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There's more to Reiki than meets the eye

By:Helen Hain
Date: Sun,26 Mar 2023
Submitter:Andrew Hain

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There’s More To Reiki Than Meets The Eye

Many turn to Reiki for healing for various ailments although they have no real understanding or interest in the finer details of what is involved. This article is intended to give an insight into Reiki treatments, and, with this understanding, clients will be better able to take responsibility for their own wellbeing. It will be helpful to read our other articles on Reiki and on our Bodies and Minds.

What is REIKI ?

The word Reiki comes from two Japanese words ‘Rei’ meaning universal and ‘Ki’ which means the life force energy. Ki is often called Prana or Qi. Reiki is a form of hands-on spiritual healing and the healer is a channel for the universal life force energy. Many NHS hospitals and also hospices offer Reiki Treatments.

Reiki goes to where it is needed and doesn’t need to be directed. This is why distance healing is also beneficial although this article is primarily concerned with hands-on healing. It must be borne in mind that Reiki is a spiritual treatment, and, if this is acknowledged and understood, it can be the beginning of an individual’s spiritual evolution. We are all spiritual beings and have incarnated into physical bodies to balance our karma end eventually evolve back to God / Creator.

Although the number of hand positions adopted by healers may vary there are seven traditional hand positions which cover the seven major chakras in the body. These subtle energy centres are located on the etheric body from the base of the spine to the top of the head. We will consider the etheric body later.


The word chakra means ‘wheel’ and these are spinning wheels of subtle energy invisible to the naked eye. It is important that the chakras remain open and unblocked to allow the life force energy to flow freely to maintain health.

Unfortunately, many healers do not explain the importance of the chakras so we will return to this in detail later after consideration of the etheric body, the nervous system and the endocrine system, all of which relate closely to the chakras and have such a bearing on our overall health.


Clients are often happy to put their trust in the healer without understanding that our state of health is our responsibility. Healing is a partnership between client and therapist. When each plays their part much more lasting benefit is achieved. The problem is much more likely to return if the client expects the healer to take full responsibility.

Many believe all that exists is the physical body and seek healing at a physical level. Healing occurs when body, mind and spirit are in harmony. It is helpful to understand that it is scientifically proven that everything that exists is energy vibrating at different levels. This includes our thoughts, feelings and actions which have a powerful effect on our health and they also affect others as well. We need to pay attention to this as well as caring for our physical body. Most people focus on what they see with their eyes, and never consider the amazing intelligent activity going on within themselves. The healer can only advise and the rest is up to the client. There is so much truth in the following quote. ‘If you always do what you’ve always done you always get what you’ve always got.’ (Henry Ford)

Most people find a Reiki treatment very relaxing and can switch off from negative emotions. However, we must never forget we are multi dimensional beings and every cell in our body has its own consciousness and its own job to do. No part of our being functions in isolation as all our bodies -- physical, emotional, mental and spiritual, -- all interpenetrate each other. Therefore, looking to cure a physical problem is not a long term solution. By taking steps to grow spiritually, our entire being becomes balanced and the systems of our body function in harmony to achieve homeostasis which the stability necessary for survival.

Alice Bailey, a neo theosophist in her book ‘Esoteric Healing’ states that, ‘All disease is the result of an inhibited soul life. This is true of all forms and all kingdoms. The art of the healer consists in releasing the soul so that its life can fly through the aggregate organisms which constitute any particular form’. The quote is a reminder that disease occurs when we ignore the soul’s guidance in meditation. It’s the soul that knows what we need to learn and put into practice. No permanent benefit is achieved if the client does not make connection with their soul. This requires commitment to making positive spiritual changes to thoughts and lifestyle.

It is interesting to note that in the Bible (John 5:6) Jesus asks the man in need of healing, ‘Wilt thou be made whole?’ The word whole appears several times when Jesus healed people. The spiritual meaning of whole when applied to healing means healing on all levels which is necessary for positive change. All parts of our being need to be in harmony. Sadly, this is often not explained to clients and they are generally not guided as to how they can participate in bringing wholeness to their entire being. The Church of England offers ‘Healing and Wholeness Services’, but other than this the word ‘wholeness’ does not seem to be mentioned in healing treatments.

Although we often need help and support from others there is so much we can do to help ourselves and the old cliché is worth noting, ‘God helps those who help themselves’. We all need to consider what changes we can make as to how we live our lives to bring benefits and better health. All this brings benefit to others as well. As we change others do too.

There are many helpful articles on our website. There are two on journal keeping which is a daily activity for monitoring progress.

Part 2


We cannot consider parts of our being in isolation. By viewing the bigger picture we gain insight as to how complex we really are. As already suggested please read our article on Balancing our Bodies and Minds. The body is truly amazing and most of us have no idea as to how all the systems work in harmony to maintain health and wellbeing. However, we all have to take responsibility by taking action to remedy any imbalance.

