Tong Ren Therapy

Tong Ren Therapy falls within the scope of energy healing techniques.  It is a form of alternative or complimentary therapies.  To fully understanding Tong Ren Therapy it is important to first understand energy healing and how energy flows throughout the human body.

tong ren dolls

The Human Energy Body

Humans are energy based beings.  All life is made up of energy and is interconnect through this energy.  This energy flows in and around us and connects each of use to each other, the natural world and the Universe.

Human Energy BodyThe foundations of Eastern medicine, those practices originating from China, Japan and/or India, are based on this energy, called Chi (Chee), Qi or Ki (Key), depending on the area of origin. QiGong from China, Reiki from Japan and other practices such as Tai Chi all use the same underlying principles of universal energy.

According to eastern practices, Qi, when flowing freely, flows smoothly in a circular pattern throughout the body. Freely flowing Qi brings balance and harmony to the human body and spirit. In other words, when our Qi is unblocked, we are experience optimum health, physically, mentally, and spiritually. However, when Qi is blocked, illness, disease, stress, anxiety, and other disorders are allowed to manifest.  Practices such as Tong Ren Therapy and others, get rid of the blockages and help to keep the Qi flowing freely.

How is a Tong Ren Treatment Administered?

Tong Ren Doll and Hammer

Tong Ren Doll and Hammer

There are several methods of administering a Tong Ren Treatment.  The commonality between them all is that they incorporate the use of a model, or a doll, into the treatment. This is similar to the more commonly known Voo-Doo doll. The doll acts as a representation of you, the patient, and the practitioner exercises his or her skill around the doll to harmonize your Qi.

How the practitioner administers treatment upon he doll varies. The following are a few of the more common methods of treatment:

  • The Tong Ren Hammer
    • This is the most common and most recognized method of administering Tong Ren. In this method, the Tong Ren practitioner uses a small, magnetic and lightweight instrument, best described as a hammer, to tap the identified trigger points on the model.  The tapping breaks down resistance, or energy blockages, at strategic points.  As the blockages are broken down, Qi flow more freely allowing you, the receiver, to heal.
  • The Tong Ren Laser
    • In this more modern method, the Tong Ren practitioner uses a laser beam rather than the hammer, but with the same intention. The laser represents heat and is used as one might think of receiving radiation treatments from a medical facility, except without the direct effect on the body.
    • It is as a way to help the body re-charge from the effects of radiation or chemotherapy treatments. The re-charging method is usually accomplished by aiming the laser at a specific area in the lower back region, known in eastern medicine as the dantien.
  • Tong Ren Pins
    • The pin method requires placing pins into the doll as an acupuncturist would on their patient.  Using locations shown and described in a reference called the Lazy Bum book, pins are placed on the designated locations and remain there for approximately 20 minutes.
    • It should be noted that the pin method is rarely used and is illegal to use in some locations.  The pin method was the first method developed in the Tong Ren system, but due to some legal restrictions the Laser and Hammer methods are now the preferred treatment options.
  • Tong Ren Discing
    • The discing technique requires at least three people who all participate equally in the healing.  This technique uses the same principles as the others, but adds the component of collective consciousness.  It is a more powerful and more focused practice than that of the hammer, pin or laser techniques. The patient identifies the location of the disorder and a disk shaped item (think tea pot lid, or the lid from a sugar bowl) is placed over the spot and the people giving the treatment simply hold the disc lightly as it moves around the location.

Tong Ren – Does It Work?

There is widespread belief among the followers of the practices of Tong Ren that it is so effective that it will cure cancer, even where other treatments won’t.  However, there is a qualification to this claim.  That is, that you should continue on whatever treatment you and your traditional health care provider decide is appropriate for the your treatment.  Tong Ren is not to be used as a substitute of any other treatment, but rather used in addition to other treatments, as a complimentary treatment.

Check out this local Fox news coverage of Tong Ren:

Body Locations Identified

In order to establish where to tap in order to effectively clear blockages, the Tong Ren practitioner will assess your discomfort at specific points along the different meridians of your energy flow. These points are your pain points or ouch points.  They are located along the meridians and when pressed will give a slight uncomfortable or mild feeling of pain.  This is where the practitioner would shine the laser light, tap the hammer, insert the pin, or cover with the disk.

Is Tong Ren A Religion?

Tong Ren Therapy

Tong Ren and Healing Bowls

No. Tong Ren is not a religion or a religious practice. Tong Ren is not a religion and is not based on any form of religion.  It is not even considered to be a spiritual practice.  Tong Ren is based solely upon the power of the collective unconscious.  This practice is based on believing in the intuitive and healing power that is within each person naturally from birth.

Tong Ren Therapy works well for many people.  It is quick to administer and is an inexpensive compliment to western healing techniques.

What Is Moxibustion?

Moxibustion is an energy healing practice developed by the Chinese that uses a burning/warming technique and a healing herb called mugwort. A trained practitioner, most commonly an acupuncturist (in the United States only a licensed acupuncturist may practice moxibustion therapy), uses a hot moxi-stick to warm specific areas of the body.

In the most common administering of the moxibustion technique, the smoldering stick is placed near the surface of the skin and is held there under close observation until the skin turns red, which usually takes a few minutes.

Moxibustion and the Breech BabyTwo more extreme, but less common, techniques include burning of a “moxa cone” directly on the skin surface. A moxa cone is a cone shaped concentration of mugwort, similar to a incense cone. In one method, the burning cone is left on the skin until blistering occurs, eventually resulting in a scar. The other removes the burning cone before blistering and, therefore, does not scar.

Obviously these two methods can be extremely painful and are therefore not recommended. There are far more energy healing options available that do not require you to experience such pain.

Moxibustion and Meridians

The placement of the moxi-sticks is important for effectiveness. Similar to other energy healing therapies, moxibustion is meant to stimulate the meridians of your body. The meridians are the channels within you in which the flow of Qi, an energy force that flows throughout our bodies and brings harmony and balance, is found.

Qi is made up of the opposing forces of Yin and Yang. Yang, the cold force, can become stronger than its opposition, Yin. When this occurs, your body becomes unbalanced and disorders manifest.

The use of moxibustion to warm the cold energy brings your Qi back into balance with Yin and therefore restores balance and harmony to your body.

Mugwort and Moxibustion

MoxibustionMugwort is the herb used in traditional Chinese acupuncture and moxibustion techniques. Leaves from the Mugwort plant, the herb used in preparing a moxi-stick, is native to Asia as well as other countries and contains essential oils that are released into the air when the leaves are ignited.

Mugwort is recognized as beneficial both for its medicinal qualities and for its warming properties. When used in moxibustion, Mugwort is dried and burned, most commonly in stick form where the leaves are rolled and fashioned into a moxi-stick.

A moxi-stick, or mugwort stick, resembles a small cigar in appearance and is used by igniting the end. When the flame dissipates the smoldering end becomes the tool for moxibustion treatments. This smoldering end will continue to burn until extinguished.

moxibustionMugwort can also be further processes to a paste and formed into cones that can be burned directly on the skin (still not highly recommended) or stuck to the ends of acupuncture needles. When attached to acupuncture needles, the heat generated during burning also heats the needle and increases the effectiveness of the acupuncture treatment.

