Reiki has a long and respected history as the best-known and most medically-studied form of energy healing, bringing body, mind and spirit into balance and harmony.
Every month, dozens of new studies appear in medical and nursing journals.
If you are new to Reiki and want to know what it is, what a session is like and what the latest research says about its effectiveness, read What is Reiki?
The Reiki Principles
Just for today, I don’t stay angry.
Just for today, I don’t worry.
Just for today, I remain grateful for everything in my life.
Just for today, I am honest in my work and business dealings.
Just for today, I am kind to myself in word and thought.
Just for today, I am kind to everyone I meet, in word and thought.
Everyone should receive regular Reiki healing sessions, to put back what life’s stresses take away. If you are Reiki-trained, you can provide yourself with mini-sessions throughout the day, with longer sessions in the evening and on weekends, when you can Reiki yourself while you watch entertainment or walk in nature. Trained or not, you deserve regular sessions from a master, the energy equivalent of a long, deep massage or spa day. You can also treat your furry family members to an Animal Reiki Session. Learn about Reiki classes.
- Book a SOARING REIKI session with or without chakra balancing
with Holy Fire Usui and Karuna Reiki energy. See classes and sessions.
Sessions are available in-person in Federal Way WA, Ashland OR - or at a distance for your loved ones anywhere on planet Earth.
Usui and Karuna Reiki Training in the NEW Holy Fire style!
Holy Fire Usui Reiki classes – level I, II, IIIa, b [master and teacher].
Usui Level I allows you to self-heal yourself, stop anxiety in its tracks, cure a headache and many other minor medical situations. You can also help your family members.
Usui Level II allows you to heal at a distance, helping far-flung family who are experiencing anxiety or health crises. It also provides a bigger energy “pipe” for self-healing. You feel calmer faster than with Level I.
Usui Master (Level IIIA] gives you the biggest pipe for self-healing, and allows you to attune others to Reiki. My comprehensive training also teaches you how to help people heal emotional issues, how to use crystals (if you want to), how to guide healing journeys, and much more. An intensive 3 days or a personal 30 hour training.
Advanced Karuna Reiki for healing traumas, addictions, habits and insomnia, developing compassion, taking action and increasing wisdom. If you are already a Usui Master [Level IIIA], you can vastly increase the power of your daily practice with Karuna Reiki training. There are two practitioner levels and a master level, for one combined price. This is 16 intense hours of incredible personal growth as a healer. Email your Usui Master certificate and make an appointment for a pre-class videoconference-interview prior to enrollment.
Reiki energy is an integral part of healing for you if you are seeking to quit smoking, start exercising, lose weight, eat healthy, gain or lose other habits, heal from loss or trauma and Blast Through the Barriers that keep you from your heart’s desire.
What is Reiki?
Energy healing has roots as old as humanity itself. In every society, in every time and in every spiritual tradition, there have been people who could induce calm in the frightened and even healing of the ill through touch and other “energy” practices. Recently, scientists focusing on the exploding new science of psychoneuroimmunology have explored how the mind, nervous system and immune system influence each other, to promote or retard our health.
Reiki was discovered in the late 19th century and early 20th century by Mikao Usui and Dr. C. Hayashi. The latter, a medical doctor, formalized the early studies into the Usui Reiki healing that we know today. Dr. Hayashi created a clinic where he treated people with medical problems as well as emotional problems and the stress associated with illnesses. Today, Reiki is used for both purposes. Of course, stress reduction promotes physical healing. Those who discovered reiki started experimenting with hands-on healing because they theorized that life force energy flows through all living beings. Logically, if our life force energy levels are low, we are more apt to become ill, so replenishing this energy is a priority for maintaining and improving mental and physical health. They also posited that it would be beneficial to dissolve blockages in the body’s energy channels, allowing the energy to move freely for optimal health. This is the basis for acupuncture, another well-known form of alternative medicine.
Is reiki a religious practice?
No, it isn’t. It’s just a healing methodology. However, all forms of healing can be enhanced by a mind that is at peace and spiritual beliefs can help the healing process, no matter what kind of medicine you use.
The word reiki comes from two Japanese words – rei (wisdom) and ki (in Chinese, chi; life force energy). So reiki means Wisdom Life Force Energy. Consider a universe filled with the energy of trillions of life forms and visualize this vibrant life force flowing into them and strengthening them. The idea of life force flowing from practitioner to client is not unique to reiki; many types of modern energy healing as well as ancient spiritual thinkers and saints wrote about this phenomenon as well. In this way, energy healing is part of the secular healing tradition as well as being part of an ancient spiritual tradition.
How does it work?
