If given a chance to relieve pain, stress, and anxiety with just your hands anytime and anywhere, would you take it? This is possible with the help of the world’s leading energy healing therapies, such as Reiki. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could have this nifty tool at your fingertips?
Knowing Reiki is like having hidden superpowers you can invoke at will, 24/365. Learn it online by taking courses from MOOCs, educational institutes, professional associations, or directly from Reiki masters. The budget-conscious or DIYer can learn it by reading ebooks, blogs, and watching videos.
This article discusses various ways of learning Reiki, the different levels of mastering it, and what to expect in a course. Read on for the lowdown on Reiki education.
Also known as hands-on-healing, energy healing, or palm healing, Reiki is a Japanese holistic spiritual healing therapy with Tibetan origin that channels energy throughout the body to achieve optimum health and wellbeing. Its basic tenet is rooted in the belief that the body has a natural ability to heal itself.
Reiki means “universal life force energy,” said to be present in all living creatures. Reiki practitioners believe this energy affects the functioning of the human body, mind, and spirit. When disrupted or misaligned, it causes medical ailments. Reiki therapy balances it for physical, psychological, and spiritual healing.
Reiki traces its origin to Raku Kei, a spiritual healing discipline practiced by Tibetan Buddhist monks over four millennia ago. In 1922, Japanese Buddhist monk Dr. Mikao Usui revised the modalities of his Tibetan counterparts. During this revision, he studied other energy-based systems and discovered new ways of channeling Reiki. The result of this innovation is the format we know today as Reiki.
Dr. Usui’s mentee, Chujiro Hayashi, standardized and popularized his version (called Usui Reiki) and made it a movement in Japan.
How It Works
Reiki healers gently touch or “hover” their hands over key pressure points on patients’ heads and bodies to invoke energy, healing physical, mental, or emotional ailments in the process.
Anyone, regardless of intellectual or meditative capacity, can learn it in a short time. Taking their cue from Dr. Usui’s reference to Reiki as the “art of inviting happiness,” teachers pass it on to students in a process called attunement. This ensures that instructors’ personalities don’t cloud the significance of the experience.
Reiki contributes to a healthy, well-grounded, and serene essence. If you are armed with Reiki knowledge, you can heal ailments—yours and other people’s. Once Reiki is passed on to you, it will stay within you forever. It won’t dissipate, and you will never lose it. You can invoke it wherever you are and whenever you need it. You will be able to replenish the life force energy when it is depleted and channel it to areas that need healing.
Other Reiki benefits include:
- Disease prevention and resolution
- Alleviation of pain, anxiety, stress, depression, and trauma
- Elimination of negativity
- Purging of addictive tendencies
- Ability to center oneself and others amid turmoil
- Reconnection with one’s higher self
- Strengthening one’s life purpose, direction, wellbeing, intuition, decision-making ability, and mental clarity
For an effective start in Reiki training, students need to undergo attunement, whereby Reiki masters, guided by God (or Higher Power), pass on the life force energy to them. Through this process, Reiki masters open their students’ crown, heart, and palm chakras—energy centers that connect students to the source of the life force.
This powerful energy transfer, which can galvanize psychic sensitivity, varies from one individual to another. Many students report transcendental experiences after the attunement. These involve accessing the third eye, dynamized intuition, messages from beyond, seemingly miraculous cures, visions, and past-life regression.
Only one attunement is needed for masters to pass on their abilities to students. However, with the multiple degrees of Reiki, students need several attunements over time to progress to upper levels.
To improve the results received during the attunement, students must undergo a process of purification. This paves the way for the attunement energies to perform more effectively and deliver more substantial benefits to the students.
Only Reiki masters are allowed to impart Reiki knowledge. Research the instructors in your chosen educational institution before enrolling in a course. Once committed, you will learn these degrees of training:
This starting point discusses Reiki’s basics and history, positive and negative vibrations, and the holistic, hands-on process. Completing just this first degree will enable you to heal people. But first, beginners have to overcome obstacles that can impede the transfer of energy, such as past hurts and internal turmoil. Practice hands-on self-treatment every day for at least six months before moving to the second level.
Four times more powerful than level I, this stage tackles distant healing and how to connect the mental aspect to the hands-on modality. Practice level I techniques for three months minimum before proceeding to level II.
The highest degree catapults the student to master status. In ancient times, this topmost level of learning was by invitation only. Now, it has these sub-levels:
- 3A—Those at the “Master Healer” level can transmit the life force using thought alone.