The Origin of Moxibustion

The ancient practices of acupuncture and moxibustion therapy originated in China.  Eastern coastal areas of China gave birth to the practice of Acupuncture, while Moxibustion takes its origin from China’s northern areas. The significance of this is important only in the understanding of how Moxibustion therapy came into practice for some of its specific uses.

The people in northern China suffered from ailments related to cold. They relied on animals as a source of food, especially milk. Because of the cold climate and their diet, they were particularly susceptible to intestinal issues and abdominal pain. These types of issues are best healed with heat.

Therefore the practice of using Moxibustion warming techniques on particular points of the body became a practical medicinal tool. Warm compresses were also used as a healing technique for larger areas of the body.

How to Use Moxibustion

The use of applied herbal heat is used to treat a variety of conditions similar to the use of acupuncture, acupressure, and other energy healing techniques. The goal is to remove blockages in the meridians and allow for a free flowing of Qi. Blockages in Qi result in many health and mental disorders including stress, anxiety, depression, physical pain, and weakened immune systems. Similar to other eastern medicine, moxibustion is best used as preventative medicine rather than as a cure for illnesses or diseases.

One of the most well known uses of moxibusiton is for pregnancy, labor and delivery. One seemingly unlikely, yet effective and popular use for moxibustion is that of turning a breech baby.

Moxibustion and the Breech Baby

Everyone wants a smooth and stress free labor and delivery of a baby. The mom, doctor and baby will all benefit when the delivery is without added stress. A baby coming into the world in a breech position can be very stressful for both mom and baby.

A breech baby is one that is upside down near the time for delivery, meaning if they were delivered in this position, their buttocks would come out first, not their head. Babies are supposed to arrive into this world head first, and there are dangers for both the mother and the child when the baby is in the breech position.

Moxibustion has been used very effectively to turn a breech baby. Usually, this practice is done around the thirty-fourth week of pregnancy although it can be started earlier. It is never too late to start this therapy, but once breech is determined, therapy should be started as soon as possible.

Studies show that Moxibustion has been successful to help the baby turn itself around in approximately three out of four cases, which is a very high success rate of nearly 75%.

Breech Baby Moxibustion Treatment

moxibustion for breechThe treatment process uses the outside corner of the small, pinky toe (near the nail) as the acupressure point in this procedure.  Moxibustion sticks are placed close to the acupressure points and allowed to heat the skin. The acupuncturist will permit the skin to become as warm as is tolerable, for approximately fifteen minutes or so.

Usually, during the first few minutes, the baby will begin to move around in the womb.  This process is usually done when the pregnant woman is lying down as this is the most comfortable for her and it is also the easiest way for the baby to move in such tight quarters.

It is highly recommended that this technique be done in the controlled environment of an acupuncturist’s office. This allows for proper monitoring of the burning moxi-stick so as not to burn your toes. However, if this is not an option, home treatment is also possible.

At Home Moxibustion – Use with Caution

A DIY technique, sometimes used by the more daring mom-to-be, is done at home while seated in a chair. You will need to obtain 2 moxi-sticks. These can be purchased in a Chinese Herbalist shop, but not all of us have access to such resources. Click here to purchase moxi-sticks on Amazon.

It is highly recommended that you perform this method with somebody else present, either a spouse, family member, or friend. You will need someone to monitor the burning sticks and make sure you don’t get burned.

What you will need is either for someone to hold the moxi-sticks in place near the pinky toes, or rig some way for the sticks to be mounted near the toes.

One possibility is to use books (any genre will do because this is not about reading!) of any thickness. The thinner the books, the more you will need.

Sit on the floor with your back supported, like against a wall. Extend your legs out and point your toes upward, toward the ceiling. Stack books on either side of your feet until the top of each stack is near the same height as your pinky toe. Place one moxi-stick on each stack pointing towards your foot and keep them in place with additional books stacked on top.

Light the moxi-sticks and allow the flame to dissipate. Move your feet so that the smoldering end of each stick is as close to each pinky toe as tolerable, but not so close to burn your skin.

Leave the sticks in place for approximately 15 – 20 minutes, while continuously monitoring them to assure the smoldering ends do not ignite the books and that they remain close to the pinky toe. Ash will form, so have something below each stick to catch the ash.

After a few minutes, you may begin to feel the baby’s movements.  This is best done when you will be able to lie down after treatment completion to give the baby plenty of room – and time – to change into a head’s down position.

If possible it is a good idea to use moxibustion therapy at night, that way you can be at rest and lying down for several hours to allow for a greater chance for the baby to successfully move into a head’s down position. Sometimes treatments are given twice a day, and it may take several days of therapy for the baby to achieve the new desired place.

Moxibustion in Western Medicine

Moxibustion therapy may seem a little odd for those who are used to traditional western medical techniques, but to the Chinese people this ancient healing art has become a part of their holistic plan for health care.

Western medicine is slowly recognizing the use of ancient Chinese medicine as a legitimate form of therapy. Many feel that eastern and western medicine are good compliments of each other. Eastern medicine is often used as preventative medicine where western medicine is reactionary. Used in combination, they are a way to treat the whole body in an effective and modern way. Moxibustion is one such practice that works well in this manner.

What is Acupuncture Good For?

The ancient technique of acupuncture, which uses ultra thin needles placed in specific, purposeful locations on your body, has many benefits including keeping you healthy and helping to combat ailments which may be present in your body.

In fact, if you ever ask an acupuncturist “What is acupuncture good for?” it is quite likely that their response would be “Well, almost anything!”  A practiced and well trained acupuncturist knows where to place the needles for optimum healing.  They also know what areas to avoid, making acupuncture a safe method of therapeutic healing.  There are many diseases, disorders and ailments that can be treated using acupuncture.

What is Acupuncture Good For?

what is acupuncture good forThere are many health conditions that have been treated successfully using acupuncture techniques. Stimulating various meridian points has been shown to relieve various afflictions.  Some diseases, disorders or illnesses that have shown to react positively from the use of acupuncture are:

Chronic back pain – Energy healing philosophy believes that chronic back pain is due to blockages and built up energy in the back. Sufferers of chronic back pain find that acupuncture can relieve back pain. The needles stimulate the energy within specific meridians and remove the blockage resulting in relief from pain.

Acne – Acupuncture has been shown to help clear up acne and promote health skin.  Skin disorders of other varieties such as eczema or psoriasis may be effectively treated with acupuncture techniques as well.

Allergies – Acupuncture has been successful in treating disorders, such as allergies and asthma, within the upper respiratory system.

Digestive issues as well as urinary disorders have been effectively treated via acupuncture.

Treat the corresponding pressure point with acupuncture and migraines will be released and suffering alleviated.

Acupuncture has also been shown to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders.

