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What is Reiki?

Updated: May 17, 2022

I unexpectedly turned to Reiki during nursing school in 2011. I didn't realize how stressful school was until I stopped sleeping. This was never a problem. I also gain 10-15 pounds because I was too tired to be active. Getting out of bed, going to class felt impossible some days. I knew I had to go something.

It was known among the nursing students that several of them turned to pharmaceutical drugs to lessen the anxiety. Personally, I rarely took pain medications let alone anxiolytic medications. I researched massage therapists in the Bangor area and found Qigong Studio. I booked what I thought was a typical massage appointment. At the time, I couldn't explain it but it felt different. After the session, I asked Vernita, "What did you do differently? I felt subtle vibrations and a sudden overflow of relaxation in my body." She smiled and explained she combined energetic healing therapy with her massage. This was the first time I heard of Reiki.

DISCLAIMER: Jen Marie Cliff and JMC Healing & Wellness Academy [Reiki Pathways, LLC] is not legally or morally responsible for any decisions or actions you take in regards to this article. Reiki does not diagnose or cure medical conditions. Do not use Reiki to prolong or avoid medical ailments or injuries. Please consult your physician or a licensed medical practitioner for any medical advice or concerns.

Definition of Reiki

Reiki is an ancient Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. Reiki means Spiritually Guided Life Force Energy.

REI - Spirit, God, or Higher Power

KI (CHI) - Life Force Energy

The practice of Reiki is based on the concept that everything in the universe is made of energy that flows around and through us, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. When the energy is low, imbalanced, or blocked by stress, injury, or illness, we are more susceptible to discomfort, and eventually disease. Reiki practitioners use the specific energy to restore and balance the client's subtle energy system and awaken the body's own innate healing abilities.

Brief History of Reiki

In 1865 - 1926 Dr. Mikao Usui, a Japanese professor, and Buddhist monk re-discovered, practiced, and taught Reiki throughout Japan. He compassionately treated countless people, directly taught over 2,000 students, and initiated 20 teachers.

Then in 1880 - 1940, Dr. Chujiro Hayashi was a career Naval officer and medical doctor in Japan who learned Reiki from Dr. Usui. He used Reiki to treat his patients. Dr. Hayashi initiated 13 teachers, one was a Japanese-American woman named Ms. Hawayo Takata.

Finally, 1900 - 1980 Ms. Takata brought Reiki to the United States in 1937. She practiced and taught until she died in 1980. She initiated 22 teachers who have continued to spread Reiki throughout the world.


Benefits of Reiki

Life is stressful. There's no way around it. The number one benefit Reiki has is stress and anxiety reduction. Other benefits include:

  • Pain management

  • Immune boost

  • Nausea alleviation

  • Accelerate healing

  • Blood pressure reduction

  • Increase circulation

  • Release muscle tension

  • Toxin Elimination

  • Deep relaxation

  • Improve sleep

  • Mental clarity and alertness

  • Spiritual and emotional healing

  • Bring peace, security, and well-being

  • Increase intuitive abilities

What is a Session Like?

A typical formal session with a certified practitioner can last up to an hour. Each session is individualized and unique every time. The practitioner is a channel while Reiki will go where it needs to go. With a formal session, the practitioner uses hand placements. These placements include along the chakra centers and meridian pathways on the head, neck, shoulders, chest, abdomen, legs, and feet. The client remains fully clothed and may lie down or sit comfortably in a chair with their arms and legs uncrossed.

Depending on the legal parameters, the practitioner's and client's preferences light-touch or non-touch are offered. Light touch means the hands are placed gently on the client's body avoiding the breast, buttocks, and genital area. Non-touch means the hands are above the physical body. Since Reiki is energy it will still flow where it needs to go. Therefore, Reiki can be sent over short and long distances at any point in time (past, present, and future).

Informal and targeted treatments are short and focus on a specific area. The practitioner may do it on themselves, for example, if they have a headache, or give it to a friend with an upset stomach.

The treatment itself can range from feeling nothing to a glowing radiance throughout the body. Most report feeling instantly relaxed, warmth, comfort, security, and a sense of peace. Others may feel vibrations, coolness, emotional release, or a variety of other sensations. As mentioned above, each session is unique while treating the whole person including body, mind, emotions, and spirit.

Reiki is Practiced in Hospitals

A study done in 2007 by the National Health Interview Survey indicates that 1.2 million adults and 161,000 children received one or more sessions of energy healing therapy such as Reiki. According to the American Hospital Association, in 2007, 15% or over 800 American hospitals offered Reiki as part of hospital services.

It is important to note Reiki treatments in hospitals or other settings the patient understands what Reiki is and to only provide a Reiki treatment if the patient has requested one. While Reiki is spiritual in nature, in that love and compassion are an important part of its practice, it is not a religion, and that members of many religious groups including many Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and Jews use Reiki and find it compatible with their religious beliefs.*

Where Can You Learn Reiki?

Reiki training includes three to four levels depending on the teacher. Today, there are different forms of Reiki. Usui (Shiki Ryoho) Reiki is the most well known. Reiki is passed from teacher to student in a form of lineage tradition where the student gets Attuned at the end of the training level. Creditable Reiki practitioners have certificates of completion for each level, signed by their Reiki Master Teacher (RMT).

JMC Healing & Wellness Academy will be offering her first hybrid course on Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Level 1 & 2 this summer 2022. Students must complete the online course first:

This is perfect for beginners and a refresher course. LEARN MORE:




Jen is offering 1-1 sessions. You can book online here. She looks forward to connecting with you.


Are you interested in learning further about Jen's holistic and alternative techniques? In the meantime, signup on the waiting list to get further information. She looks forward to connecting with you.


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