- 3B—Those at the “Master Teacher” level can attune students to level I or II.
- 3C—Those at the “Reiki Grandmaster” level can attune anyone to any level of Reiki.
The proper way to learn Reiki is via a Reiki master or someone with level III or teaching status. These are some ways to learn under them:
- Watch DIY instructional videos.
- Enroll in informal tutorials, formal online classes, or MOOCs (massive open online courses).
- Subscribe to Reiki-related newsletters.
- Attend video conferences.
- Participate in forums and discussion groups.
- Join professional organizations that offer courses, seminars, boot camps, or workshops as benefits of membership.
- Read books, manuals, and blogs. Recommended books:
- The Original Reiki Handbook of Dr. Mikao Usui co-authored by Christine M. Grimm
- The Reiki Manual: A Training Guide for Reiki Students, Practitioners, and Masters by Penelope Quest and Kathy Roberts
- The International Center for Reiki Training offers in-person and online courses.
- Neil Cooper offers online Reiki courses through his website and YouTube videos.
- Pamela Miles offers live training via interactive videoconferencing through her site, Reiki Medicine & Self Care. Miles is a member of The Reiki Alliance, a professional organization of Reiki masters worldwide who follow Hawaiian Reiki Grand Master Teacher Hawayo Takata’s standards of paced, extensive training. Takata and her Reiki master, Chujiro Hayashi, brought Reiki from Japan to Hawaii in the 1930s.
- Spiritual educator Lisa Guyman offers these online courses at her institute: Reiki I, II, and Reiki for Masters & Teachers. She conducts classes live via Zoom. Apart from regular courses, she offers hands-on virtual weekend Reiki workshops.
- The John Harvey Gray Center for Reiki Healing offers video conferencing or online training. These cover the same material as its live classes. Check the website for enrollment details, registration, and class schedules. Reiki instructor Lourdes conducts a one-hour virtual tutorial with each student, answering questions and giving feedback. Offline, students can email her their queries.
- Those budgeted for time or money can enroll in short-term courses via MOOCs. Most are free or discounted due to the pandemic. Popular MOOC providers:
Course Duration and Fees
A typical class lasts between 10 and 12 hours. Ideally, each class is spread out over two or more days to give students more practice time at home.
The International Center for Reiki Training is Grand Master Takata-endorsed, which charges higher fees than most training providers. The center’s Reiki level I course costs $175; Reiki II, $500. Its Reiki Master level costs $10,000. Mrs. Takata felt that this high fee was necessary for Western students to respect the Master’s level’s value, as many institutions offer Reiki courses free or at minimal rates.
A few Reiki Masters agree with Mrs. Takata, so they charge similarly high fees. However, many providers charge lower fees to give deserving but cash-strapped Reiki Master aspirants a chance. Some schools offer scholarships.
On the flip side, low fees may signify a less confident instructor who lacks experience. If you choose a pricier institution to study Reiki, you can look at your training as an investment that can propel you to greater heights in the healing space.
How to Choose an Instructor
Since Reiki education isn’t standardized and there are no regulating body monitoring course providers, you may wonder how you know if a Reiki class is credible, and if the instructor is qualified?
As Reiki is a spiritual endeavor, follow your instinct but research courses, instructors, and learning institutions before committing.
Ask yourself and your targeted school these questions to help you decide:
- Is this the right time for me to study Reiki?
- Will I be comfortable studying with these instructors? Do they offer an encouraging, non-judgmental, and empowering learning environment?
- Can I commit to regular training and practice?
- What courses and Reiki levels does this school offer?
- What is the duration of each class? How much of this time is reserved for instruction versus hands-on practice?
- Ask your instructors about their Usui Reiki lineage. (Reiki Masters are supposedly descendants of Dr. Usui and his mentees.)
- What can I expect from the attunement process?
- How much do you charge for each level/module? Are there extra fees involved, such as for books and special instruments?
- What is the required waiting time between training levels?
- Do you offer support post-training or after-school hours?
- Are there Reiki support groups nearby? If there isn’t any, will the school/teachers assist me in creating one?
To find qualified Reiki instructors where you live, visit the website of the International Association of Reiki Professionals (IARP). Their database lists registered Reiki master teachers.
Since a respectful and productive student-teacher relationship is essential in any form of edification, consult your value system in your choice of instructor. If you are faced with the dilemma of choosing between an amiable teacher and an experienced one with a celebrated reputation, pick the former, particularly if he or she is qualified, dedicated to mentees, and reachable even after graduation.