Other Complimentary Therapies

Acupuncture is even more effective when combined with other traditional eastern and western practices.  Reiki, massage, and therapeutic touch are but a few examples of complimentary modalities using energy work to compliment acupuncture treatments.  The use of prescription medications or over the counter supplements is a form of the traditional western practice that works well to complement acupuncture therapy.

As an example, if your were being treated for tennis elbow, you might see an acupuncturist for treatment, take anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the pain and inflammation, see a massage therapist for muscle tension, and/or visit a physical therapist for recommendations on exercise techniques to relieve the pain and strengthen the muscles.

Another complimentary therapy that some acupuncturist use themselves is a practice called Moxibustion therapy.  Moxibustion therapy uses heat, from smoldering mugwort, to treat specific disorders using the same meridian points that are used when inserting needles.

The needles and the mugwort may be used simultaneously or independently from each other.  An acupuncturist who uses Moxibustion therapy will know when to apply this technique for maximum benefit from the healing session.

When surgical procedures, which can be very hard and tiring to your body, are necessary, acupuncture can be used for pain relief and the help speed recovery.

The Acupuncture Process

The Acupuncture ProcessInserting exceptionally thin needles through the skin at strategic points on the human body is how acupuncture is performed. It is a central element in traditional Chinese medicine and other eastern medicine practices.  It is commonly used to treat pain and is also used for other physical and emotional issues.

Traditional eastern medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of life force energy known as Qi (pronounced Chee).  By inserting needles into exact acupuncture points along the meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that the energy flow will balance itself within the human body.

Western practitioners recognize the acupuncture points as well and use them as points to activate the nerves, muscles and connective tissue. The stimulation of these points produces and increases the body’s natural pain relievers and increases blood flow.

A Brief History of Acupuncture

This ancient practice has been in use since the beginning of recorded time.  Acupuncture flourished in its use with the common peoples of China in the end of the 1800s and early 1900s.  Acupuncture has been practiced in the Unites States for more than a century, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that it became more readily accessible and accepted as a therapeutic practice.

Because it was not a recognized medical practice, it was usually performed in secret.  In 1972 the first legal acupuncture practice was opened in the United States in Washington, DC.  Two years later it became legal to deduct acupuncture treatments as a medical expense on American tax returns.

Now, a readily available and trusted source of pain relief and disease prevention and treatment, acupuncture is available to people at all levels of economic and social structures.  As a complimentary therapy, anyone may find that it is one valuable tool in the medical practice.

How Acupuncture Works

Does just thinking of the word acupuncture raise the hairs on your arms or send shivers down your spine? Probably. You aren’t the only one. Sure, getting a bunch of needles stuck into you does sound a bit intimidating.

However, if  you knew how acupuncture works, it might not be so frightening. A skilled acupuncturist can insert the acupuncture needles into the skin so that the patient does not feel any discomfort.  Further, the needles that are used in the practice of acupuncture are extremely thin, sharp, and flexible.

Learning how acupuncture works and where itis the key to losing the fear of treatment and feel confident to try this ancient, yet very progressive procedure.

History of Acupuncture

History of AcupunctureFirst, lets get into a little history. An ancient Chinese practice, acupuncture has been around for centuries, dating back to the earliest Ancient Dynasties that existed during the stone age!

Yes, stones were considered the first acupuncture tools. These “needles” were referred to as bian stone, and were more like sharp stone knives or pointed rocks. Considering the lack of manufacturing tools in that time period, they were an art form in and of themselves.

They were eventually replaced by needles made of bamboo shoots or animal bones. Eventually, during the Shang Dynasty (1760 BC – 1030 BC approx.) bronze casting emerged allowing the development of metal needles.

During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), China was flourishing, both economically and culturally. During that time the practice of acupuncture also flourished. Continuing into the Ming Dynasty (1271 – 1368), the study of acupuncture was further refined and accepted as a prominent part of Chinese medicine.

However, it was during the Manchurian Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911) when acupuncture was actually banned outright. Rulers were influenced, and impressed, by western medicine being introduced through contact with western civilization. Acupuncturist teachings were forced underground and practiced in secret, mostly for the wealthy and educated. Coincidentally, western societies began to adopt acupuncture into their cultures as a result of the same contact.

In modern times, acupuncture has gained a new popularity in both eastern and western cultures.  In the early 1900s China’s long-standing ban on traditional medicine practices caused a great need for medical care within the population.

Because of this need, acupuncture spread through the common folk and once again became a respected practice where acupuncturists began institutes, published books and embarked on studies.  They were able to integrate different ways to teach acupuncture, causing a blend of eastern and western medicine techniques and practices.

How Acupuncture Works – Let’s Talk Needles

It is safe to say that today we would not want to use the original acupuncture needles, which were formed and fashioned from stone, or even the ones made of bamboo, bone, or bronze.

Today, acupuncturists use needles are comprised of very thin metal wire. They are extremely sharp and are set into the skin of a patient with a quick tap of the finger. When properly administered, the patient feels very little discomfort, if anything at all.  It is nothing like getting pricked by a common sewing needle or even a hypodermic needle by a trained nurse.

One sensation that you may feel is a spike of energy in the area where the needle is inserted, almost like an electrical shock. Keep in mind, needles are made of metal, a conductor of electricity. This shock is a good sign as it means that the specific location where the needle is inserted needs some stimulus. This sensation is often very brief, lasting only a second or two.

It must be noted that the placement of the needles is not random. They are placed along the body’s meridians. Body meridians are a concept formed in Chinese medicine and are not widely accepted in western medicine. Meridians are energy channels that allow Qi to flow throughout the body. Let’s discuss them for  a minute.

The Meridians and Their Associations in the Human Body

One reason the idea of body meridians is not commonly accepted in western medicine is that they do not exist in a physical sense. They are not something that are seen, like veins and arteries. In essence, they are invisible.

An acupuncturist practicing meridian acupuncture uses these invisible lines as location points for needles. The energy within the meridians, or Qi, flows in a continuous motion throughout the body’s core and limbs.  There are twelve meridians each corresponding to twelve different parts of the human body:

  • Heart
  • Small Intestine
  • Bladder
  • Kidney
  • Circulatory and Reproductive Systems
  • Gall Bladder
  • Liver
  • Lungs
  • Large Intestine
  • Stomach
  • Spleen
  • Triple Warmer

These twelve primary meridians flow in a circular/elliptical pattern throughout the body. Each of the meridian lines have offshoots that run out of the main line as branches.  There are specific points along the lines and their branches where the flowing energy can become blocked.  Meridians that are blocked cause issues in their corresponding organ.

A blockage is caused by the opposing forces that make up the Qi, Yin and Yang. These two opposing forces flow in harmony and balance with each other. When that harmony is disturbed, when one force is greater than the other, blockages occur and illness arises.

It is the job of the acupuncturist to help remove these blockages and keep the Qi flowing in a smooth and contiguous manner. Their expanse of knowledge includes knowing which organ or disease corresponds to each acupuncture point.

The acupuncturist learns the placement of the meridians and where the critical points are along those lines. They are able to make the association of what is energetically deficient in a person and force the energy to balance by the specific placement of the needles.

