Since We Woke Up

What Is Reiki?

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If you’re like most people, when you hear about Reiki, you won’t really know how to feel about it or what it actually is. In fact, if you’re like us, you’d probably never heard about it at all.

Despite its growing popularity and acknowledgment in the west, Reiki is still not a household term. However, if you go to certain hospitals, you will find Reiki being practiced daily. And no, I am not just talking about New-Age alternative medicine hospitals.


Reiki is an ancient healing method based on the purposeful direction of energy. More specifically, the universal life energy that flows through all living things and exists in the world around us. Also known as life force energy, or in other cultures as Qi, or Chi.

Now, I fully recognize that this is starting to sound mystical and New-Agey, but I promise that’s not what Reiki is about.

This energy is simply there, existing, much like any of the other particles and molecules and wavelengths that we know exist, yet are generally unaware of – like light or sound or oxygen.

Despite the simplistic, naturally occurring reality of Reiki, a lot of people see it as mystical or even sacrilegious. Because of this, it is often cast aside as an irrelevant pseudoscience or condemned as “blasphemous witchcraft,” which, for the record, couldn’t be further from the truth.

Reiki has been studied in both scientific and scholarly studies, resulting in mountains of evidence supporting both its validity and effectiveness. Human energy fields are measurable and have been proven definitively in the scientific community.

In the same way that we used to make fun of vegans before understanding them and eventually joining their ranks, we used to make fun of other things foreign to us like Reiki. Self-reflection and experience taught us that mocking is simply a defensive mechanism that people use to disallow any ideas that might challenge their views or beliefs of the world, or that they simply don’t understand.

Today, besides being two of the most passionate vegans you’ll ever meet, we practice Reiki healing with terrific results both personally and with clients and friends. My point is, don’t mock what you don’t understand. And don’t let the unknown remain the unexplored.


We are two very skeptical people by nature. One of our greatest fears as ego-driven human beings is the fear of being a fool. If we believe in something that makes us look different in the eyes of society or turns out to be untrue, we are often ridiculed or chastised.

Skepticism leads us personally to question everything in our lives from things we see on TV to religious dogmas and government agendas and politics as a whole. We basically research everything to death before we give ourselves wholly, or even partially, to it. Naturally, Reiki was no different for us – and here is the gist of what we found.

There are very few thorough, well-done studies that have been done to explore the effectiveness of Reiki healing. Unfortunately, because the majority of mainstream scientists and doctors doubt the authenticity of Reiki, in-depth studies are difficult to find. They simply do not “waste their time” on something in which they see no validity in. Happily, this is changing as more and more people are experiencing Reiki worldwide, even in the resistant-to-change West.

One of these in-depth studies was performed by the University of California Las Angeles (UCLA). They analyzed data from experiments in which stressed out lab rats received both Reiki treatments and “sham treatments.” In this study, the lab rats who received Reiki treatments showed “significantly reduced stress, anxiety and depression responses.” The rats that received the sham treatments showed no reduction in stress, anxiety or depression.

Another study focused on perceived pain levels in humans and was performed for over a decade between 1993 and 2006. The overall ratings of Reiki efficacy in these tests ranged from satisfactory to excellent, while the “sham” Reiki was deemed ineffective at best.

Despite its growing popularity and acknowledgement in the west, Reiki is still not a household term. However, if you go to certain hospitals, you will find Reiki being practiced daily. And no, I am not just talking about New-Age alternative medicine hospitals. | Since We Woke Up |

Furthermore, The Touchstone Process, which is a scientific peer review process, analyzed 25 of the most “rigorously controlled” Reiki studies found in peer-review journals. They found that roughly 83% of the data showed moderate to strong evidence supporting the efficacy of Reiki healing.

Finally, there are many practitioners of chi or qi whose practices can be videoed and evidenced. Take, for example, a video of a man named Zhou Ting Jue. He practices Qigong and uses Qi to heat up wet towels using only his hands. The towels get so hot that they start putting off steam.

This was also measured with an infrared /thermal camera. The thermal camera unmistakably shows intense, concentrated heat in both Zhou’s hands and the towels, showing the temperature of his hands and the towel emanating heat up to 190 degrees. That is about 100 degrees higher than the temperature our bodies usually put off and is actually quite amazing to watch.


