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Reiki - Healing Tool

by Teresa Parrott(more info)

listed in reiki, originally published in issue 78 - July 2002

The Nature of Reiki

Many people have benefited from Reiki and are now using it successfully to heal all aspects of their lives; not only physical symptoms but also the painful feelings and negative thoughts that can contribute to illness or lack of well-being. Reiki is a natural method of healing and is a powerful tool for relaxation.

Perhaps inevitably, Reiki has attracted critics. There are those who fear that it could be misused by self-styled 'gurus' merely chasing their own ego trips or seeking power over others. Understanding the nature of Reiki can help set such fears to rest.

Heaad Position

Reiki is enabling and empowering; it provides you with the means of doing something to help yourself - in all situations. Reiki is pragmatic, not dogmatic. It is not based on any religion, sect or set of beliefs, therefore in our practice of Reiki we need not depend on anyone else's interpretation of our own inner experience. Reiki is personal and individual. If it leads me to a clearer vision of myself - whether or not those insights or images have any meaning to anyone else - then Reiki is working for me. It is helping me to discover and trust my own inner knowing.

Reiki has been described as an intelligent energy. It is a non-directed energy. I see it as an energy that knows. Reiki will go where it is needed, and in just the right amounts. Once you have undergone the attunements, you have Reiki for the rest of your life. And the more proficient you become with it, the less you need a 'teacher', because Reiki is about finding your own power, learning to trust yourself - and the Universe.

If you feel that a particular Reiki practitioner or Reiki Master is attempting to influence you unduly, then find another. But be aware too of the factors within yourself that may be subtly drawing you into a position of dependence. If you have undergone Reiki 2 attunement, you could use the mental and distance symbols to send Reiki to the cause of your need to depend on others.

Facts about Reiki

  • Everyone can channel Reiki once they have received an attunement;
  • The higher self, or higher consciousness, of the individual draws the amount of energy that the person needs and determines how the energy will be used. This is not a conscious process; it happens automatically and intuitively;
  • Reiki is the energy of love, and it also has an in-built protection against negative energies or intentions, therefore it cannot be used for harm;
  • You should not give Reiki to someone without his or her permission;
  • Reiki can be given to people, animals, plants, food, water;
  • In distant healing, Reiki can be sent anywhere in the world;
  • Reiki energy can be sent to the past, present or future;
  • When giving Reiki, or sending it, you also receive energy yourself, therefore you will feel energized, not drained, after a session;
  • You can give Reiki while listening to music or talking;
  • A full Reiki treatment covers the major organs, the hormonal systems, the acupuncture meridians, and the chakras, or energy centres of the body;
  • Reiki acts at different levels: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

Uses of Reiki

Reiki calms the body and mind. It decreases anxiety and releases tension, leaving you feeling relaxed and peaceful, with a general sense of well-being. After a Reiki session you may feel energized, or you may want to sleep.

Reiki also stimulates the body's natural cleansing mechanisms and detoxification processes. Toxins are lost through increased urination and sweating, running nose or diarrhoea. This detoxification is different from a healing crisis, which is a temporary worsening of symptoms before they improve. A healing crisis usually lasts a few days. During this time you may wish to contact your Reiki practitioner or give yourself Reiki regularly.

Reiki has been shown to facilitate the body's natural capacity to heal itself. It accelerates wound healing and helps stop bleeding. It can provide pain relief and also boost the immune system. It is not a substitute for conventional medical or psychological treatments, but it enhances their effects and can decrease the side effects of drugs. Many illnesses require a variety of approaches and Reiki can be usefully combined with all types of complementary medicine.

Reiki has been used in many major illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer. It is also effective in a wide range of minor injuries such as cuts and bruises, blisters and insect bites. It can be of help with headaches, stomachaches, colds and flu.

