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A definition of Reiki

A number of massage therapists in the Seattle area have an extra credential on their resume: Reiki Practitioner or Reiki Master - leading many to wonder- what is Reiki?

Reiki has been described as a relaxation and/or healing technique that originated in Japan. It was brought to the United States via Hawaii through a Reiki Master named Hawayo Takata. She learned this healing practice from a Japanese Tendai Buddhist Monk named Mikao Usui, who is believed to have shaped the practice into three levels of training, and formalized hand positions.

Reiki is traditionally done by gently holding specific parts of the body for a minute or more at a time, starting at the head and working towards the feet. The therapist runs Reiki energy, which is absorbed into the client’s chi and helps the flow of their own energy, impacting their healing process.

Reiki feels different to each client. Many report feeling waves of heat or cold, and tingling. Vivid dreams or seeing colors while on the table are also commonly reported. Therapists often include relaxation techniques as this is often a quiet experience without much talking. Clients often fall asleep or into deep meditation during these sessions and report waking up feeling well rested.

Training is traditionally broken down into three “degrees”: first, second and master. The first degree is a basic introduction, learning traditional hand positions and assisting the student feel the flow of Reiki energy. The second degree involves the differentiation between emotional and physical healing flow, and introduces the concept of distance healing. The Master level of training teaches Practitioners to teach Reiki to others. The number of hours of training this requires varies greatly.

Massage therapists often find that combining Reiki into a massage session helps to get past the ‘guarding’ reaction most people have when first receiving massage, allowing for deeper work into the muscle tissues and fascia.