If I haven’t lost you yet, this may be where that happens, as this is where it may seem to get the most “mystical.” Again, I promise it actually isn’t at all.

Obviously, a very important aspect of the Reiki process is how it actually works.

Remember, Reiki uses directed life energy that in and of itself has a natural healing quality. The power of our minds and our body’s ability to heal itself have been documented over and over. Reiki simply aligns the energy within the body to facilitate this power.

Reiki can be used to heal physically, mentally and emotionally. There are certifications and “attunements” that a practitioner must receive before they can practice Reiki to any effect. Otherwise, there are no other precursors required – literally anyone can become certified, and we all have the ability to use this energy.

One of the most beautiful and gratifying things about Reiki is that you don’t have to believe in it in order to experience and benefit from it. You don’t even have to believe in it to administer it. Unbelieving practitioners who received certifications just to debunk Reiki, have ended up using it to great success.


As a practitioner, you are more or less a channel of energy. The energy does not originate from you, nor are you a great mystical healer. You are simply a conductor, much like a lightning rod.

During a session, the intention is key. The practitioner must set their intention to use Reiki to heal their client for the greatest good. Then, they administer Reiki by placing their hands on or near the client.

There are specific hand positions corresponding to specific locations on the body. However, deviations are just as effective and therefore, not frowned upon. The practitioner holds their hands in each position for 3 to 5 minutes or so, but can also let intuition guide them.

Sometimes, injured areas of the body or areas of blocked energy require extra attention. However, Reiki flows to where it is needed, so the healing process does not rest solely on the practitioner’s shoulders.

Clients and practitioners alike can feel a myriad of different effects. Some people say they feel nothing at all. Other clients will say they feel intense, comforting heat coming from the practitioner’s hands. Still others feel a cool, relieving touch. A lot of practitioners also report feeling a strong tingling sensation in their hands when they are administering Reiki.

Reiki is not magic. You won’t heal a broken bone or eliminate cancer overnight. It simply increases the healing process and re-balances our bodies. The healing effects are often felt as the day goes on or over the next few days. It has been known, however, to instantly take away small pains like headaches, toothaches, or other minor pains.


Personally, when I use Reiki, my hands get incredibly warm. So do Tawny’s, which is quite frankly incredible – her hands are infamously cold as ice. At certain times during self-treatment or treatment from Tawny, I will feel heat emanating from our hands, even when they are inches away from my body.

Tawny seems to feel the energy flow more strongly than I do and has even been able to diagnose problems in others {previously unknown to her} by feeling where the energy is blocked or pulled.

The most astounding personal experience we’ve had involved an infection. Tawny started having recurring kidney infections a few years back. She started having the symptoms, including peeing blood, and went in to get the familiar diagnosis and usual round of antibiotics. However, instead of starting them immediately, I began Reiki treatments. Within a day the blood in her urine was gone, and within another day the other symptoms had almost gone. It was at that point we both became absolute believers.

I have also experienced insanely rapid healing for minor to moderate injuries. I have had headaches and toothaches immediately subside, and have even used it before workouts to eradicate stiffness and soreness.

I practice Kyorendo, a form of Filipino knife and stick fighting. Understandably, bumps and bruises come along with the territory. At least once a week I use Reiki to treat those injuries. To this day, I have yet to have an injury affect me for more than 24 hours.

I have seen enough just in my own experiences to dispel any doubt about the legitimacy of Reiki. Most people will need to experience it themselves rather than take my, or anyone else’s, word for it. And I completely and genuinely respect that, as I operate the same way.

But, a person must be open to experiencing it. And therein lies the problem. Our greatest iniquities as a society are close-mindedness and intolerance. We hate our views being challenged and hate the people that do it. We reject new ideas and ostracize the people who author them.

In my final point, I will remind you that not so long ago, everybody knew the earth was flat, and that we, not the sun, were the center of the Universe. Not so long ago, women did not have the right to vote or have certain jobs. And not so long ago, it was acceptable to purchase and own other human beings.

In other words, what do we really know, after all?

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