Reiki FAQ - Farney Healing Arts Center

What is Energy Healing?
Energy healing is one of the most profound and fundamental alternative therapies in the field of alternative medicine and holistic health. By promoting healthy changes in your energy field, you will not only feel better, but the effects naturally flow down to physical health.  Most diseases/illnesses have a mental/emotional/spiritual or traumatic event root cause.  This manifests itself in your energy field by causing energetic defects, blockages, and other restrictions of natural life force in your energy body.  When this condition persists for some time, your physical body will start having symptoms and eventually a full blown illness due to the lack of positive energy in those sector(s) of the body.  By correcting the energy flows and restoring the energy, life force, and spiritual connections to all parts of your body, you can naturally heal many conditions in a holistic way.


What is Reiki?
Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is an ancient Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing.  Reiki is a form of natural, holistic, and complementary healing, which enhances the body's ability to heal itself.  The work Reiki is made of two Japanese words: Rei which means "Gods Wisdom" or "The Higher Power" and Ki which is "life force energy."  So Reiki is spiritually guided life force energy.   


How does Reiki work?
Stress, trauma, and illness restrict the natural flow of Ki, Chi, or Universal Life Force energy through the body. By restoring this connection to the body, Reiki rejuvenates the body’s ability to relax and de-stress, and supports its ability to heal itself. It is a way to “tune-up” your energy to its healthiest state, which allows for healing to take place.  Long term imbalances may require multiple treatments before your body reaches the level of deep relaxation necessary to bring your system back into balance. Self-improvement requires many commitments including changing negative thought patterns and reducing exposure to stressors.  A Reiki treatment program must be followed to be truly effective, just as prescribed medication is only effective if taken as directed. To receive the full benefit of a Reiki treatment, relax during the session, center yourself, and calm your mind much like a meditation. 


How exactly does Reiki affect the body?
Reiki goes to where it is needed the most; the practitioner is just the conduit. The energy works its way through the body’s meridians (energy channels) affecting both the organs and chakras (spiritual energy centers).  Reiki works for the greatest good of your higher self, whether that be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual healing.  Pay attention to your awareness (thoughts), as Reiki often brings your problem(s) up to the surface for healthy processing.  Also, as your vibrational rate increases, it causes the toxins stored in your body to be released into your bloodstream, which starts a cleansing and detoxifying process. While your body processes these toxins for removal, you may experience minor aches and pains or even flu-like symptoms.  If this happens to you, it is a good idea to drink lots of water, eat lighter meals, and get lots of rest.  Your body is cleansing as part of the healing process, so this is a good sign!


Is my practitioner a licensed physician?
Your practitioner is not a licensed physician. Reiki is a complement to “healing arts services licensed by the state”, i.e., it is a complement to more traditional western medicine provided by doctors, nurses, and hospitals. As a complementary or alternative medicine, Reiki does not require licensing by the state.  Reiki practitioners do not diagnose conditions, nor do they prescribe substances or perform medical treatments, nor do they interfere with treatments of a licensed medical professional.  If you have a physical or psychological ailment, it is recommended you see a licensed medical professional immediately.


Does Reiki take the place of medical or professional treatment?
No.  While Reiki is a professional treatment, it should never be seen as a substitute for licensed medical care. Reiki is a complementary therapy that can speed up your healing process as well as improve your physical and mental health in many cases.  Reiki works in conjunction with regular medical and/or psychological treatment. If you have a medical or psychological condition, it is recommended you see a licensed health care professional in addition to receiving Reiki treatments. Reiki energy works in harmony with all other forms of healing, including drugs, surgery, psychological care, and any other method of alternative care. 

See your physician(s) regularly and keep him/her informed of any change in your condition(s).  Never stop taking prescriptions or treatments without consulting with your physician first. Keep your physician informed of all your complimentary health care plans and/or interests.


Can you help me with my medical, emotional, mental, or psychological issues?
We are not medical physicians or psychotherapists, so we can't diagnose medical/psychological problems or give medical/psychological advice.  Please consult the appropriate professional for these issues.  With that said, Reiki helps you process a lot of these issues, and you may find Reiki very helpful for complementary care of these issues. 
Reiki will get your body in the best state to promote healing and may even help you pinpoint the issues you need to work on.  


