For hundreds of years, forms of distant healing have been practiced by many cultures all over the world, from Shamans and Reiki practitioners to spiritual healers and even witch doctors. There are many forms of healing across distance but they all have the same goal in mind – to heal someone (or something) across space and time. Distant healing has now become more popular thanks in part to how accessible the teaching and sessions have become. In this article we are looking at distance healing from many angles, seeing how it works and in particular how Reiki practitioners perform the sessions.
What is Reiki?
To begin with, let’s take a quick look at what Reiki is, and what it is not!
Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is a Japanese form of intuitive energy healing that was ‘discovered’ around 1920 by Dr Mikao Usui after dedicating his life to spiritual healing practices. Reiki in fact has it’s roots going back much further and has many similarities with hands-on healing systems from earlier Japanese and indeed Buddhist practices.
Breaking down the word ‘Reiki’, we have ‘Rei” which translates to ‘spiritual or higher intelligence’ and ‘Ki’ which is the energy that animates all living things. It is the same as Prana (from India), Qi and Chi energy. So the word Reiki roughly can be translated as ‘Spiritual Energy’.
The belief is that the Ki that flows through and indeed around us is the cause of good health. When the flow of energy is out of balance or distorted then we see illness manifesting in physical and emotional symptoms.
A Reiki practitioner will balance the flow of energy in a person (or animal), restoring an energetic balance that enables the body to begin healing itself. Many things can cause an energetic imbalance in the body, especially with today’s modern lifestyles. Stress, anxiety, lack of proper food and exercise, alcohol etc.
Reiki is not a form of massage and in fact many practitioners use a hands-off method for sending the energy. Neither is it a religious practice in any shape or form. You don’t have to have any religious belief for the Reiki to work.
In Reiki practice we have the Precepts that serve as a guide for how to live a spiritual life:
What is Distant Reiki?
Distant Reiki healing is the practice of sending Reiki to someone without them being present. This has many benefits including:
- The patient does not to be in the room, or indeed in the same country for the Reiki healing to work
- Can be useful for people who are unable to travel for whatever reason
- Ideal for animals who are too stressed or wild to have a close session with a Reiki healer
- The Reiki practitioner does not have to travel to the patient
- Distant healings can even be done over the phone or Skype etc.
Distant healing is known by many names such as absent healing, reiki distance healing, remote reiki healing, distance healing, remote healing, intuitive healing, remote energy healing and many more. It is the practice of tuning into another being, making the energetic connection and sending the energy to that specific location.
For some people that sounds like a step too far, but think of it like a spiritual wifi connection! When we are connected on the web or a phone there is no physical connection to the other end. The information is sent to the receiver even though we can’t see it happening. In much the same way, radio waves are invisible and require no physical connection but you know they are there because you can hear the music coming through the radio. When offering absent Reiki you are the sender and they are the receiver.
Reiki Distant Healing Techniques
Different remote healing practices have slightly different methods of connecting and sending energy. For Reiki, we are given the distant Reiki symbol at level 2 training which enables us to bridge the divide and connect with the patient. There is no actual divide but we will look at that later.
Many remote healers will us a photograph of the patient to enhance the connection. A name is also preferable. These help us to tune into the correct vibration. Some healers use a doll or toy animal to perform the healing on, with the intention of them being that actual healee. Some distance healers just use visualisation and intention to perform the healing.
Kathleen Prasad of Animal Reiki Source says “For me, the actual method I use, the tools that I use, if I use a stuffed animal or a photo, whatever my visualization is, is not as important as my intention to dedicate the practice to that animal and then going inward and really focusing inward rather than outward. I also think that that makes it a lot more acceptable to the animals because they feel and sense our intention. They’re very sensitive. That’s how it is when we’re in person with them, and it’s no different when we are not physically present with them because they just exist on a much deeper energetic connectedness level than we do.”
When I do a Reiki distance healing it’s like the person is in front of me, or that I’m there with them. Some healers say it should be called Absent Healing as there really is no distance and we are all connected already. If we look deeply into the true nature of reality, we see there is no distance between us. We are all connected. The fundamental understanding of one-ness is a core tenet of both Buddhist and Shinto thought and was so strongly embraced by Dr. Usui within his personal belief system, thus becoming a founding principle of the philosophy that underpins Reiki.
“The universe is me, and I am the universe. The universe exists in me and I exist in the universe. Light exists in me and I exist in light.”
Dr. Mikao Usui
The Science Behind Distance Reiki
People often look for the scientific understanding of how absent healing works. Indeed, there have been many studies on the effects of remote energy healing but they are inconclusive. Some conclude it does work and others don’t. The difficulty is perhaps in the way science likes to measure in a pre-conceived framework that suits Newtonian physics. Years ago we would have said that other energy frequencies we can’t see such as electricity and wifi were too unbelievable. Now we know them to be real.
So how does reiki distance healing work? Some people like to talk about Quantum Theory when explaining how distant reiki works. Whilst things like Quantum Entanglement suggest it is possible, it still is not proof of how it can work. Perhaps when science understands how Quantum Theory can work on other things we will know for sure.
However, everything is made up of energy on the molecular level. We are made of energy – tables, cars, trees, phones, food – everything is merely energy vibrating at different frequencies. Even our thoughts are energy and have the capacity for entanglement with other energy. What science has now discovered is that everything is connected in an entangled way. From the earliest moments of ‘The Big Bang’, all matter has been entangled. A split second after the big bang everything that is today, and will be in the future was the size of a marble. Think about that for a moment! This would suggest everything is somehow connected. Matter and energy are the same so with this in mind you can see the healer and healee are all connected by one-ness.
