Tomorrow is the last day of my Reiki Master training! It started six weeks ago and I have been through some major ups and downs since then. One big down and lots of ups really. A couple weeks ago someone suggested that I write about the difference between energy healing and reiki, and I promise I will get around to it. I think that would require looking at the question from a couple different perspectives. I have experienced Reiki and Energy Healing as a student.
Let's start with the similarities. Reiki is described as universal spiritual energy. It is channeled through a reiki healer and they can give themselves healing or give someone else healing. The same happens with energy healing though HOW you go about channeling that energy changes. I also think Reiki has a different flavour or vibration from the energy channeled by energy healers. I wouldn't say one is better, it depends on your taste and what resonates with you.
Moving onto how we channel the energy... In energy healing school we started by meditating. You visualise and feel roots dropping from your feet to the center of the earth. Then you intend for earth energy to travel up those roots to your heart chakra. Next, you send your attention up to the cosmos and visualise white or clear light travelling down to your crown chakra. It enters your crown, gets to your heart. We did this a couple times and then started running the two energies from the heart, down the arms to your palms. At first it feels like its all in your head but soon enough, you can feel it. With time your palms become more sensitive and you can feel energy as well. It is a really fun process but it takes time and after a few months practice it happens easily.
With Reiki, the channeling process was a lot easier. The Reiki Teacher starts by attuning the student to Reiki. You sit still and they bring that energy into your body so that it flowsfrom crown to heart to palm. All you have to do is think about it and it starts to run, and what really surprised me was that I felt it really strongly the first time. Like a pulsation in my palms and as heat on my skin (I had cramps that week and my sacral chakra just soaked it in, with my hand a few inches away). I don't know if everyone feels it so strongly at the beginning. Maybe I did because after two years in energy healing school I was tuned in.
I had one day for Reiki One where we learned the history of reiki, hand placements on the body, where the chakras were, and we practiced giving eachother reiki. Feeling chakras, etc. Then we left and we were supposed to give ourselves daily treatments for a month before giving friends and family healing. It was very relaxed and its a nice way to begin the healing journey. The Reiki attunement also kicks off a personal cleansing process where things start popping to the surface. Emotional, mental, physical. Some people get a bad cold. Others fall out with friends and are forced to deal with issues they had been ignoring. Reiki energy is a catalyst for change and as soon as you're attuned it starts pushing your buttons. This is what I find most useful. The intensity at Reiki One is low, after the Reiki Two attunement I could feel it rising a bit but still pleasant. By the time I got to Reiki III, I could sense loads of light coming through. And I also went though a full blown healing crisis which is over now. I also feel like I am more connected, if that makes sense.
If you ask me, Reiki is a catalyst for personal change and it keeps coming at you. How strong the stream depends on each person and whether they take to it. This is how I have experienced it.
In Energy Healing school we had a lot more schooling. The course lasted two full years and we had 18 full-day workshops, with lots of theory, lots more practice and a lot of structured homework. Giving energy healing is actually a lot of fun, at least for me, as I have always had an active imagination and I tend to see the healing happen in vivid color. Its almost like watching a movie and you never know what will happen, sometimes the energy takes on the form of a stream of water. Sometimes their core star lights up and I see it connecting to the rest of the stars in the universe. Yesterday I saw a steady stream of green light and clear water during a session and it was really interesting because when it was over, the Healee told me she saw green. She also felt energy rushing through her body like a stream and clearing loads of stuck energy. For me, energy healing sessions come alive in very creative ways. Because I have been doing it longer I am also more comfortable as a healer. I just know where to go and what to do (most times).
Reiki has more ritual to it, especially when you start using the symbols to things that you can do in EH just by intending for it to happen. I think you may be able to do as much with Reiki as with Energy Healing but I just haven't worked out how to get there yet. There are symbols, movements and mantras that you can use to have a certain effect. It's kind of like going to a Japanese tea house, with all its ritual and tradition (Reiki is also Japanese!). I am still familiarizing myself with the ritual so it takes me a little bit longer. Reiki is a dance and I am still learning the moves. :-)