient, promoting the body’s natural ability to heal. The energy is channeled for healing through the body by the practitioner to the recipient with a gentle hands-on technique.

You might be wondering: moving all of this energy must be tiring! The good news is that your own energy is not used when you give Reiki treatments, so it will not be depleted. You are simply the vehicle for life-force energy to pass on to the body you are treating.


Who can use Reiki?

Reiki is for all. We all have the ability to start practicing Reiki today if we desire. It is not attached to any religion or belief system; it is the universal life-force energy that already exists within everyone and everything. People have been practicing energetic medicine all over the world, from Amazonian jungles to ancient Egypt to Asia.

Having energy flow out of your hands that you can use to heal is your birthright. It is part of what makes us human. The ability lies within yourself.


Reiki or reiki?

Reiki with a capital “R” is a specific method that we use to give a context and space for using this natural life force that is within each of us. Within the language of Reiki are specific sounds (mantras), symbols, and traditional hand positions that are used to enable healing on a specific frequency.

How can you use Reiki?

Reiki training provides you with a specific context, tools, techniques, and language to help you deeply tap into this innate ability and learn how to use it. Different degrees (levels) of Reiki guide you through this life-changing journey.

Reiki training begins with a process called the attunement.

Essentially, the attunement transfers the ability to channel universal life force from the teacher to the student. By opening pathways in the student, it allows a clear, strong, flow of the energy through the palms.

Once your attunement is completed, Reiki stays within you for the rest of your life, forever giving you the ability to heal with nothing more but your hands.

Following your first attunement, you can learn the different levels of Reiki through the Reiki courses: Reiki I, Reiki II, Reiki III, and Reiki Master. These Reiki courses, whether in person or online, will teach you everything from learning specific hand positions to passing on attunements to others.

How does it feel to experience Reiki?

It feels like relaxation. It feels like tuning in, softening, connecting to our inner world, connecting to our breath, and just being.

After an experience with Reiki, you might notice in yourself better health, unconditional love, compassion, understanding, balance, vitality, and aliveness.