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Reiki: What Really Is It and Why Is It so Powerful?


All of the blog posts are written by Arien Smith with the intention to heal, inform, and expand every reader. Three posts a week: Monday Mindfulness, Wednesday Yoga, Saturday Reflections. 

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Reiki: What Really Is It and Why Is It so Powerful?

Arien Smith

Reiki is incredible. I swear that the majority of my healing, from chronic pain, to trauma recovery, to temporary ailments, is due to the power of this type of energy work. Although I talk about the logistics of Reiki on this page on the website, this article dives deeper into what makes Reiki stand apart from other forms of energy healing. Reiki surrenders the intention and control to the Universe, the highest consciousness, where almost all other forms of energy healing are more directly guided by the practitioner. This differentiates Reiki from other alternative healing modalities.

There are two things in the Universe: energy and matter, and Reiki directly affects the former. Making up one of the binary aspects of existence, almost all energy work is a powerful technique of manipulating (usually through intention), the energy of someone, an environment, or a situation. As a form of energy work, Reiki has this capability, yet it expands beyond most traditional energy healing modalities. 

For years, various forms of energy work have been used. The Chinese practiced acupuncture as early as 400 BCE and, although accepted later into Western canon, mind-body techniques have been used from the 1700s on in Europe and North America. The Alexander technique, guided visualization, and positive affirmations are some ways Western culture has employed subliminal energy healing. We all know that when we mentally feel better, we physically do too, and much of this is due to the strength of our energy when we are content, calm, and happy. Positively altering intention affects one’s energy, of the mind, body, and spirit. 

Intention in combination with energy work can be tricky. We’ve all heard the phrase, “be careful what you wish for.” This parable guides us against mis-worded intentions; even though we mean well, our intentions may not come across like we hope they will. The same can happen with intention-based energy work. Most practitioners will avoid any conflict by blessing their practice with a phrase like “I ask that all energy work is in both mine and my client’s best and highest interest,” but it takes a lot of focus on the practitioner’s part to maintain the flow of energy when using intention. If a practitioner isn’t aware of what they are doing, it’s possible to overwhelm someone, tweak there energy in a way that doesn’t benefit them, or expose them to negative energy in the space around them. 

Fortunately, Reiki is so powerful because it transcends the need for intention and instead surrenders the energy entirely to the guidance of the Universe. It is still important for the practitioner to bless the practice and cleanse the working space, but the energy itself cannot and will not overwhelm the person in receivership. Reiki cannot be forced onto a person, since the energy must all be accepted and used by the individual’s inner healer—any energy not wanted by the individual won’t be absorbed in even a slight way. 

All major spiritual practices recognize a universal conscious, whether the energy itself is intelligent, or there is a direct higher power, something enlightened guides the flow of Reiki energy. Frequently, this is referred to as one’s Higher Self (or Inner Healer). What can better heal than the energy directly from this ultimate benevolent consciousness in combination with the core of your spirit? Reiki is so pure, and this purity gives the practice such power. 

Because all parts of Reiki aren’t directly guided by the practitioner, it has infinite potential for healing and isn’t limited by the practitioner’s awareness or knowledge of the healing art, or the impact of their personal intention. All it requires of the practitioner is trust and surrender; a deeply connected Reiki practitioner will do nothing but place their hands in the intended treatment places and internally step aside to fully allow the energy to flow. The power and amount of Reiki energy increases as the practitioner deepens their complete surrender, allowing Reiki energy to flow through them unaltered by personal intent. Intention only arises in Reiki with the placement of hands and the use of powerful symbols. 

Once Reiki energy begins traveling from the practitioner’s hands to their client (or across distance via distance healing techniques), it is completely up to the receiving individual to use the energy as their inner healer directs it. All that is required of them is to open up to this infinite potential and allow the energy to do its work, as the receiver continue to aim to personally grow. Reiki is an intelligent energy and will interact with all areas of the being that need the extra boost of healing life force. 

Reiki has an incredible history behind it, too. When hearing this story from my Reiki masters, I was so moved and inspired that goosebumps traveled up my skin. Dr. Usui, the known founder of the healing art, went on a personal pilgrimage to discover how Jesus was able to heal with his hands. After 21 days of meditating at the top of a mountain, Dr. Usui was blessed with the knowledge about Reiki and able to attune others to the healing art. In its essence, Reiki is what Jesus Himself used to heal others—many of us are aware of those miraculous stories told in the Bible. Although I myself am not Christian, after experiencing the power of Reiki, I do believe that some of these miracles have a high probability of being founded in truth. 

Regardless of your religious denomination, Reiki has been shown to be effective today. Even hospitals are beginning to employ Reiki practitioners. Energy healing with intention is still extremely powerful, but Reiki is known as being an incredibly flexible healing art and able to complement allopathic medication perfectly; Reiki has no ill side effects. It is truly the entire Universe’s energy willingly flowing into you, with pure loving intent to heal in all the ways you need.

I’ve witnessed and heard of first hand stories of amazing experiences with Reiki. From hearing the about a dog with terminal cancer being cured in two weeks of Reiki treatment to feeling the cloud of depression start to lift off of a friend, I swear by the power of Reiki. With complete open acceptance of the energy and willingness to do the personal work to heal, I believe Reiki has no limits.

To wrap up this article, I’ve also included a list of things I’ve directly heard or witnessed Reiki being effective in treated or alleviating. Reiki, of course, isn’t a surefire treatment since it is ultimately up to the willingness of the individual in receivership to heal. If they aren’t willing to personally grow in the way the energy urges them to, the ailment they are facing will most likely not lift. Yet, if this individual fully commits to their own growth, I believe Reiki has no limits for them. It hasn’t been limited for me and my own healing.

My experience with Reiki has shown me it can work on:

  • Mental illness, like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and more
  • Addiction recovery
  • Trauma recovery
  • Stress-relief
  • Chronic pain relief or cure
  • Cancer and cancer treatment symptom management
  • Degenerative disorders
  • Temporary illness, especially repeated occurrences (i.e. seasonal colds, allergies, chronic ear infections)
  • Muscle pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia
  • Post and pre-operation care
  • Phantom limb and disability healing and acceptance
  • Spiritual awakenings, mindful healing, personal growth
  • Reworking toxic ancestral and childhood patterns

Reiki is so powerful and so little is written about what makes it unique from all other forms of energy healing. Surrendering to the pure intentions of the Universe, rather than the direct guidance of a practitioner, truly employs Reiki with divine and loving will. There is no consciousness more able to heal than that of the Source. 

And, of course, if you’re in Baltimore or the surrounding area and you’d like to try a Reiki treatment, here is my page with all of the information

I would also like to make a special note and give thanks to the people of color that brought Reiki into our world. From Jesus, to the Tibetan monks Dr. Usui learned in part from, to Dr. Usui himself, blessed be and thank you so much for your gift to this world. 

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