The word Reiki is Japanese, meaning “guided life force energy.” Life force energy makes up our thoughts, consciousness and emotions.

Reiki exists in every living thing—plant, animal and human.

In Japanese, ki is the word for this energy. Our own ki can become imbalanced due to stress, pain, illness, or negative emotions such as anger, frustration, anxiety, sorrow, hopelessness, or others. These conditions deplete or cause blockages in our natural state of flowing ki. When our ki is in balance, our immune system functions better.

When our ki is blocked or depleted, it can adversely affect our body’s resources for keeping us healthy. We are integrated beings; our emotions and bodies are intimately connected and affect each other. So, it stands to reason that keeping our energy in balance can have positive effects on the state of our body’s health.

Many research studies support the effectiveness of remote Reiki. An NIH study can be found here, and there are also a wide range of articles available here.

What is Reiki?

Ki isn’t just inside all living things, but it’s also between us, connecting us all. The ki that exists around us is of a higher frequency, much like the water in the air is in a lighter state than that in our bodies, although it’s all made of the same basic H2O.

[Read “The Massage Therapist’s Complete Guide to Reiki.”]

While our own personal ki can be off balance, that which is between us isn’t polluted or weighed down by our personal issues. So, just as pure water can cleanse our system, receiving some of this “pure” ki can replenish and clear blockages in our energy.

Rei is translated many ways, including “mysterious,” “spiritual,” or “spiritually guided.” When we receive Reiki, the pure ki from outside our systems is being guided to us, for us to receive where we are off-balance, to help us heal ourselves back into balance.

Imagine a driveway with potholes. A person could throw a bucket of water onto that driveway, and the water would naturally gather into each hole, filling one, flowing out, and filling the next, until it had filled all of the holes.

The person doesn’t have to go and individually pour water into each hole, one at a time. Similarly, the energy received during a Reiki session flows to naturally correct each imbalance, and replenish each place in which our energy is exhausted. As a result, stress is released, pain is relieved, and positivity restored.

“A client had been struggling with migraines and asked for distance Reiki,” said Reiki practitioner Jennafer Martin, As I conducted the session, I noticed the energy flowing to both the base of the skull and back of her neck. Reiki was able to reduce her pain and promote relaxation immediately. It was a relief for her and was gratifying for me as a practitioner to be able to help.”

How is the energy guided?

Energy is guided by intention. Intention is the driver for the energy. Intention is the way in which we tell the life force energy how we would like it to work. Intention can be defined as directive thought. It’s defining the desired outcome. It’s thinking loudly or thinking specifically rather than daydreaming.

That may sound simple, and it is.

Our thoughts and emotions are all made of energy. This energy can affect other people. You’ve probably had the experience of sensing another person’s anger or sadness without that person having told you. Or catching another person’s happy, bubbly mood after being around that person for a short while. Your energy isn’t simply contained in that bubble, of an aura of yours. It is also connected to all energy around and in every living thing.

All living things and the Earth have life force energy.

Combine Reiki with Massage

Reiki can complement and enhance the effectiveness of most any other method of healing you would choose. Whether a Reiki session is offered in between treatments with the other method (massage, acupuncture, cranial-sacral work, polarity therapy), or the practitioner is incorporating Reiki into his or her work at the same time, Reiki can help.

Reiki energy balances the subtle frequencies of the person’s energetic body as it is being received. So it can be combined with any other therapy to achieve deeper and more profound healing.

“Through the energy of healing and pure power of distance Reiki, I work with a client, and her partner, across the world from me, who gets hit with a lot of physical pain and distress late at night,” said Diane Faist, an intuitive energy healer and teacher.  “We communicate through Facebook Messenger, as an effective communication tool.

“I channel what she needs, unique to her situation, and transfer the healing relief directly to her through the spiritual power of Reiki and collective high vibration energy,” said Faist. “I facilitate her pain relief and removal of distress so she can relax and fall into deep, restful sleep. This is a true blessing for all involved.”

Remote Reiki

Distance healing, or remote Reiki, is a simple way for a Reiki practitioner to direct Reiki healing energy to anyone, anywhere in the world, using the same intention as a local Reiki session. The energy is received immediately, as energy does not require time or distance; it is simply a function of how all life is connected.

The main components of a remote Reiki session begin with the practitioner. The practitioner intends to send Reiki to the recipient. The energy begins immediately upon that activating intention. The practitioner may also include specific additional intentions for addressing specific concerns, such as “relieve pain,” “release stress,” or even “heal grief.”

The person on the receiving end can be resting and intending to receive the healing, and just tuning into their various sensations during the session. Some people schedule time to be together on the phone, over something like Zoom, at the same time as the practitioner is sending. However, this is not necessary.

The practitioner can just send the healing to the recipient at any time, and the recipient can receive it as it is being sent, or at a different time, depending on the way the practitioner structures his or her intention. Different ways to do this are taught in the Practical Reiki method.

The practitioner may, if desired, tune into his or her intuition during the remote session to sense the energy of the recipient as the energy is being received. It’s actually easy to learn to do this, and anyone can hone the skills to do so. This helps facilitate conversation about the issues being addressed by the Reiki, and it helps instill confidence in the recipient for the practitioner to share this information.

About the Author:

Alice Langholt, Ph.D. is a Reiki Master Teacher, and director of Reiki Awakening Academy. She developed a simple, mainstream-directed Reiki method taught online called Practical Reiki. Langholt  has written15 books, including the award-winning Practical Reiki: for balance, well-being, and vibrant health. She teaches animal reiki at Montgomery College, and practices Reiki near Washington, DC.