We recommend reading our articles on healing and karma. One important point is that health issues can be related to karma from past lives. However, if we look to the spiritual laws for guidance and take a spiritual approach we are better equipped to cope with difficulties that arise.

Hopefully a brief insight into the following five topics will be enlightening and give insight as to how all parts of our being need to function in harmony.

1. Prana
Prana is the universal life force that sustains all forms if life. It keeps us alive and is withdrawn at death. We obtain prana from every breath we inhale, from food we consume, being outdoors in fresh air, walking bare foot on grass or sand, and also via the etheric body and from there through the meridians and chakras. The prana has to flow freely to prevent ill health.


1. Yoga --- breathwork, exercise and meditation
2. Take action to reduce stress
3. Physical therapies such as massage assist the flow of energy and can bring balance to mind and body
4. Acupuncture
5. Putting your feet in a stream

2. The Etheric Body

The Etheric body is an invisible subtle body interpenetrating all the other bodies. It has three important parts: (1) the meridians (2) the aura and (3) the chakras. Along with our other bodies it forms the aura around our entire body. The meridians and chakras are closely linked and both are receivers and transmitters of prana. The Etheric Body absorbs prana from the sun and transmits it through the body via meridians, chakras, glands and blood circulation. Our health depends on this flow being maintained.

This body is vitalized and controlled by our thoughts. Thoughts are energy and need to be monitored so that negative thoughts can be addressed. The etheric body connects to higher levels of consciousness so it is important how we live our lives and to where we put our attention. It also responds to sound so appropriate music can bring harmony.


1. Relaxation and meditation
2. Therapies such as Reiki and acupuncture
3. Sound healing. There is a wide selection of music available and therapists and healers often play music during treatments. However, personal preference must be considered.
4. Care of the body is important so choose a healthy diet and ensure adequate exercise and fresh air.

3. The Endocrine System

The endocrine system controls and regulates most of the processes in the body. Many glands make up this system and they release hormones into the bloodstream which travel to cells and organs throughout the body. This system functions in conjunction with the nervous system to maintain homeostasis (balance) within the body. This stability is necessary for survival. The hypothalamus, located in the brain, is where the nervous and endocrine systems intersect. Adjustments are constantly made to maintain balance. It is important to understand no system works in isolation

Our chakras are closely linked to both endocrine and nervous systems and any blockage in the chakras has an adverse on those systems, causing ill health in the body.


1. Regular exercise
2. Healthy diet --- lowering fat and sugar intakes
3. Stress has an adverse impact on the endocrine and nervous systems so steps must be taken to deal with whatever is causing stress.

A Word of Warning
Very often hormone imbalance requires medical attention so if hormone problems are suspected it is important to consult a doctor for diagnosis as medication may be required.

4. The Nervous System

This is the body’s communication system and it has much bearing on our health as the nerves carry signals throughout our entire body. This system can be divided into two parts.
(1) The central nervous system which consists of the brain and spinal cord and is concerned with functions such as movement, awareness and the five senses.
(2) The peripheral nervous system which is composed of nerves which branch off from the spinal cord and extend throughout the entire body. It has two parts: (a) sympathetic nerves, (b) parasympathetic nerves

These nerves control what is called the fight / fight response which we will consider separately. The sympathetic nerves prepare the body for action and the parasympathetic nerves restore calm and relaxation.

A collection of nerves is called a ganglia and where different ganglia connect this is called a plexus. Throughout the body sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves converge to form a plexus.

The reason for this brief explanation regarding glands and nerves is their close link with the seven major chakras. Each chakra has a connection to an endocrine gland and also to a nerve ganglia. If there is a problem in either of these systems chakras can block. It is important they remain open for energy to flow freely. In order to understand just how much influence nerves have on the chakras it is helpful to understand the Fight / Flight Response.


Many seek healing for many different ailments but so often those health issues stem from stress that has arisen from difficult issues in their lives and even from life changing situations. We all experience worry and stress at times but if not addressed this can lead to long term illness which can be life threatening.

Whenever we are faced with a stressful situation the hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary gland to send a signal through the nervous system to the adrenal glands to release hormones to prepare the body to take flight or to stay and fight. The sympathetic nerves instantly bring about changes to prepare for this. Some of these include a rise in blood pressure, faster, shallower breathing, muscles tense for action and digestion slows down.

The fight / flight reflex was beneficial for our ancestors who often had to face life threatening situations. The sympathetic nerves prepared the body for action and when the situation was over the parasympathetic nerves allowed the body to return homeostasis with no ill effects.

Modern life produces situations which are stressful but rarely life threatening. The sympathetic nerves come into play and if the situation is not dealt with the body remains in a state of high alert. This leads to long term health issues such high blood pressure, muscle tension, digestive disorders to name but a few. The parasympathetic nerves do not get a chance to promote rest and recovery. What starts as minor disorders can end up as life threatening illnesses.


