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Reiki Basics - Reiki Energy vs. Reiki System

November 2, 2017


When you use the word “Reiki” what exactly do you mean?


It can be a little confusing. You see, there’s the reiki energy, itself, and there’s also the Reiki system of healing. The Reiki system of healing involves taking a class and getting some form of attunement so you can channel the Reiki energy effectively.


At our local Reiki Circles, we invite everyone to play along when it comes to giving healing energy. You’ll have experienced Reiki Masters, Reiki Practitioners, and regular non-attuned people, all working together. Only the attuned Reiki Masters and Practitioners are actually sending Reiki energy though the system of Reiki.  But what about the others? The people who aren’t attuned yet? Are they sending energy?


Yes. If you’re alive, you have the ability to work with Universal Life Force Energy, but the non-attuned people aren’t doing Reiki, even though the energy coming through is the Universal Life Energy of ki, qi, chi, prana…or reiki.


By joining in and assisting with healing sessions, our local Reiki Circle gives people a safe place to become familiar with the sensations that go along with energy work. A place where they can ask questions and be supported by experienced practitioners.


On occasion, a non-attuned person will join in regularly, become more sensitive to feeling the energy flow, and think, “Hey! I’ve come to a couple of these circles now, so I must be doing Reiki. Look at me! I’m a Reiki Practitioner!”


Not so fast, Jack. There’s more to becoming a Reiki Practitioner.


Years ago, I discovered that I could feel healing energy coming through my hands. When I tried to use the energy in meditation one day to heal a coworker, I received my first intuitive message – a powerful woman judge telling me to stop it. She said, “Healing is a serious commitment. There are right ways to do it. Healing is nota parlor game. It is not to be taken lightly or played with.”


She scared the heck out of me.


So I stopped. Completely. For years. No healing. No meditation. Until I finally clued in to the fact that the message wasn’t for me to stop, but for me to get serious and learn how to use this talent properly.


Thanks to the internet and a few books, I learned more. Then I found the local Reiki Circle and attended regularly, honing my familiarity with the energy as I worked with people at the Circle and gave energy to my husband and cats at home.


So was the energy I felt running through my hands reiki? Yes. It was an aspect of Universal Life Energy. Was I doing Reiki? Kinda sorta maybe. I mean, I’d read a book about it, right? Isn’t that enough? No.


If you’re alive, you’ve got Universal Life Energy in you. It’s abundant and ever-present, as it flows in and around you while you eat, breathe, and exist in your environment. It’ something many of us do without realizing it. Do you pray? Then you call upon Universal Life Energy. Do you meditate? Use visualization? The Power of Intent or Positive Thinking? Then you are interacting with Universal Life Energy.


When I was finally ready to take my Reiki I & II class, my Reiki Master Teacher was surprised at how advanced my knowledge and understanding of Reiki was. She was also surprised at the strength and sensitivity of the energy I could channel from the start, so the books and my Reiki Circle experience helped. But had I been doing Reiki? Not until I had my class and attunement.


Learning more, sensing more, accessing higher levels. Feeling the incredible energy that comes from taking a class in person from a Reiki Master with other students. It is all necessary to become a Reiki Practitioner.


My head thought I knew a lot, but Reiki isn’t about your head. It’s about your heart. Prior to my Reiki class, my work had been so much in my head before, and the energy running through me had been only a fraction of what was possible.


The system of Reiki founded by Dr. Mikao Usui uses certain symbols, hand positions, techniques, and philosophies. It also has certain built-in safeguards that keep you from depleting your own energy as you heal others and protect you against picking up illnesses and negative energy from clients. It also includes multiple benefits of self-healing as you provide healing for others.


In my experience, the energies that emerge with Usui/Holy Fire Reiki go even further when it comes to benefits and safeguards. Holy Fire energy brings especially deep, gentle healing while guaranteeing that the energy you work with is only of the highest order. 


Have you ever felt healing energy flow through your hands? Awesome, isn’t it? Taking an in-person Reiki class takes that to new levels of Awesomeness.


And if you haven’t felt Universal Life Energy in a way that leaves you feeling amazed and humbled, don’t worry. You’re just one Reiki class away.

Kay Adkins is the author of Community Reiki: The Reiki Practitioner's Guide to Healing the World, available on Amazon. She is an Usui/Holy Fire II and Karuna Reiki Master. To schedule a class with Kay, contact her through her website at

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