Reiki Glossary



Alternative Healing

All approaches to health which are not “conventional” – generally accepted by the medical establishment – to health and disease. Such techniques could include non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical techniques like Herbalism, Acupunture, Homeopathy or Reiki. As non-conventional techniques become popular and accepted by large number of “conventional” practitioners, these techniques will no longer be considered Alternative Medicine.


Method to empower people to use Reiki on themselves and others and facilitate a connection to the Reiki source. They are performed by a Reiki Master Teacher during the initiation ceremony of a Reiki student.


An envelope of vital energy which radiates from everything in nature: minerals, plants, animals and humans. The aura is not visible to normal vision, but may be seen by using clairvoyance and specialized photographic equipment. The aura is often described as a multi coloured mist that has an assortment of boundaries and properties. It is commonly accepted that the human body has 7 auric layers.



A technique of distant healing used when the recipient is within the visual range of the healer. Reiki is sent from the practitioner’s hand(s) through the air to the desired target.



In Sanskrit means ‘wheel’ . In China, chakras are considered the paths or centers of energy. They are imperceptible energy centers in the human body through which the body exchanges a certain type of energy with the environment. There are seven major charkas in the body, and these are all associated with endocrine glands.


Chinese for vital energy. See also Life Energy.


Also known as “clearing”, is a process of the body removing toxins and realigning the energy fields following a Reiki treatment or Attunement. After attunements, a 21 day cleansing period is recommended.

Complementary Healing

The use of natural and other alternative approaches which complement the practice of conventional medicine (old viewpoint) or the use of approaches which are complementary to the system’s own innate healing processes (new viewpoint).


Distant Healing

A method of sending Reiki energy for the purpose of healing someone not physically present. This uses a Distant Symbol and a variety of objects such as a photo, a teddy bear, Reiki stacks or healing lists for a point of focus.



Any process to help another develop the ability to use an energy or technique. The most known empowerment methods are Reiju and Reiki attunements.

Energy Exchange

A concept discovered by Usui Sensei of energy exchange after experiencing what he perceived as energy leaches, those who did not truly desire healing, only wanting the benefit of the session when it was free. In order to keep the Universe in balance Dr. Usui said that there must be a charge for Reiki services and teachings. The term “energy exchange” means just that in our society energy is expressed most frequently as money.

Energy Healing

A range of therapies used to find blockages or stagnations in the energy field in and around the body and restore its proper circulation and balance, stimulating the body’s innate healing capacity. The practitioner uses subtle touch or holding on specific points to harmonize the flow of energy through the body and to enhance the body’s structural balance. Energy healing is effective in promoting the healing of many conditions and promoting well-being on all levels. Some types of energy work are Acupuncture, Jin Shin Jyutsu, and Reiki.


Field Radiation Photography

The name given by Dr. Thelma Moss and her student Kendal Johnson to Kirlian photography, when they started to study it in 1979 at UCLA in USA. See also Kirlian Photography.



Term used for Forth Degree Reiki or Master Teacher level courses or Reiki practitioners in Gendai Reiki-ho.



The process of curing the mind or body.

Healing Crisis

Emotional or physical “crisis” following a Reiki treatment or attunement. As the body balances itself and begins to eliminate the toxins that have built up, one may experience a period of discomfort. A healing crisis may have only light symptoms or they may be quite severe. In all cases a healing crisis is a good sign and it means the body is undergoing a healing process. In most cases, the discomfort will pass in a day or two, a week at the most. The healing crisis is always followed by a feeling of well-being.

Higher Self

One’s true self that is capable of attaining the knowledge of perfection, and approaching divine self-consciousness.


A theory that the universe and especially living nature is correctly seen in terms of interacting wholes (as of living organisms) that are more than the mere sum of elementary particles.

Holistic Healing

A personal and comprehensive approach to natural health and the manifestation of human potential through healing and evolving spirit, mind, emotion, and body. This approach to health recognizes the patient as a whole person, not just a disease or a collection of symptoms. In the course of treatment, holistic medical practitioners address a client’s emotional and spiritual dimensions as well as the nutritional, environmental and lifestyle factors that may contribute to an illness.



