How Reiki works
The system of Reiki is made up of five elements - precepts (guidelines), techniques, hands-on healing, symbols and mantras, and a blessing called reiju. Reiki practitioners work with these elements to clear the energy in their bodies to return to the true nature. That is, the pure being that they really are, without all the garbage that gets thrown on top. These five elements are the tools that we work with.
What sort of garbage do you have covering up your true pure being? There could be feelings of unworthiness, depression, insecurity, jealousy, anger, grief, etc. There could be physical issues that are irritating or totally debilitating. All of us carry garbage around. And all of us shine that pure, bright light beneath it.
The body is not just a physical being or just a thinking being or spiritual being. The body is you - the total being. And the system of Reiki works on this complete interconnected being. Although the system is ostensibly energetic it affects every aspect of your life.
A simple understanding of how Reiki works is this:
Working with the five elements of the system of Reiki stimulates energy (Reiki) to move in the body. You already have energy in the body but often it is not flowing with ease; that garbage we were talking about is clogging you up, obstructing its flow. When our energy flows without interruption that is when we shine unhindered with that beautiful pure light of our true being. This state is often called enlightenment.
Therefore working with the system of Reiki shifts the energy. When this happens it is possible that you might feel it. When garbage is on the way out it might play up a bit. You might feel that headache a bit more, or you find yourself with an upset stomach, or you feel emotionally in turmoil. We call this a cleansing process. It is a normal, natural way for the body to respond as it finds its way back to its pure self. The best advice is to keep on working through it. Support your body in every way that you can to help you move through the changes that are occurring. Always stop if it gets too intense, and if you are worried you can always contact your Reiki practitioner or teacher.
One of the most wonderful things about the system of Reiki is that we do not direct the energy or manipulate it in anyway. It is about being open and letting go, allowing your body to draw on the energy that is offered and take what it needs.
When we take away the rational mind, judging what is right or wrong for us, we open ourselves to the power of nature and its natural healing flow. You may not know what is best for you, but your body does.
This is an excerpt of a case study from Your Reiki Treatment by Bronwen and Frans Stiene
After Jenny studied Reiki, she enthusiastically began to offer treatments to her friends and family. Jenny’s dad had recently dislocated his knee and was having trouble getting around—she thought he would be a perfect candidate. He was unsure about “this Reiki thing” but said he would have a go. Jenny sat next to his chair, asked him to relax and placed both hands on his troubled knee. She did this for about half an hour once a day, for three consecutive days. At the end of the three sessions she asked her dad if there was any improvement in his knee. He disappointingly shook his head and then remarked, “But I can sure hear better now.