Hands cupped around a ball of healing light

What is it?

Reiki (pronounced RAY-kee) is a safe, gentle, and nonintrusive healing technique. It was developed by a Japanese Buddhist priest, Mikao Usui, who brought it to thousands of students and eventually opened a reiki clinic in Tokyo in 1922. Reiki was once taught as a part of ancient Buddhist philosophy and while reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion.

The healing energy of reiki works holistically and is administered by “laying on hands” to affect the energies in the human body. It has been taught and used in the Western world since the 1930s for stress reduction, relaxation, and healing.

How does it work?

No expensive equipment is needed for reiki to work—just the healer’s hands and intention. The person performing reiki places their hands in the area that needs healing and then lets the energy flow. Since reiki is about high vibrational energy, it is able to flow into, over, and through everything—including solid matter.

Reiki is believed to help to break down energetic disruptions in a person’s body, chakras, aura, emotional fields, and spirit. The high-frequency energy that occurs during reiki helps stimulate the body’s own natural healing ability. This is how the technique is thought to help physical healing and pain relief to take place quickly.

How can it help me?

Similar to acupuncture, reiki is thought to stimulate the immune system response, flowing through energy pathways, soothing the nerves, and calming the mind. If your life force energy level is low, it’s believed that you’re more susceptible to illness and stress. Reiki treatments are meant to bolster one’s energy and encourage the healing process. During a treatment, you may feel a wonderful glowing radiance moving through and around your body.

Physical pain and bodily discomfort respond well to reiki in most instances. Some people’s symptoms abate quickly, while others may need many sessions before improvement. Reiki works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic healing techniques.


Reiki for Life by Penelope Quest ($16.95, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2010)

Touching the World Through Reiki by Eileen Dey ($14.95, Book Publishers Network, 2011)

“What Is Reiki?” the International Center for Reiki Training, www.reiki.org, 2014


Lisa Fabian

Recipe Editor

Lisa Fabian is a staff writer for Taste for Life magazine.For more information, contact us.