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Understanding Reiki
"Understanding Reiki" by Chyna Honey, 2014

Understanding Reiki is the first book by Chyna Honey, Reiki Master, Energy worker extra-ordinaire and friend.  It is an amazing, simple and insightful read.  It has a rare viewpoint that set it apart from most books about Reiki.  Rather than detailing the self development system created by Mikao Usui, Chyna chooses to focus the book on the wonderful, pure, extraordinary natural healing energy that is Reiki.

This disregard of the system of Reiki is likely to ruffle a few feathers in the Reiki world. However there is nothing to worry Reiki practitioners about: it is reminding us about the energy that is the centre of the healing we offer.  The energy is all around us, and has been a natural part of our development on this planet; Mikao Usui "merely" gave the energy the name Reiki and formulated a way for everyone to access it.  The system that he created was a product of his background and it was meant to be used as a way to channel this healing energy, but over the years this system has become a greater focus than the Reiki energy itself.  This is what Chyna is seeking to change, bringing the focus back to the Reiki energy and clearing away elements that are getting in the way of more people working with this energy.

In her book, Chyna brings a clarity and insight to the Reiki energy. Why our bodies need it, what it can and can not heal, and why we should give it to our bodies on a daily basis and get regular check ups with a professional.

The book is simple in its approach but there are many layers to the information it is sharing.  The first time that I read it was shortly before I taught my Reiki 2 course and I will admit that I ploughed through it to satisfy my mind that I wasn't teaching the wrong thing.  Even in this fast paced read I could feel that my body and soul were picking up on deeper layers of information.  I am now re-reading the book, at a more leisurely pace with a lot of "Cup of tea moments" to allow me to process what I've just read.

What has "Understanding Reiki" taught me?

This book reminded me that I have let my mind's quest to know all about the history of Reiki and the techniques that Mikao Usui taught has overshadowed my acceptance of and use of the Reiki energy.  It has shown me that what is most important is my interaction with the energy, and the best place to start is through self healing, daily.

As a Reiki Teacher, what "Understanding Reiki" has reminded me is that the most important thing to share with my students is using the Reiki energy on themselves is everything.  They need to the experience the energy in their body.  Then they can see how it helps the body calm and heal. If that is all they learn on the weekend, that will be the most important lesson learnt.

Also, I need to emphasise that Reiki is not about spiritual development, but it can support them in this path if that is what they choose to do. Using the Reiki vibration should be a foundation stone from which other knowledge can develop and should be continued to be worked with no matter the direction their life takes. Other things like meditation are useful to practice, but are not vital to using the Reiki energy.

It is also not important to know the life story of the people on our Reiki Lineage, other than that they were there. In fact that is feed the mind's need for verification and really has nothing to do with the Reiki energy.

I will be shifting the emphasis of my courses to be more experiential rather than historical, but I am unlikely to completely disregard some history (but that is partly me).  Similarly there are some techniques that are useful to practice to assist the Reiki practice of the student, but these are not vital.

More information about "Understanding Reiki"

The official website for the book is, and it has a lot more information about the book, as well as a blog covering things like why meditation and Reiki are different.

Buying a copy

I will be selling copies of the book for £10 (plus p&p).  Please send me an email if you are interested in buying a copy.

You can also buy an eBook from if that is your preference.

This post is a Reiki overview, looking at what Reiki is and isn't.

What is Reiki?

Reiki overview
Reiki given during a Level 1 course

Reiki (pronounced “ray -key”) is the pure, healing energy vibration that is a natural part of our human bodies. Unfortunately we have lost the awareness of our subtle bodies that Reiki supports, instead we focus a lot of our attention on looking after the gross (physical) body.  This unfortunately means that our bodies are not receiving a full, well rounded care as the subtle body is not cared fore.

In the West, Reiki is used to describe two things:

1) the Reiki energy that is used within the Reiki system of healing. Reiki energy is present in everything within the whole universe. t is a  human life-force that helps the physical and subtle body (particularly the aura). Reiki is similar to the “Chi” of Chinese traditions andthe  “prana” of the Indian yoga/ayurvedic traditions.  However Reiki “feels” slightly different to either of these, but the concept is similar.  Reiki is normally translated as “Universal” or “Sacred Energy”.

2) Usui Mikao created the system of Reiki. This is a natural healing and spiritual development approach. It was developed in the early 20th Century in Japan.  It is an approach to allow people of all backgrounds and abilities to use the Reiki vibration to heal themselves.

This self development approach is not for everyone (we all have our own path to tread) and should not put anyone off from being attuned so they can access and use this wonderful, pure energy.

A Reiki overview of the self-development system

Usui Mikao' focus was to provide a way to work with the the Reiki energy.  This was to allow anyone to be able to look after themselves, and then to treat others.  He created an approach that drew heavily from his own background as a Buddhist and incorporated self development techniques that support the use of the Reiki energy.  This system is often called simply Reiki and sometimes becomes, wrongly, more important than using and experiencing the Reiki energy

Usui Mikao's approach involves training (called an attunement) where an individuals ability to connect to the Reiki energy is formed and enhanced.  Usui Mikao passed on a buddhist approach to his students (as was typical in Japan at the time) with an emphasis on improving the self through various techniques of hands on healing, meditation, mantras, attunements/blessings and the Reiki Precepts: “Just for today: do not anger, do not worry, be grateful, work hard and be compassionate”.

Usui Mikao used Reiki to heal others and taught it to a number of students before he passed away and all people who have been attuned to Reiki have a direct connection (teacher to student) from Usui Mikao this is referred to as a Reiki Lineage.

What does Reiki do?

The reiki is channelled by the practitioner through their hands and into the recipient.  The recipient’s body then directs the energy to where it is needed to remove and clear away blocks in the energy system.  This process helps calm the mind of the recipient and aids the release of emotions that are preventing the body being “in balance”, this can often result in the recipient having a sense of greater energy, calm and peace.

So what can it treat?

The Reiki energy affects the physical body as well as the aura (the bio-energetic field) that surrounds the individual.  The Reiki energy feels like it promotes calmness and a sense of well-being as the energy is used by the body to heal the minor physical shocks the body receives on a daily basis as well as easing and clearing damage to the aura created by our interaction with the rest of the world.  This calming effect allows the natural healing processes to function by moving the body away from the fight and flight responses that can reduce the effectiveness of the healing processes.

By giving the body the energy it needs on the physical and aura levels the Reiki energy support and stimulates the clearance of emotional blockages to promote a strong sense of well-being, which allows the natural healing mechanisms to function.  It can help in times of stress (whether emotional or physical stress) and at times when a person feels run down.  Providing a period of relaxation from the stress allows the body’s own natural systems to return closer to an equilibrium, alleviating the symptoms that have been caused by the stress.

Tim offers treatments at a number of clinics in London, see his website for more details