What is Reiki?
What the Japanese call reiki (ray-key) is ‘universal life energy’. In the West, the word reiki has been adopted generally to refer to the practice and is the word used to describe a system of natural healing, rather than the energy as understood by the Japanese.
This system was founded by Mikao Usui in Japan in the early 20th century and evolved through his research, experience and dedication. The practice of Reiki focuses the flow of this energy, which is transmitted through hands and touch.
There are many variations of Reiki, but in essence Reiki treatments can help the body physically, emotionally or spiritually. It is a tradition that is open to any belief system and can be used alongside other conventional or complementary treatment.
The Reiki Association’s description of Reiki has been approved by the British CAP (Committee of Advertising Practice) and is used in The Reiki Council’s leaflet approved for use at St George’s Hospital, London, UK. (The Reiki Association, which is based in the UK but open to members from any country, is the world’s first Reiki community membership organisation.)
Resources: about Reiki
The Reiki Council is the lead advisory body for Reiki practitioners in the UK. It advises practitioners following the National Occupational Standards as agreed with Skills for Health. As far as we know, it is the only organisation of this kind in the world.
If you know of any others to add here, please contact us.
Skills for Health is a not-for-profit organisation committed to the development of an improved and sustainable healthcare workforce across the UK. Established in 2002 as the Sector Skills Council for Health for the UK health sector, Skills for Health helps to inform policy and standards focusing on health, education and improving the wider well-being of public health.
While this is a UK-based organisation, the skills it promotes might be helpful in any country.
Learning Reiki for self-care and the treatment of others
The gentle healing art of Reiki is simple to learn and easy to practise on yourself, friends, family and, ultimately, patients.
Reiki Healthcare Research Trust recognises that there are many forms of Reiki teaching. Our focus is on Usui Reiki, where traditionally there are three levels of Reiki and all teaching takes place in person. (In the UK, in-person teaching is required by The Reiki Council for membership of their member organisations, the Complementary National Healthcare Council for CNHC registration, and by most insurers).
Reiki Level I (Shoden)
This is all you need to practise on yourself, friends and family. Traditionally taught in person over 3 or 4 days. Daily self-treatment advised. Six months recommended before taking the next step.
Reiki Level 2 (Okuden)
Prepares you for public practice and for treating others beyond the physical touch, including treating emotions and aspects of the mind and spirit.
Traditionally, taught in person over 2 days. Continued daily self-treatments advised. Minimum period of 1-2 years recommended before beginning on the master path.
Reiki Level 3 (Shinpiden), Reiki Master
For those who wish to teach as well as practise Reiki.
Traditionally, ‘…The preparation to become a master is not through a course with a specific curriculum. Rather, it is like the traditional Eastern way of becoming a teacher: a personal development under the guidance of master until both master and master-candidate know and agree that the master-candidate is ready for the Reiki Master initiation.’
– Kate Jones, Reiki Master, Director Reiki Healthcare Research Trust
How to choose a Reiki master
Choosing the right Reiki master/teacher for you is important. Most good Reiki masters/teachers will travel, and the same goes for Reiki students.
Choosing a Reiki master
10 factors to consider
- Contact with different masters/teachers by phone or in person.
- Check experience, lineage and style of Reiki.
- Does their website feel good to you?
- Do they teach in person with ongoing follow-up support such as regular Reiki circles and shares?
- Do they practice/teach daily self-treatment?
- In the UK, are they a member of a Reiki association and signed up to the Code of Ethics and National Occupational Standards as required by The Reiki Council member organisations and the CNHC (Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council)? *
- Do they have public liability insurance?
- Try to have at least one Reiki treatment before deciding.
- Consider quality of teaching, time spent, and depth of experience when assessing cost.
- What does your intuition tell you?
* or international equivalents, if available
UK Reiki Directories
News and Articles
Article: D.M. Anderson, et al., Building a Reiki and Healing Touch volunteer program at an Academic Medical Center, Adv Integr Med (2017), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aimed.2017.09.001
Article: © Reiki News Magazine – Reiki in a Behavioral Health Clinic
Article: The Cleveland Clinic – What is Reiki, and Does it Really Work?
Article: Forbes Health – What is Reiki and how does it work?
Videos, webinars, courses
Over time we will add educational videos, webinars and events for Reiki practitioners, medical professionals and the general public. Please keep checking our Webinar and Events page, social media and our newsletters.
Reiki, Taiji and Qigong
Partners for self-care
Reiki research presentation
by Dr Ann Baldwin
We are putting together new and detailed registers showing where Reiki is practised in hospitals, hospices and wellness centres in the UK and other countries and will publish it soon. Please visit this page again to find out more.