Reiki is a metaphysical form of healing that originates from Japan. An attuned Reiki practitioner guides Reiki energy from their hands into the person requiring the healing, with the aim being to clear any energy blockages or to raise the vibrations of lower or "bad" energies. As with most Eastern healing techniques, a person is seen as a holistic being, and deeper spiritual and emotional issues need to be cured in order to cure outer, physical conditions. Therefore the Reiki energy is not only used for physical ailments, but spiritual, mental and emotional issues too.

Reiki energy itself is seen as the "life force" - that invisible energy that flows through every living thing and keeps the cosmos in order. One way to be aware of your life force is to simply concentrate on your breathing - try to visualize what it is that keeps your body moving. You cannot open up a human being and find some kind of battery that keeps us alive until it dies out. There is an untouchable life energy beneath physical awareness that sustains us. The "Rei" in Reiki refers to a Japanese word meaning "Higher Power" or "God", and the "Ki" refers to "life force energy". Reiki can then be seen as life force energy guided by a higher power. The Reiki practitioner does not create the Reiki energy, but serves as a channel for the energy to pass through and reach its needed destination, the person requiring the healing.

The "highs" and "lows" of this life force energy are seen as what affects our overall well being. If a person's life force energy is low, they will be vulnerable to mental and physical illnesses. Also, if there is a blockage of "bad" or low energy, the life force energy will not be able to flow effectively through a persons being, which can also lead to certain illnesses depending on where the blockage is located on the body. As Reiki is a universal energy and the Reiki practitioner does not create the energy, the energy will be effective weather the practitioner believes it or is aware of deeper underlying issues or not - the Reiki energy will go where it is needed. A Reiki patient may be surprised to find that even though the Reiki practitioner has directed the energy at a specific issue, body part or blockage, a different aspect has surfaced and been healed.

Reiki energy is not taught to a practitioner in an entirely academic sense. Information on different Reiki symbols, chakras (or energy centers relating to the human body), hand positions, issues pertaining to the physical body and other theoretical and practical knowledge need to be learnt - but the actual use of the energy is transferred rather than learnt. The trainee gains the use of the Reiki energy through a process known as an "attunement", during which the Reiki teacher passes on the ability to use the energy - or "opens" the student to the Reiki channel. Attunements are usually performed in three stages, with one attunement being given for each stage of learning the art - Reiki I, Reiki II and Reiki Masters. Each attunement is progressively more powerful, opening the student to higher frequencies of Reiki energy.

Reiki is a gentle art that can be learnt by anyone, and is not tied to any religions. Its principles promote peace, harmony and healing in all respects - issues that can be embraced by all cultures and religions.