The acupuncturist places the needle along the meridian point corresponding to the organ causing the issue. Once inserted, the needle stimulates the opposing forces and brings them back into harmony allowing the Qi to flow smoothly once more.

How Acupuncture Works – Let’s Talk Healing

How Acupuncture Works

In Chinese, Japanese and other eastern cultures, acupuncture is used as preventative medicine.  Visits to acupuncturists are a regularity and seen as a way to stay healthy. Conversely, western medicine techniques are reactive and treat disorders as they arise. It is reactive rather than proactive.

Western medicine has become very effective at curing disease and illness with prescription medicines and fancy procedures, whereas the eastern culture and their philosophy believe in trying to keep the disease or illness from forming in the first place.

Looking at medicine in terms of a combination of prevention and treatment, we can see where a blend of eastern and western techniques may be effective long term strategy.  Energy medicine has a place right along side western medicine and when used in combination, they are very efficient and effective in preventing and curing physical ailments as well as emotional distress.

Using alternative healing practices such as acupuncture, Reiki, QiGong and Therapeutic Touch, helps a person to combat disease and illness.  Then, when prevention is not enough, and illness occurs conventional western medicine techniques including prescription medications may be used.

What Is Shiatsu Massage?

The practice of Shiatsu Massage is an Asian form of body work involving the use of the fingers, thumbs and palms to stimulate the energy pathways in the human body known as the Meridians.  It is a form of eastern energy healing, and originates from traditional Japanese medicinal practices.

Shiatsu Massage – How it Works

Since Shiatsu has its roots in acupuncture, the Shiatsu techniques bear a resemblance to that acupuncture in that it stimulates the energy points which run along the bodies meridians. You could say that Shiatsu is like acupuncture without the needles.

Some people refer to it as Acupressure. Used to stimulate the flow of the human body’s Qi, Shiatsu massage is performed using both hands while applying pressure along prescribed points on the meridians.

The 12 primary meridians run symmetrically within your body and allow your life force energy to move in a circular pattern.  Each of the twelve meridian lines has branches, or tributaries, that run out of the main line.

There are specific points along these lines and their branches where Asian theory believes the energy can become blocked.  Shiatsu massage helps break up the blockages to keep the energy flowing in a smooth fashion. Keeping the Qi flowing, like water through a river, is believed to keep the Yin/Yang balance in place as well.

Shiatsu Massage – Benefits

Shiatsu massage helps move the body’s energy force, or Qi (chee) also called chi or Ki (Key), to keep it flowing in a healthy way throughout the body. A few of the ailments that Shiatsu Massage may help relieve are:

  • Shiatsu MassageHeadaches
  • Stress Reduction
  • Menstrual Distress
  • Anxiety
  • Digestive disorders
  • Chronic Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Emotional Issues

It also helps to promote blood circulation within the body, boost the immune system, and stimulate healthy digestion.  When you receive Shiatsu Massage regularly, your overall health will improve over time.  As the body begins to adjust from the treatments, you notice you will be calmer and more relaxed, all while enjoying the benefits of being energized and balanced.

Training in Shiatsu

Shiatsu is passed on from other trained Shiatsu practitioners.  If you are interested in learning Shiatsu massage, you can attend classes or workshops that teach the theory of  the practice and demonstrate, with hands on presentations, how to properly administer the treatments. Upon completion of training,  you are awarded a Certificate of achievement and mastery.

Zen Shiatsu

While the practices are similar, the Zen Shiatsu practitioner uses full body stretches as part of the treatment procedures, while also incorporating the hand, finger and palm therapy of common Shiatsu.  They are also trained in traditional Zen meditation practices and will apply their meditative techniques to the practice of Shiatsu.

It is not required for you to use Zen meditation practices during a session, but if you are versed in this technique then you could certainly could put that into practice for even added benefit.

Zen Shiatsu practitioners use one hand to stimulate the meridians while the other hand is their guide, or sounding board, as to the depth and pressure in which to use.  You and the practitioner communicate with each other to additionally confirm the appropriate depth and pressure. You know your body best and your input is valuable.

Another unique technique in Zen Shiatsu is for the you to use your breath to direct energy into the location needing healing.  This helps the client to relax into the treatment and the increased oxygen in the body, from the focused breathing, helps with circulation.

Zen Shiatsu also uses full body stretches to stimulate the stagnant Qi and to help it to flow freely.  The Yin/Yang balance is best achieved when the Qi is flowing in harmony with the natural rhythms of the body.

Shiatsu Massage and its Practicalities?

What is Shiatsu Massage

Relaxing Massage Therapy

Shiatsu massage is practiced differently than the more common massage you might receive at a spa or gym. In spots massage the body is massaged with oils or lotions and requires the client to be partially or completely naked.  They rest on a massage table draped by a sheet while the massage therapist manipulates the muscles and connective tissues to initiate a relaxing effect on the body.

In Shiatsu massage the body is fully clothed and the procedures are performed while the patient is lying on the floor on some type of mat for comfort.  If the client is unable to lie on the floor, the techniques may be used while they are seated in a chair.  The client is massaged using the pressure of the hands to manipulate energy at specific points along the meridians.

Shiatsu Massage Chair

A person could also get the benefits of a Shiatsu massage at home with the use of a shiatsu massage mat or a shiatsu massage chair.  Both of these methods were developed to massage the acupressure points along the meridians just as a Shiatsu practitioner might do in a live treatment.

An at home massage mat or chair is very convenient as trips to and from a spa or treatment center can be time consuming. Plus, you can get the benefits of Shiatsu when ever you want and how often you want.

Shiatsu massage is a growing method of practice with energy and body workers.  It is recognized as a complimentary or alternative form of healing, and has become recognized as particularly effective when used with traditional medical techniques as a way to keep the body healthy.

QiGong Techniques

QiGong, pronounced “chee gong”, is an ancient Chinese healing practice. The essence of its meaning is – the practice of energy movement in the body.  Qigong techniques of using the body’s life force energy to remain healthy and young has been in use for centuries in China to reinforce the body’s natural desire to remain healthy. Modern times find Qi Gong being practiced on a global level and when put into terms of a global society; it is a way for the entire world to stay healthy and in balance with the planet.

QiGong Techniques for Beginners

QiGong for BeginnersThe techniques beginners will use in the practice of QiGong will usually include the slowing down of the breath, combined with gentle focus on the body movements. When a beginner works slowly and appreciates the practice, it allows them the time to adjust and tune into their own inner peace.

QiGong carries a beautiful language description of each movement. Not all movements are named as beautifully as these, some are more mundane, but each phase of the method carries a name. This allows the person an easy way to remember the sequence of movements and thereby learn the practice more easily.

The beginner will learn the 8 traditional Qigong postures, or brocades:

  • Immortal Looks to the Heavens
  • Immortal Twists the Body
  • Immortal Looks the the Heaven and Earth
  • Ride the Horse and Draw the Bow
  • Immortal Bows Forward
  • Immortal Looks to the Rear
  • Shaking Immortal
  • Closing Position

Here is a great video showing how to do these 8 simple movements:

There are many other Qigong movements you will learn in the practice of Qigong techniques. They too have very imaginative names and are quite peaceful and beautiful in their own right.

