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Sally Richards

Reiki: A Natural Healing System for Health and Wellbeing

Posted by Sally Richards

1264 Days Ago

Reiki Natural Healing (Usui Shiki Ryoho) 

After hearing about Reiki a few times, eventually I decided that Reiki was something that I needed in my life, to help me to move on from life’s troubles and illness. I was in a tunnel, having lost my career, health, and vitality to ill health.  It’s as if Reiki comes to us when we need it most! (This is a commonly expressed experience).  I met a lady on a Healing workshop who was a newly qualified Reiki Master, she offered to teach me Reiki  - but sadly that didn’t work out. A few months later, I did find a teacher and, following some initial treatments, which were unbelievably helpful (relieving my ever whirring mind: worry and anxiety, and physical pain) I received Reiki level One in 2006.  I enjoyed every minute of my training.  I achieved Mastership in April 2008, and love to give Reiki, to teach, and pass this unique healing system on to others.

So what is Reiki?

Reiki - Usui Shiki Ryoho – to give it its proper title, is an energy therapy. It utilises the Universal Life Force/Life Energy (or cosmic energy if you prefer) to help the body to heal (or stimulate the healing process). Many people believe/envisage that the energy comes from the ultimate source of good/the divine/’God’. Regardless of belief Reiki is there for everyone. Reiki is not a religion.

This energising force is also known as chi, ki, or prana in eastern traditions, and is a common factor in holistic and complementary therapies.

Reiki energy is in us, around us, and all living things.  It is natural, part of us, - whatever we choose to believe – it’s the very energy of life. Just as we can’t see the wind, but we feel it... so too Reiki is invisible to us.  However, aura’s (human energy fields) can be seen by some people, and photographed (Kirlian photography).  Auras are the energy fields around living things.

Proving the copious amount of anecdotal evidence is difficult, however, there are people who do research and write about the science of Reiki, such as Dr James Oschman – (Reiki News Magazine, 2002) an academic scientist, who is also a Reiki healer, and an expert on the human energy field (HEF).

Reiki is gradually becoming more accepted, and understood.  Research and studies have been carried out, especially in the US.  Reiki is now used in care homes, nursing homes, hospices, hospitals, spa’s, and  the workplace (for de-stressing), as well of course in private practices. It is holistic, and a complementary therapy.

How can it help?

When we are tired, ill, out of balance, lost, lacking in focus, depressed ... (the list is endless), our physical energy and subtle energy field (aura) is low, and may become blocked (in our chakras – our internal energy centres).  Reiki can help to restore energy flow, and nourish and support us on all levels of being: mental, emotional, spiritual and physical.

Just as with holistic and complementary therapies (CAM), when we work with other people our energy fields interact, just as they do in everyday life!  We have all come home shattered after an encounter with an irate shopper, boss, or colleague? Or felt someone’s eyes on us, turned around to find that a complete stranger is staring? Or, felt energised when in the company of an inspiring person. Life is really one big energy interaction, from the positioning of the planets – the moon affects our tides - and solar flares, volcanic eruptions, to energy in medicine (scans), boiling a kettle, and our own energy produced, used, and stored, in the body...

Once we have the gift of Reiki, we can access this healing energy whenever it is needed – for ourselves, those we love, and as practitioners for our clients. All we need to do is to gently place our hands on them, and the energy will flow.

‘Healing is not just a matter of time, but a matter of opportunity’


Who and what is Reiki used for?

Reiki is for virtually everyone! – from the young to the elderly – whether healthy, chronically ill, or simply needing help to forge a new direction in life.  Reiki can be of benefit.  It is safe, gentle and non intrusive; and can be given anywhere. Reiki is de-stressing, detoxifies the body, and goes to the area of need, be that mental, physical, emotional or spiritual. A qualified practitioner of Reiki will carry out a thorough consultation, and explain Reiki before treatment, along with any possible healing reactions that can occur (temporary) as the body begins the healing process.

What’s the secretive aspect to Reiki all about?