The ceremony performed by a Reiki Master-Teacher to open a student’s energy centres, empowering them with the ability to channel Reiki.

Integrative Healing

A practitioner-client partnership in which both conventional and alternative modalities are used to stimulate the body’s natural healing potential.



Kanji: Rei

Universal (present everywhere)
Spiritual Wisdom, Consciousness
Higher Self Guidance
Effect of the Divine on humans
Rain + mouths + shaman = Rain maker

Kanji: Ki

Life force, vital energy
Fog, vapors
Breath of fire
Water + rice = nourishment

Kanji: Reiki

Universal Life Energy, Universal Life Force

Kanji: Do

Path, Way

Kanji: Reiki-Do

The Path of Universal Life Energy
The Way of the Light

Kirlian Photography

A technique of high-voltage high-frequency photography that displays the patterns and colours of the body’s energy or auric field. This technique was descovered in 1961 by Semyon Kirlian in USSR.


Life Energy, Life Force

The body’s vital energy according to the traditional oriental medicine. Also called Chi, Ki, Qi, Ti, Prana in ancient times, and subtle energy, orgone, odic force, bioenergy, bioplasma in modern times. See also Kanji: Ki.



According to Eastern medicine, the 14 pathways in the body through which energy flows. Each meridian passes through many paths of the body. Each meridian is assigned to an organ/function.


A science dealing with mechanical or psychological phenomena due to unknown forces or powers in human intelligence.


Different methods of focusing and breathing designed to bring about a heightened state of consciousness and/or enlightenment.




Japanese for In-Depth Training Level. Term used for Second Degree Reiki courses or Reiki practitioners in traditional Reiki styles, including Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, Gendai Reiki-ho and Usui Teate Reiki. In Gakkai, this level is split in Zenki and Kouki sub-levels.


Past Healing

Healing of emotionally or physically traumatic life memories wich influence the present. It is based on the ability of the unconscious mind to retrieve memories from childhood or previous lives, through an altered state consciousness. The healing is done through understanding, accceptance and forgivenes.



Chinese for vital energy. See also Life Energy.



A technique of empowerment used by Usui to pass the Reiki energy to others. This method is still in use in Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai and some of the traditional schoos like Gendai Reiki-ho and Usui Teate Reiki.

Reiki Aspects

Healing technique
Personal growth
Spiritual practice
Mistic experience

Reiki Attunement

See Attunement

Reiki Definitions

Reiki is believed to have begun in Tibet several thousand years ago. Seers in the Orient studied energies and developed a system of sounds and symbols for universal healing energies. Various healing systems, which crossed many different cultures, emerged from this single root system. Unfortunately, the original source itself was forgotten.

A method of hand-healing which began in Japan’s Taisho period (1912-1926).

Japanese word meaning Universal Life Force, or the energy inherent to all creation. It describes an ancient healing art and science whose principles are closely aligned with those of acupuncture and Shiatsu massage. Reiki differs in that it is a non-manipulative, “hands-on” healing technique that helps to stimulate the immune system function and maximize an individual’s innate healing potential.

During Reiki, which means”universal life-force energy,” the “healer” becomes a channeler of universal energy. The treatment follows a traditional pattern of hand positions resting on the body without pressure. Reiki is pure energy and brings about deep relaxation and healing.

This is a complementary therapy using gentle touch to promote better health and well being.

Reiki Ethics

A set of guidelines for the personal and professional conduct of Reiki practitioners. An example might be not giving Reiki without permission. These vary from Master to Master and School to School. Some Associatons may have a written Code of Ethics which is mandatory for their members.

Reiki Guides

A belief that there are specific “guides” or spirits that work with Reiki and individual practitioners. Some refer to these as “Ascendent Masters”, “Spirits”, or “Guides”. The beliefs vary from beings of Light that help with Reiki to beliefs that the Reiki Guides do the Attunements and facilitate treatments. This is an add-on to the Western system that was popularized by Diane Stein in her book “Essential Reiki” and is taught as part of William Rand’s Level IIIa class.

