Some Reiki questions answered

I use a number of different approaches and this post about Reiki is one of a series giving some background information to the various ways in which I work with clients.  (Follow the links for the posts about EFTMatrix Reimprinting and NLP.)

Do you have questions about Reiki?

A very important strand of my work is to share and teach Reiki.  The clients who come to me for a Reiki session are, typically, feeling really exhausted and in need of deep relaxation and recharging.  This exhaustion may have physical or emotional roots, but the process of sharing Reiki is the same, whatever the client’s concerns.

I have written this post to answer a few of the questions I am often asked about different aspects of Reiki – starting with one that is tough to answer in words…

“What is Reiki?”    I usually say, “May I show you?” and gently place my hand on the enquirer’s arm – but that’s not possible through the written word, so, here goes…

Originating in Japan, Reiki is a holistic healing system that can help restore balance at every level – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.  It is offered through light touch and the receiver remains fully clothed whilst, typically, lying on a treatment couch. 

“So what happens during a session?”    The client lies comfortably on the couch and I place my hands gently on, or just off, the client’s head and body, following a sequence of hand positions, first on the front and then the back of the body.

“What does it feel like?”    Generally people feel heat from my hands, but some feel tingling, cool or, occasionally, nothing at all.  Most of my clients either fall asleep or relax very deeply indeed – and snoring is not uncommon!

“And what can Reiki do for me?”    Studies in America show that Reiki can shift the body from an everyday, stressed-out “fight or flight” state into its “rest and repair” mode where blood pressure & heart rate may stabilise and the body’s innate healing mechanisms can operate.  As with a really good night’s sleep, we can feel refreshed, calmer or quite simply “better” afterwards.  It is extremely important to understand that Reiki is NOT a cure for specific conditions nor a tool for diagnosis.  As our systems come into balance, health conditions may improve but we never offer Reiki to ‘fix’ something in particular.  We simply offer Reiki holistically, and the body responds by moving towards balance.

“But what’s actually going on while you’re doing that?”    It is understood that Reiki gently encourages the human energy fields towards balance through subtle vibration.  Reiki Masters use a variety of different analogies to describe Reiki and how it works.  I like the analogy of an ‘aerial’ or a ‘tuning fork’, bringing about an answering resonance in the receiver’s energy fields.  Others will say that they are “as a length of bamboo” or, more prosaically, “a drainpipe”!  They are, as it were, hollow and the Reiki passes through them to the recipient.

Whichever way we describe it, the process does not involve a transfer of the Reiki practitioner’s energy at all – we are simply the means by which the Reiki reaches the client and encourages their systems into balance.  People often ask me if it is tiring to offer Reiki but, in fact, the opposite is true and the practitioner also feels the positive effects of the Reiki – a definite win/win!

“Is Reiki safe for everyone?  During illness, or treatment?  During pregnancy?”    Yes, absolutely.  There are no known contraindications.  The balancing effects of Reiki can help to support you in any circumstances.

“Do I have to believe in it for it to work?  Is Reiki a religion?”    No, you don’t.  For the practitioner, self-Reiki is a daily practice, not unlike meditation, but it is not a religion, nor does it conflict with any religious beliefs.

“Can I learn Reiki?”    Definitely!  At the first level, Reiki is a fabulous method for self-care that anyone can learn, very simply.

“What does the word Reiki mean – and how do you say it?”    The word ‘Reiki’ breaks down into two parts, ‘Rei’ can be translated as ‘soul’, ‘spirit’ or ‘wisdom’ and ‘Ki’ usually refers to ‘life-force’ or ‘universal energy’.  It is pronounced “ray-kee”, with the emphasis on the first syllable.

Do you have any other Reiki questions?

What’s your experience of Reiki?

I would love to know – do join the conversation by commenting below.

And if this post has whetted your appetite and you’d like to talk about how Reiki might support your wellbeing, hop on over to here to drop me an email and we can arrange to have a chat.


  1. Reblogged this on Relax from Stress and commented:
    Lovely blog by Lizzie Carver answering common Reiki questions.

  2. Claire on June 30, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I’ve always been intrigued by Reiki… thanks for this. Can you recommend anyone in central London?

  3. Reiki Cursos on October 27, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Reiki is fantastic, but many people still do not believe that energy. Very sad.

    • Lizzie on October 28, 2016 at 7:41 am

      I find that once people have experienced the deep relaxation of a Reiki session, they are prepared to accept, even if they don’t understand it.

  4. Jason Wickens on July 25, 2017 at 10:33 am

    I am a level 2 reiki practitioner, just about to do my Masters, and I’m still not completely sure how it works, but it certainly does!

  5. O Que é Reiki on October 19, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Some people may not even believe or even doubt the benefits of Reiki and its rebalancing power, be it physical, emotional and mental, because they do not know it and do not practice it, which is the most important thing to get results. Gratitude

Leave a Comment