Reiki is not so much secretive, rather sacred or precious. It is passed down from Reiki Master to Master, creating a Reiki lineage (or line), traceable back to the modern day founder Mikao Usui. All Reiki Masters should be able to provide evidence of their lineage, and the UK Reiki Federation check these on application.

It is special to be able to give healing to another person, and to ourselves.  It is given in a loving way with the highest intentions. As a person progresses with Reiki it can become a way of life, in part due to The Reiki Principles, which are a tool for self-development. These are taught at level one, but become more important with each level.

Reiki is not a substitute for conventional medicine, a religion, weird, dogmatic, or a cult! It is not the same as Spiritual Healing (clarification for this was found through the UK Reiki Federation) which is a different discipline/training. As it is holistic, working with the mind, body, and spirit of a person, it can also be a spiritual journey for those who work with Reiki, and a tool for personal and spiritual transformation.

How does it feel?

Reiki is usually deeply/blissfully relaxing even for those who normally find relaxation difficult.  It is comforting, and afterwards can be energising or relaxing – giving the receiver what they need (rather than what they want). In a full treatment (approx one hour), following consultation, the practitioner/giver places their hands in a series of discreet positions on the head, front and back torso, and legs.  Healing energy is brought through the practitioner (as a conduit).  The practitioner or giver also receives Reiki (an added benefit!), as the Reiki flows through them, creating a very relaxing effect; both client/receiver and practitioner/giver feel relaxed.

How can I learn Reiki?

Reiki is simple to learn at Level One (Or Reiki First Degree). Anyone and everyone can learn Reiki; it is taught (and passed on) by a Master Teacher in three (sometimes four) levels, and is mainly an oral tradition – so no need for any note taking at courses! And great if memories are not so good - as usually manuals are provided.  The first Level is for those who want Reiki for themselves, to self-heal, for personal and spritual development, and to give to/treat their family and loved ones, and pets!  You then have Reiki for life.  It is ideal for those with chronic illness, anxiety, pain, or for Carers.

I believe that the more people who have Reiki, share it, teach it, and use it, the better. It can be an antidote to pain and suffering in the world, and can help individuals to heal, become focused, un-stuck, progress and break un-healthy patterns of behaviour.  However healing is not a one way process, a miracle cure, or quick fix, and effort needs to also come from the person, as with all CAM.

 Reiki will not be for everyone but will often call to those who need it in their lives, when the time is right.

(c) Sally Richards

For more information about Reiki and its origins, my own Reiki journey, and details of the Reiki treatments, workshops, and courses that I provide, please go to my website:

Or Email:

Gratitude to:

The article is based on my accumulative knowledge and insights of reiki, through experience over the years.

The bibliography below are just a few of countless varying Reiki sources that have been informative, and of help and interest in that time; although not specifically used for this article.  The UK Reiki Federation/Website/and staff have also informed my knowledge and understanding of the standards, ethics, and application of reiki, (along initially, with the UK Reiki Assoc). My journey began thanks to my own Reiki Master, Jenny, and continues to be nourished by my clients and students – So gratitude, love, blessings, and light to them all.


Austin, J. (2008). Practising Reiki. New Lanark, Scotland: Geddes & Grosset 

Baird, D. (2000).  A Thousand paths to Tranquillity. London: MQ Publishing.

McKenzie, E. (2005). Healing Reiki. London: Bounty Books 

Charlish, A. & Robertshaw, A. (2006).  Secrets of Reiki. Koln: Evergreen/Taschen

Oschman, L. O. (2002). Science and the Human Energy Field.  Reiki news magazine. 1 (3) p. 1-8.

Quest, P. (2002. Reiki for Life. London: Piatkus

Ellis, R. (2002). Reiki and the Seven Chakras. Vermillion

Sally Richards

Article written by Sally Richards - Shrewsbury

My aim is to provide a professional, friendly, service. Each client is treated with respect and as an individual. I don't believe in rushing sessions and allow plenty of time per client.
I have been working as a professional therapist since 2007, having found how helpful Reiki was in my own life.... [read more]

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