What is Reiki meditation and how can it help you relax? We’ll look at the meditation technique focused on our energy and its ability to heal. Reiki meditation can provide a range of benefits. Let’s look at what Reiki is and how you can use it at home to feel more relaxed.
Many of us go through our lives focusing on the external over the internal. Focusing on achieving tasks or accomplishments in the world instead of inside our own heads.
Adding a daily meditation practice, such as Reiki meditation, can help us relax, lower our heart rate, have more mental clarity and has even been shown to aid in lowering blood pressure.
Reiki meditation is a traditional Eastern medicine and alternative medicine treatment that helps internalize our focus, enriching our mental state.
Reiki can also be called a spiritual practice. It’s a meditation technique that is based on the idea that there is a universal life force energy or universal energy and tapping into these energy systems can help with healing.
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What is Reiki meditation and where did it come from?
The word Reiki comes from the Japanese words, “rei” meaning universal, and “ki” meaning life energy. Reiki was developed by a Japanese man named Mikao Usui in the 1800s. Hawayo Takata then helped introduce Reiki to the United States and Europe in the early 1900s.
Reiki is a broad term used to refer to a style of “energy healing” using light touch. Reiki has roughly 30 different branches, but Usui Reiki is the most popular form.
Reiki meditation is based on the Eastern belief that your body has “vital energies” flowing through it. It’s a healing method that tries to affect your body’s energies.
According to Reiki practitioners, energy in your body can accumulate in negative ways. Practitioners say energy builds up, sometimes in response to injuries or an illness. This built-up energy, or imbalance of the energy field is thought to cause illness or emotional distress.
Similar to traditional acupuncture, Reiki aims to correct the flow of energy through your body, thereby relieving pain, speeding up healing, and alleviating other negative symptoms you might be experiencing.
Reiki is sometimes referred to as “palm healing,” “hands-on healing” or “biofield therapy.” Many who undergo Reiki therapy report feelings of calm and relaxation.
Reiki has five sayings that it loosely follows:
- I will not worry today.
- I will not have anger today.
- I will work with integrity today.
- I will be grateful today.
- I will be kind to all living things today.
Reiki is a complementary treatment, meaning you use it alongside other medical treatments. On its own, Reiki doesn’t cure or remedy any health conditions but is thought to aid the body’s natural healing function.
How does Reiki meditation work?
Reiki meditation is about correcting the energies that practitioners believe flow through your body. These energies are thought to permeate the body, becoming concentrated at specific locations.
The energies can become negative in the presence of injuries or illness.
Reiki is claimed to aid relaxation, enable the body’s natural healing functions to work optimally, and to promote emotional and spiritual well-being.
Anecdotal evidence shows that those who underwent Reiki therapy experienced feelings of relaxation and a sense of well-being. This study found that Reiki had better health outcomes over a placebo, suggesting that the benefit is not entirely due to the placebo effect.
Reiki practitioners say that for the treatment to work, the patient must have the intention of healing so that the practitioner can work with that intention. The patient’s opinion or state of mind is crucial in Reiki meditation.
While Reiki shouldn’t be used alone as a medical treatment, it can be used in combination with other well-researched methods. Some believe that the main benefit of Reiki is the relaxation patients experience during a session.
What are the health benefits of Reiki?
While studies haven’t definitively found that Reiki provides a benefit for any specific medical condition, some studies have suggested it’s beneficial for select patients. The benefits they reported include:
- Relief of pain
- Alleviation of anxiety
- Reduction in depression symptoms
- Improvement in quality of life
Reiki meditation has been used the most in palliative care for end-of-life patients, always as a complementary therapy. This reflects the main benefit of Reiki being relaxation and a sense of comfort.
What happens in Reiki sessions?
While Reiki can be performed in almost any environment, a typical session takes place in a quiet and calm space without distractions. Some practitioners prefer to practice Reiki outside in the wind and sun, connecting the patient to the living world.
Reiki is often done with the patient lying on a massage table. There’s no need to undress. The Reiki practitioner gently places their hands on or just above the patient’s body in specific locations believed to be focal points for the body’s energy (ki).
Depending on what the Reiki practitioner feels, they will move their hands about, directing the flow of Reiki energy. They may leave their hands in one spot longer than others as they interact with the patient’s ki.
Reiki meditation doesn’t involve massage or pressure of any kind, but rather very gentle touches, if any contact is made at all.
You may notice gentle sensations of heat or tingling as the practitioner moves their hands over different spots on your body, or perhaps no sensation at all. Many patients report feelings of relaxation, occasionally even drifting off to sleep.
