Reiki, (pronounced ray-key), in the Japanese Character system, is a combination of two separate words. “Rei” meaning “universal, spirit, a boundless essence” and “Ki” meaning “life force energy”. Together their meaning is roughly “Universal Life Energy”, or “Universal life force energy”.
Life force energy is resides in everything you see around you, yourself included. All animals, plants, humans, have life force energy. The ancient discipline of Qigong is the practice of gathering up this energy and directing it into parts of the body. When a person dies, this life force energy departs the body. For you to understand and experience this life force energy, I have devised some simple exercises for you to perform.
Exercise 1:
As an exercise to feel this energy, begin by rubbing your hands briskly together for one minute. Bring your minds focus to your hands. Now, slowly and gently, pull your hands apart about 1-3” from each other. Slowly bring your hands in together, without touching, and take them apart a few inches. Do this for a few minutes to feel the energy. That is your life force energy. Write in the space below your experiences and any sensations you had while doing this exercise:

Exercise 2:
You will need a partner or volunteer for this exercise.
Rub your hands briskly together again as you did the above exercise. Bring the focus of your mind to your hands. Have your partner or volunteer do the same thing. This time, bring your hands to 1-3” from your partners hands. Slowly bring the hands together without touching and then bring them 1-3” apart. Do this a few times and write down below any sensations you experienced with this exercise:


Write down here any sensations that your partner or volunteer experienced with this exercise:

Now, try the exercise again, but this time place your hands on different parts of your partner or volunteer’s body (such as their thigh, knee, elbow, or shoulder). Be sure their eyes are closed and see if they can identify where your hand is. After a few times, trade places and see if you can locate their hand on your body. Write down your discoveries here:

Exercise 3:
In this exercise, you will experience seeing your aura, the life force energy that surrounds all living things. To do this you will rub your hands briskly together once again. Focus your mind on your hands. Now place your hands, palms facing you above your head. Have the fingers of both hands facing each other and keep them about 1/2 inches apart.

It is also helpful if the ceiling behind your hands is white. Now, allow your eyes to go out of focus and just lazily stare at the space between the tips of your middle fingers. In time, you will be able to see a haze appear around your fingers. This haze will be translucent or opal in appearance. This is your life force energy.

With practice, you will also begin to see a second layer form. This layer has a jagged edge and is blue in color. This is a layer of your aura. Write down your experiences with this exercise. Do not be too hard on yourself if you did not see anything while trying this exercise. With patience and practice you will succeed:


When working with Reiki energies we can significantly alter and modify the layers of energy that surround each and every one of us. Reiki works on ALL levels for healing, both inside our bodies dealing with physical, emotional and mental healing, as well as, outside of our bodies dealing with the many layers of our aura (our first defense against disease and illness).

Exercise 4:
To help you experience the possibilities of working with the energy, I want you to do the following exercise: Rub your hands briskly together again. Bring your minds focus to your hands. Take your hands and place them, palms facing each other in front of you. I want you to play with this energy by pulling your hands apart and bringing them together. You can play with expanding the energy in front you. Make the energy between your hands larger and larger each time you come together and pull apart. You can also compress this energy into an egg shape of concentrated energy and place this egg of energy into a particular body area, or organ. It is very helpful in your Reiki practice, to become familiar and learn to work with energy. It is NOT necessary to become an energy expert in order to practice Reiki; it is just one more tool you can place in your little black bag of healing systems. Write down any sensations or experiences you had while doing this exercise:

Reiki, in practice, is a safe, natural, and holistic way of treating yourselves and others from many acute and chronic conditions. It helps to brings about physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional well being. Conditions that Reiki may improve include stress, menstrual problems, pain, insomnia, anxiety, tension, headaches, asthma, anxiety attacks, intestinal gas, etc.
Reiki is not a substitute for traditional medicine. No Reiki practitioner should ever tell a client that they can “cure” an illness or advise their client to stop taking any prescribed medicines or to stop seeing their doctor. This is very bad business, and the Reiki practitioner must stay out of the choices their client’s are making. It is both unethical and illegal to make suggestions such as these to any client.

The History of Reiki
As the story goes.......Dr. Mikao Usui, a 19 Century Christian Monk was teaching his class one day when a student asked the question, “Show us the methods that Jesus used to heal the blind and walk on water”. Usui answered that he did not know how to do these things but had faith that Jesus did indeed do these things. His students replied, “We do not want to live on faith, but we want to see with our own eyes”. This prompted the good doctor to find the answers that he himself had been asking. Usui believed there was a system of healing out there in the world and He began his journey to find that system.
Usui’s journey led him to America where he attended the University of Chicago and became a Doctor of Theology. He still had not found the answers that he was seeking in Christian writings regarding hands-on healing so he traveled to North India. He studied the Holy Writings while he stayed there. He still received no answers. He then returned to Japan where he started to translate Sanskrit Buddhist Sutras where he found formulas and symbols. Having found the symbols, he needed a way to activate them.
He decided to do a 21 day fast at the Holy Mountain of Kuriyama. He set out 21 stones in front of him. Each day he would cast out one stone. On the 21st and last day of his fast and meditation, he saw a shining light coming towards him at great speed. It struck him in the Ajna center (middle of the forehead) and knocked him unconscious. He saw millions of little colored bubbles that contained symbols in them. Along with the lights, came the knowledge of how to activate them. He had found what he was searching for.
In ancient tradition, proof of receiving information from meditation was expected to occur in the occurrence of three miracles. According to the Reiki story, the following are the three miracles that occurred following Usui's meditation.
(1) When Usui returned to natural waking state of consciousness, he was elated and began to run down the mountain. Being in a weakened state from fasting, he stumbled, fell, and his toe was bleeding. He instantly grabbed his toe in both of his hands and both the bleeding and the pain stopped. This was the first miracle.
(2) He was hungry and stopped at a wayside inn where the innkeeper told Usui not to eat such a large meal after a fast, but Usui ate and was not sick. This was the second miracle.
(3) The innkeeper’s daughter was in great pain from a bad toothache for many days. Usui laid his hands upon her swollen face and she immediately felt better. This was the Third miracle.
Upon Usui’s return to his monastery he decided to go into the slums of Kyoto to treat the beggars and help them to live a better life. He worked for seven years in an asylum treating many illnesses. One day he noticed some of the same people returning for treatments. When he asked them why they had not begun to live their new lives, he was told that working for a living was too hard, they preferred to beg. Usui was deeply saddened by this and wept. He realized that he had forgotten the most important ingredient in his healing work, “gratitude”. Because of this, Usui used a popular adage of the time as follows:

Ethical Principles of Reiki:
The Secret Method of Inviting Blessings, The Spiritual Medicine of Many Illnesses

For Today only, do not Worry, Do Not Anger

Do Your Work with Appreciation

Be Kind to all People

Show Gratitude to Every Living Thing

Say this in the morning and at night, with hands held in prayer,
Think this in your mind; chant this with your mouth.

To learn more about Reiki, or to become a Reiki practitioner, please visit my website at Francine Milford is the owner and creator of the Reiki Center of Venice and author of the book series on Usui Reiki and Reiki: A Mother’s Journey to Health and Healing. Francine is also the author and creator of Vibrational Reiki™ , a series of books on combining Reiki and Sound healing.

Author's Bio: 

To learn more about Reiki, or to become a Reiki practitioner, please visit my website at Francine Milford is the owner and creator of the Reiki Center of Venice and author of the book series on Usui Reiki and Reiki: A Mother’s Journey to Health and Healing. Francine is also the author and creator of Vibrational Reiki™ , a series of books on combining Reiki and Sound healing.