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A Vision for Reiki Healing

by Joan Hitchco(more info)

listed in reiki, originally published in issue 76 - May 2002

I cannot say that I had a 'vision' for Reiki healing when it found me, but I do now! I was unaware of the power that it would place within me to help others. I simply knew that Reiki, whatever it was, had to be allowed into my life for me to do with it whatever I felt I was being guided to do.

As an aromatherapist, I had no medical training, but began to realize that the people who came to me were seeking help where orthodox medicine had not addressed their problems. Frequently, medication is given that brings relief to the symptoms, but not the cause. The average medical practitioner is under so much pressure that there is little time to sit and discuss what might be the underlying cause of the patient's problem.

Joan Hitchco with a patient

Joan Hitchco with a patient

I could help in a limited way, but some were clearly unable, or unwilling, to help themselves to heal; they were relying on the aromatherapy treatments to do it for them. This is not to decry aromatherapy. It is a wonderful therapy that aids many conditions and is now recognized by the NHS. However, there are some hidden conditions that defy orthodox treatments - and aromatherapy - and these were the ones that gave me cause to think deeply. Why were some finding their depression dissipating, while others reported little change? Why did some clients get relief from muscular conditions when others returned after three or four weeks with the same problem? It was not until Reiki found me and entered my life, that I realized the power that the mind and spirit can have over the body, producing very real physical conditions of ill health.

What is Reiki and How does it Work?

I am sure that many readers are aware of Reiki as it becomes more widely talked and written about within the media, but for those who may not be familiar with it I will explain briefly. The word Reiki means 'universal life force energy'. This energy is found all around us.

When we walk along a seashore or in a forest, we are aware of the energizing power of Nature and it is that energy that Reiki practitioners tap into and channel to bring about balance and harmony within the mind, body and spirit. The energy enables the body to begin healing itself, physically and mentally.

Attunement to Reiki

To be able to channel this energy and to help yourself and others, you need to receive Reiki through a process of attunements and initiation. The attunements clear the mind, body and spirit of blockages that would hold back the flow of Reiki energy and the positive power that it brings.

These blockages can be memories that have been hidden away for years and 'forgotten'. They are there, however, and may be holding us back from achieving what we would like to achieve, or they could be making us the person that we are today, for example depressive, negative in thoughts and actions, aggressive or even violent. I believe that we are who we are, by what has happened in our past, and we need to let go to be able to move on. During attunements, carried out by properly qualified Reiki teachers, there are often tears, panic attacks and sometimes laughter! It is all positive and necessary for the unblocking and balancing to take place. The changes might take place immediately or over a period of days or even weeks.

We are all individuals and have individual needs; Reiki will provide what is needed for the healing to take place. When a person has been attuned they can help others. Reiki is with them permanently and will never disappear. You do not have to do anything to release the energy; it is flowing all around you. I am sure that as soon as someone enters your 'space' or auric field, they receive Reiki. Frequently, I have been told that a person feels better simply by sitting beside me, and as some of these people have no knowledge of my having Reiki or do not believe in Reiki, I find their comments interesting!

There are people who are blessed with a natural ability to heal, while others come to healing through Reiki; there are also many different 'styles' of Reiki. Whichever healing pathway you tread, it should be appreciated that the healing energy used comes from the same source, that of the Universe. This realization is especially important when the public is searching for a Reiki healer; the style might be different but the energy is the same.

Reiki is not a religion, nor does it impinge on any belief system. However, many Reiki people find that their spirituality is awakened and that there is a strengthening of their powers of intuition. If I am asked to take someone through a workshop to become initiated into Reiki I always ask, "What has attracted you to Reiki?" If the response is that they think it would be useful to have along with other therapies, I then talk to them at length and impress upon them the power that is Reiki. Should the response to my question be that they do not really know why they have been drawn to Reiki, I welcome them with love.

Yes, Reiki is useful; however, it is much more than that. Reiki changes your way of thinking, of dealing with people and situations. The changes slowly evolve and it is often partners or friends who comment first. You become more positive in your outlook, maintain better health and, should you succumb to an illness, your recovery is more rapid than most. When a would-be student has heard me out, asked questions and thought about what has been said, only then will they be given the opportunity to be attuned to Reiki. They are free to go to another Reiki Master/teacher, but they go with the knowledge that Reiki is more than a 'bolt-on' therapy.


