Reiki is a spiritual practice.
Initiated and developed by a Japanese Buddhist, Mikao Usui, (who started teaching of his Reiki experiences in 1922), Reiki has since been adopted and adapted by various teachers of differing traditions. Reiki uses (in its basic forms) a technique commonly called palm healing or hands-on-healing to transfer energy to an intended recipient (including the practitioner) to effect a balance in the individual’s energetic systems, facilitating and supporting the individual’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies return to a state of health and well-being.
Among the initial teachings of Reiki is the practice of self-healing, as it is true that if one can look at one’s self and work toward healing and making ones self “whole”, this naturally affects their surrounding world. And so the practice of Reiki moves from the inside to the outside.
“Be the change you want to see in the world”, Mahatma Gandhi
While there are people who speak about ‘Reiki’ as something they are born with (or can do without training), and it is true that each person has an innate ability to heal themselves as the universal life force energies flow through everyone and everything, the system of Reiki is a product of the influences of its founder. Not everyone can ‘do’ Reiki as they have not trained in the specific elements that the Reiki system is comprised of. There are many energetic methods around the world, each one is comprised of its own unique elements and this must be respected.
There are two main branches of Reiki, commonly referred to as Traditional Japanese Reiki and Western Reiki. Though differences can be wide and varied between both branches and traditions, the primary difference is that the Westernised forms use systemised hand-placements rather than relying on an intuitive sense of hand-positions (more commonly used by Japanese Reiki branches). Both branches generally have a three-tiered hierarchy of degrees, usually referred to as the First, Second, and Master/Teacher level, all associated with different skills and techniques.