The Amazing History & Healing Powers Of Reiki Massage

Imagine a non-invasive, simple treatment that is suitable for everyone. A treatment that heals on every level – physical, emotional, and spiritual. Welcome to the world of Reiki, a treatment system that takes a holistic approach to the body and mind.

What is Reiki massage?

Reiki is a system based on the principle that all living things have a life force. When this is properly harnessed, it can be used to correct physical and psychological imbalances. The word “Reiki” translates to rei (“universal”) and ki (“life energy”) in Japanese.

Reiki practitioners believe that every human being is surrounded by a layer of energy known as a “biofield.” When the balance of this energy is disturbed, the result is physical, emotional, and spiritual discomfort. Reiki stimulates the client’s natural healing processes and promotes a feeling of general wellbeing.

A practitioner’s hands are their most important tools. During a therapy session, they channel healing energy to the client’s body. However, Reiki can also be used at a distance – direct physical contact is not necessary for advanced practitioners. It is possible to send healing energy around the world.

What are the origins of Reiki massage?

Contemporary Reiki is based on the teachings of a Japanese lay monk called Mikao Usui. In the early 1920s, Usui had a spiritual revelation that inspired him to create a new system of healing. He spent several years travelling the country, teaching thousands of students how to act as conduits of powerful life energy.

Usui trained 16 students to an advanced level. Among them was former naval officer Chujiro Hayashi. After completing his training with Usui, he went on to found the first Reiki clinic in Tokyo. One of the center’s clients, Hawayo Takata, bought the teachings to the USA and Canada in the 1970s.

Although Reiki was devised by a Buddhist monk, people of all backgrounds can enjoy its benefits. You do not need to believe in any supernatural doctrine or be a member of any specific religion. It is relatively simple to learn. Most practitioners learn the basics by attending a few classes or short courses with a Reiki master.

In the video below, you can learn more about the process of becoming a Reiki practitioner:

The benefits of Reiki massage

According to the University of Minnesota, Reiki can reduce pain, boost energy levels, and promote recovery after illness. It may also mitigate side-effects of medication and other Western treatments. Reiki works quickly, with clients usually feeling a significant difference after just one session. This can foster a sense of hope for the future.

Scientific research has highlighted the powers of Reiki. Nurse and researcher Leonice Kurebayashi has proven that Reiki massage significantly lowers stress after just eight treatment sessions. A 2018 study with hospitalized patients show that Reiki can help relieve depression, pain, nausea, anxiety, and fatigue.

Reiki massage is safe for everyone, including children, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions. It can be used alongside Western medicine or alone. Reiki helps people cope with the stress that often accompanies illness and injury. It can also be used as part of a palliative care package, offering comfort in the final days and hours of a person’s life.

What you can expect from a Reiki massage session

Reiki practitioners are not medically trained and do not treat specific illnesses. It is unlikely you will be asked for a full medical history. However, you might be asked whether there is any reason you should not lie on your back to receive treatment. If so, your practitioner can suggest an alternative. You can receive Reiki lying on your front or sitting in a chair if required.

You will remain fully clothed throughout the treatment aside from your shoes. Your practitioner may ask you to remove belts or scarves if they inhibit your breathing, because this can prevent the proper flow of life force around your body.

The practitioner will then begin using their hands to deliver healing energies. Each hand position is held for three to ten minutes depending on the amount of energy required. Every client has their own unique needs, and the practitioner may be guided by instinct.

A session lasts around 45-90 minutes. In the US, you can expect to pay around $60-80 per session. Some practitioners offer concessionary rates for those on low incomes.

The key techniques used in Reiki massage

A Reiki practitioner will use twelve simple hand positions during treatment:

  • First position: The practitioner positions their hands over the client’s face. Their palms lie against the forehead and the fingers cover the client’s eyes.
  • Second position: The practitioner’s hands encircle the client’s head. The practitioner’s fingers are extended down to the client’s ears and their wrists meet atop the client’s head.
  • Third position: The practitioner places their hands underneath the client’s head to make a cradle.
  • Fourth position: With the heels of their hands over the ears, the practitioner places their fingers lengthways along the client’s jawline. Their fingers meet under the chin.
  • Fifth position: Placing their left hand over the client’s heart chakra, the practitioner places their other hand over the neck.
  • Sixth position: The practitioner places their hands on the upper rib cage, just below the chest.
  • Seventh position: The therapist places their hands immediately above the client’s navel, on their solar plexus.
  • Eighth position: The therapist places their hands on the client’s pelvic bones. At this point, the client is encouraged to lie on their stomach.
  • Ninth position: The therapist lays their hands on the shoulder blades.
  • Tenth position: The practitioner places their hands on the middle of the client’s back.
  • Eleventh position: The practitioner places their hands on the lower back.
  • Twelfth position: Finally, the therapist lays their hands on the sacral region at the bottom of the spine.


How does Reiki massage compare with other forms of massage?

The most obvious difference between Reiki healing and massage is that it entails little or no physical touch. Swedish massage, Ashiatsu massage, and most other massage therapies entail manipulation of deep tissue. However, a Reiki practitioner merely places their hands over the skin or holds them an inch or so away from the body.

In conclusion, Reiki is a soothing and effective complementary treatment that works for all ages. If you need a physical or mental boost, why not book a session with a Reiki healer today?

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Carmen is an entrepreneur and content marketer. In a former life, as a corporate business executive, she relied on yoga, reflexology and other alternative practices to fight stress, anxiety and find balance. She’s on a mission to build healthy habits for a balanced, healthy life, connecting body, mind and spirit.