What is Reiki? How Does it Heal? Where Can I Learn Reiki? Can Reiki Become a Profession?

Laurelleby Laurelle Shanti Gaia

Reiki (ray-key) is a multi-faceted spiritual energy that can be used to help us with meditation practices, spiritual growth, healing relationships, manifestation of goals, and activating the Divine healing power within all living beings. Reiki is a tool to help us develop “wellness consciousness” and also to understand, on an experiential level, what it truly means to be “One with all Creation”.

Reiki is usually considered to be a “hands-on healing technique”. This is one application, but it is so much more. Mikao Usui discovered this healing art in Japan in the late 1800s. The Japanese Kanji characters that represent the word Reiki can be translated to mean; Rei = Spiritually guided or wisdom of God and Ki = Life force energy..

How Does Reiki Heal?

All forms of healing whether traditional, complementary or alternative have an impact on the human subtle energy system. Each method also carries a unique vibrational frequency and consequently will create different effects. A beautiful characteristic of Reiki is that it has the ability to harmonize energies that may normally be incompatible and can create the best possible outcome. Therefore Reiki enhances anything we do.

Reiki is being embraced by many prestigous hospitals where it is offered as a part of standard care.

Reiki is one of the leading safe Energy Medicine approaches.” – C. Norman Shealy, M.D. Ph.D. Founder, American Holistic Medical Association

“…Reiki … may ultimately be the most important alternative treatment of all…” Dr. Mehment Oz

Many people are practicing techniques to improve their health such as meditation, exercise and improved diet. As this is done, a deeper awareness often develops concerning the flow of subtle energies in and around the body and the connection between these subtle energies and one’s health. This developing awareness validates the ancient idea that strong life force energy contributes to good health. Conversely a diminished supply of life force energy can contribute to illness. The existence of life force energy, and the necessity for it to flow freely in and around one’s body to maintain health, has been studied and acknowledged by health care practitioners and scientists.

Reiki thoughts and perspectives with Laurelle & Michael

ICRT Licensed Reiki Master Teachers

Our body is composed not only of physical elements such as muscles, bones, nerves, arteries, organs, glands, etc.; it also has a subtle energy system through which life force energy flows. This subtle energy system is composed of energy ‘bodies’ which surround our physical body and assist us in processing our thoughts and emotions.

8chakraThe energy bodies have energy centers called chakras, which work somewhat like valves that allow life force to circulate through the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. We also have energy meridians and nadas. These are like rivers, or streams, which carry our life force energy throughout our physical body, to nourish us and assist in balancing our body’s systems and functions.

Our physical body is alive because of the ‘life force energy’ that is flowing though it. If our life force is low or blocked, we are more likely to become ill, but if it is high and free flowing, we more easily maintain health and a feeling of well-being. One thing that disrupts and weakens the flow of life force energy is stress. Stress is often caused by conflicting thoughts and feelings that get lodged in one’s subtle energy system. These include fear, worry, doubt, anger, anxiety, etc. Medical research has determined that continual stress can block the body’s natural ability to repair, regenerate and protect itself.

The American Institute of Stress estimates that 75%-95% of all visits to doctors are the results of reaction to stress. The effects of unreleased stress range from minor aches to major health concerns, such as heart disease, digestive disorders, respiratory and skin problems.

Stress can also activate our fears and cause our life force energy to diminish. When this happens we weaken our ability to respond to fear appropriately and to transform it.

Reiki is a technique that aids the body in releasing stress and tension by creating deep relaxation. Because of this, Reiki promotes healing and health.

The Reiki system is comprised of techniques for transmitting this subtle energy to yourself and others through the hands, eyes or chakras into the human subtle energy system. Reiki restores energy balance and vitality by relieving the physical and emotional effects of unreleased stress. It gently and effectively opens blocked meridians, nadas and chakras, and clears the energy bodies, leaving one feeling relaxed and at peace.