  • Autumn breeze blowing leaves
  • Beautiful woman turns at the waist
  • Flying like an eagle
  • Gazing backward at the moon
  • Holding the sun in one hand
  • Scooping the sea
  • Turning as a windmill in the breeze

These are just a few of the movements used within a QiGong practice session.  Now, who wouldn’t want to participate in something as soothing as holding the sun or looking at the moon?  It almost has a meditative and calming effect just reflecting on the terms.

But, the breath and motion combined during these movements build the entire practice to strengthen the body into a healthy unit fit to combat the signs of aging in this fast paced society we live in today.

Where To Learn QiGong Techniques in Person

QiGong TechniquesQiGong classes are taught at various locations throughout the world. Depending on where you live, it shouldn’t be much problem finding a qualified QiGong teacher somewhere near you.

Here is a list of some Qigong studios around the world:

Portland, OR – Ling Gui International Healing Qigong School

New York, NY – Qigong New York

Boston, MA – Brookline Tai Chi

Europe – Chi Neng Institute

Los Angeles – Qigong Healing Institute

QiGong shares a close relationship with the practice of Tai Chi, and is related in that they both use the same slow, fluid rhythms of nature. They are very complimentary practices and it is not uncommon to find to find a center where both are practiced under the teachings of both a Tai Chi Master and a QiGong Master.

Another good place to explore would be with a martial arts center.  Even small towns in rural settings may have someone who would teach QiGong living within their communities.

Qigong DVDs and Online Classes

If someone is trying to learn this powerful system of energy healing and cannot find a live teacher (QiGong Master) nearby, another option is to practice QiGong by watching a QiGong DVD. QiGong videos are readily available for purchase on the internet, or one may be able to borrow them from a local library.

The art and science of this ancient practice are perfectly suited for learning through this technological format. Following along with a video allows a person to work at his or her own pace (the pause and rewind button may be a person’s best friend when learning these movements) and to be guided in the practice without feeling self-conscious.

QiGong Techniques – An Internal Practice

However keep in mind that when practicing within a group, as with yoga and other mind reflective and body strengthening practices, QiGong is a self practice. It is not a contest, rather it is an internal practice that is suitable for practice within groups, but the only person one should be concerned with in that group is themselves.

One person may have a particular gift of balance where the next one is strong and the one after that may be silent and reflective. This doesn’t mean that they are wrong; it only means that at this time their particular development places them at that stage of learning within the practice.

Varyious Types of QiGong Practices

There are several methods of QiGong practices that are being taught.  They may include:

  • Shibashi QiGong
  • Eight Brocade Section QiGong
  • Dayan QiGong (a/k/a Wild Goose)

Of course one would follow whichever their QiGong Master is teaching, but when developing the practice on their own students may choose between the various practices to change up the routine or may stay with a single method because that is what suits their personality.

The importance is not in which method to practice, but the devotion to the practice itself.  The discipline and routine are what will benefit the practitioner overall.  That is where the key to health lies – within the dedication of the practitioner to the practice.

If you have the knowledge but do not use it, your body will show no benefit.  If you put the knowledge of this ancient energy building source into play they will certainly be rewarded with a lean, healthy and fit body.

Qigong Techniques for a Healthy Lifestyle

Practicing QiGong techniques becomes a part of a healthy lifestyle designed for longevity and health. It naturally combats premature aging, keeps the internal organs operating at peak performance and allows your muscles to remain strong and flexible well into the golden years.

Just as when a flight attendant reminds us to “secure our own oxygen mask first before assisting others”; we all must work on our own self before helping others. The self discipline practice of QiGong is an easy, financially viable way to achieve securing our own oxygen in order to help others.

What Is QiGong?

The old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” should be the mantra you associate with the energy medicine powers of QiGong. This ancient Chinese health practice has roots that come from Chinese martial arts, philosophy, and medicine.

It is a series of movements designed to keep your body in harmony and rhythm, not only your life force energy, but the Universal life force energy as well. When practiced routinely, QiGong exercises assist in keeping your body in great condition, with flexible joints and strong muscles and connective tissues.

Thousands of years ago, QiGong was a secret practice known only to the wealthy of the elite Chinese social class and those that studied the martial arts. Historically, leaders did not want common folk to attain greatness through such practices; therefore they kept it secret as a means to retain power and status.

Today, QiGong is practiced by millions of people the world over, by the commoner as well as by the elite. QiGong does not care if the your are dirt poor or a gazillionaire, all that matters is that you are gaining strength in your mind, body and spirit.

QiGong involves easy, fluid, standing movements done at a slow pace that requires concentration and discipline. When practicing QiGong exercises, it is best to wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing to allow for the gentle movement of the body. With influences like yoga and some martial arts, it is, on its own, a complete system of well being.

What is QiGong

QiGong is a series of movements that stimulate any of the 12 meridians of your body. There are many different movements that make up QiGong, but not all of the movements are done in a single session. Typically a small selection of different movements are grouped together to make up a QiGong session. The grouping will have a specific purpose, such as to increase energy in the morning or to relieve stress in the evening.

Here are a couple great videos that demonstrate two different QiGong sessions with distinctly different purposes. The first video demonstrates a morning routine that is meant to increase your energy and help you get through your busy day.

This second video demonstrates an evening QiGong session where the purpose is to relieve the stress from the day and get you ready for a relaxing evening.

You might notice that the movements of QiGong are creatively named. Movements with names like Knocking on the Door of Life, The Tiger, and Spinal Cord Breathing are demonstrated in the above videos. Such naming allows for you to visualize the movements and better understand them. Other QiGong techniques include such names as Ride the Horse and Draw the Bow, Immortal Looks to the Heavens, and Shaking Immortal.

You might have also noticed that QiGong movements fall under three general categories that also have specific purposes. The first are rolling movements of the the different body parts:

  • Ankles
  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Shoulders
  • Elbows
  • Wrists
  • Neck
  • Spine

The purpose of these movements is to help loosen up tight muscles and joints. Stiff and tight muscles and joints do no allow for free flowing Qi and can lead to blockages and disorders.

The second category of movements are Qi stimulating movements. These movement are designed to stimulate Qi as is moves through the meridians. These movements involve:

  • Bouncing, shaking, swaying, and tapping
  • Slow, static movements

The final category is for mind relaxation. This is where the discipline aspect of QiGong comes into play. The purpose of these movements is to calm the mind and focus it on the present, not allowing it to wander to other thoughts and situations, either in the past or future. This is similar to meditation, but is done while performing the movements of QiGong.

  • Slow, easy breathing

All three categories combine together to form a holistic session of movements with a specific purpose. No one category is effective on its own. It is when they are combined that they are a powerful force in which you can harmonize your personal Qi with the Qi of the natural world and the Universe.

QiGong Benefits

The theories of QiGong as a beneficial, holistic healing technique are, in essence, a means of connecting with the universe and its life force energy.  The concept that man and nature combine to form an organic whole is at the center of QiGong practice.

