My path to Reiki was an odd one. In 2015, in a remote countryside in southern France, I randomly happened to shake hands with a Dutch man who had spent time with a shaman, and is a deeply spiritual person. His smile suddenly disappeared and he placed his other hand over the top of mine, and stated calmly, “You have healing hands.”
It was such a random statement; it took me completely by surprise.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“You have healing hands. It’s a gift, don’t waste it.”
He then promptly started chatting with someone else and that was the end of that conversation.
After returning home, I couldn’t stop thinking about what he had said. I started researching ‘healing hands’ on the internet which inevitably brought me to Reiki.
Reiki is two Japanese words and translates as ‘Rei’ (universal) and ‘ki’ (life force or energy). It was founded in Japan in the early 20th century. Quite simply put, it is the channelling of universal energy (which is all around us) into a person’s body for stress reduction and relaxation but can also promote healing. A Reiki instructor opens your palm chakras (energy centres) to enable the energy to flow openly through your hands, and this universal energy can flow to other people, animals, or things.
The method of sharing this energy is done through a series of hand positions which correlate directly to the energy centres (or chakras) of the body. It can be done by either holding the hands slightly above the body, or touching (obviously avoiding the more private areas of the body). It can be done lying down, or sitting in a chair.
When the hands are in these positions, the person being treated can feel a variety of sensations. The feedback from those I’ve treated has been varied. All have felt distinct warmth in my hands; some have felt like they were floating in water; some have felt that they were a huge tube of toothpaste having all the tension slowly squeezed out of them; some have seen visions of animals; but one theme is common – all of them have experienced a deep sense of relaxation.
Reiki is not a religion, there is no dogma and you don’t have to believe certain beliefs in order to do Reiki. There are christian nuns who practice Reiki, and there are pagans who practice Reiki – and everything in-between. It is always done for the best intention of the person involved, and always with permission.
There are 3 main levels of Reiki. Reiki I which allows you to practice on yourself, friends and family; Reiki II which is practitioner level and requires insurance to practice on the general public; and Reiki III, the Master level which allows you to train others to give Reiki.
I am currently Reiki II Practitioner level.
Animal Reiki is the practice of giving Reiki to animals. Animals are sensitive to energy flow and, most of the time, are only too happy to receive Reiki because they too find it relaxing.
After I completed my Reiki I course, one of our cats started following me around. It was odd because even though he was a greatly affectionate cat, he’d never done that before. He then started to jump up onto my lap and just ‘look’ at me. One day, I thought to myself that he might be ‘asking’ for Reiki and gave him a 10 minute session. After that, we’ve never looked back. Now he comes to me regularly, and when he’s had enough, he simply jumps off and in true cat-style, has a wash.
To sit completely still, with my hands on him while he purrs away loudly, is a deeply beautiful and connecting moment. I’m hoping to explore this area of my practice further at some point.