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How can reiki nourish you?

Reiki is non-invasive modality based on the idea of a practitioner intentionally channelling universal energy[1] to support their patient’s physical and emotional healing. The practitioner focuses energy through their hands, placing them on or just above the person being treated[2]. Unlike some energy modalities in which the practitioner endeavours to actively intervene with blockages in a person’s energy, Reiki is intended to encourage and stimulate a person’s innate powers of self-healing[3], and help them re-establish their own internal control over their energy balance.

The word ‘reiki’ itself is usually translated as ‘universal life energy’[4]. Although it is sometimes described as a ‘spiritual’ practice, it is not directly associated with any particular religion. The type of reiki healing that is most often practised today was developed by Mikao Usui, a Japanese spiritual teacher, in the 1920s[5], although some scholars argue that other schools of reiki also existed[6] in Japan at the time. 

This modality was brought to the West in the 1930s by Hawaiian-born Hawayo Takata[7], who underwent reiki treatment in Japan and was inspired to master the healing art herself. Together with her mentor, Chujiro Hawashi, she established the first Reiki clinic[8] outside Japan on the island of Kauai.

Benefits of reiki

One of the major benefits of reiki is that it may support pain relief and improvements to psychological wellbeing without the potential side effects of more invasive or pharmaceutical-based[9] treatments. In addition to anecdotal reports of reiki benefits, there is evidence to suggest Reiki may improve heart rate variability[10] in people who have suffered from acute coronary problems such as heart attack. 

Research suggests reiki may provide significant relief from various symptoms associated with cancer, ranging from pain and distress to anxiety and sleep problems[11]. There is also evidence to suggest reiki may help alleviate fatigue and improve quality of life[12] in people suffering from cancer. Reiki has been studied as possibly improving mood in people experiencing high levels of depression and anxiety[13], and although initial results are promising, more research is recommended.

Reiki is reported to possibly reduce pain and decrease the use of painkillers[14] by women who have given birth by caesarean section. The results of one study suggest that reiki may reduce work-related stress and burnout[15] experienced by people working in the mental-health sector. There is also evidence to suggest that reiki may be more effective than placebo[16] in stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system and supporting the body’s natural healing abilities.

Reiki also aids in calming the person and encouraging a more peaceful state of mind. This, in turn, can help boost their thinking, memory, and learning capabilities. When the person is brought to a more relaxed state, their entire being body and mind is able to function fully, bringing everything to full circle.

It is not an invasive or harmful treatment and can be used on patients of all ages.

Reiki may assist in relieving symptoms related to:

Anxiety Cancer Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS/ME) Colds and flu Confidence and self-esteem Depression Detoxing and cleansing Energy and vitality Fatigue, burnout and exhaustion Headaches and migraines Heart conditions and heart attack Insomnia and sleep disorders Loneliness Memory and cognitive function Multiple sclerosis (MS) Pain relief Relaxation Scars, burns and wound healing Sexual dysfunction and impotence Skin, hair and nail issues Sore throat and coughs Stress and tension Show all

What to expect at a reiki session

Although reiki is considered to be a type of energy healing, it is not normally associated with religious or spiritual practices. Some reiki healers do include spiritual elements as part of the treatment they offer, so please ask your practitioner about this if the issue of spirituality is a concern for you.

During your reiki therapy, you will usually lie down on a padded treatment table, or you may remain seated if that is more comfortable for you, and you will not need to remove any clothing[17]. Your practitioner may provide a guided relaxation or meditation exercise[18] before commencing the treatment itself. 

The reiki practitioner will hold their hands at specific locations on or slightly above your body, depending on what you’re more comfortable with. You may feel warmth or a tingling sensation in response[19] to where their hands are, but people often experience the treatment in different ways. You might feel deeply relaxed or possibly even fall asleep[20]. A treatment session often lasts for about 45-60 minutes, but the intuitive nature of the modality means it will be customised by the practitioner to suit your specific needs.

Although reiki is not associated with any adverse effects[21], it is not intended as a replacement for traditional Western medicine, and you should never discontinue any prescribed medical treatment[22] while undergoing reiki treatment. 

As with any exercise or wellness program, please consult your medical professional before commencing reiki. If you have an injury or other health issue, or any concerns at all, also speak to your reiki practitioner, who will be happy to address these and explore the option of tailoring the session to your individual requirements.

What to expect from a reiki session

Reiki FAQ

What is reiki and how does it work?

