Energy Healing 101: The Art of Reiki

By Amanda Jewel DeJong

Legend tells of an ancient form of healing passed down through the ages by word of mouth from master to apprentice. This remarkable system of energy work was even rumored to have been used by Jesus himself, whenever the “laying on of hands” was initiated in order to help aid the sick and wounded. Its methods were shrouded in secrecy, becoming increasingly enigmatic until it all but disappeared from the pages of history completely.

It is said that this particular modality was “rediscovered” by a Japanese Buddhist named Dr. Mikao Usui in the early twentieth century. He called it Reiki, which is pronounced “Ray Key,” and is the compilation of two Japanese words. Rei, which can be defined as “higher power or God’s wisdom” and Ki, which is essentially, “life force energy.” This means Reiki can be interpreted as “spiritually guided, life force energy.” It is based upon the belief that a greater power source exists in the universe and can be “tapped in to” in order to promote balance and restore vitality.

Activating Life Force Energy
The technique itself is quite simple and involves the activation of this life force energy by a practitioner who serves as a conduit to supply healing energy wherever it is most needed. Thus, it creates balance on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels.

Practitioners do this by focusing upon and then drawing from this energetic force, causing it to run through their body. It then flows into their hands and out the palms as it lovingly enters the client and moves freely to wherever it will be most beneficial. Although no contact is necessary, many practitioners find it more constructive to lightly place their palms over various parts of the body, including the major chakra points, with the intention to remove blockages and improve quality of life.

It is said that this practice works by changing the energetic level of the person or object of focus, raising its vibration or frequency and, in turn, bringing it back into homeostasis. This is based upon the principle that a high vibrating life force means optimal health, while vibrating on lower frequencies creates disharmony and disease within an organism.

Reiki Practitioners do not treat or diagnose illness, they simply help the flow of energy and balance it within a subject.

It works in conjunction with any medical treatment and is safe to use on anyone at any time, as long as permission from the receiver is granted. Caution should be used and a person’s doctor must be consulted if the client is undergoing any type of medical treatment. Reiki requires no manipulation of body tissue and is thus non-invasive. It is done with participants fully clothed and in a comfortable position, as the sessions can last up to an hour.

The amazing part about Reiki is that it treats the entire person on every level. Also, if someone is not open to receiving the energy, it simply will not enter the body.
Recipients of this energy work have reported feelings of stress reduction, relaxation, increased vitality, peace and harmony. It has been known to help reduce blood pressure, aid in better sleep quality as well as pain management, rid the body of toxins and, ultimately, help that body to heal itself.

The Attunement Process
The ability to practice Reiki is passed through an “attunement” process, which allows the student to access the life force energy at will. This energy is available to everyone, though many practitioners believe that one must be “reminded” or shown the proper way to approach and conduct a healing session with it. This is done by attending and participating in three intensive training sessions of Reiki. Each level is taught by a Reiki Master/Teacher with the intent to educate as well as demonstrate to their pupils the proper way to conjure, handle and utilize this energy.

The first level, or course, is about the activation of this energy through an “attunement” or initiation and healing oneself to become more efficient at healing others. In this degree, the student learns about the history and background of what Reiki is, how it is used as well as information about the chakras. It becomes understood that Reiki is a spiritual practice that is non-religious and therefore has no dogma. They are shown how important it is to live in a way that promotes harmony with the world as well as ethical ideals that they are encouraged to follow. It is also explained why consciously deciding to improve one’s self, accepting responsibility for one’s own actions and taking an active role in one’s own process of health is vital before contact with a client is initiated. Students are shown various hand positions to be placed upon or above the body in order to direct this energy to the proper location. Some States will not allow physical touch unless you are a licensed practitioner, such as a massage therapist, so please be aware of the laws in your area.

While the first degree focuses mostly upon the physical body, the second class is more about healing the new practitioner on an emotional level. The ability to send energy to others over long distance is taught and there is more time to practice these techniques. Three sacred symbols and their relevance are introduced to the student to intensify the healing and another attunement is given. Many individuals choose to stop at this level since they now possess the ability to efficiently practice Reiki.

The third degree is about healing the student on the spiritual plane. It is this last step that is required for a student to receive their final attunement and thus become initiated as a master. It is then up to individuals whether or not they will choose to teach other practitioners in the future. A review of the concepts learned in both of the previous levels is performed, but the core of this curriculum is regarding how to teach and pass attunements to others properly. There is also an introduction to two more power symbols, giving the new master a total of five to be used throughout their future Reiki treatments and in passing attunements to their students should they choose to do so.

Whether you are interested in becoming a practitioner or simply finding one in order to take advantage of the endless benefits, Reiki is a beautiful place to begin your journey to improved health.

It is an ideal modality to choose for someone who is thinking about trying energetic forms of healing, but may not know where to begin. Its soothing, noninvasive application will have even the most nervous of clients tranquil in no time. Whatever aspect of Reiki has peaked your curiosity, there is only one way to find out if it is for you; try it, and see for yourself.

Amanda Jewel DeJong is a licensed massage therapist, certified life coach, transpersonal hypnotherapist and Reiki master. Based in Clinton, UT, she has worked with most aspects of metaphysical practices for well over a decade and is currently obtaining a degree in holistic healthcare specializing in mind/body psychology with a major in hypnosis as well as spiritual studies. Email Amanda at

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