Reiki does not just work on the physical level, it also helps with emotional symptoms. It can cause suppressed feelings to surface and energy blocks to be released. If you are feeling tired and stressed, it revitalizes you. If you are nervous and anxious, it can soothe and relax you and help you sleep. Whatever emotional disturbance you are suffering from, it can help you feel more detached, less worried and more able to deal with those problems.

The Reiki Attunements

Reiki 1

In the first attunement, the Reiki Master opens your energy channel so that you can channel Universal Energy at the physical level. Afterwards, there is a three-week cleansing process as the Reiki acts on the various energy systems of the body. You may experience detoxification or be aware of emotional changes or vivid dreams, and it is important during this time to do a self-treatment every day.

Reiki 2

In Reiki 2, the student receives three symbols:

1. The power symbol, which increases the amount of energy that can be channelled. It can also be used for protection or to clear a place of negative psychic energy;

2. A symbol used in emotional and mental healing. It is particularly helpful in dealing with anger, sadness, anxiety, depression and problems with relationships. It can also help with unwanted habits such as smoking;

3. This symbol allows healing to be sent at a distance. The recipient does not have to be physically present, but could be anywhere in the world. This symbol can also be used to send Reiki into the future. If you want to send Reiki to something you plan to do, you simply ask the energy to arrive at a particular time, and it will be ready when you get there. This also works for the past. Reiki can be sent to specific traumatic events that happened in the past, or to the cause of a problem.

Reiki 3: Inner Master

A further attunement increases your capacity to channel the Universal Energy. You will also be given the Master Symbol, which allows you to work on a spiritual level and which helps you to contact your own inner truth. Inner Master involves recognizing that you are the master of your own destiny, responsible for your own life. In Master Level Reiki, you are taught the techniques that allow you to perform Reiki initiations yourself.

Applying Reiki: A Personal Experience

Reiki helps bring out what is in you.

At times, all of us have difficulty in expressing our emotions. We don't realize what is causing us to feel angry or upset or unwell.

Sometimes, there is a part of us that knows, but the other parts stop this knowledge from reaching full consciousness, or stop us from acting on what we know.

For example, a friend comes to visit. He talks a lot and doesn't ask many questions. Whenever I try to tell him what is happening in my life he quickly steers the conversation back to himself. I am relieved to see him go.

Later, I phone a girlfriend and find myself getting angry while telling her. She is sympathetic and agrees that he is not very supportive. When I put the phone down, I'm still upset, but I shrug it off. I eat a packet of crisps, watch a video and go to bed.

The next day I keep thinking back to his visit. It's bugging me. I still feel angry and resentful. I decide to give myself some sessions of Reiki.

I start with the crown chakra. Angry thoughts keep coming into my mind. I ask Reiki to give me the courage to see my higher purpose. I start to detach myself from the thoughts; I observe them, I don't react to them. Gradually I feel more relaxed.

Next, the third eye, the seat of vision and clarity. Seeing what needs to be seen. I fear that if I admit how upset I am, I will have to do something about it. I realize that I have been angry with my friend for a long time.

My neck aches. There is a tightness in my throat and I feel choked up. I fear that if I start to express my feelings I will be overwhelmed by them. It is as if I have lost my voice. Or never really found it. I cough a lot as the Reiki begins to release this block, then my throat relaxes and I breathe more easily.

I find it hard to admit my feelings even to myself. I don't tell people what I feel in my heart because I fear that they'll reject me, then I am angry with them for not listening. I use up my emotional energy worrying that I'm not good enough, that I'm not worth listening to - or loving. I feel sad. I cry as the pain is released, and the Reiki helps relieve the heartache.

My stomach is churning. I feel sick with anxiety and anger about my friend, and it strikes me that other men, including my father, have brought up these same feelings in me. Giving Reiki to my solar plexus gradually soothes my stomach, and I decide to use Reiki regularly to help release my fears of abandonment and rejection.

I give Reiki to my sacral chakra. There is a heaviness, a sluggishness, as if I am immobilized by my own insecurity. I have always felt that others are in control. I blame them for my powerlessness, and then feel guilty about blaming. I realize now that I must stop this cycle and start healing my negative feelings about myself, some of which came from when I was a child.

