Given that the word “reiki” has been part of the English language since the 1970s, you’ll almost certainly have heard it by now. You may not understand what reiki can do for you, and for others around you, unless you know how it works and how easy it is to start practicing reiki, however.

In this Japanese healing art, reiki healers transfer energy, or divine love and healing, to the patient by laying their hands over specific areas to promote physical and mental healing and wellbeing. This life force energy is called ki in Japanese, but you may be more familiar with the Chinese qi, which discusses the same spiritual concept. Indeed, the chi in tai chi has the same meaning.

A reiki session purely focuses on this connection between patient and healer and does not depend on any tools beyond universal life energy itself. Each area of the body that needs attention receives the energy for several minutes, and sessions may last as little as 15 minutes or continue for more than an hour. During a reiki session, recipients often experience sensations of deep relaxation and calm.

Reiki masters will explain what they are working on and offer soothing comments to aid the process. Best of all, reiki’s healing effects work regardless of whether you understand or even believe in them.

Should you be interested in trying reiki energy healing but are worried about someone touching you (despite the fact that patients are always fully clothed), or should you not have access to a reiki healer in your area, you will be pleased to know that alternatives exist.

Distance or virtual reiki sessions have been shown to offer many of the same benefits as traditional reiki healing, but learners can also practice self-healing reiki techniques to open themselves to better health and wellbeing with the help of guided meditation sessions.

Reiki, as a spiritual art, does not seek to replace other forms of healing. Rather, it can benefit anyone who needs a boost, whether they are struggling to cope with a chronic pain condition, have recently had surgery, or are feeling down.