An Exploration of Reiki
“I claim time when I can be in my body and self.” – Adrienne Maree Brown, Emergent Strategy
You are better equipped to be and do your best when you are in touch with and caring for yourself. Being in touch with yourself and attentive to your care is a long-term process that requires consistent engagement. A regular Reiki therapy practice is one way that you can facilitate being in touch with yourself and attentive to your care.
As a firm believer in all of the above, with no firsthand experience of Reiki therapy, and only a basic understanding of the practice prior to writing this article, I did some research and set off on a two week journey of daily practice to experience the benefits of Reiki for myself. I’m pleased to share the results of that journey with you.
What is Reiki?
Reiki is a practice credited to Mikao Usui, a Japanese Buddhist. One translation of “rei” is “soul, spirit” and the very complex concept of “ki,” is often equated to something like “life force energy.” Reiki therapy is the practice of tuning into and moving or channeling this spiritually guided, universal life energy that flows through each of us. This energy is felt in subtle and different ways, but a commonly experienced example might be the warmth and buzzing sensation you can generate by rubbing two body parts together, like your hands.
Reiki practice can be used to move energy blockages, often caused by stress, trauma, or negative thinking. When the energy flows freely through us we have an easier time navigating life and functioning as we desire to. When energy is blocked, everything can feel much more difficult and negative.
Reported benefits of Reiki include relaxation, increased energy, a reduction in stress and anxiety, and an increased sense of positivity. Reiki therapy can also be used to promote healing in yourself or others, as it supports the body’s natural healing processes.
Reiki can be practiced on the self or on others. There are some variations in the actual mechanics of each practitioner but common elements include resting the hands on or just above the body in specific locations, focus on the breath, and tuning into the feeling of the energy in and/or around the body.
For the experiential portion of my research on Reiki, I engaged in a 20-minute session every day, between 1-2 pm. Here are some of the things I learned:
- It was really nice to have a daily practice of focusing on my body and checking up on myself. I felt a deeper sense of communication with myself than I usually do, and Reiki therapy became something I looked forward to each day.
- It is difficult to quiet my thoughts and focus on the seemingly subtler feelings of energy and breath. It got easier the more I practiced.
- As I got into the pattern of a regular practice, I began to access my joy more easily. To be fair, I don’t know that Reiki therapy can be given all the credit for this, but Reiki certainly helped me be more in tune with what I was feeling and that at least contributed to me experiencing more joy.
- The best way to practice Reiki is the way that works for you. So, if you have atypical circulation, like me, resting between positions to encourage blood flow is a great way to practice. Other modifications that make sense for your body and needs are likewise great!
- Bodily comfort leads to a better result. I experimented with practicing standing, sitting in a chair, sitting on the floor, and lying down. I found lying down to be the most comfortable position for me, and thus the position that aided me most in focusing on my breath and energy flow with the greatest ease.
- I can appreciate the benefits of formal training. While I got a lot out of researching and trying it out on my own, I noticed some areas in which formal training would provide a more solid foundation for my practice.
A Step-by-Step of How I Practiced Beginner-Level Reiki Self-Therapy
- Select a calm place and stand, sit, or lay (according to your comfort) for 20+ minutes with minimal disruption.
- If you want, you can play some music you find calming or meditative (I really enjoyed a playlist of singing bowls.)
- Close your eyes and breathe deeply.
- Remind yourself that Reiki is the universal life energy that flows through each of us and is flowing through you in each moment.
- Affirm that you are engaging in Reiki therapy to promote your well-being and that you are deserving and worthy of this time and attention.
- Once you are relaxed and calm, do a soft body scan to see if there are any particular areas of your body that call for your attention. Make a mental note to spend some extra time on these areas as you move through the practice.
- Begin the hand positions your practice suggests (I used the Cleveland Clinic Reiki Self-Treatment Procedure, with the hand placements below.) You can either use a timer (there are many Reiki timing apps out there), or you can just hold each position as long as you feel called to do so.
- First Placement: Start with your palms together at chest level. Focus on your breathing and center yourself.
- Second Placement: Place your hands gently on the top of your head, allowing the touch to relax the skin of your scalp.
- Third Placement: Move your hands to cover your eyes, fingers resting gently on your forehead, and breathe. Allow the touch to relax the skin of your face, your forehead, and your eyes.
- Fourth Placement: Put your right hand gently over your throat and your left hand over your heart. Breathe slowly and allow the touch to relax your throat and upper chest.
- Fifth Placement: Move your hands to the center of your chest, just below the breast/pectoral area so that only your middle fingers are touching. Relax your chest and ribcage as you continue to breathe deeply.
- Sixth Placement: Shift your hands down to your solar plexus and allow your muscles to relax.
- Seventh Placement: Place your hands on your stomach, maintaining your breathing. Allow your stomach muscles to relax.
- Eighth Placement: Put your right hand on your right shoulder, and your left hand on your left shoulder. Let the touch relax the muscles.
- Ninth Placement: Place your hands over your kidneys and allow the touch to relax this area of your body.
- Tenth Placement: Move your hands to the tops of your feet, or the soles of your feet, whichever is easiest for you. Feel free to shift position as much as you need in order to remain comfortable. Allow the touch to relax the area.
- Throughout your positions, continue to breathe and try to rest your attention on your breathing and the flow of energy through your body, particularly focusing on the area of your body that you are touching through each position.
- After you have completed your positions, return to a neutral stance and take as long as you need to thank yourself for the time and energy you committed to your own care. Take a moment to again acknowledge the energy that flows through you as part of the universal life force energy that flows through everyone and everything.
An Excellent Addition to Your Self-Care Routine
These are trying times in which we are being called to think deeply about the world(s) we want to live in and how to enact them. The level of difficulty and lengthy nature of this work necessitates that you care deeply for yourself. Reiki therapy is a great practice to integrate into your self-care routine. Practicing consistently will mean that you will be dealing with any energy blockages regularly, and it is arguably a more sustainable and manageable way to address blockages than waiting until they reach a level that you cannot ignore any longer. When you have a regular practice of turning inward, assessing your feelings and needs, and focusing on the flow of energy, you are less likely to reach a state of burnout that toxic cultural cycles, like productivity-for-productivity’s-sake, promotes. Regularly channeling the flow of universal life force energy through yourself will put you in a better position to navigate any challenges you find yourself facing.
Want to build a better future? A life path reading with one of our talented life path psychics can tell you where you’re headed. And if you don’t like where you’re headed, your life path psychic can steer you down a better path.
Find a life path psychic or learn more about a life path reading.
About California Psychics
California Psychics is the most trusted source of psychic readings. We have delivered over 6 million discreet and confidential psychic readings by phone since 1995. More than a prediction, we are your guide for life’s journey. Serenity, happiness, and success are just a phone call away. With over 400 psychics online to choose from, you’re sure to find the best psychics for you. Call one of our trusted and accurate psychics today! Confidential and secure, real psychics, accurate predictions, 100% guaranteed.