The eastern theory of the opposing forces of Yin and Yang is a cornerstone for traditional Chinese medicine and the ancient ways of preserving health. QiGong aids in the balancing of Yin and Yang.

For example, your body is filled with the forces of Yin and Yang. Yin is located in your core as well as your back and limbs. Yang is mostly in the lower part of your body as well as your abdomen and internal organs. Warmth in your body is Yang, while cold is Yin.

Routine QiGong practice helps to keep the Yin and Yang in harmony.  An imbalance in your body’s Yin and Yang results in illness and disease. One of the primary purposes of QiGong exercises is to achieve and maintain the balance of Yin and Yang, not only within your body, but also between your body, the earth and the entire Universe.

What is QiGong

Traditional QiGong Illustration

This complete form of healing creates a peaceful mind, a healthy body, and a calm spirit that allows you, a practitioner of QiGong on a regular basis, to become capable of preventing disease.  By building muscles, a strong heart, and a healthy mind QiGong is a self healing tool using a moving meditation format.

QiGong benefits that come from its slow, static movements include strengthening the body and boosting the immune system. QiGongs’ meditative properties help you better understand yourself and the universe as it connects your Qi with that of the universe.

A peaceful mind is the optimum place for a stress free life, which lowers blood pressure and, in turn, takes strain off the heart and other vital organs.

The air we breathe and the food we eat are all sources of Qi. Deep, QiGong breathing gently exercises the vital organs, muscles and bones, and balances the Yin and Yang properties within the body.

While it is not necessary to keep the breathing in rhythm with the QiGong movements, you will find that, with time, the breath and the movements begin to flow together in a deep, rhythmic way.  This phenomenon is part of the meditative value of the practice.

For those who have difficulty with sitting, non-movement meditation, QiGong is a great alternative as it leads to meditation with the movements. The exercises are so simple that when combined with concentration on the breath and movement the mind slows and a peaceful state results.

QiGong Financial Benefits

In the United States, healthcare costs have skyrocketed. Taking control of our own healthcare through prevention, rather than reacting to illness and disease, is an alternative many individuals feel put their healthcare back within their own control.

Once learned and mastered, QiGong exercises costs nothing but time. The initial cost of education and practice is an investment in your health that becomes priceless when compared to the costs associated with fixing something that is broken.

This “no cost” healthcare strategy, when followed routinely becomes the preventative health care outlet people have been searching for – and it was right in front of us all along.  QiGong meditation helps to put healthcare back into the hands of the individual. And, isn’t that what you really want?  QiGong is a way to control your own destiny, and remain a healthy vitality and youthfulness.

How To Do Reiki

How to do Reiki” is a common question, especially after you have had a personal experience with the practice. This relaxing and rejuvenating energy healing technique is learned by taking Reiki classes from a certified Reiki Master-Teacher. Reiki training consists of classes or workshops at progressive levels to empower the practitioner and bring out the natural ability that each person has within them.

When a person first begins to learn Reiki they do so by seeking a Reiki Master-Teacher who is qualified to pass along Reiki Attunements. While there is much to be learned from the application of Reiki, the power of Reiki comes from the attunement process.  Only a Reiki Master-Teacher who has been trained to pass along attunements is allowed to teach Reiki to others.

How to do Reiki

how to do reikiDuring a Reiki session, the practitioner will use their hands, either on the receiver, hovering over the receiver, or at a distance from the receiver, to manipulate the life force energy.

Manipulating the life force energy in such a way treats the receiver in a holistic manner: mentally, physically, and spiritually. The practice also uses a series of symbols to help in the harmonizing of the energy.

The goal of a Reiki massage session is to release blockages in the life force energy that have been caused by a unbalance of the opposing forces of Yin and Yang that make up the life force energy. Blockages result in dis-ease, stress, anxiety, emotional disorders, and other mental and spiritual issues.

Reiki massage can be performed with the receiver remaining fully clothed either in a horizontal position, such as on a massage table, seated, or standing. The horizontal position is the preferred method because it is the most comfortable for the receiver and it allows the practitioner to access all the key points.

reiki massageThe Reiki Master will likely do a brief scan of the bodies’ energy field, then they would begin to transmit the universal life force energy, or Qi, to the receiver. This is usually done using a light touch on key points of the body, but it is important to remember that a Reiki Master does not have to touch your body to transmit Reiki to you. They may hover, or hold their hands above you, at the same key locations a distance of about 4-6 inches away. This makes it especially practical of you do not like to be touched.

The length of the treatment will vary between practitioners, but the average time to schedule for an appointment would be about an hour.  This includes time for a brief intake visit and a short exit visit to discuss how you felt during the treatment.

Reiki Lineage

reiki attunementReiki has been passed down through generations of Master-Teachers, each of whom carries the lineage of the Master who taught him or her.  The Reiki Master’s Lineage is an important part of the training.

Who they are and how they teach is directly related to who they learned from.  It is said that any Master-Teacher worth their salt will provide their students a copy of their lineage along with the student’s certification.

Reiki Training Online

The practice of Reiki and the Attunements used to empower the student are best learned with actual hands on experience and Reiki attunements are best performed one on one with Master-Teacher and student.  While it is a generally accepted way to learn Reiki, many Reiki Master-Teachers agree that online or in home Reiki training lacks a certain power than when learned in person.

However, sometimes in person training is just not an option. If this is the case with you, check out the Alternative Healing Academy’s Home Courses. They offer different courses for your current level:
Learn Usui Reiki Level 1 via Home Study at the Alternative Healing Academy
Learn Usui Reiki Level 2 via Home Study at the Alternative Healing Academy
Learn Usui Reiki Levels 3/Master via Home Study at the Alternative Healing Academy
Become a Reiki Master – Learn Usui Reiki Levels 1, 2 and 3 via Home Study at the Alternative Healing Academy

Reiki Training In Person

If home study is not your cup of tea and you want to learn directly from a Reiki Master Teacher, finding classes in your area may be a easy as a quick search on Google. Reiki is taught at most schools that offer training in massage therapy, which are very common in most major metropolitan areas.

Here is a list of a few school in major cities across the US. We do not have any affiliation with any of these locations, so please do your due diligence before handing out any money.

Reiki Training – Levels One and Two

Basic Reiki training comprises of two different levels typically taught with a break between each level. The break allows the student to absorb the newly acquired skills before getting additional training. Below is a outline of what is typically taught in each level.

Reiki Level I

  • History of Reiki and its Practice
  • Introduction to the life force energy of the human body and the 7 chakras
  • Introduction to simple meditation and relaxation techniques
  • Receiving of 4 attunements
  • Instruction on giving treatments in various positions – seated/lying down/standing
  • Instruction on giving self-treatments
  • Instruction on using proper hand positions

Learn Usui Reiki Level 1 via Home Study at the Alternative Healing Academy

Reiki Level II

  • Introduction to the Meaning and Use of Reiki Symbols
  • More advanced training in meditation and energy awareness
  • Instruction on how to give Reiki II treatments
  • Instruction on giving distance treatments
  • Receiving of 2 additional attunements

Learn Usui Reiki Level 2 via Home Study at the Alternative Healing Academy

Reiki Training – Advanced

It is always exciting when a Reiki practitioner decides to take advance level training. The advanced classes will further develop your healing skills and allow you, the Reiki practitioner, to develop a more clear perspective of your inner self.