In a salon situation, Reiki is used as a treatment that usually lasts for about an hour. The client can be sitting down or lying on their back, front or side. The hands rest gently on or just above, the body. There is no need for clothing to be removed. Reiki can also be used with other therapies. Once a therapist has been attuned to Reiki the energy cannot be 'switched off' and as soon as the therapist touches the client's body the Reiki flows. Should the massage therapist find a tight muscle or stressed ligament, they can simply hold their hands cupped over the problem area to concentrate the energy and so release the tension. Movement around the problem area can often be seen or felt by the therapist as the muscle fibres 'realign'. Heat or extreme cold can be felt when working on the body and limbs and this can alert the therapist to a problem. No diagnosis should be made unless the therapist is medically qualified to do so.

Where is Reiki Used?

Research by members of the UK Reiki Federation shows that Reiki is used in hospices, hospitals, dental surgeries, doctors' surgeries, drug rehabilitation centres, prisons, HIV/AIDS centres, maternity care and mental health units, to name but a few! Responses from Reiki practitioners are all positive and show that Reiki enhances any treatments that are given.

The Integrated Health Care Centre of the Rossendale Centre ran controlled studies to assess the effectiveness of complementary therapies in palliative care. Results show that Reiki was most effective for treatment of depression, showing a dramatic reduction. Reflexology combined with Reiki demonstrated the greatest benefit for the treatment of sleep disturbance. Clients who received Reiki commented:

* "Very relaxing";
* "Increases energy";
* "Feel good for the rest of the week";
* "Keeps me going, I can't explain it".

Case Example 1

A therapist in Mansfield was asked by a local cancer self-help group to visit a young man in the final stages of cancer. He was in tremendous pain and finding sleep impossible. The therapist stayed with him for 45 minutes and when she left he was asleep. He slept soundly for over 8 hours.

Case Example 2

Jan Gentle, a worker at John Eastwood Hospice, gave Reiki to a lady who was very unwell and was experiencing abdominal pain. Jan gave her Reiki without actually touching. When she had finished, the lady whispered that her pain had gone and that she felt she had been surrounded by purple light and felt totally at peace.

Case Example 3

An elderly lady named Evelyn was sad to be told in March 1999 that she had only three months to live. She had secondary lung cancer that caused severe breathlessness and confusion. In the following spring she attended hospital for a scan. The massive ovarian tumour that had shown up previously had disappeared and she was told in the August that she was "not a dying woman"; when asked about the tumour, the consultant replied that "this sometimes happens". Was it spontaneous or did Reiki help? We will never know, but does it matter? Evelyn had two ambitions in 2001; one was to enjoy a holiday with her daughter on a visit from New Zealand in August and the other was to meet the Queen when she opened the Hospice that Evelyn attends, in November. Evelyn achieved both of these ambitions and puts her good health down to the Reiki healing that she receives from her son-in-law who is a qualified Reiki practitioner. She takes no medication, has very little breathlessness, is no longer confused and regularly tells her doctors that it is the Reiki healing that keeps her feeling so well.

There are many more instances of Reiki working wonders in a quiet way, bringing calm and peace to troubled minds and spirits. The more that you work with Reiki the more honoured you feel to have been given this gift to help others. I am constantly amazed and humbled by the power of the energy. It is so simple and yet so powerful.


My personal vision, and I hope the vision of all Reiki practitioners, for Reiki healing is that the whole world should be empowered and blessed with the gift of Reiki. What a wonderful place it would be! We can only make the public more aware of the energy that surrounds us and of the positive effects that it can have on our lives, when it is directed through caring Reiki hands.


1. Taylor EE, Hills HM, Hoyle-Wood J, Rimmer M, Rimmer PA, Pepper HD and Sweeney AV. Holistic Resources Complementary Therapies in Holistic Care: Evaluation of Service Provision. pp15 and 17. 1996-1999.

Further Information

Body By Design is a complementary health centre offering Reiki healing, aromatherapy, remedial and sports massage, Hopi ear candles and Indian head massage. It is also a fully accredited Hawkins Slimming Facility. Tel: 01926 887902.

To contact the UK Reiki Federation, write to PO Box 4238 London W1A 6UG;;


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About Joan Hitchco

Joan Hitchco with a patient About the Author Joan Hitchco is an Usui Tradition Reiki Master/Teacher, an Associate Member of the UK Reiki Federation and a qualified aromatherapist. She runs Reiki workshops throughout the year in conjunction with her colleague Mike Randell, in Leamington Spa, Coventry and Birmingham. Joan also gives Reiki treatments at Body By Design, Leamington Spa. She can be contacted on Tel: 01926 887902 or 024 76 678496.

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