Reiki is a non-invasive modality that supports both physical and emotional healing. Through hands-on or distant healing, a practitioner will act as a conduit for the healing energy to flow through their hands to encourage and stimulate a person’s innate powers of self-healing. Through the receiving of reiki, you are assisted to re-establish your own internal control over your energy balance.

It's believed that reiki energy flows through the practitioner into the client and promotes self-healing. Based on this understanding, reiki healers transfer healing and relaxation energy into your body. Energy healers believe that when it comes to working with energy, time and space do not exist, so you can receive reiki healing both in person and remotely.

The energy delivered into your body improves energy flow and helps to clear blockages. This allows the body to restore balance and heal itself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

What are the side effects of reiki?

Reiki is not associated with any adverse effects. During a session, you may feel uncomfortable with the ambience of the room, being vulnerable to receive, or even the discomfort of the massage table or chair you may be on. Always communicate your concerns to your practitioner as they would want to address them and ensure you have a supportive session.

You may also feel a little ungrounded after a session, so it is always advisable to take your time to come off the massage table, to ground your energy and drink plenty of water for hydration. Sometimes emotions can surface after a session - being kind to yourself and rest is normally all that is needed. However, reach out to your practitioner if you feel it is necessary to have additional support.

Reiki is not intended as a replacement for traditional Western medicine, and you should never discontinue any prescribed medical treatment while undergoing reiki treatment.

As with any exercise or wellness program, please consult your medical professional before commencing reiki. If you have an injury or other health issue, or any concerns at all, also speak to your reiki practitioner, who will be happy to address these and explore the option of tailoring the session to your individual requirements.

what are the side effects of reiki

How do you feel after reiki?

It is quite common to fall asleep in a reiki session and to feel a sense of relaxation afterwards.

When receiving the reiki energy, you may experience a sensation of warmth, tingling or movement. However, this is not always the case. Every reiki session is unique, and whatever you experience is your individual response.

The most common response will be an overall sense of calmness, relaxation and being present.

Can I learn reiki on my own?

Learning the basic principles and how this can be applied into your life, is often conducted with a Reiki Master. After you have received your attunement, you are encouraged to practice reiki for your own self-healing, and to use the principles throughout your day as part of your spiritual practice.

What does a reiki session cost?

A reiki session will vary depending on the practitioner, usually starting at $150 per session. You are always encouraged to tune into a practitioner before deciding to book a session, and look for a qualified practitioner.

One of the benefits of SoulAdvisor practitioners is that they are highly qualified, operate with a duty of care, and hold insurance.


  1. Reiki | Reiki Australia
  2. Reiki | NCCIH
  3. Reiki Self-Treatment | Cleveland Clinic
  4. What is Reiki? Read about the Origin and History of Reiki | International Association of Reiki Professionals
  5. History of Reki | Australian Reiki Connection (ARC)
  6. What is the History of Reiki? | The International Center for Reiki Training
  7. Takata, Hawayo (1900-1980) |
  8. Dr. Chujiro Hayashi | Celebrating Reiki’s Lineage |
  9. The increasing use of reiki as a complementary therapy in specialist palliative care | International Journal of Palliative Nursing
  10. Effects of Reiki on Autonomic Activity Early After Acute Coronary Syndrome | Journal of the American College of Cardiology
  11. Symptomatic Improvement Reported After Receiving Reiki at a Cancer Infusion Center | Dawn A. Marcus, Betsy Blazek | Jennifer L. Kopar, 2013 | SAGE Journals
  12. Pilot Crossover Trial of Reiki Versus Rest for Treating Cancer | Related Fatigue | Kathy L. Tsang, Linda E. Carlson, Karin Olson, 2007 | SAGE Journals
  13. A Randomised Controlled Single-Blind Trial of the Efficacy of Reiki at Benefitting Mood and Well-Being |
  14. Effects of Reiki on Post-cesarean Delivery Pain, Anxiety, and Hemodynamic Parameters | A Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial | Pain Management Nursing
  15. Reiki Reduces Burnout Among Community Mental Health Clinicians | The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Mary Ann Liebert, Inc
  16. Reiki Is Better Than Placebo and Has Broad Potential as a Complementary Health Therapy | David E. McManus, 2017 | SAGE Journals
  17. Frequently Asked Questions | Reiki | What is the History of Reiki? | The International Center for Reiki Training
  18. Heal your life with Reiki | Australian Natural Health magazine
  19. What Can I Expect in a Typical Reiki Session? | Taking Charge of Your Health | Wellbeing
  20. Is it okay to fall asleep during Reiki? | Restore Naturally
  21. Reiki | NCCIH
  22. Reiki | Better Health Channel
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