Reiki practitioners have a few techniques they can use:
Some Reiki practitioners also employ crystals or other objects believed to interact with your chakra. Crystals are not needed for Reiki to have an effect but depending on the patient, they may enhance the experience.
A typical Reiki session will last between 30 and 90 minutes, depending on your practitioner, their preferences, and what they find during the treatment. The number of sessions required is decided by the Reiki practitioner with input from the patient.
Your input is vital to a Reiki practitioner as your impression of the treatment is key to it being beneficial to you.
How to do Reiki on your own
Although many Reiki practitioners have years of experience and a reiki empowerment, you can self-treat using principles of Reiki meditation.
Through self-treatment using Reiki techniques, you may experience relaxation, reduced stress and anxiety levels, increased energy, and an elevated sense of well-being.
Before you begin, you should remind yourself that Reiki is about the energy that flows through your entire body. Its presence strengthens your body’s natural healing abilities.
It’s a good idea to set aside a time each day for your Reiki meditation. Creating a habit of performing daily Reiki treatment will help you maximize the calming effect.
Most Reiki practitioners recommend self-treatments to be at least 20 minutes long and not longer than 60 minutes.
Reiki is best performed in a quiet and comfortable environment so find a place like that in your home. You can do Reiki wherever you want but a familiar and safe environment is best.
Some patients like to put on gentle, instrumental music during their Reiki session to help facilitate a calming environment. Music isn’t mandatory for Reiki so do what feels best to you.
Before you begin, take off your shoes and change into comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You can sit or lie down, whichever you prefer. If you’re lying down, put a rolled-up towel or pillow under your knees and another under your head.
You can use multiple basic hand placements during your self-treatment with Reiki but remember that it’s all about what feels good to you. Take the below positions as starting points and explore what gets you the best results.
Position 1: Place your palms together like someone who is praying, keeping your hands like this for a few moments. Take a few slow, deep breaths and focus your attention on breathing in and out in a controlled manner.
Position 2: Gently place both of your hands on your head, breathing in and out in a slow and controlled manner. Allow the muscles in your hands to relax. Hold here for a minute or two while practicing your breathing.
Position 3: Gently place your hands on your face, palms facing inwards. Don’t press your hands into your face, rather use a gentle touch. Again, hold for a minute or two while breathing slowly and mindfully.
Position 4: Place one hand over your heart, your palm gently touching your body, and your other hand over your throat. Focus your attention on your heart and your throat, breathing slowly and calmly. Allow your chest and throat muscles to relax as you breathe.
Position 5: Move your hands to your stomach, palms inward. Let your hands rest gently on your abdomen and take slow, mindful breaths. Focus your attention on your stomach and chest, relaxing the muscles as you breathe in and out.
Position 6: Lower your hands from your stomach to your lower abdomen, continuing to breathe slow and controlled breaths. Focus your attention on this area of your body and allow your muscles to relax.
Position 7: Gently place your hands on your shoulders without crossing your arms. Let your palms rest on your shoulders near your neck. Breathe in and out slowly, being mindful of any tension you might feel. Let your body relax.
Position 8: Place your hands on the tops of your feet using a light touch. Focus your attention on the muscles in your feet and ankles. Breathe slowly and will your muscles to relax. Pause here for a minute before moving on to the next position.
Position 9: Place one hand on each knee, your palms cupping your kneecaps. Allow your arms and legs to relax as best you can while taking slow, deep breaths.
Position 10: Using one hand at a time, place a hand over the opposite elbow or wrist. Keep the touch gentle or hover your hand above your body slightly. Breathe deeply and slowly, focusing your attention on the joint that your hand is above. Hold this position for a minute or two.
The positioning of your hands for Reiki self-treatment should be whatever feels best to you. You can begin by focusing on the positions mentioned above but feel free to explore what feels good to you.
Self-treatment is all about your personal experience, so what works for others may not as well for you. Experiment with your body, all the while breathing slowly and mindfully. Much of the calming effect comes from slow, controlled breathing so be sure to remain aware of your breath.
The bottom line
Reiki is a traditional Eastern medicine technique that can help cultivate a calm and comfortable environment. It’s often offered as a palliative care treatment to help patients relax.
You can self-treat with Reiki in your own home to see how it might help you deal with your health issues. Keep in mind that Reiki should always be used as a supplementary treatment for medical conditions, not on its own.
You can perform Reiki meditation on your own, at home. The best way to get used to the idea of energy flowing through your body is to sit in a quiet space and visualize the light energy moving through your body.
If you are looking for formal Reiki training, look for a Reiki master that offers a course. Caitlin Mario is a well-respected and amazing energy healer who teaches Reiki courses. Reiki level I can be done virtually and give you extra tools to learn energetic self-care.
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