Reiki is not a religion, but it can be a highly spiritual practice. Developing your spiritual side has benefits far beyond the practice of Reiki. It can allow you to reach pinnacles and scale past obstacles that you might not think possible.

Please note, advanced training does not require you to become a Reiki teacher. In fact many Masters-Teachers divide the advanced class into two distinct options – Master (Level III) or Master-Teacher.

Reiki Level III

Level III is an advanced training developed for those who do not want to teach, but rather, wish to deepen their individual practices. The Level III class allows you to use additional symbols, including the Master Symbol.

Level III Reiki involves not only learning the symbol and receiving the Master attunement, but also the application of the Master Symbol when giving treatments. This is another way to further reach the spiritual connection to the universe.

Master-Teacher Level

Master-Teacher is the training you receive in order to teach Reiki and pass on the attunements to others. It is said the Master gets as much out of sharing the Reiki energy as the person receiving, and that this is especially true when giving/receiving the attunements.

Learn Usui Reiki Levels 3/Master via Home Study at the Alternative Healing Academy

Reiki Certification

A student earns certification from their Reiki Master when they have successfully completed the Master’s requirements given in their Reiki classes. A certificate is different than a license, and any Reiki practitioner should check with their State’s licensing departments for any licensing that may be necessary in order to practice Reiki in their desired area.

Reiki – A Life Changing Experience

Learning how to do Reiki is a life changing experience. Whatever your reasons are behind wanting to become a certified Reiki professional, you are sure to gain more than just knowledge from this time honored tradition of energy healing. It is an opportunity of personal, spiritual, mental, and physical growth. We know you will enjoy the experience.


What is Reiki Massage?

When you think about massage, I would bet you would think of a traditional massage therapist who performs their work by manipulating your muscles for relaxation and stress management. This is called therapeutic massage. Reiki massage provides the relaxation and stress reduction without having to manipulate and massage the muscles. In fact, Reiki can performed effectively without even being physically touched. And unlike therapeutic massage, during a Reiki treatment session the client typically remain fully clothed.

Benefits of Reiki

There are many wonderful reasons to use Reiki.  It is a fantastic stress reducer.  In energy healing, stress reduction is the key to healing many disorders and illnesses.  Reiki can be used to treat:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Emotional Trauma
  • Release of a Bad Habit

So, What Is Reiki Massage?

Reiki Massage

Reiki Massage

Reiki is an ancient energy healing practice that uses the “life force energy” that is found in all things to harmonize the body and bring balance, health, and well being to the “receiver”. During a Reiki session, the practitioner will use their hands, either on the receiver, hovering over the receiver, or at a distance from the receiver, to manipulate the life force energy.

Manipulating the life force energy in such a way treats the receiver in a holistic manner: mentally, physically, and spiritually. The practice also uses a series of symbols to help in the harmonizing of the energy.

The goal of a Reiki massage session is to release blockages in the life force energy that have been caused by a unbalance of the opposing forces of Yin and Yang that make up the life force energy. Blockages result in dis-ease, stress, anxiety, emotional disorders, and other mental and spiritual issues.

Reiki massage can be performed with the receiver remaining fully clothed either in a horizontal position, such as on a massage table, seated, or standing. The horizontal position is the preferred method because it is the most comfortable for the receiver and it allows the practitioner to access all the key points.

reiki massageThe Reiki Master will likely do a brief scan of the bodies’ energy field, then they would begin to transmit the universal life force energy, or Qi, to the receiver. This is usually done using a light touch on key points of the body, but it is important to remember that a Reiki Master does not have to touch your body to transmit Reiki to you. They may hover, or hold their hands above you, at the same key locations a distance of about 4-6 inches away. This makes it especially practical of you do not like to be touched.

The length of the treatment will vary between practitioners, but the average time to schedule for an appointment would be about an hour.  This includes time for a brief intake visit and a short exit visit to discuss how you felt during the treatment.

Where To Go For a Reiki Massage

Reiki practitioners are pretty easy to find these days. A quick Google search for Reiki within your city or town should return many options. Practitioners are usually located in natural healing center, holistic care offices, and possibly naturopathic doctor offices.

Many Reiki Master have their own professional offices or work from home.  House calls are pretty common as well. Much like a massage therapist, Reiki Masters need no more than their hands and a good massage table to perform their services, so they can be pretty mobile.

Most major municipalities will have numerous Reiki Master to chose from. If you live in a smaller, less progressive town however, finding a Reiki Master might be a bit more of a challenge. You will most likely have to expand your search territory to find a practitioner or you might have to seek other options, like online Reiki training.

Reiki Training

Interested in getting training in Reiki, but not sure where to start? Check out the Alternative Healing Academy’s Home Courses. They offer different courses for you current level:
Learn Usui Reiki Level 1 via Home Study at the Alternative Healing Academy
Learn Usui Reiki Level 2 via Home Study at the Alternative Healing Academy
Learn Usui Reiki Levels 3/Master via Home Study at the Alternative Healing Academy
Become a Reiki Master – Learn Usui Reiki Levels 1, 2 and 3 via Home Study at the Alternative Healing Academy

Using Reiki In Conjunction With Other Modalities

Some Reiki practitioners enhance their Reiki practices by incorporating other healing techniques with their Reiki practice. The use of crystals placed on the chakras is one such example. Because Reiki is so complimentary to other styles of healing, it is easy to blend personal styles.

The use of essential oils and aromatherapy is another great way to add an additional layer of treatment. There are some Reiki practitioners who will work in conjunction with other treatment providers in order to allow the patient to have two healing sessions done at the same time. Great complimentary practices might include

  • Reiki Massage and Traditional Massage – While the massage therapist massages the muscles beginning at one end of the table, the Reiki practitioner administers Reiki at the other end. There may be times when the person delivering Reiki stands just off to the side and sends Reiki to the person on the table.
  • Reiki Massage and Cranial Sacral Work – Again each person would take a place and move along the body in the opposite direction from each other.

Whatever additional practice you might choose to have administered at the same time as Reiki, be sure that the providers are compatible in their practices so the dual practice moves along nicely, and they are able to compliment and accommodate each others style.

Reiki Groups

Reiki GroupsAnother option are Reiki groups or Reiki circles. Groups of like minded practitioners set up a group healing as a chance to work together to bring Reiki to the public.

These groups often meet to exchange Reiki techniques and strategies with each other. They also work as a group on those who are not energy workers who come to receive the benefit of a group session. Sometimes these events are offered without charge. There may be a donation basket or a small charge to cover the cost of the venue.