I can feel the Reiki energy flowing through my root chakra. I feel that I need my feet firmly on the ground so that I can walk away from what is not positive for me. I see that my relationships with men and hence also my sexuality have been overshadowed by fear: fear of opening up, of showing myself, of trusting. I can no longer put the blame for my inability to trust onto anyone else. I alone can change it, and I want to. I can take control. I am excited and feel revitalized, no longer lethargic and hopeless.

After several Reiki sessions, I decide to phone my friend. I say that I've always been a little frightened of revealing how I feel, but that I would like to tell him more. We talk. I cry. He tells me that he would like to know more about what's happening for me. I feel good at the end of the conversation.

Further Work

In this instance, Reiki helped me to see that my feelings towards my friend were related to my feelings about my father, and also to my feelings about myself. The Reiki affected both my physical symptoms and my emotions. It loosened the energy blocks so that I could acknowledge the pain, of the past as well as the present. Once the pain had been felt and released, I could find a new strategy for dealing with the situation that had seemingly provoked it. Reiki gave me the energy to see the problem differently, to act, and to change the way I felt about it.

The next step is to give myself a daily self-treatment with Reiki, or to give myself Reiki whenever I feel a recurrence of those feelings of anger and resentment towards my friend, or the feelings of sadness and lack of self-worth.

If specific physical symptoms recur, for example I feel sick, or my neck starts to ache and feel stiff again, then I could give hands-on Reiki to my stomach and neck, or I could send Reiki at a distance to the cause of the pain in my stomach or neck. It may be that the cause is not merely physical, therefore by using the distance symbol and the mental symbol, I can make sure that the reason for the pain is also being addressed.

Reiki can be used to balance the chakras, or energy centres, during a self-treatment. The hands are placed over the 1st (root) and 6th (third eye) chakras, and Reiki given until the amount of energy flowing through each hand is the same. This is then done with the 2nd (sacral) and 5th (throat) chakras. Finally the 3rd (solar) and 4th (heart) chakras are balanced. This is a way of releasing energy build-ups or blocks in particular areas.

A crystal mandala is another way in which I can continue to give Reiki to myself. I position six small quartz crystals in a circle, with a larger pyramidal crystal in the centre, and a master crystal outside, usually a large single-pointed hexagonal crystal. I charge all the crystals with Reiki (it takes about three hours initially) and then set up the mandala to send Reiki 24 hours a day. It can now be used to send Reiki to specific people, issues, or times in the past or present. I place the petitions under the mandala, and charge it with Reiki via the master crystal for ten minutes every day.

Using distance healing, I can send Reiki to the time in my life when a particular crisis occurred, when I felt rejected or my trust was betrayed by someone important to me. If I can't remember the particular event, I can send Reiki to the cause of a problem even if I don't know what that cause was. For instance, I could send Reiki to my feelings of rejection or betrayal, either in a distance session or by placing that written petition in the crystal mandala. I can send Reiki to the past or the future, to heal old wounds and pains or to cope better with a potentially problematic future situation.

In the above example, I could give Reiki to my friend, if he wanted it, to my father, if he wanted it, or I can send Reiki to my relationship with each of them, even if neither of the people themselves wish to receive Reiki. This is not interfering, and will cause them no harm.

The Benefits of Reiki

Life today is as complicated as it has ever been. None of us is free from stress or anxiety. We all have anger and sadness and hidden pain. We all have unresolved emotional issues. Reiki can help with all of these.

Reiki acts at all levels, on the physical, mental and emotional, and on the energy systems of the body, working always towards the greater good of the individual.

Isn't it time to start making it work for you?


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About Teresa Parrott

Teresa Parrott trained as a doctor and worked as a psychiatrist for five years. She now lives in southern Spain and has just written her first novel. She is a Reiki Master in the Usui-Tibetan System and plans to start courses in Reiki in the autumn. She can be contacted at


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