Clinical studies suggest (but don't prove - we have no proven mechanism yet) that reiki stimulates the immune system. Since reiki masters frequently look much younger than their ages, it’s likely that reiki also boosts anti-oxidant activity. I have a graduate degree in biology and have taught college Anatomy & Physiology, so I stay abreast of a lot of the developments in medicine. No one can keep track of all of it – the daily digests are many pages long – but I do my best. It’s an exciting time.
Many people report feeling filled with relaxation and deep peace following a reiki session. In many cases, it has a positive impact on health problems. Some hospitals offer reiki options for post-surgical and medical patients for the reduction of side effects and to promote faster recovery. I did this for some years at Highline Medical Center in Burien, WA.
Reiki is administered by a trained practitioner. The practitioner may or may not touch the client, or only touch the head and feet, as the client prefers, but no disrobing ever occurs. Reiki is NOT massage and does not resemble massage in any way except that they both leave you feeling really good.
I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t make sense, especially since I know that reiki masters claim to send energy over a distance. I just can’t believe in that.
I routinely tell people, “I don’t believe in anything. It is either demonstrably true or it isn’t. Belief has nothing to do with it.” That is the Buddhist approach to truth. It also is the scientist’s approach to truth. I have graduate degrees in two different sciences. I don’t approach ANYthing from an a-priori stance; that is, I don’t accept any point of view without examining it, free of prejudice. To uncritically accept something (blind faith) seems foolish. Including, by the way, blinding rejecting things because they don’t fit your existing worldview. Some scientists fall into this trap. They don’t approach questions with a truly open mind. Some conclusions just can’t be true, because they clash with an established habit of mind.
There is a trap that your question highlights: we reject clear evidence because we don’t yet know the “how.” If you study the history of science, you will notice that we frequently discover phenomena decades and centuries before we have the “how” figured out. Copernicus proposed a heliocentric system because it made sense to him. He didn’t have Brahe and Kepler’s full observational data and even if he’d had, he still didn’t have the concept of gravity to really explain how the planets stayed in their orbits. The how was further refined by Einstein and quantum mechanics. Knowing what’s going on, even when you don’t have the exact mechanism of how nailed down, is still extremely valuable. In medicine, we don’t know the exact how/causation of many of the diseases that we deal with every day. We think it’s a combination of this, that and another thing, but we don’t really know. We DO know how to manage or cure it and that, after all, is all the sick person and their loved ones really care about. We can be dedicated and effective healers even of the diseases whose exact causation is unknown or murky.
When I was eight years old, we had a science test. One of the questions was where did the blood get oxygenated. The teacher had said the lungs but I didn’t believe it because my left brain logic said “gosh darn it, if my lungs were full of blood, I’d be breathing up blood all day long. Clearly, I’m not, so I can’t be having blood in my lungs. The oxygen must be exchanged in my heart.” I got the question wrong. I refused to accept reality – that blood is oxygenated in the lungs – because I didn’t have the how nailed down. It took me twenty years before I let go of my death grip on the need to have every single HOW answered and I understood the value of just using the evidence in front of my face. Today, I let myself evaluate evidence and let “how” catch up when it can. That’s the way it is with reiki. It has worked to help people get well for 100 years. Now we are finally zeroing in on the mechanism and we think that part of it as the immune system. Do we need to 100% understand the mechanism before we take action to get well? No, of course not.
I admit that I thought hypnosis and reiki were both nonsense when I first heard about it. But I had a painful medical condition that had not responded to multiple rounds of surgery and drugs. So I faithfully followed my hypnotherapist’s instructions for three months and my doctor was astounded – the mass was completely gone on the ultrasound. He wanted to write a paper. The pain wasn’t entirely gone though and so I tried reiki, again with no expectation of success, and was shocked when it worked. The master practitioner I was seeing was out of town one week and promised to send me a treatment at a distance. She picked 8 PM on a night when I was teaching at the local college. “Uh-huh,” I answered and forgot about it – not believing in energy at a distance. Six days later, in class, I was in considerable pain but soldiering on. There was a moment when I felt a rush of energy through my body and the pain eased. I was thrilled and continued my lecture. A bit later, one of my students raised his hand and asked, “Professor Leo, could we take a break now? It’s 8:15.” I turned around (the clock was behind me) and realized that sometime between 8 and 8:15, the pain had drained away. Well, if you hit me over the head with a 2x4, you can get my attention, even as stubborn and skeptical as I am.
Bottom line: I didn’t know how it worked, but it demonstrably worked. I decided then and there to train as a reiki practitioner myself. People who don’t “believe” in it get well as quickly as those who do. It doesn’t require belief. Remember Galileo? His sotto-voce comment [but, it still moves] to the Inquisition reminds us that whether we believe in it or not, the earth moves around the sun and Jupiter has moons. Whether we believe in it or not, people get well with aspirin and Reiki.