Reiki can:

  • Accelerate healing
  • Assist the body in cleansing toxins
  • Balance the flow of subtle energy by releasing blockages
  • Help awaken the ‘healer within.
  • Assist in the manifestation of goals
  • Help heal relationships
  • Assist in elevating our communications with others to the higher self  level.
  • Discern the appropriate next “step” on our spiritual path
  • Assist in the process of spiritual transition
  • Enhance creativity
  • Assist in aligning one with their Divine Purpose

Is Reiki a Religion?

Reiki is not part of any specific religious practice or tradition.  Working with the Reiki energy can help enhance one’s religious practice, but it is not a religion within itself. Reiki is practiced by people within many religious traditions, and it is also practiced by people who have no religious belief system.

Everything in our world is energy. Everything is comprised of vibration/frequency.  The higher the vibrational frequency, the more ethereal it is.  The lower the vibrational frequency, the more dense or solid it is. There are many forms of healing energy and Reiki is one form which assists in healing. It facilitates healing by increasing the vibrational frequency of anything or anyone it is focused on. Reiki is just one of the healing rays, but Reiki is unique in that it is truly guided by the Creative Energy Source of all life. This energy is infinitely wise and knows precisely what we need to relax, release stress, and activate the healing power within. This energy is known by many names, Universe, Source, God, Great Mystery, Higher Power, Holy Spirit, Great Central Sun, Divine Love, etc. No name is necessary to experience the profound healing effects of Reiki

What Happens in a Reiki Session?

Receiving a Reiki session feels like warm, gentle sunshine, which flows through you, surrounds you and brings comfort. Reiki treats the person’s body, emotions, mind and spirit as a whole. Reiki is powerful, yet wonderfully gentle and nurturing. During a treatment, the recipient remains fully clothed and the practitioner directs the energy through their hands by applying light touch, or no touch if the client prefers. Reiki supports any medical, or supplemental healing methods a client may be using and is of growing interest to chiropractors, medical doctors, physiotherapists, psychotherapists, psychologists and hypnotherapists.

Who Can Learn Reiki?

There are no educational pre-requisites required to attend beginning Reiki classes. Anyone can learn Reiki who has an open heart and an open mind and a desire to help others. Actually even skeptics have learned to embrace Reiki as a result of direct experience. Although many health care practitioners, nurses, doctors and therapists use Reiki in their profession, most people who are trained in Reiki begin by using it for their families and friends. Reiki is truly “Limitless Love”.  There is nothing that Divine Love cannot heal, and Reiki is a form of Divine Love that can be learned by anyone.

Can Reiki Become My Job?

After attending professional quality Reiki training, and practicing with friends and family, some students decide that they would like to develop a professional Reiki practice. Some people work in chiropractors offices, or other medical situations, and some people develop their own business. Most successful Reiki practitioners have received quality training in a classroom setting, practiced with Reiki in their personal life, and developed a love for the work. As in any line of work, the more one follows their passion, the more they do their work honestly and with an intention to be of service, the more successful they are. Many people choose to offer volunteer services to their local hospice or other such organizations.

Where Can I Learn Reiki?

Reiki is taught by many people who are known as Reiki Master Teachers. When choosing a teacher or a school, it is wise to ask them what type of training they have received and how much experience they have. Reiki is taught in a classroom, in self study courses, and via the internet. Although we feel there is value in all types of Reiki training, thorough classroom training, with an experienced professional teacher can provide personalized information as well as hands on experience with other students. Reiki is known primarily as a “hands on healing” method. The  physical touch experiences obtained in the classroom are important to be able to fully “deliver” all the healing frequencies to the student.

Laurelle_Michael_07zI teach classes at Peace Place, the Reiki Center of Sedona, with my husband Michael Baird. Sedona is a profoundly beautiful and sacred place to learn about healing and people travel from all over the world to attend our classes.  To learn more about us click here. We are Licensed Reiki Master teachers and we work through the International Center for Reiki Training.(ICRT) When you attend classes with any ICRT Licensed teacher your training is accredited by the Reiki Membership Association, and our classes qualify our students to become members. We also offer continuing education credits for some professions.

