How do I heal a Reiki master

"Universal life energy, heal yourself and others. Traditionally taught according to the Dr. M. Usui system, natural healing. Reiki is the universal life energy and is passed on through touch with the hands. Everyone can learn and regardless of their worldview apply: Reiki 1st degree, 2nd degree, master and teacher ... Reiki is not tied to any belief or religion. "

The announcements with which people are to be motivated to take part in Reiki seminars read like this. Who would not like to use healing energy to achieve well-being and health? This explains the wide response that Reiki has had for many years.

But critical questions must also be asked: How do independent scientists rate the medical effectiveness of Reiki? Is Reiki really just a method to convey energy? Or is Reiki associated with its own ideological background, its own view of the world and people? Do you have to adopt this view of people and the world when you undergo a Reiki treatment?

What is Reiki?

Reiki literally means "universal (re) life energy (-ki)". This universal life energy, as Reiki understands itself, can supposedly be awakened and activated in every person through appropriate attunements. This ki energy then supposedly flows through the hands of the Reiki practitioners as a healing, regulating and harmonizing force. Reiki claims to bring about healing in the original sense by bringing people back to harmony with themselves and the fundamental forces of the universe.

Reiki belongs in the context of the Japanese Ki movements. According to their understanding, Ki or Chi is an impersonal force of nature and soul, which as energy pervades the whole world and forms the basis of life. The Ki movements have their origins in Japan and belong to the new religious movements of the 20th century. Since the mid-1960s, they have also spread to Western Europe and have enjoyed great popularity on the esoteric scene ever since. There are now many different esoteric providers, movements and organizations that offer Reiki courses and Reiki treatments. The courses offered by these providers differ considerably from one another. However, all claim that the originally pure teaching of Dr. Mikao Usui (1865-1929) to practice and authorized to disseminate.

To this day it is not known who Dr. Usui, the legendary founder of Reiki, really was. There are many legends about his person. According to one of these legends, Dr. Usui a scholar who later researched the question of the origin of the healing power of Jesus as a Christian teacher. During a stay in India he learned Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language. This language gave him the key to the knowledge of the healing power of the hands. On this basis, he developed a precise scientific method that enables natural energy to be used in such a way that health and wholeness can be achieved. Later, Dr. Usui, as the first Reiki course master, passed this knowledge on to several people in Japan, who then called themselves Reiki masters and to whom the different Reiki directions refer today. There are other, completely different legends about the life of M. Usui, but they cannot be substantiated by facts either.

Originally the Reiki introduction or "training" took place in three degrees, which today are often offered in the form of three courses. In these courses, the acquisition of the ability to activate and harmonize energy is promised. Mantras (short holy or magical formulas) and sacred symbols are also taught. In some Reiki directions there are still further degrees and the possibility to be trained as a Reiki master. The price for the first courses is still manageable. Acquiring additional degrees can quickly cost a few thousand euros.

Critical comments

From a medical and human science perspective:

Reiki is often referred to as a natural healing method. Allegedly, Reiki can be used for all health ailments. This gives the misleading impression that Reiki is a serious medical alternative to conventional medicine.
The "Stiftung Warentest" comes to the conclusion that the effectiveness of Reiki cannot be scientifically proven convincingly. From a medical point of view, the use of Reiki is associated with only minor risks. However, there is a risk that with a Reiki treatment "diseases will not be recognized and their treatment will be delayed." In the case of psychiatric illnesses, Stiftung Warentest warns against using Reiki. Here "the patient's belief in a connection between the Reiki practitioner and divine energy ... can trigger relapses of illness."

From a Christian point of view:

Reiki has its own esoteric view of the world and of man. Individual elements and ideas of Asian religions, which mainly originate from Japan, have been adopted into this world and human image. For example, Reiki assumes the existence of chakras. According to this idea, chakras are energy centers in the human body. An important part of Reiki courses is the Reiki induction ceremony, during which these chakras are supposedly opened by the Reiki master so that Reiki power can flow.
Reiki is firmly connected to this esoteric or magical worldview and cannot be understood without this worldview. As a pure method without the connection with its magical, esoteric worldview, Reiki cannot be explained and the alleged effect of Reiki cannot be understood. Reiki therefore requires those who practice Reiki to agree to this worldview. Reiki must therefore be assigned to esoteric or magical practices. Reiki is a form of esoteric healing magic.

The Christian prayer for healing (cf. James 5, 13-16) and the sacrament of the anointing of the sick know about God's presence, who is the creator and sustainer of this world and also of his creatures. Christians know that healing can neither be enforced nor guaranteed, and that there are limits to admirable medical knowledge and efforts. Where people trust in God's closeness, even in hopeless situations - such as incurable illness - find rest, peace and the strength to cope with this situation, salvation will be experienced.

The claim to have a healing energy available through Reiki, which is available more or less like the electric current, leads to false security. From a medical point of view, this claim is extremely questionable. Reiki is not compatible with the Christian view of man, the world and the Christian image of God.

Church statements

The American Catholic Bishops Conference took place in 2009 "Guidelines for Evaluating Reiki as an Alternative Therapy" released.

In it she comes to the conclusion that Reiki is neither compatible with the natural sciences nor with the Christian faith and therefore rejects the use of Reiki. Reiki should also not be offered by Catholic institutions, health institutions, educational institutions or people who represent the Church.

The text in the original English version (there is no German translation) PDF document

Last edited on 04/11/2014

  • Literature switch

    Article "Reiki" in: Harald Baer, ​​Hans Gasper, Johannes Sinabell, Joachim Müller (Eds.),
    Lexicon of new religious movements, esoteric groups and alternative life aids,
    Herder Spektrum 6053, Freiburg 2010, ISBN: 978-3-451-06053-3, pp. 182-184.

    Article "Reiki" in: Hans Krech, inter alia. (Ed.), Handbook of religious communities and world views, Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 6th edition 2006, pp. 274-288.

    Stiftung Warentest, Handbook The Other Medicine, Benefits and Risks of Gentle Healing Methods, Stiftung Warentest, Berlin, 5th edition 2005, pp. 268-271.

    Bernd Dürholt, Reiki - Healing Hands ?, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-583-50212-4.