Body & Mind Coastal Corner

Reiki Defined

By: Sue Finkle

Reiki, pronounced “Ray-Key”, is a type of energy healing that originated in Japan.  It means universal life force energy.  There is no belief system or religion attached to Reiki.  It is suitable for all ages and types of people, as well as pets, wildlife, and plants.  Reiki promotes healing on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels.  And it can also assist with end of life transition.

I had my first Reiki experience in the early 2000’s, where the practitioner blended Reiki with massage.  During the session, I had a profound sensation of suddenly feeling sick to my stomach.  Concerned that I might have to ask to leave the table, I focused on my breath, and after a few moments, during an exhale, I felt the discomfort leave my body.  I immediately felt light, and the days following that session I felt as if, no matter what challenge were to come my way, I would be fully capable of handling it while keeping a smile on my face.

I was beyond intrigued, because prior to that, I had never felt so grounded and balanced.

Even though my education and career were geared towards biology and science (I have a Master’s in Marine Biology and at this time was working in the husbandry department at an aquarium in Savannah), the shift that I felt was so significant that I wanted to know more about this magical type of healing.

A Reiki practitioner is essentially a conduit for the universal life force energy to pass through them and be received by the client.  The practitioner uses specific Japanese symbols, and traditionally, will channel the universal life force energy to balance the main chakras and address any problem areas.  Chakras are an energy center or vortex.  The main chakras run along the spine and each one pertains to a specific area of one’s life, as well as to a physical part of the body.  Each chakra is associated with a certain color and sound frequency.  When a chakra is blocked, a person’s energy becomes imbalanced.  If a block remains, a dis-ease may present physically in that person down the road.

The most common way to receive Reiki is through a private, one on one Reiki session.  During such, a client remains fully clothed and usually lies on a massage table.  The practitioner connects energetically to the client and can either lay their hands directly on the client or hover them over their body.  Unlike massage, the hands remain still until the practitioner senses that it’s time to move to the next area. 

What do people say about their Reiki session?  For most, individuals express that they feel deeply relaxed, peaceful and calm during a session.  For physical ailments, many experience relief from pain.  Reiki can also help to reduce swelling and increase blood flow to injured areas.  Some clients tend to feel a tingling or buzzing sensation in their bodies as the energy is moving.  Many are surprised at how warm the practitioner’s hands feel.  Overall, people claim that Reiki helps to reduce stress and contributes to overall harmony.

Aside from a private session, I have created workshops (private and public options) which allow people the opportunity to learn about energy healing and get a “taste” of what Reiki is and what its benefits feel like.  Because let’s be honest, I can talk about Reiki until I’m blue in the face, but Reiki is all about the experience, and the individual will have their own unique experience each and every time.

And if you were curious, I did ultimately leave my husbandry job after 10 years and have been serving as a Yoga Teacher and Reiki Master.  This work truly fills my heart, and I wouldn’t change any leg of my journey!