Energy Healing: What is Reiki Healing and How Does it Work?

The art of Reiki (Energy Healing) is both beautiful and cosmic.

The idea of laying on hands and energy healing has been around since long before the New Age movement arrived.

The basic premise behind Reiki has been used by humans and even animals since the dawn of time, as touch has always been used to convey healing, comfort and love.

– Updated 2/11/2020

What is Reiki healing?

Reiki healing is a technique which uses the transference of spiritual energy to heal the body in times of illness and stress.

Japanese in origin, the word Reiki is taken from two Japanese words: Rei – “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki – “Life force energy.”

The Reiki practitioner uses a process much like the laying on of hands, where they focus on the affected areas, transmitting the life force energy in order to reduce stress or invoke healing.

Reiki is more a meditative or spiritual practice rather than a formalized religion.

No particular belief is necessary for the purpose of Reiki healing and the practitioners come from all religious backgrounds, even stating that accessing “God’s power” accentuates and enhances their experience of their respective religions.

How does it work?

When performing Reiki, also known as Energy Healing, you'll feel like you have an abundance of energy in the palm of your hands.


Recipients of Reiki healing report feeling warmth radiating from the hands of the practitioner as their hands move over the body.

The practitioner works as a channel for spiritual or universal energy, energizing and healing the recipient as the energy flows through and around the body.

Similar to the Silva method, where universal energy is channeled to increase stamina, strength and vitality, Reiki healing also promotes quick recovery and spiritual alignment.

Using meditation and “linking” to universal energy, Reiki healing is usually not taught, but rather “transferred” from Master to Student, in a session called “attunement.”

Practitioners do follow basic principles and ideals created by Reiki founder Mikao Usui, where harmony is exemplified through the meditations and healing methods incorporated in Reiki healing.

Although considered a pseudoscience by some, it could be argued that mind over matter is at play, where even the belief in the healing powers or transference of Universal power is enough to encourage feelings of peace and the correction of negative energies and illness in the recipient.

When used in conjunction with other more conventional methods of medicine, it is considered a beneficial enhancement of the healing process.

The old adage of “whatever works” is sometimes what makes Reiki healing and other practices like it worth the effort in terms of experimentation – it’s about finding the balance in whatever works for you.

How to perform your own kind of Reiki healing

Even though proper training or transference of the Reiki healing element is supposed to be conducted by a Reiki Master or teacher, the principles are basic enough for you to try for yourself (and for the benefits of others.)

As discussed in the following video, we already perform Reiki-like healing on ourselves and others on a regular basis, without even realizing it.

Laying your hands on injured parts of the body or even squeezing those parts makes us feel better.

Medical practitioners would argue that the flow of blood is affected by applying pressure, which depresses the affected area.

Therefore, pain is reduced momentarily – but we all understand how much better we feel when someone gives us a hug when we are low or when someone rubs our backs or massages a strained muscle.

Follow the steps below and see for yourself. If you’d like to take it further, find a Reiki Master or course to take things to the next level.

Steps to performing Reiki

  1. Find a willing participant and find out what issue they want addressed
  2. Create a sacred space and have the two of you facing each other
  3. Meditate and visualize the life force flowing through you. (This will take some practice. Imagine the universe opening up and you see a channel of light emanating down from the Heavens. Grasp that energy, harness it, and let it fill the room as it flows through you.)
  4. Once you feel the energy buzzing, reach out and hover your hands over the participant – especially where they indicated they need healing.
  5. Imagine the energy flowing from your hands and to the participant – penetrating the affected areas and filling them with pure energy and healing power.
  6. Visualize the impurities or negative energy coming out of the affected areas like billowing smoke – then vaporized by the excess energy – like pure white light neutralizing the impurities.
  7. Finish by sweeping your hands over the participant’s body
  8. Visualize the positive energy pulsing throughout the participant’s body, so that they will continue feeling the benefits long after the session is done.
  9. Flick your hands and shake the negative residue off and out of your hands, being neutralized by the leftover positive energy.
  10. Thank the Universe.
  11. Clear up and take notes, if needed.

You can modify this method to suit yourself and/or your religion, where applicable.

You can also use the process for yourself or even your pets!

Remember that anything positive is a good thing.

Whether you’re interested in taking Reiki healing further or just want to test it out, you will feel refreshed, peaceful and mindful of the power of healing with our hands.