What is Reiki?

With origins rooted in ancient Japanese traditions, Reiki has gained popularity across the world as a means of promoting relaxation, stress reduction, and holistic wellness. Reiki stands out amongst holistic and alternative healing practices as a foundational practice for understanding energy healing. But what exactly is Reiki? 

The Origins and Essence of Reiki

Reiki, pronounced as "ray-kee," is a Japanese healing technique that is often described as a form of energy healing. The word "Reiki" is composed of two Japanese words: "rei," which means universal, and "ki," which refers to the life force energy that flows through all living things. "Ki" is the Japanese word that shares meaning with the Chinese word  "Chi" or "Qi" which are at the root of other energy based practices such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong. Reiki as a practice is designed to tap into and channel this life force energy to promote healing and balance within the body, mind, and spirit.

One of ElizaBeth's favorite ways to describe Reiki, is that is both:

  • the brilliant and unique light that exists within you
  • a practice for remembering and reconnecting to your brilliant and unique light when you forget about it

The practice of Reiki was developed in the early 20th century by Dr. Mikao Usui. It is said that Usui experienced a profound spiritual revelation during a 21-day meditation retreat, leading to the birth of Reiki as a healing practice. Usui's teachings and techniques were subsequently passed down through a lineage of Reiki masters, including Chujiro Hayashi and Hawayo Takata, two Reiki Master Practitioners who are credited with bringing the Usui Reiki lineage and practices to the United States. Although informed by the Japanese origins of the founders, Reiki is not tied to any specific religion or nationality and is used around the globe as a way of guiding energy throughout the body to promote healing and wholeness. 

Principles and Techniques

Reiki is a 5-element system, that includes practices such as palm healing, meditations, and a guiding set principles called the precepts. The precepts emphasize mindfulness, gratitude, and compassion, aligning with the holistic nature of Reiki practice. 

The most common association of Reiki with the palm healing practice, called Tenohira. Hands-on Reiki sessions can involve a practitioner gently placing their hands on or near the recipient's body, with the intention of supporting the flow of healing energy. The practitioner acts as a conduit, allowing the universal life force energy (Reiki) to flow through them and into the recipient. The process is non-invasive and generally induces a sense of deep relaxation and tranquility.

Benefits of Reiki

While scientific research on Reiki is limited and the effects can vary from person to person, many individuals report experiencing various benefits from Reiki sessions. Some potential benefits include:

  1. Stress Reduction: Reiki is often used as a tool for relaxation, helping to alleviate stress, anxiety, and tension.
  2. Pain Management: Some individuals find relief from chronic pain and discomfort after Reiki sessions.
  3. Enhanced Well-being: Reiki may contribute to a heightened sense of overall well-being by restoring balance and harmony within the body.
  4. Improved Sleep: Regular Reiki sessions might lead to improved sleep quality and better sleep patterns. This is commonly reported from participants in ElizaBeth's Reiki classes and trainings.
  5. Emotional Healing: Reiki can help release emotional blockages and promote emotional healing and resilience, by improving the flow of Ki within the body.


Reiki is a fascinating and contemplative healing practice that taps into the interconnectedness of energy, mind, and spirit. Although its mechanisms and effects might not be fully understood by conventional science, its growing popularity speaks to its potential to bring about a sense of peace and balance in an increasingly chaotic world. Whether one seeks relief from stress, physical discomfort, or an avenue for spiritual growth, Reiki offers a path to explore the subtle energies that shape our well-being.

Join ElizaBeth for a Reiki Training to learn more about Reiki, and build your practice to support your own healing and the healing of others.

Listen to the Podcast Episode from ElizaBeth, "All About Reiki" here.

ElizaBeth Alexander is currently offering Reiki Trainings in California, including in Mountain View and Los Altos. Come learn the power of hands-on healing for your self and others. Reiki Trainings with ElizaBeth are intimate and immersive experiences, designed to help you awaken your healer within.

It is an honor to guide and facilitate trainings for new and seasoned practitioners on the Reiki path.

 Whether your desire for deeper self-healing, the intention to be of service to others, or simply following the curiosity and whispers of your heart has led you here, welcome. 

Reiki trainings are intimate and immersive experiences, designed to help you awaken your healer within.

With deep gratitude to my teachers and those who have led the way for me, I welcome you to the path of Reiki. - ElizaBeth

More Info & Register Here

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