What is reiki? The lowdown on the healing practice

Kim K is a big fan

BEAUTYcrew Beauty Editor / June 10 2021

If you pay close attention to the lives of the rich and famous, then you’ve probably heard of an interesting spiritual wellness practice called ‘reiki’. 

The practice is loved by celebs like Angelina Jolie, Kim Kardashian, Kate Hudson and Gwyneth Paltrow (just to name a few). Similar to how a massage works the kinks out of your physical body, the energy-focused healing technique utilises universal life force energy to help move stagnant or unhealed energies that might be clogging up your spiritual body. 

To gain more of an understanding of the practice, we spoke to Diana Edwards AKA The Reiki Lady, to help guide us through the purpose and benefits of reiki in a well-rounded self-care routine. 

What is reiki and what is it used for?

According to Edwards, Reiki is nothing to be scared of. In fact, “[it’s] an energy therapy that’s very calming and relaxing.” 

“When you have a reiki session, the reiki energy — this universal life force energy — flows from the practitioner’s hands to you. It’s not the practitioner’s energy that you’re receiving, it’s the reiki energy that is channelled through the practitioner,” she explains.

“Because reiki is this universal life force energy, it knows where to go and what to do for whatever you require most… [it] works on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. This means that reiki is able to assist with almost anything, and that it can also get to the root cause of issues.”

Why should you be seeing a reiki healer?

Edwards sees reiki as a great tool to be used in conjunction with traditional medicinal practices, as it can target the increased levels of stress that go along with regular visits to a doctor or the hospital.

“[If] you’ve been to the doctor and they’ve done all the tests and the tests come back all clear, the doctor will tell you it’s stress-related. That’s when you can be fairly confident that reiki will be able to assist,” she explains.

But she also recommends the practice wholeheartedly for releasing any stressful energy that may be impacting you negatively; “Reiki is able to activate the rest and repair response in the body, which is the relaxation mode of the parasympathetic nervous system that undoes the effects of stress.”

Image credit: @iamjessicagomes

Image credit: @iamjessicagomes

“[It] is also great for anyone who feels burned out. During a reiki session you’re receiving a boost of energy which means your body now has more resources to use to help with recovering from burnout faster.”

She even recommends trying the healing practice if you’re “going through an emotionally hard time.”

“Any situation where you find yourself struggling emotionally, reiki is usually able to assist,” she reveals. “This is one of the main reasons I have people come and see me, and it’s what I’m most passionate about assisting people with. I specialise in offering emotional support so that people can let go of emotional pain and move forward in their lives.” 

Another positive of the practice? It doesn’t require touching, so if you’re not one for the close proximity required for a massage or acupuncture needling, then this may be a great alternative for relieving stress.

What can you expect during your reiki session?

First things first, your Reiki practitioner will need to know why you require energy healing, be it stress, emotional pain or something you’re going through, as well as what you hope to get out of the session. After that, you’re good to kick off your shoes (you can keep your clothes on though) and mount your practitioner's massage table for your session.

Edwards says that your practitioner should be “respectful of where they place their hands on you.” 

“The only time I touch a client is when I’m working around the top of the head, at the knees and the feet. For the rest of the body the practitioner usually has their hands hover just above,” she explains. 

Image credit: @jastookes

Image credit: @jastookes

Another thing Edwards says to be mindful of is that often the body has physiological responses to the energy healing, which can initially come as a shock but it’s nothing to be self-conscious or embarrassed about. In fact, “sometimes a client can have digestive gurgling sounds in a session, which is stress that’s been held in the body being cleared, which is a really good thing.”

“Some people will have a muscle twitch, for example in the leg, arm or shoulder, which is also stress that’s been stored in the body being cleared out.”

Rarely, Edwards says she has had clients experience agitation or had the practice bring up random past memories, but that it’s nothing to be worried about. “This is because a past issue is being cleared — it’s coming up and out of you, so the person may be aware of what’s being cleared with the associated thoughts (which I find to be more common) or feelings (which I find to be less common).”

“The best thing to do in this situation is to understand that the thought or feeling is coming up because it’s being cleared and avoid holding onto any of it. Avoid focusing on it and instead, focus on your breathing. The more relaxed you are in a session, the more effective the reiki can be,” Edwards assures us.

What are the long-term benefits of utilising reiki?

If you ask Edwards, there aren’t really any downsides to introducing the practice into your wellness routine. 

“Remember that reiki works on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels, which means the benefits can also occur on all of these levels,” she explains.

“Good quality sleep is a big benefit, along with having more energy, having better focus, being more productive, having clarity of thought and being more creative in our thinking.”

“Being more resilient is another big long-term benefit, as well as being more confident,” she says.

And while you’ll undoubtedly see a marked improvement in your spiritual relationship with yourself, your desires and your decisions after clearing out all that energy, the practice should also have positive effects on your relationships. According to Edwards, “when we feel good our hearts are open and we naturally and easily connect with others.”

“This has benefits for both work and personal life,” she says. “At work we’re better at collaborating and being a team player. In our personal lives we end up having more fulfilling relationships, which also contributes to our health and happiness.”

Want to keep the good vibes rolling after your Reiki session? This is your wellness guide to using (and loving) crystals.

Main image credit: @iamjessicagomes

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).