How is a Reiki session given?
During a Reiki session, the client lies down fully clothed on a massage table, covered in a blanket if desired, listening to soothing music. Your Reiki practitioner will lay his/her hands on your body in a series of hand positions to deliver Reiki energy. In addition to the practitioner radiating Reiki energy through his/her hands, sessions may involve the practitioner sweeping his/her hands above the body in various ways, or incorporating breath or vocal tones to break up energy blocks. A Reiki treatment generally covers your head first, then the front of your body, and finally the back of your body. If the reclined position is uncomfortable, Reiki can be performed while you sit in a chair or on a stool. A standard Reiki session lasts 60 minutes, and the intended result of receiving Reiki is a balanced physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual being.


Can Reiki “cure” me?
Reiki is a complementary medical art that works well alone as well as in concert with other treatments. Healing is often the result of gentle shifts in awareness, release of emotional patterns, and achievement of new understandings.  Reiki is not a replacement for traditional medical treatment.  No promises can be made about the outcome of the use of Reiki (or any other healing system, for that matter). It all depends on you, your intent, your background, and the nature of your problem. Healing is a different experience and has different effects on every individual.


What can be treated with Reiki?
Reiki has a positive effect on all forms of illness and negative conditions. By using Reiki to restore balance to the body, may symptoms can be reduced or relieved.  Reiki has been successfully used on conditions such as stress (stress-related illness responds well to Reiki), pain, headaches, stomach upsets, bee stings, back problems, asthma, cold, flu, respiratory problems, menstrual problems, sinus, anxiety as well as serious illnesses like heart disease, caner, leukemia, etc.  In addition, the negative side effects of regular medical treatments can be reduced or eliminated.  This includes the negative effects of prescriptions, chemotherapy, post operative pain, and depression as well as increasing your healing rate and reducing the length of hospital stays.  Most people experience stress reduction with some improvement in physical and psychological condition.  Remember that as an individual, you must have firm intentions of getting well before any real healing can take place.

Reiki supports all healing journeys, from illness, to intense periods of transition, to feeling worn out and lost, to spiritual awakenings, to palliative care.  Reiki compliments all healing modalities and the current care you are receiving.  Reiki is the vibration of love, which is healing in all situations.  In addition to restorative and therapeutic effects, Reiki helps with specific issues such as:

  • Recovery from illness
  • Rehab after surgery
  • Depression
  • Grieving
  • Immune Disorders (HIV/AIDS)
  • Releasing Addiction
  • Fertility Issues
  • Old Triggers and Patterns
  • Insomnia
  • Major Life Transition
  • Healing Trauma
  • Clearing Energies that aren't yours
  • Grounding
  • Anxiety and Stress
  • Overall happiness, and recovering joy


What are the benefits of Reiki?

  • Aligns, clears, and balances chakra/energy centers
  • Relieves associated pain
  • Releases energy blockages, negative energy, and toxins/impurities
  • Activates your body's natural ability to heal itself
  • Relieves stress
  • Calm and relaxation
  • Release of pain and tension
  • Provides emotional support during difficult emotional times
  • Accelerated physical healing
  • Relieves insomnia
  • Relieves anxiety
  • Relieves depression
  • Relieves digestive blockages
  • Relieves physical joint discomfort
  • Restores general balance & well-being in mind and body
  • Promotes relaxation and balance


What does Reiki feel like?
Clients can expect to experience a wide range of feelings during their session.  Reiki tends to feel warm and profoundly relaxing. You may feel the hands of the Reiki practitioner become hot or tingly. Some people describe a floating sensation and some see colors, shapes, lights, memories, or visions during the session; some experience tingling, waves of energy, bubbles, hot or cold temperature changes, and just feel very relaxed. Some people fall asleep. Some experience emotional release, both negative and positive.  In addition, many feel a wonderful, glowing radiance that flows through and surrounds them. As the Reiki energy encourages them to let go of all tension, anxiety, fear and other negative feelings, a state of peace and well-being is experienced, so whatever one's personal experience is, it will be positive.  Each treatment can be completely different and changes as you change.  There is no expected experience -- Reiki treatment is unique for each individual who receives it. 

The most common results of Reiki treatment include:

  • Reduction in Stress
  • Deep Relaxation
  • Enhanced sense of balance, centerdness, and calmness
  • Balanced physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual being
  • Pain relief and control
  • Strengthening of the immune system
  • Accelerated healing time and reduction of pain for physical injuries


Why do I feel increased pain/soreness after my treatment?  You made my injury worse!
Reiki triggers a cleansing process within your body and will release toxins as part of the healing process.  When working with chronic conditions, longstanding conditions, or serious injuries, symptoms sometimes get worse before getting better because Reiki is bringing those issues to the surface to be released.  This often results in deeper awareness, but in terms of chronic pain, this often means greater awareness of pain.  Your body is re-adjusting and removing toxins, and the pain is a positive sign that your body is bringing itself back into balance.  Most clients see positive results after two or three sessions.