1. Follow a healthy diet
2. Reduce or avoid alcohol and caffeine
3. Get adequate sleep
4. Seek help from appropriate professionals
5. Get out in the fresh air
6. Sensible exercise
7. Spend time in nature
8. Time management
9. Relaxation and meditation
10. Forgive others and let go of grudges
11. Alternative therapies
12. Seek help from professionals and self help groups
13. Yoga
14. Keep a sense of humour
15. Know yourself. This is one of the most important steps you can take. The old expression ‘Man know thyself’ was a quote from Pythagoras. His words were ‘Man know thyself: then thou shalt know the universe and God’.

It is easy to focus our attention on the material world and fail to consider what is going on within our being. The most important step we can is take time to understand ourselves, to identify what changes need to be made. Healing and other therapies can help but will not resolve the symptoms unless the cause is identified and action taken. Help is always available once the problem is identified. Blaming others for problems solves nothing. Action is necessary for positive change.

The Serenity prayer which can be found on the internet is excellent for considering what can be changed and what cannot be changed. Thoughts and ideas about this can be put in a journal and progress can be monitored.


For thousands of years chakras have featured in Hinduism and Buddhism. There are numerous chakras throughout the body but the seven major ones are really important for our health due to their close link with the endocrine glands and nerves. Chakras vibrate at different frequencies and each is associated with a colour related to their rate of vibration. These colours correspond to the colours of the rainbow. Our aim is to take action to ensure the chakras remain open and aligned for prana to flow freely throughout the body.

The following chart will hopefully give concise information on each chakra making it easier to meditate on each and to identify what changes may need to be taken to bring the chakras into balance. There are also some self questions to assist in identifying what may be causing problems and what can be changed.

The following is a summary of the seven major chakras showing (a) their position (b) colour (c) endocrine gland and what it governs (d) what the chakra relates to (e) some questions to ask yourself to assist in identifying how you may be influencing the chakra.

1. Root Chakra
(1) base of spine
(2) red
(3) adrenal glands govern emotions and response to fear
(4) relates to safety and security and the fight / flight response
(5) (a) Do I feel safe and secure?
(b) Do I fear for the future?
(c) What actions can I take for positive change?

2. Sacral Chakra
(1) about three inches below the navel
(2) orange
(3) reproductive glands govern procreation and sexual development
(4) relates to emotions, creativity and sexual energy
(5) (a) Do I suffer from emotional instability?
(b) Am I satisfied with my emotional / sex life?
(c) Do I allow my creative energy to flow freely?

3. Solar Plexus Chakra
(1) just above the navel
(2) yellow
(3) pancreas governs digestion and metabolism
(4) relates to power and control
(5) (a) do I give away my power to others?
(b) am I confident in using my power to achieve goals?
(c) do I have a purpose in life?

4. Heart Chakra
(1) heart area
(2) green
(3) thymus governs immune system
(4) relates to love and compassion
(5) (a) am I open to giving and receiving love?
(b) do I find it difficult to have close relationships?
(c) do I love myself?

5. Throat Chakra
(1) throat area
(2) blue
(3) thyroid and parathyroid glands regulate temperature and metabolism
(4) relates to verbal and written communication
(5) (a) do I speak my truth clearly and openly?
(b) do I communicate easily with others?
(c) do I listen to others?

6. Third Eye (Brow) Chakra
(1) forehead between eyebrows
(2) indigo
(3) pituitary relates to all other glands
(4) relates to intuition, wisdom and visualisation
(5) (a) am I open to receiving the truth?
(b) are my views too fixed?
(c) do I trust my intuition?

7. Crown Chakra
(1) top of head
(2) violet
(3) pineal gland regulates sleep and governs body rhythms
(4) relates to enlightenment
(5) (a) am I open to receiving spiritual guidance in all situations?
(b) do I feel oneness with the divine and all life?
(c) what activities bring inner peace?


We hope this article gives an insight into how all parts of our being function together to maintain health. From personal experience as healers and teachers we have found the information we have gone into here is often lacking in both healing sessions and in training courses. During training much time is spent on hand positions, symbols and the history of Reiki without linking it to what is taking place in the body. When this is understood by the healer, clients can be given an understanding of what healing is about and encouraged to take responsibility for their wellbeing. There is more to Reiki than simply having a hands on treatment, trusting that benefit will be received without the cooperation of both healer and client.

Monitoring how we live each day is an excellent way to see progress and keeping a journal is beneficial. From personal experience we recommend looking to the spiritual laws for daily guidance. We went through difficult experiences and it was by looking to the spiritual laws for guidance that we experienced health, peace and fulfilment. Details of our books and our workshop on making positive changes can be found on our website,

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