This FAQ Section is taken from the International Center for Reiki Training (ICRT) website. ICRT is the primary source for Reiki in the US for education, certification and training.
Q. Where does Reiki energy come from?
A. Reiki energy is a subtle energy. It is different than electricity or chemical energy or other kinds of physical energy. Reiki energy comes from the Higher Power, which exists on a higher dimension than the physical world we are familiar with. When viewed clairvoyantly, Reiki energy appears to come down from above and to enter the top of the practitioners head after which if flows through the body and out the hands. It appears to low this way because of our perspective. However, the true source of Reiki energy is within ourselves. This does not mean that we use our personal energy when we do Reiki, but that the energy is coming from a transcendental part of ourselves that is connected to an infinite supply of healing energy.
Q. Is Reiki a Religion?
A. Although Reiki energy is spiritual in nature, Reiki is not a religion. Practitioners are not asked to change any religious or spiritual beliefs they may have. They are free to continue believing anything they choose and are encouraged to make their own decisions concerning the nature of their religious practices.
Q. How is a Reiki treatment given?
A. In a standard treatment Reiki energy flows from the practitioners hands into the client. The client is usually laying on a massage table but treatments can also be given while the client is seated or even standing. The client remains fully clothed. The practitioner places her/his hands on or near the clients body in a series of hand positions. These include positions around the head and shoulders, the stomach, and feet. Other, more specific positions may be used based on the clients needs. Each position is held for three to ten minutes depending on how much Reiki the client needs at each position. The whole treatment usually lasts between 45 and 90 minutes.
Q. What does a Reiki treatment feel like?
A. What one experiences during a Reiki treatment varies somewhat from person to person. However, feelings of deep relaxation are usually felt by all. In addition, many feel a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and surrounds them. As the Reiki energy encourages one to let go of all tension, anxiety, fear or other negative feelings a state of peace and well-being is experienced. Some drift off to sleep or report floating outside their bodies or have visions and other mystical experiences. At the end of the treatment, one feels refreshed with a more positive, balanced outlook.
Q. What can be treated with Reiki?
A. Reiki has had a positive affect on all forms of illness and negative conditions. This includes minor things like head or stomach aches, bee stings, colds, flu, tension and anxiety as well as serious illness like heart disease, cancer, leukemia, etc. The side effects of regular medical treatments have also been reduced or eliminated. This includes the negative effects of chemotherapy, post operative pain and depression as well as improving the healing rate and reducing the time needed to stay in the hospital. Reiki always helps and in some cases people have experienced complete healings which have been confirmed by medical tests before and after the Reiki treatments. However, while some have experienced miracles, they cannot be guaranteed. Stress reduction with some improvement in ones physical and psychological condition are what most experience.
Q. Does one have to stop seeing a regular doctor or psychologist in order to receive a Reiki treatment?
A. No. Reiki works in conjunction with regular medical or psychological treatment. If one has a medical or psychological condition, it is recommended that one see a licensed health care professional in addition to receiving Reiki treatments. Reiki energy works in harmony with all other forms of healing, including drugs, surgery, psychological care or any other method of alternative care and will improve the results.
Q. Who can learn to do Reiki?
A. Reiki is a very simple technique to learn and is not dependent on one having any prior experience with healing, meditation or any other kind of training. It has been successfully learned by over one million people from all walks of life, both young an old. The reason it is so easy to learn that it is not taught in the usual way something is taught. The ability to do Reiki is simply transferred from the teacher to the student through a process called an attunement that takes place during a Reiki class. As soon as one receives an attunement, they have the ability to do Reiki and after that whenever one places their hands on themselves or on another person with the intention of doing Reiki, the healing energy will automatically begin flowing.
Q. How long does it take to learn Reiki?
A. A beginning Reiki class is taught on a weekend. The class can be one or two days long. I recommend that the minimum time necessary be at least six to seven hours. Along with the attunement, it is necessary that be shown how to give treatments and also to practice giving treatments in class.
Q. What is a Reiki attunement?
A. A Reiki attunement is the process by which a person receives the ability to give Reiki treatments. The attunement is administered by the Reiki Master during the Reiki class. During the attunement, the Reiki Master will touch the students head, shoulders, and hands and use one or more special breathing techniques. The attunement energies will flow through he Reiki Master and into the student. These special energies are guided by the Higher Power and make adjustments in the students energy pathways and connect the student to the source of Reiki. Because the energetic aspect of the attunement is guided by the Higher Power, it adjusts itself to be exactly right for each student. During the attunement, some students feel warmth in the hands, others may see colors or have visions of spiritual beings. However, it is not necessary to have an inner experience for the attunement to have worked. Most simply feel more relaxed.
Q. Can I treat myself?
A. Yes, once you have received the attunement, you can treat yourself as well as others. This is one of the unique features of Reiki.