If you think that you may wish to become a professional Reiki practitioner, our organization is recognized for offering professional training and we maintain a database of students that a potential employer can check to verify your credentials.

Click one of these links to review our class curriculum, tuition and schedule:

Beginning Reiki Class

Other class offerings

In the Light of the Creator…We See Only Love


Laurelle Gaia is author of “The Book On Karuna Reiki� . . . Advanced Healing Energy for our Evolving World”. She is also founder of Infinite Light Healing Studies Center, in Sedona, AZ, Director of Teacher Licensing for the International Center for Reiki Training.  Laurelle has traveled internationally to promote healing and peace consciousness and for more than 25 years she has taught thousands of students through her classes and healing work.


Laurelle can be reached Laurelle@ReikiClasses.com

copyright all rights reserved 2001 Laurelle Gaia



  1. Hi Charlotte – thank you for your message and sharing your beautiful experience. Reiki is a powerful tool for recovering from grief, and healing from loss. <3 Laurelle

  2. Charlotte

    I just wanted to tell you, I was a skeptic. I very good friend of mine has started down this path of Reiki and spiritual guide.
    I recently allowed her to perform the technique on me. I had decided to keep a very open mind about it. I am a Christian and I struggled with the idea of this. As she proceeded down my body, I began to pray to God to speak to me through this experience if He chose to.
    I have recently lost my husband to suicide. (Jan.12) I’ve been praying to God to let me know he was finally at peace and HAPPY.
    Without going through all the details (which were AWESOME!)I had a very deep religious experience. I felt touched by God and very at peace with EVERYTHING I’ve been trying to deal with.
    The next day, for whatever reason, I walked out in the desert near our home and stood in front of the tree where my husband sat and shot himself. I began to pray. As I did this I was just staring at the spot where he was found. I have NEVER in my life EVER seen anything or even asked that God show me anything. I saw what I believe was an angel at the base of the tree…it rose up and nearer me. I wasn’t afraid, I actually felt wonderfully at peace. As it neared me, I felt as though I was being held in the arms of the all-mighty God. It lasted for maybe a minute or more. I never wanted it to end. That experience has left me feeling as though God had sent an angel (which is what it looked like)to comfort me. I have never felt so loved and excited all at once. I had a very special experience meant just for me. I think I may have some sort of gift to share? I feel SO blessed, as though God is leading me forward with such love and peace.
    I just had to share this unique and wonderful experience. My Reiki treatment had opened me to accept this. I don’t think it may have happened without it.
    I look forward to another soon. I want SO much to be able to communicate with these ANGELS around me.

    very sincerely,
    Charlotte Craven

  3. Laurelle

    Good question David. I asked the same one about 25 years ago, when I was very skeptical and long before there was any research. Then when I saw the results, and had personal experiences of my own, time and time again, I did not need to believe…I simply KNOW it works. It is not my job to convince anyone anything, it is my “job” to live my truth in the best way I can. Peace and blessings, Laurelle

  4. David Broerman

    How do you get people to believe in this stuff??

  5. Hello Edward: Thank you for your comments. William and I traveled to Japan in 1997 to research available factual information regarding the history of Reiki. What we found is reported in the article we co-wrote shortly after our return. http://www.reiki.org/reikinews/rootsreiki.html Peace and blessings, Laurelle

  6. Edward Howell

    Thank you for the informative site Laurelle. I do wish we could all get on the same page about the timing of Mikao Usui’s discovery of Reiki. What I have been taught, and pretty much all I have read in the past 11 years as a Reiki practitioner and teacher is that he discovered Reiki in the late 1890′s to early 1900′s (1922 by William Lee Rands’ Reiki Master Manual).
    Thank you, and have a beautiful day!

  7. Nicolo Oggiano

    Fell very interested to try Reiki to release knots , relax very tight back and well every where.Is there a practitioner in stoughton,ma or fairly close and is it expensive?
    Thank you & God bless

  8. yes just after doing few reiki treaments with a friend and she tells me i have the gift


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