Reiki: Energy, System of Healing, or Both? (The Short & Sweet of It)

One of the greatest misconceptions about reiki is whether it’s an energy, a system of healing, or both. I hope this edition of “The Short & Sweet of It” will help set the record straight.

In Japan there are hundreds of words that include ki, which (when interpreted thoughtfully) mean simply “energy”, “universal energy”, or “life force energy”. How it is used can even describe one’s health condition, or personal demeanor. Rei is “sacred” or “spiritual”. When we put them together we have reiki (note the small r) or “sacred energy” or “spiritual energy”.

In this context, all spiritual energy is reiki.

So what of reiki as a system of healing? Short answer: there is no such thing. What has come to be known merely as Reiki (note the capital r) or the System of Reiki Healing is, in truth, a system of energy healing designed by Mikao Usui properly known as The Usui System of Natural Healing. Usui’s system merely uses reiki (spiritual or sacred energy).

Mikao Usui

Mikao Usui, founder of The Usui System of Natural Healing

Reiki is not a system of healing. It is only the Japanese name of the type of energy used in The Usui System of Natural Healing.

Important to know (and a bit of a warning): Anyone who uses scared (spiritual) energy for any purpose can technically call him or herself a reiki practitioner. (This is also why we see so many reiki flavors.) This does not however mean they are applying Usui’s methods or teachings … and they might not even know it. The Usui System of Natural Healing has become deeply warped from its origins, something Usui likely wouldn’t even recognize as his teachings if he were still alive today. I’ll write about this in another post, so keep your eyes on my blog!


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About Sabrina DeVaney

For more than 15 years, I have been dedicated to helping people address their wellness needs. Rather than just treating symptoms, my goal is to treat the body as a system and restore it to optimal balance. This thinking is what makes up the foundation of holistic healing.
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