Q. I have heard that Reiki can be sent to others at a distance. How does this work?
A. Yes, in Reiki II, you are given three Reiki symbols. These symbols are empowered by the Reiki II attunement. One of these symbols is for distant healing. By using a picture of the person you would like to send Reiki to or by writing the person’s name on a piece of paper or simply by thinking of the person and also activating the distant symbol, you can send Reiki to them no matter where they are. They could be hundreds of miles away, but it makes no difference. The Reiki energy will go to them and treat them. You can also send Reiki to crisis situations or world leaders and the Reiki energy will help them too.
Q. How many levels are there to the Reiki training?
A. In the Usui/Tibetan system of Reiki taught by the Center, there are four levels. These include one, two, Advanced and Master.
Q. What does it feel like to give a treatment?
A. When giving a Reiki treatment, the Reiki energy flows through the practitioner before leaving the hands and flowing into the client. Because of this, the practitioner receives a treatment also. As the Reiki energy flows through the practitioner, she/he will feel more relaxed and uplifted. Spiritual experiences sometimes take place. The practitioner sometimes receives insights about what the client needs to know to heal more deeply.
Q. How do I find a Reiki teacher that is right for me?
A. Reiki teachers or Masters advertise in many magazines and also post notices at health food stores, new age bookstores and other places. Once you find a Reiki teacher or practitioner you are interested in receiving training or a treatment from, it is a good idea to ask them some important questions. Here are a few that will give you additional information to make a choice.
Be aware of how you feel about their answers and if they are responding in a loving manner that is supportive and empowering. Listen to your heart and you will be guided to the right teacher or practitioner.
Q. Can children learn Reiki?
A. Yes, Reiki can be taught to anyone. I recommend that a child be old enough to understand what Reiki is and that the child request to receive Reiki.
Q. Is it safe for pregnant woman?
A. Since Reiki is guided by the Higher Power, the Reiki energy will know the condition of the client or student and adjust appropriately. Reiki can only do good. Many pregnant women have received treatments with great benefit to them and their unborn child. It has also been used during child birth. Pregnant women have also taken the Reiki training and received the Reiki attunement with beneficial results.
Q. What about babies?
A. Babies love Reiki. It is very healthy for them. Do not worry about it being too strong. Reiki automatically adjusts to what the baby needs.
Q. Can I treat animals or plants?
A. Animals love Reiki too. They seem to have a natural understanding of what Reiki is and its benefits. Once a pet has received a Reiki treatment, they will often let you know that they want more. Plants also respond well to Reiki.
Q. Are there any side effects from a Reiki treatment?
A. Most of the time a person will feel relaxed and uplifted by a Reiki treatment. However, sometimes a person will have what is called a healing crisis. As a person’s vibration goes up, toxins that have been stored in the body will be released into the blood stream to be filtered by the liver and kidneys and removed from the system. When this happens, sometimes a person can get a headache or stomach ache or feel weak. If this happens, it is a good idea to drink more water, eat lighter meals and get more rest. The body is cleansing as part of the healing process so this is a good sign.
Q. Can it be used to help groups of people or even global crises?
A. Yes, this is one of the wonderful benefits of Reiki and is why it is such a wonderful technique for the new millennium. It allows individuals and groups to do something positive about the challenging situations we see on the news involving so many people all over the planet. Reiki can be used to reduce suffering and help people any where in the world. On our Reiki web site at www.reiki.org we list major world events to send Reiki to. As more and more people send Reiki to help the world heal, we will move quickly to a world of peace and harmony.
Q. How much does a treatment usually cost?
A. A Reiki treatment usually will cost between $25.00 and $100.00 depending on the area of the country.
Q. Can a person make a living from Reiki?
A. Yes, if you put your heart into it, you can develop a Reiki practice combined with teaching classes that can bring a regular income. This is a very fulfilling way to earn a living.
Q. Can one become Licensed to practice and teach Reiki?
A. There are no governmental licensing programs at this time. However, the Center does have a licensing program for Reiki teachers.
Q. Does insurance cover Reiki treatments?
A. Reiki is just starting to be recognized by insurance companies. While not many are covering Reiki treatments, some are. Check with your local insurance company for details.
Q. Can nurses or massage therapists get CEU credit for taking Reiki classes?
A. Classes taught by our Center Licensed Reiki teachers are approved to give CEU credits to nurses, massage therapists and athletic trainers.
Q. Can you get more than one attunement?
A. Once you receive a Reiki attunement, it will last your whole life. However, if you get additional attunements for the same level, it will act to refine and strengthen your Reiki energy.
Q. What is lineage?
A. Reiki is a technique that is passed on from teacher to student over and over. If one has Reiki, than she/he will be part of a succession of teachers leading back to the founder of the system of Reiki one is practicing. In the case of Usui Reiki, the lineage would lead back to Dr. Usui.