Everything You Need to Know About Reiki

September 16, 2019 4:48 am Published by

If you’re reading this blog post, you’ve probably heard of Reiki. Maybe you’ve received a Reiki session, or love Reiki and are thinking about starting a Reiki certification.

I’m a Reiki Master, and I often find that even people who have received Reiki before don’t really know much about it. In this blog post, I’ll be explaining what Reiki is, the history of Reiki, the benefits of Reiki, what you might experience with Reiki, and how to weave Reiki into your ritual and spellwork practice.


I’d like to start with energy. Reiki is energy healing and energy is a huge buzzword these days — but what is energy?


Everything is energy. This is something science has proven time and time again. Your table, your body, an orange, a tree, sound — our senses don’t detect the energetic movements of things like oranges and tables because they vibrate slowly and at a low frequency, but they’re still made up of energy.

We are all made up of energy. There is only one tiny basic unit that connects everything and makes up all of us.



Now that you know what energy is, what is Reiki? Reiki is a specific kind of energy work. It’s an energy healing modality that was channeled by Dr. Mikao Usui in Japan, which I’ll get into more detail about below.

The word Reiki itself means “Universal Energy.” It’s Universal Energy, spiritual energy, the energy of oneness, that can be channeled from one human being to another to facilitate healing.

Reiki has its own intelligence. You don’t have to be special to give Reiki, which is one of the things I love about it. We all have this energy within us–it simply gets awakened through a process called a Reiki attunement.

Learn more about different types of energy work here.


As I mentioned above, Reiki was channeled by Dr. Mikao Usui. He was born in 1865 in a little village in the mountains of southern Japan into a well-off Buddhist family and was always interested in healing. Later in life, he became a Buddhist monk and lived in a monastery but was still looking for something.

Dr. Usui wanted to find a method of healing that was unattached to any specific religion, accessible to everyone.

So he isolated himself on Mount Kurama fasting, meditating, and praying. After 21 days, he felt an awakening. A vision of light, a feeling of complete peace and oneness, and he saw the ancient symbols that helped him create the Usui Reiki system of healing.

He quickly came down from the mountain and moved back to Tokyo where he established a healing Reiki clinic and school there (around 1922). He wanted to help as many people as possible, so he taught several Reiki Masters, making sure Reiki wouldn’t be forgotten.

Those Reiki Masters trained some other Reiki masters, who further refined the attunement process and the hand positions used. In 1935 one of those Reiki Masters, Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, trained a Japanese American woman who originally came to him for healing, Hawayo Takata.

Hawayo Takata is the person who brought Reiki to the US. She returned home and spread the system of healing to others here, attuning 22 Reiki masters before she died.


Now that you know a bit about what Reiki is and where it comes from, what are the benefits of Reiki?


I have found over and over again that Reiki will give each individual whatever it is they need. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the benefits of Reiki from my experience and from my teachers:

  • Relief of physical pain and discomfort
  • Release of limiting belief systems
  • Release of blocked energy and blocked emotions
  • Reconnection to your highest self
  • Reach a calmer, meditative state
  • Become more present and enjoy your life more
  • Open to your own self-healing power
  • Feel lighter and more in balance
  • Relax and reduce stress
  • Calm the ego
  • Connect you to who you really are
  • Align with your higher calling and purpose
  • Enhance your connection to spirit
  • Open your intuitive channel

And more!


You’ll typically receive a Reiki session laying down on a massage table, and you’ll always be fully clothed. Your practitioner will use a combination of hands-on gentle touch and hands-off (hovering).

Each individual’s experience of Reiki is unique, and there’s definitely no right or wrong way to experience Reiki. You might see color, words, and/or images. You might get intuitive hits, inspiration, and creative ideas. You might have an emotional release like crying afterwards, or the next day. Or maybe you just feel super relaxed. Maybe you fall asleep.

Personally, I often see color and get creative ideas and intuitive hits. I occasionally see images. I typically reach a calmer, more present, meditative state and deeply feel my connection with Source.


Attuned to Reiki? I love weaving Reiki into my ritual and spellwork practice, and you can do it, too! Here are some of my favorite ways to weave Reiki into my witchcraft:

  • Using Reiki to clear and/or charge my magical tools
  • Using Reiki in spellwork to charge my spell bag, candle, etc. with my intention
  • Using Reiki to open my channel to receive messages from my guides and ancestors

There are so many different ways to work with Reiki once you’re attuned. Get creative and follow your intuition!


Want to learn more about Reiki? Two of my favorite books are The Art of Psychic Reiki by Lisa Campion and This Is Reiki by Frank Arjava Petter.

If you’ve received Reiki before and are thinking about learning Reiki for yourself, check out this article to help you choose a Reiki 1 training that’s a fit for you.

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About Eryn Johnson

Eryn Johnson is a breathwork facilitator, tarot reader, and Reiki Master based in Fishtown, Philadelphia. She is also the host of the Living Open podcast for mystics and seekers, a storytelling tool here to help facilitate soul evolution. The foundation of her work is energetic and based on the belief that there's nothing wrong with you- we are simply programmed from a young age to forget the truth of who we are. She uses energy work, storytelling, and breathwork to guide you back to you - your heart, your power, your magic. Find her work at www.living-open.com and @erynj_ on Instagram.