What does the practitioner feel when giving a treatment?
The practitioner feels the Reiki energy flowing, but every practitioner experiences it differently.  Some feel hot, some feel cold, some feel motion, others feel tingles, vibrations, or wind.  Some sense the activity on a more intuitive level, while others visually see things whether either with the eyes or the mind's eye.  Reiki energy is channeled through the practitioner before leaving through the hands and flowing into the client.  Because of this, the practitioner receives a partial Reiki treatment for every treatment given.  The practitioner will become very relaxed and may become connected to the client on an energetic level.  This allows the practitioner to modify the treatment on an intuitive level to provide exactly what the client needs most.  Sometimes, this will also cause the practitioner to receive useful insights about what the client needs to know to heal more completely. 


How does Reiki energy compare to other energy modalities?
The energy that Reiki practitioners work with is the same energy that is manipulated in acupuncture, Shiatsu, Tai Chi, & Yoga - essentially 'Chi' or 'Prana'. The intention with all these energy techniques is to create balance and relaxation in order to allow the body to heal itself on all levels - physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually.


What is the history of Reiki?
Reiki is an ancient Japanese energy-balancing technique for stress reduction which promotes intense relaxation and healing. It is believed Reiki is an ancient healing system that was rediscovered and redeveloped about 100 years ago by Mikao Usui - a Tendai Buddhist and Shinto lay preacher in Kyoto, Japan. The treatment is both very spiritual and intuitive and it is performed with the intention that healing energy is directed to where the person needs it most.
While Reiki is not affiliated with any religion, since it was rediscovered by a monk, the roots of Usui Reiki are founded around Tendai Buddhism and Shintoism. There are five Reiki principals for living a happy and peaceful life: 


What are the 5 Reiki principals?
The 5 Reiki principals are:

  • Just for today, do not anger.
  • Just for today, do not worry.
  • Just for today, be grateful.
  • Just for today, work hard and work honestly. 
  • Just for today, be kind to every living thing.  

The commitment of Reiki is only for today, which makes it substantially easier to do than a lifetime commitment.   


Why are these 5 principals important? 

Anger:  Anger causes very serious, detrimental energy blocks and is your biggest internal enemy.  Reiki is an excellent tool to remove anger blockages that have occurred in body over the years.  Letting go of anger brings Peace to the mind. 

Worry:  Anger deals with the past and present, but worry deals with the future.  Worry is a negative phenomenon that bores holes in your energy body and eventually causes leaks and tears in your aura.  This causes depletion of energy often leading to stress and fatigue.  Letting go of worry brings Healing into the body. 

Thankfulness:  Being grateful is the one of the strongest forces in the energy world.  It brings your heart inward and manifests positive energy flows. Living in a state of gratitude can help transform negative attitudes and thoughts into positive ones.  Being grateful brings Joy into the soul. 

Honesty:  Support yourself and your family respectably, without harming others.  Earn a respectable living; live a life of honor.  The whole day should be filled with an effort to work hard and honestly at all you do.  Working honestly brings Abundance into the soul. 

Kindness:  Honor your parents, honor your teachers, and honor your elders.  Honor all living things and be tolerant of the way others choose to live their lives.  It is important to remember that being kind and honoring all living things includes honoring ourselves.  Honor and kindness brings Love into the soul. 


Is Reiki safe?
Yes, this ancient Japanese healing art is a familiar and accepted treatment in the west today. Reiki is a safe, gentle and non-invasive treatment and is not aligned with a specific religion. This holistic treatment promotes and stimulates the body’s own healing system, similar to when you have a cut on your finger and your body goes into action to heal the skin, or a broken bone.

Reiki is a gentle form of healing, since a practitioner does not manipulate, diagnose, nor prescribe medication. The energy that flows from a Reiki practitioner's hands always works towards the highest good of both the recipient and the practitioner.  It is therefore completely safe and can be used to enhance any other medical or alternative therapy. There have been no reported cases of negative effects from Reiki. 


What does research say about Reiki?
From the University of Minnesota:

"In order for physicians and other healthcare practitioners to recommend a treatment or healing practice to patients, they need evidence that it is safe and effective. With respect to safety, there have been no reported negative effects from Reiki in any of the research studies. This is understandable given that no substance is ingested or applied to the skin, and Reiki touch is non-manipulative (and can be offered off the body when needed).

