What is Reiki?

what is reiki?, gaia's light, evie mcrae

To explain Reiki, particularly to people who have no prior experience or knowledge of energy healing is like trying to explain why the sky is blue. It can turn into quite an involved conversation. I generally try to meet people where they are, starting from a common level of understanding and building from there.

If you are struggling to explain Reiki to someone here is a short way to go about it.


  1. Reiki is a gentle Japanese healing method – Buddhist in nature.
  2. It involves lying fully clothed on a treatment couch.
  3. Your Reiki practitioner will place their hands either on or above your body in a series of hand positions – starting from your eyes and working all the way down to your toes – front and back. The ‘intent’ is to allow energy to flow.

How does it work?

  1. On the most basic level, Reiki is deeply relaxing.
  2. However, if you adopt Reiki as part of your life it will bring your mind, body, spirit into balance – it’s spiritual. It’s healing.
  3. As you relax, your mind and body work together so your own natural healing mechanisms kick in.

For those that want ‘proof’ of the benefits

People generally want to know – “is this really going to help me?” I will always start with the well-documented benefits of being in a calm and relaxed state. There is a lot of research out there nowadays which illustrates how Reiki can help pain, mood and anxiety and far more besides.

My husband is left-brained, logical and has an analytical mindset, so you can imagine we’ve had some interesting discussions on the ‘proof’ aspect. Don’t get me wrong, I like to be challenged in this way – it tests my belief system. While it’s easy to say “I just know it works” there will always be people who find comfort in something more tangible than someone else’s faith.

“As you relax, your mind and body work together so your own
natural healing mechanisms kick in”

The Research

Reiki is increasingly offered in the hospital, hospice, and private practice settings, and is applied to a variety of illnesses and conditions. Those who receive such treatments report relief of symptoms from numerous health challenges, including mental health issues. Research shows that Reiki primarily helps in the reduction of stress, anxiety and depression, as well as relief of chronic pain — the last of which can bring on anxiety and depression, or make episodes worse.

I’m currently sourcing some research papers, which I’ll post up here soon.

Now, I have mentioned this elsewhere on my site, and I’ll say it again because it is very important. Reiki does not CURE. No practitioner should ever tell you they are going to cure a medical condition for you.  Anyone approaching Reiki must understand that this is a complementary therapy and should be used in addition to conventional treatments.

Sometimes you just have to try something to see what you get out of it for yourself. I tried Acupuncture for a migraine once and I actually felt worse afterwards – yet many swear by it. It just wasn’t for me at that time. We all have free will and what’s a wonderful experience for one, may not be for another. And that’s absolutely fine.

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