Of course, this goes against normal scientific theory that the radiation of energy becomes weaker the further it travels from the energy source. There are several phenomena in physics that could mediate healing at a distance. For example, scalar waves have the extraordinary property of affecting the structure of space everywhere, instantaneously. Scalar waves, therefore, do not have a velocity as such, and their effects do not diminish with distance. – http://www.reikipathway.com/id25.html
Michael Talbot writes in the book ‘Holographic Universe, “In 1982 a remarkable event took place. At the University of Paris a research team led by physicist Alain Aspect performed what may turn out to be one of the most important experiments of the 20th century.”
“Aspect and his team discovered that under certain circumstances subatomic particles such as electrons are able to instantaneously communicate with each other regardless of the distance separating them. It doesn’t matter whether they are 10 feet or 10 billion miles apart.”
This experiment was duplicated in 1997 by Nicolas Gisan who concluded that some particles appeared to be communicating at the mind-boggling speed of 20,000 times the speed of light! Another theory is that the particles were not actually sending signals to each other, rather they were not separate at all. It’s just an illusion.
Another interesting study was when Cardiologist Randolph Byrd conducted a rigidly designed randomized, double-blind experiment in 1988 to determine the effects of prayer on patients in the Coronary Care Unit at San Francisco General Hospital over a ten month period. A computer made the random assignments of which of the 383 newly admitted patients involved in this study would be prayed for, and which would not.
The statistically significant findings of this study were that prayed-for patients were five times less likely to require antibiotics, three times less likely to develop pulmonary edemas and none of the prayed-for patients required endotracheal intubation whereas twelve of the non-prayed-for patients required this procedure.
The Human Energy Field (Biofield / Electromagnetic Field)
It is worth touching on the human energy field that scientists have discovered only fairly recently. It is basically an energy field around the human body that it turns out is very important to us.
The first human energy field to be discovered was the field of the heart. This research led to the electrocardiogram over a century ago. A few years later scientists measured the electrical fields of the brain, resulting in the medical field of electroencephalography. This research discovered that organs such as the heart and brain produce bioelectric fields that travel through the tissues of the body. Now what’s particularly interesting is that Ampère’s Law says when currents flow through conductors such as wires or living tissues, magnetic fields must be produced in the surrounding space. This supports the notion of our body’s external energy field, sometimes called the aura.
Despite recent research shedding light on distant healing intention, more still needs to be explored in this field. Scientific evidence of quantum non-locality demonstrating the existence of an effect at a distance and the evidence of a quantum coherence in living systems offer reliable premises for a possible explanation and hopefully with further work we can discover more about it.
How Effective is Distance Healing?
Some practitioners say it is just as effective as hands-on healing sessions. Other say it is even better as there is no external complications or distractions – the energy just goes straight to the recipient.
Many who experience distant Reiki treatments have seen improvements and benefits with things such as:
- An increased sense of well-being
- A deeper sense of connection with everything
- Helps support a peaceful, positive, and mindful outlook life
- Reduced tension, stress, and anxiety
- Reduced pain
- Improves your immune system
- Increase in energy
- Helps promote accelerated healing
- Helps to balance energy within the body
- Lowers blood pressure
- Can provide comfort during bereavement and turmoil
How Often Should Distant Healing be Done?
It really depends on the illness. For general wellbeing or minor issues I would say once a week or fortnight is ideal. For more severe or emergency cases then I would say one a day or every few days would be better.
I have several clients who book one session a week for their pets and tell me they are seeing an improvement in them, so much so they are happy to do them for months on end. I love working with animals over a period of time as you can really get to the route of the issue. It’s just like most therapies, sometimes one session is enough but more often than not a run of sessions works better. It’s like peeling away a layer of dis-ease each session.
Is Absent Reiki Healing Just Placebo?
To this day science doesn’t understand how the placebo works, but we know it does work. For remote Reiki healing the placebo effect cannot be part of it. Many times I have had people say they felt things happening after booking a distant Reiki session but they were not aware of what time it was happening and had actually forgotten about it.
Then there are the distance Reiki animal sessions. Of course the animals human carer knows about the session but the animal won’t! So when the human replies saying there is a definite improvement you can cancel placebo out. Some people ‘want’ to see change so they may be more inclined to think they see change, but I have worked with some people who are still a bit skeptical about Reiki treatments and yet have seen great improvements in their pets health and general wellbeing.
I once did a distance Reiki session on a family member who was happy to have Reiki. On this particular night (he wasn’t aware I would be sending any) I sent some focusing on the particular part of his body I knew required help. Two days later I saw him and asked how it was. He said that the day before he felt no pain whatsoever, which was the first time in months. He couldn’t understand it until I said what had happened. Placebo? No.
So the truth about distant Reiki healing is that it somehow does work, yet we still don’t fully understand how. People all over the world have felt the positive effects of distant Reiki sessions and other healing modalities. If it brings healing to people then it works regardless of whether science can back it up. It is up to the scientific community to catch up, and thankfully it is beginning to.
When we realise that we are all connected, that everything is energy and consciousness is not confined to the body, we can see that distance is an illusion. In that beautiful space of connection and Oneness we find true healing can take place in that most sacred point.
Reiki Healing and Mental Health: What the Research Shows
What Does the Research Say about Reiki
The Reiki Research Center
Reiki Really Works: A Groundbreaking Scientific Study
Effect of Reiki Therapy on Pain and Anxiety in Adults: An In-Depth Literature Review of Randomized Trials with Effect Size Calculations