That leaves the question: is Reiki effective? Or more precisely, from a research perspective, what is Reiki effective for?

A Reiki practitioner would answer that question by saying, "Reiki is effective for restoring balance, which can show up in a number of ways, depending on the current need of the individual." That's not an answer that appeals to medical researchers, who are used to studying treatments for specific illnesses rather than treatments to promote wellness or restore balance.

Respected medical research is designed to address very specific questions. Although conventional medicine has long included a concept of homeostasis, or systemic balance, there has historically been no clear definition of this concept that can be used to test the hypothesis that Reiki promotes balance. Given the vagueness of the term stress and the differences in human bodies and the circumstances in which they live and function, how would science measure an individual's balance?

In view of the research dilemma posed by the ambiguity of the term stress, brain researcher Bruce McEwen of Rockefeller University has proposed a new model using the terms allostasis/allostatic load. Allostasis refers to the body's attempt to protect itself and regain homeostasis, and allostatic load refers to the damage that accumulates when those attempts are poorly managed and the stress response runs amuck.

Besides helping people recognize the difference between useful and harmful stress and how to reduce the latter, McEwen's model puts forth a series of measurements that researchers can use to determine both the effect of stress on the system and the response to stress-reducing modalities. Reiki has not yet been studied in this way.

To date, the primary outcomes studied in Reiki research have used measures for pain, anxiety, and stress, including heart rate, blood pressure, salivary cortisol, as well as measures for job burnout and caring efficacy. More specific measures have been used to evaluate outcomes for stroke rehabilitation, depression, and other chronic health conditions. Given the relatively subtle and complex nature of Reiki practice, these measures may not adequately capture the lived experience of those receiving Reiki. Measures that incorporate quality of life, patient satisfaction, and stress reduction may have the greatest potential for demonstrating the benefits of Reiki practice."


How Does Reiki Work?
From the University of Minnesota:

A holistic perspective sees health as a dynamic state of balance with considerable resilience in the overall system. A healthy person can withstand a certain amount of stress and bounce back. This is because the human body's ability to heal includes various self-regulating mechanisms that maintain overall balance, which is known as homeostasis.

However, after experiencing sudden, intense stress or moderate stress that is constant over a period of time, the body's ability to regulate itself becomes compromised and health declines, slowly or not so slowly. Stress causes the body to lose its ability to rebalance, to restore homeostasis.

Unless they are addressed, the stresses of everyday life - environmental, emotional, physical, financial, social etc. - can combine with an individual's genetic predispositions and result in declining health and well-being.

At the simplest, most obvious level, it appears that Reiki treatment helps lessen the impact of stress, releasing tension from the entire system. Not only does the person move toward his or her own unique balance in body, mind and spirit, but also, depending on the level of physical health when Reiki begins, the body's own healing mechanisms often begin functioning more effectively.


What is Reiki doing?
From the University of Minnesota:

How exactly does Reiki release tension and help the body heal? That question has yet to be answered. Although there is increasing research evidence documenting the effects of Reiki (such as lowered heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormones; increased immune strength), we have only broad theories as to what causes these effects or the pathways through which the healing occurs.

The multilevel, rapid response to Reiki suggests a complex process that engages many body systems, simultaneously or in quick succession, shifting the body from domination by the "fight or flight" (stress) response to the relaxation response, and supporting the body's own healing mechanisms. (For more information about the relaxation response, see the Mind-Body Therapies section.) Some researchers theorize that Reiki's physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing effect is triggered on a sub-physical level, perhaps in what science refers to as the bio-energetic field.


What are the benefits of multiple Reiki sessions?
Just like meditation or movement arts, the effects of Reiki are cumulative. While one session can work wonders; repeated, regular Reiki treatments can invite significant improvement. As an example: if you exercise for an hour, you will receive benefit. If you exercise every day for a month, the results will be much more profound. Reiki works similarly – regular sessions support well-being in every way.


How many sessions should I have?
It is important to keep in mind that a Reiki session always heals the body/mind/spirit/ in some way, and a full-body treatment brings your energy systems into balance. The effects of healing are cumulative, and therefore, the more often you receive a Reiki session, the more in-balance and healthier you will be. You will begin to notice some improvement after the first session. Longer-standing health issues are usually cleared up in five to six visits. Dis-ease (meaning you do not have ease) generally begins in the energy field, so if we keep our subtle bodies healthy using Reiki and our physical bodies healthy with good nutrition and exercise, we should be able to remain active and whole.

