What Is Reiki?


Reiki is a complementary medicine practice that involves the transfer of energy to promote healing. Reiki is the Japanese name for “universal life force energy.” Mikao Usui, a Japanese Buddhist monk, is thought to have founded the practice in the 1920s.

During a Reiki session, the practitioner places their hands slightly above the body or lightly on the body. The goal is to transfer Reiki, or life-giving energy, from the practitioner to the client. This is thought to stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal.

Potential benefits

Reiki can potentially

  • relieve pain.
  • ease nausea.
  • reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • reduce fatigue.
  • enhance quality of life.
  • improve sleep quality.
  • reduce stress and tension.


Neither licensure nor certification is required to practice Reiki in the United States. Before committing to a specific Reiki practitioner, it is important to ask about their coursework and years of experience. Asking a trusted physician, massage therapist, acupuncturist, or yoga teacher for a recommendation is a good way to find a reputable Reiki practitioner.