Reiki Master Practitioner

A recent term used to describe people who have taken the Level IIIa or “Personal Mastery” classes that some Master courses offer. Generally these people have received the Reiki Master Attunement but are not given the instructions for attuning others.This term is common in the Usui/Tibetan Traditions.

Reiki Master Teacher

The original term for a Reiki Teacher in the Western World in the Usui Shiki Ryoho Tradition. It refers to those that have completed the Level IIIb and know how to attune others. This term is common in the Usui/Tibetan Traditions.

Reiki Objectives

According to Kimiko Koyama, the 6th president of Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, the five objectives of Reiki are:
Tai (body) – Ken (health)
En (relation, connection, love, fate, karma) – Bi (beauty)
Kokoro (heart and mind) – Makoto (sincerity, authenticity)
Sai (talent) – Chikara (power)
Tsutome (duty) – Do (work)

Reiki Practitioner

A term used to describe people who have taken Reiki Level I or II classes. These people have received Reiki Attunements and have the ability to chanel Reiki energy. This term is common to all Reiki schools.

Reiki Principles

A series of five principles dating back in China in the era of Bodhidharma and used by Usui Sensei in his teaching. They are designed to help empower the student and to bring about an awakened mental and spiritual state. These principles are engraved on Usui Sensei’s memorial tombstone:

Body and spirit will develop better
with the Usui teaching
The secret method to invite happiness
The spiritual medicine against all illness
Just for today don’t get angry.
Just for today don’t worry.
Just for today be grateful.
Just for today work hard.
Just for today be kind to others.

Reiki Share, Reiki Circle

A gathering of Reiki Practitioners who join together for a combination social/healing session. It usualy last from a couple of hours to an all day event, depending on how many people are in attendance. It is an opportunity for practitioners to participate in giving and receiving Reiki in a atmosphere of friendship and love, this way honoring one another as healers. One person lays on a table and the participating practitioners gather around the person laying hands upon him/her facilitating a massive flow of Reiki energies. It is a wonderful and often profound experience!

Reiki Treatment

Receiving Reiki from a Reiki practitioner for the intent and purpose of healing. It generally consists of a practitioner placing their hands in various hand positions on the recipient’s body and generally takes about 60 minutes. Treatments can be done both in person and remotely.



A process where the hands of the Reiki practitioner move over the body of the recipient to determine if there are weaknesses, changes, or areas in need of treatment. There are various methods used.


Japanese for Teacher, used as a sign of respect at the end of the teacher’s name. Term used in Reiki and Martial Arts.

Sixth sense

An ability to perceive things in ways that transcend the use of the traditional five senses; also known as intuition or inspiration.


Japanese for Level One. Term used for First Degree Reiki courses or Reiki practitioners in traditional Reiki styles, including Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, Gendai Reiki-ho and Usui Teate Reiki.


Term used in Japan for ‘teacher of teachers’. It is composed of two words: shi – master, teacher, and han – signature, seal. This term is used in various areas like Reiki and Martial Arts.


Japanese for Advanced or Mystery Training Level. Term used for Third Degree Reiki courses or Reiki practitioners in traditional Reiki styles. Originaly it was used in Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai for Master Teacher level and it kept this signification in some other styles like Usui Teate Reiki. In Gendai Reiki-ho this corresponds to the Master Practitioner level.


Of, or relating to the spirit or soul; not material.


Physical, emotional or mental state of tension. This is a reactions to a stimulus that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium.


Traditional Chinese Medicine

Ancient oriental medical system developed in China. From this philosophy of nature evolved a complete system of examination and diagnosis of health and disease. Treatment metods were energy healing, herbs and foods therapy, massage, and bone fixing.


Term used by Hayashi Sensei for empowerment, according to Dave King. See also Empowerment and Attunement.


Usui Reiki

All Reiki styles or schools based on the original teachings of Mikao Usui Sensei.


Vibrational Healing

Collection of modalities wich promote healing by balancing the client’s energy field. Such modalities may include homeopathy, flower essences, acupuncture, and energywork such as Reiki.





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