There is not really a set number of sessions because every person and his or her problem is different. Some people may only require one or two sessions, while others need several. Chronic conditions will benefit from Reiki but require repeated sessions for an improvement to be seen, usually 4-6 weeks, which will then allow energy to build up within the body. Similar to the benefits of ongoing Massage Therapy, Reiki Therapy also helps in the healthy maintenance of your body. I recommend monthly sessions to facilitate and support your good health!


How does distance healing work?
Since Reiki transcends time and space, distance healing can be given to anyone at any location in any time.  However, distance healing can be only performed by someone with at least Reiki II training.  In Reiki II, three symbols are introduced including a symbol used for distance healing.  While intention alone is sufficient to deliver effective Reiki, time and tradition honored symbols and protocol help to enhance the strength of both the intention and Reiki.    


What can I expect when receiving distance healing?
Much the same as when you have a hands-on session. You may feel heat, cold or tingling. Emotions may surface, e.g. old memories etc. Should this happen just relax and let the energies flow where they are most needed, as they will re-balance your system and remove any blockages. Distance healing sessions are powerful and effective but they are usually shorter, often 20-30 minutes.  As such, they are half the price of hands on sessions.


Who can learn Reiki?
Reiki is a very simple technique to learn and is not dependent on having any prior experience with healing, meditation, or any other kind of training. It has been successfully learned by over one million people from all walks of life, both young an old.  The ability to do Reiki is transferred from the teacher to the student through a process called an attunement, which takes place during the Reiki class.  After being educated on Reiki and receiving an attunement, students have the ability to do Reiki.   (While everyone has the natural ability to do Reiki without a class or attunement, the ability is weak and takes a long time to master bringing your energies into the right frequency.)  The attunement process aligns your physical and energy body to the proper frequency, giving you the tools and "plumbing" to quickly, easily, and effectively learn to channel Reiki energy. 


What is a Reiki Attunement?
A Reiki attunement connects students to the source of Reiki, makes adjustments in students' energy pathways, and raises their vibrational rate to the right frequency to be conducive to effective Reiki channeling.  Because the energetic aspect of the attunement is guided by a Higher Power, it adjusts itself to be exactly right for each student. During the attunement, some students feel warmth in the hands, others may see colors or have visions of spiritual beings. However, it is not necessary to have an inner experience for the attunement to be successful.  Most students simply feel more relaxed and do not have an inner experience.  Once attuned, a Reiki practitioner taps into Reiki itself, and is able to heal without depleting their own ki. 


How long does it take to learn Reiki?
The class component of Reiki is taught over a weekend.  However, in order to graduate and receive certification, students must complete the student practice (practicum) portion of the class by attending practice sessions to develop their new skills.  Practice sessions are available multiple times a month, and you may attend them at your own pace as it works with your schedule.  The number of required sessions vary by course, so see the course listing to get additional details.


Can I treat myself?
Yes.  Once you take your first Reiki class, you can treat yourself and others.  However, you must have Reiki II (Practitioners Certification) in order to charge for services. 


Can children learn Reiki?
Yes.  However, children should only attend classes if it is their desire to learn and practice Reiki.  Uninterested children will not benefit from the class.  The most effective way to bring Reiki to children is to give them a treatment!  Remember, anytime you are close to or touching your children, Reiki energy is flowing!  There is no need to provide a formal treatment on a table when you can read them a story instead!


Is Reiki safe for babies?
Yes.  Babies love Reiki, and it is very healthy for them!  Do not worry about Reiki being too strong for infants, because Reiki automatically adjusts to be exactly right for the child being treated.    


Is Reiki safe for pregnant women?
Yes. Reiki always adjusts to deliver exactly what is needed, and Reiki can only do good.  Many pregnant women have received treatments with great benefits to them and their unborn child.  Pregnant women have also taken Reiki classes and received Reiki attunements with beneficial results. 


Is Reiki safe for animals and plants?
Animals have a natural understanding and instinct for healing, so they love Reiki and its benefits.  Animals often know exactly where Reiki is needed, and they will often position themselves so your hands are exactly where they want the treatment.  They also know when they have received enough, and they will often wander off in the middle of a session when they are done.  This is normal and expected.   

Plants also respond well to Reiki.  If you have a particularly unhealthy or stressed plant, Reiki will help to quickly revitalize it.  In addition, Reiki treatments on healthy plants will help them maintain their healthy status, and regular treatments will often increase the size and/or number of blooms, fruits, nuts, etc.