I am free of the last lingering remnants of my awful disease, due to a new surgical technique and the power of reiki – modern medicine and ancient medicine together did what neither of them could do alone.
I’m such a skeptic.
Don’t stop! Skepticism is good and healthy when it is true and fair skepticism, that treats all new ideas with the same open-minded inquiry. If you have already decided that you like certain ideas and don’t like others, you are not engaging in open-minded, fair inquiry; that is ideology, which is anathema to real science. We mustn’t put a higher burden of proof on new ideas than we put on the ideas that we currently have. If a doctor is willing to prescribe Celebrex, with known serious side-effects, because the risk is worth the benefit for some individuals, then that same doctor must not erect a burden of proof for a technique like Reiki that is an Everest no one could climb. Celebrex was initially approved for widespread use and it killed people. Reiki has a hundred year history of never harming, much less killing, anyone. Reiki researchers should never stop being skeptics; what they have to rigorously insist on is being open-minded, fair skeptics.
What is a session like?
The first time you have a reiki session, I will ask you questions about your general health and lead you in calm breathing exercise. You can lie on a reiki table or sit comfortably in a chair, as you prefer. You will not disrobe. Reiki is not massage, or similar to massage.In my practice, you will not be touched in any part of your body except your head and feet, and then only if this is acceptable to you. My hands hover over various energy centers of your body, your body detects the energy and "pulls" it from my hands. After a session, you may feel sleepy and relaxed or you may feel very cheerful and energized. You may also find that emotional issues have come up to the surface to be experienced. Your body knows what you need and will give it to you. You should drink plenty of water for the rest of the day.
I have a health problem and I don’t want surgery. Should I consider reiki?
It depends on why you don't want surgery. If you have a serious health problem, and the proposed surgery is routine, generally without complications and is likely to solve or cure your problem, but you don't want to not take advantage of the best 21st Century medical advances you can get for ideological reasons, then absolutely NO! If the surgery isn't the only well-known cure or it has serious risks, then considering other options is sensible.
You should only consider reiki in addition to, never instead of, the best medical advice you can get from a licensed health professional. [I am licensed in mental health, for example.] If you have a serious health problem, research your health problem at reputable medical websites (not blogs; they are non-fact-checked opinions); research local experts in your problem; find a professional who respects your wishes and whom you can trust; then use reiki to help you in your healing and in keeping you calm and centered as you work your way to resolution. Reiki is a recognized part of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and most doctors today understand the need for CAM for the best possible outcome.
Many doctors today are less enamored of surgery than they were twenty years ago, and take a more conservative, medical (drugs and self-care) approach to problems. So, while you don’t want to substitute CAM for traditional medicine entirely, it is also completely appropriate and necessary to discuss alternative, non-surgical treatments with your medical professional, if there are effective drug alternatives. The bottom line is that getting well relies on data, not ideology. Being adamantly against something that is life-saving is just as foolish as being adamantly in favor of something that is unnecessary. Rigid habits of mind, not surgery, drugs or CAM, is the real enemy of health.
What about health issues that are chronic rather than immediate?
Nearly every admired medical center has nurses and specialists who focus on the chronic care of specific illnesses. So the smartest thing to do is to take advantage of everything that your health insurance offers you in terms of traditional medical care, and also take charge of your health by getting as much reiki and other CAM as you can.
Since many people want to rely on self-healing, it's worth saying that with chronic health issues, your exhausted or mistrained immune system may need help in the form of medicine.
Will my health insurance pay for reiki?
Insurance companies frequently have programs that allow subscribers to quality for discounts. Some insurance plans reimburse outright. If you have a Health Savings Account as your insurance plan or a Medical Savings Account through your employer, Reiki from a Master (Level III) practitioner qualifies as a medical expense if it is used for the management of a specific medical condition. For stress relief, check with your plan administrator. DO check all financial questions with the plan administrator and remember that IRS rules are constantly changing!
Can I try it out and see whether it works for me?
I routinely do free samples at various medical facilities and at my office. Call and get a schedule!
How would you like to wrap yourself in a comfy shawl and feel Reiki energy flowing? Wrap your gadgets in a healing energy to help them keep working at their best? Infuse your food with healing energy? You can!
The hat I am wearing in the Animal Reiki section, plus pictures here and on Pinterest (SoaringDragon) show the range of options:
* Shawls and scarves, blankets and comforters
* Placemats and coasters
* Decorative and protective covers, and carry bags, for every gadget from cell phone to full-size laptop and camera.
* Plush animals, including snakes, the symbol of kundalini and other spiritual power. Animal hats.
More photos will be inserted shortly! If you are interested, please email email@example.com for details.