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The Guys’ Guy’s Introduction to Reiki

It all started when I hurt my leg while training for my first marathon. It was two weeks before the race, when one Sunday I limped my way through a street fair. I stopped to rest at small stand. I saw a man placing his hands on another man’s shoulders. I didn’t know that he was performing Reiki. I watched and skimmed through a leaflet on the table. Then I stuffed it into my pocket and waited my turn. I told the man I was experiencing cramps in my right calf. I took a seat and he placed his hands a few inches from my calf. I could feel currents of energy around my leg. Amazingly, in a short period of time the muscle loosened up. I handed the man $10 and moved on, feeling a lot better. I had never seen a Reiki practitioner at a street fair before and haven’t since then. Maybe it was a dream. That night I researched this amazingly gentle, yet powerful holistic healing art. And because Guy’s Guys believe in giving back and passing on good things, I decided to take the plunge. 

That was fourteen years ago. I’ve studied and graduated the prerequisite levels to become a Reiki Master Teacher. I don’t practice full time, but it has been a gift and important part of my life. So what is Reiki? Simply put, according to Master/Teacher William Lee Rand, Reiki is a Japanese form of stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. Some say a Reiki attunement brings us closer to the Source while providing a clearer form of guidance from the universal consciousness. In a nutshell, Reiki helps break down and remove blockages along the body’s energy meridians. Think of a flowing river dislodging a pebble and moving it down stream. Once attuned, a practitioner visualizes a series of symbols while intending energy through the top of his crown and out through the hands. This pure energy is intended to the subject. The practitioner can either touch or hold his hands a few inches away from the subject and have the same effect. Although there are a variety of hand positions to learn, the Reiki energy knows where to go. Amazing. 

A full session lasts about forty-five minutes to an hour, although you can also benefit from short sessions as I did with my calf. From a historical standpoint, the practice began in India. It became a lost healing art until about one hundred years ago when a Japanese man named Dr. Usui re-imagined Reiki while in deep meditation. He began passing attunements to others that continue on to this day. In fact, my attunement comes from Dr. Usui’s lineage.

The benefits of learning Reiki are many. First, Reiki practitioners are encouraged to practice on themselves. We receive the same benefits from self-Reiki that we’d get from another practitioner. It’s like giving yourself a great massage. Secondly, although there are set attunements by virtue of the level of study you have reached— one, two, three, Master, or Teacher— a practitioner can continue to receive attunements at any time. And the attunements are permanent. Once you are attuned at the Master Teacher level, you can attune others and your physical and spiritual perspective changes. I literally see the world differently now. Additionally, I can send healing energy to past, present, and future situations, and also send Reiki to people across the globe by visualizing the appropriate symbol and the right intention. It truly is a gift and an amazing practice to learn.

A person receiving Reiki feels relaxed and refreshed. The energy flow is gentle, but it clears the paths and blockages that cause disease and discomfort. Frequently, there is also an emotional release accompanying a treatment. I have witnessed many subjects crying or needing the use the bathroom after a session. Sometimes, people call me later and tell me they cried it out on their drive home. I’m not going to get defensive about the science of how Reiki works, but the proof is in the pudding. Many hospital and traditional medical practices now offer and encourage their nurses and doctors to learn this healing art as a way to promote wellness and comfort their patients.

If you are interested in learning more and studying Reiki with the goal of attunement and practicing, I suggest a thorough Google or You Tube search and reading a book or two on the subject. I’d also recommend that if you do decide to follow this path that you take it slow and not skip from level to level. Although you can learn the basic symbols and get attuned for level one during a weekend workshop, I suggest extending your studies of the levels and attunements over the course of at least five years. Reiki is not something you rush into. It is a life-altering practice that requires love and your spiritual attention.Think you have a basic idea of Reiki now?

Our Guy’s Guy of the Week is who else, but Dr. Usui, who rebirthed this lost healing art and began the spread of this wonderful practice around the world.