Ultimately, sustaining a symbiotic relationship with students depends on the instructors’ propensity for upholding the Usui lineage and their proficiency in imparting knowledge and transferring the life force energy to them.
What to Expect in a Typical Curriculum
In a COVID-19 environment, students of Reiki receive their attunements, training, and practice at home. Despite this remote study setting, Guyman claims her students will experience transformations. After graduation, she says that even at Level I, her students can already practice Reiki on their loved ones and begin seeing clients either face-to-face or from a distance.
Many teachers recommend taking full-immersion courses because there is a greater chance of retaining the learned material when there is no gap between modules. Otherwise, one can start with levels I and II, practice for several months or years, then move on to the Master and Teacher training. Curious cats or those who prefer just to dip their feet in can join boot camps or take introductory classes.
What to Expect in Levels I and II
Topics covered in these levels include:
- The history of Reiki and how it is practiced today
- Meditation exercises
- Four first-degree initiations
- Activation of Reiki levels I & II
- Reiki attunement
- Chakra and energy cleansing
- How to get started in one’s practice
- Protocols for self-treatment
- Protocols for the treatment of others
- Offer of Reiki to others, albeit informally
- Observation of an entire treatment demonstration
- Step-by-step procedures in Reiki administration
- Practice giving complete treatments either to people at home or from a distance
- Techniques for scanning, connecting, clearing, grounding, and setting intentions
- How to be a steady conduit for treatments
- Application of Reiki to daily life
- Activation of chakras in the palm
- Amplified responsiveness to the life force
- Exposure to adjustments in energy
- Procedures on how to harness intuitive abilities
- Healing energies and applications of Reiki symbols
- Emotional, mental, long-distance, harmonious, connective, and power symbols
- Study and practice of long-distance Reiki
- Guyman gives her students guided videos and audio files to practice alongside post-class.
What to Expect in the Master Level
- Attunement to the Master Symbol
- Activation to the highest level of Reiki
- Guided meditation to aid in the achievement of the first two
- Connection to the higher self, paving the way for additional guidance
- Exposure to the healing energies of the Master Symbol
- Advanced techniques for channeling the life force
- Methods for scanning and clearing the aura
- Practicing the Energetic Release technique on oneself and others
- Activation of a chakra-clearing cycle using the Master’s attunement
What to Expect in the Teacher Training Course
- Attunement that allows students to conduct all levels of the Reiki attunement
- Preparation for teaching classes
- Guided meditation to aid in the attunement of the teacher level
- Empowerment to aid in the attunement and instruction of others
- Guidance on how to structure classes
- Advanced information on Reiki not imparted in the lower levels
- Demonstration of the student’s first Reiki attunement in class
- Activation of an energy center cleansing cycle through attunement
What to Do After Graduation
Apart from pursuing advanced levels in Reiki mastery, you may opt to discover other spiritual healing avenues to broaden your skillset. Take Guyman, for example. After mastering and teaching Reiki, she continued to explore holistic medicine and energy healing by taking up hypnotherapy, advanced yoga, Kwan Yin energy-work, emotional freedom technique, Donna Eden’s energy medicine class, and Deepak Chopra’s primordial sound meditation.
Secure your certificate(s). Before you do, you should have completed the requirements of your school. Regulations vary per institute, but these usually include practicing treatments on others. In light of the Covid crisis, schools allow online submissions of remote student presentations.
Reviews, assessments, and grading also take place using video conferencing or social media tools. These may include the entire class or one-on-one with the teacher.
Join a Professional Association
After getting certified, join professional Reiki practitioner organizations, such as the IARP, for extra credentials. The IARP offers forms students can use in their practice. Annual membership costs around $149.
If you intend to practice Reiki professionally, you should obtain liability insurance coverage. If you plan to treat clients from your place of residence, you must get an add-on for your home insurance policy.
Learning Reiki is a fulfilling endeavor that benefits not only you but everyone you help with it. Strive to improve your understanding of it until you achieve mastery. You can accomplish this by regularly practicing, securing ongoing mentorship after graduation, joining support groups or associations, and pursuing advanced studies. Nurturing professional growth is beneficial in upgrading healing prowess.
While Reiki starts with self-healing, recognize that healing is not dependent on the practitioner’s ability or curative touch but the guidance of the Higher Power. Let this acknowledgment permeate all your healing sessions, and you will be assured of success.