by Ray Yungen
One of the fastest growing New Age healing techniques being used today is Reiki, (pronounced ray-key), a Japanese word which translates universal life energy or God energy. It has also been referred to as the Radiance Technique. Reiki is an ancient Tibetan healing system which was rediscovered by a Japanese man in the 1880s and has only recently been brought to the West.
The technique consists of placing the hands on the recipient and then activating the energy to flow through the practitioner into the recipient. One practitioner describes the experience in the following way:
When doing it, I become a channel through which this force, this juice of the universe, comes pouring from my palms into the body of the person I am touching, sometimes lightly, almost imperceptibly, sometimes in famished sucking drafts. I get it even as I’m giving it. It surrounds the two of us, patient and practitioner.1
One obtains this power to perform Reiki by being attuned by a Reiki master. This is done in four sessions in which the master activates the chakras, creating an open channel for the energy. The attunement process is not made known for general information, but is held in secrecy for only those being initiated.
One of the main reasons Reiki has become so popular is its apparently pleasurable experience. Those who have experienced Reiki report feeling a powerful sense of warmth and security. One woman, now a Reiki master, remarked after her first encounter: “I don’t know what this is you’ve got but I just have to have it.”2 People don’t make such comments unless there is an appeal involved. A successful business woman gives Reiki the following praise:
Reiki should be available through every medical, chiropractic and mental health facility in this country. Your fees are a small price to pay for such impressive results. I don’t know how Reiki works, but it works; thatâ€™s all that counts in my book.3
New Age teaching is that once someone is attuned he or she can never lose the power; it is for life. Even distance is not a barrier for the Reiki energy, for the channeler may engage in something called absentee healing, in which the energy is sent over long distances, even thousands of miles.
One master relates:
Just by having the name or an object of the person or perhaps even a picture in your hand, you can send Reiki to them to wherever they are in the world.4
Over one million people are practicing Reiki in the United States alone today.5 In many cases, these are people who treat or work with others on a therapeutic basis, such as health professionals, body workers, chiropractors, and counselors. Despite its bizarre and unconventional nature, Reiki has struck a cord with an incredible number of average people. In Europe alone, the number of people accepting Reiki is very impressive. One Reiki master claims that in the thirteen years she lived in Europe she alone initiated 45,000 people into Reiki as channelers.6
What Reiki is really about is using this power to transform others into New Age consciousness. As one Reiki leader states:
[I]t also makes a level of spiritual transformation available to non-meditators, that is usually reserved for those with a meditative path.7
Statements like this reveal that Reiki is in line with all the other New Age transformation efforts. It changes the way people perceive reality. Most practitioners acknowledge the truth of this. A German Reiki channeler makes this comment:
It frequently happens that patients will come into contact with new ideas after a few Reiki treatments. Some will start doing yoga or autogenous training or start to meditate or practise [sic] some other kind of spiritual method…. Fundamental changes will set in and new things will start to develop. You will find it easier to cast off old, outlived structures and you will notice that you are being led and guided more and more.8
What concerns me is that Reiki apparently can be combined with regular massage techniques without the recipient even knowing it. A letter in the Reiki Journal reveals:
Reiki is a whole new experience when used in my massage therapy practice. Massage, I thought, would be an excellent tool to spread the radiance of this universal energy and a client would benefit and really not realize what a wonderful growth was happening in his or her being (emphasis mine).9
Of all the New Age practices and modalities, Reiki holds the title to being the most intriguing and perhaps eerie one. This is brought out in the following observations made by one of the leading Reiki masters in the country. He reveals:
When I looked psychically at the energy, I could often see it as thousands of small particles of light, like “corpuscles” filled with radiant Reiki energy flowing through me and out of my hands. It was as though these Reiki “corpuscles” of light had a purpose and intelligence.10
Since Reiki is not something taught intellectually even children can be brought into it. In one Reiki magazine, I found an ad that was offering a Children’s Reiki Handbook: A Guide to Energy Healing for Kids. The book is described as a “guide that provides kids with what they need to prepare for their first Reiki Attunement.11
1. “Healing Hands,” New Woman Magazine (March 1986), p. 78.
2. Joyce Morris, “The Reiki Touch” (The Movement Newspaper, October 1985).
3. Barbara Ray, Ph.D., The Reiki Factor (Smithtown, NY: Exposition Press, 1983), p. 63.
4. “Vincent J. Barra Psychic Healer Transmits Reiki Energy” (Meditation Magazine, Summer 1991), p. 31.
5. William Lee Rand, “Keeping Reiki Free” (Reiki News Magazine, Spring 2005), p. 37
6. Mari Hall, “Reiki and the Adventure of My Life” (Reiki News Magazine, Summer 2006), p. 14.
7. Paula Horan, Empowerment Through Reiki (Wilmot, WI: Lotus Light Publications, 1990), p. 9.
8. Bodo J. Baginski and Shalila Sharamon, Reiki Universal Life Energy (Mendocino, CA: Life Rhythm, 1988), pp. 33, 49-50.
9. “Sharings” (The Reiki Journal, Vol. VI, No. 4, October/December 1986), p. 17.
10. William Lee Rand, “The Nature of Reiki Energy” (The Reiki News, Autumn 2000, p. 5.
11. The Reiki News, Spring 2006, p. 43.
More research on Reiki, click here.
Also read: Reiki, Thomas Merton, and Richard Foster