About Reiki

In my previous blogpost I wrote about spirituality. I talked about the fundamental energy of Life that flows through all beings, connects us all and carries us through our human experience. In Japan they call this universal energy ‘Rei-ki’. Today I want to explain you a bit more about the concept of Reiki and its practice.

What is Reiki?

In the Usui tradition, Reiki was first practiced in Japan around 1900 by Dr. Usui. As a young boy, he studied ‘Kiko’, a Japanese version of Tai Chi, which focuses on the movement of life energy or ‘Ki’. Some practitioners were able to use this energy for healing by laying their hands on people’s bodies. Throughout his life, Usui searched for knowledge, studying medicine, religion and psychology. At the age of 55, he took a retreat on a mountain. After fasting and meditating for twenty-one days, he experienced a powerful light and he understood that this light was universal energy. Energy of life. He called this ‘Rei-ki’ and he knew he was now able to pass on this energy to support healing of himself and others by working with his hands. 

Following his discovery, he moved to Tokyo and opened a clinic to bring Reiki to as many people as possible. He travelled throughout Japan to spread this natural healing system. Before he died in 1926, it was his wish that Reiki would be available to everyone, all over the world. His disciples made this possible up to the present day.

Reiki training and levels

Everybody can give Reiki. Because we all have an energetic dimension and we are all part of the universe. Reiki training consists of 2 major parts. On the one hand you learn to connect with your own and other people’s energy fields. On the other hand you are officially initiated to work with universal energy according to the tradition of Dr. Usui. 

There are three levels or degrees of Reiki, which are achieved by initiations. The first degree permits a person to give Reiki mainly at the physical level, both for himself and for others. The initiation connects a person’s energy system to the universal energy. In the second degree initiation you learn to work with energy beyond space and time, and the amount of energy that can be channelled increases. The third level is the Master level, where you learn the techniques to perform Reiki initiations. Once again you become even more sensitive to passing on energy.

I got initiated in Reiki I in 2016 and in Reiki II in 2018 by my Reiki Master and friend Griet Heylen from the Anam Cara Center in Belgium. Since I wanted to bring more healing into the world, I decided to start giving donation based Reiki sessions after my first initiation. I started ‘Reiki for You’ through MeetUp in 2017 at my place in Brussels. And I’m just very happy to give people a ‘low profile’ opportunity to try it.

A Reiki session

In a Reiki session you will receive universal energy. It aims to help your personal energy flow and remove possible energy blocks. For those who are not familiar with Reiki yet, I’ll describe how one of my sessions goes. 

First I welcome you and make you feel comfortable. Then we’ll start the Reiki session. You’ll be lying on a professional massage table with your clothes on. I’ll tune in to the universal energy. During one hour I’ll pass on this energy by placing my hands on several parts of your body. Intuitively I let my hands rest for a few minutes on each body part. Sometimes I feel that the body is reacting: getting warm or cold, trembling, muscles that are moving, and so on. After one hour I’ll give you some time to come back and exchange by a cup of tea.

As a receiver you don’t have to do anything. Just relax and open yourself for the Reiki energy. You don’t have to be familiar with spirituality or energy work and it’s ok to be skeptical. You only have to be open for the concept of universal energy and feel comfortable to lie down in silence for 1 hour 🙂

Effects and controversy

You might or might not consciously feel the effect of Reiki. As I mentioned before, some people feel some warmth, others might get cold or shivery. Sometimes you become more sensitive, or sometimes you just feel a deep rest coming over you and you fall asleep. If you don’t notice anything at all, don’t worry, the Reiki energy flows anyway.  Sometimes you’ll notice some differences in how you feel a couple of days later.

You don’t have to do anything special to benefit from Reiki. As I wrote before, every (human) being has an energetic dimension. In the Western world we are just less familiar with energy work. So of course some controversy surrounds Reiki, because it is hard to prove its effectiveness through scientific means. However, many people who receive Reiki say it works, and its popularity is increasing. If it speaks to you, you can just give it a try once and experience it for yourself. It’s not a magic cure that will take all your problems and pains away. But if you’re looking for another way to heal yourself, get to know yourself better or find some peace in the midst of everything, I definitely find Reiki effective.

Connecting on a deeper level

What I like the most about Reiki? The joy of sharing it and connecting with people on a deeper level, beyond ego, language, personality, and so on. It’s very hard to describe the atmosphere during a session, but it really feels like you tune in to the core of Life. The place or the moment or the dimension where everything is connected and part of the same source.

Does it make you curious or rather skeptical? Do you have more questions or an experience to share? Don’t hesitate to reach out 🙂 

And to end, here’s a quick reminder of my last blog: never forget to put humor, criticism and self compassion in your spirituality practice! I wish you all a ‘connected’ day 🙂




Eve is a world traveller who lives in Brussels, Belgium. She is passionate about Reiki and loves to write, dance, meditate in nature and hug guinea pigs.