The best way for someone to learn about Reiki is to get some hands on experience with it. Anyone can learn to do Reiki. After you receive a Reiki massage and feels how relaxed and confident you become, you may want to become a Reiki practitioner.

Becoming a Reiki  practitioner can have amazing benefits. It can be administered to family and friends, or self administered. There is no rule that says you must charge for Reiki or turn it onto a business. So if you learn how to practice and do not want to open a practice to the public, be sure to at least offer it to your friends and family. They will certainly appreciate the offer.

Reiki Symbols and Their Meanings

The Reiki symbols and their meaning add to the empowerment and strengthen the versatility of the practice of Reiki. It is part of the practice of Reiki that the symbols are kept secret. Tradition dictates that unless one is a Reiki practitioner, with at least level two training, the symbols are supposed to remain confidential.

=> See the Best Deals on Reiki Symbol Stones and Supplies

Reiki SymbolsThe ideals behind the secrecy of Reiki symbols and their meanings lies not within the knowledge of the symbols, rather that the symbols without the Attunement are just that – symbols. They really mean nothing on their own. Yet within the practice of Reiki, they are very powerful and must be used wisely.

Revealing the symbols to those who have not attained the knowledge and practice required could cause confusion as well as showing disrespect for the tradition. Talking about the symbols and how that part of the practice evolved is not a violation of that trust.

So out of respect to the tradition and to the practice of Reiki, most of the symbols are kept hidden and not shown on this site. However, there are a few symbols that are widely shared on the internet and we feel it is okay to share them here as well.

Passing Along the Reiki Symbols

Reiki techniques and Reiki Energy is passed down from a Reiki Master to his or her student. There are no symbols given in Reiki training at the first level or first degree. However, if a 1st level practitioner chooses to further their development of Reiki they may decide to go on to take the second level (or second degree).

During the second degree training and also at the Master level, the student will be empowered with the Reiki symbols. These symbols are there to enhance and deepen the practice.

Traditional Reiki Symbols and Their Meanings

The following traditional Reiki symbols, from the Usui Reiki lineage, are given with the second degree attunement.

cho_ku_reiCho-Ku-Rei – The Power Symbol (Western Cultures) or Universal Energy (Eastern Cultures) – Pronounced: cho (like choke) – koo – ray. This symbol has many uses. It can be used to summon the higher power to help increase the power to heal. It can be used to empower other symbols, request protection, or to bless and energize. Cho-ku-rei is intended to be used only for the “Highest Good of Ourselves and Others” and not for manipulation or negative reasons. Using it with negative intentions will have negative consequences.

sei_hei_kiSei-Hei-Ki – The Mental/Emotional Symbol – Pronounced: say – hay – key. Considered the “harmony” symbol.  It may be used for mental and emotional healing, two very connected part of our psyche. It is also used for restoring balance and harmony, distant healing, enhancing psychic abilities, drug and alcohol abuse, relationships, depression, spiritual communication, and healing the past.

hon_sha_ze_sho_nenHon-Sha-Ze-Sho-Nen – The Distance Healing Symbol – Pronounced: hon (like honda) – shah – zay – show – nen. Reiki energy transcends time and space.  With this symbol, said by some to symbolize the sun or represent Oneness, may be sent to a person across the room, across the country, or on the other side of the world. It can also be used to heal past or future events.

dai_ko_myoDai-Koo-Myo – The Usui Master Symbol – Pronounced: di (like a single dice) – koh – me – oh. This symbol can only be used by a Reiki Master and is most commonly used in the attunement of others to the energy of Reiki. This is the most powerful symbol with the highest vibration, known to have the power to heal the soul. It connects  us with the Divinity and allows us to heal ourselves and others.

rakuThe Raku – The Fire Serpent – Pronounced: ray-koo. This symbol is traditionally used to finish attunement of an individual by sealing the reiki energy into the 7 chakras. During attunement, both the practitioner and the student are elevated with Reiki energy. The Raku helps bring them down to earth, it grounds them. This grounding is also used in healing sessions.

This is the only symbol mentioned here that does not have origins in Usui Reiki. Rather it is from Tibetan Reiki where it is used not only for attunement, but also for centering energies and harmonizing chakras and auras. The Tibetan version of this symbol looks like this:fire-serpent-symbol

As  you can see, some of the Reiki symbols are words from the Japanese language and their translations may be found in an English/Japanese dictionary. Others are derived from a combination of Sanskrit (an ancient Indian language) and Japanese Kanji.

They are symbols to engage the power of Reiki, to help balance the emotional and mental aspects of the practice, and to use for long distance healing.  Those three things are the engines that the Reiki attunements will power up in order to drive the practice forward.  It is interesting how many people view the sacred symbols as the pieces of Reiki that hold the power, when in fact it is in the attunements themselves that the source is connected.

Drawing Reiki Symbols

In order to activate the symbol, it must be drawn correctly. As in many other traditions where information is passed down through a lineage, each teacher may put a slight variation on the way they draw them. The symbols were never meant to be exact, and slight variations will not disturb the practice.

In the past many teachers would not allow the student to copy the symbols, they had to be memorized. Therefore, with less than perfect memories there came variations of the symbols. Nonetheless, they work the same because of the Attunement.

The power of the symbols is not in their outward appearance, but in the empowerment that comes from the Attunement. Keeping that in mind, the correct way to draw the symbols for any individual practitioner is the way they were taught by their Reiki Master at the time of the Attunement.  The symbols will still work despite a slight difference in form.

Using Reiki Symbols on a Receiver

Whether a person is in the room with you or across the ocean, it is always a good idea to request the permission of the receiver before beginning any energy work with them. That is common courtesy, but it is not necessary in order to be effective.

It is said to be more efficient if the person is receptive, but energy is going to go where it needs to go and help where it needs to help, so if a person is hurt or injured and the Reiki practitioner cannot get their permission, they may still give or send the healing energy of Reiki to that person.

The important part is to remain respectful at all times of the person you are working with and respectful of the practice of Reiki itself. Then, everyone will reap the most benefit possible with this powerful, yet subtle healing art.

Reiki Energy Healing 101

Reiki is a Japanese technique to aid in stress reduction and relaxation. A rested and relaxed body is more able to stay balanced and therefore be a healthy body.  Reiki promotes physical healing when the body is performing at an optimum level of rest and relaxation.

Reiki is administered by the laying the hands of the practitioner in strategic positions on the receiver’s body. It is a practice that has been in use for thousands of years. It is a very simple technique and anyone can learn to heal with Reiki.  Even children are able to learn the hand positions and practices to heal themselves and others.

Reiki SymbolReiki – pronounced Ray Key and meaning Universal Life Force Energy – is a hands on practice to balance the energy fields within the human body. A person learns Reiki from a Reiki Master-Teacher by a process involving more than just a class or workshop.  The actual muscle of the practice is given through a process called an Attunement.

Depending on the Master and the particular style of Reiki being taught, these attunements are given in a series throughout the specified time of the workshop. Once someone has received a Reiki Attunement they will have Reiki forever. It does not wear off, and it cannot be lost. Although Reiki cannot be lost, it is interesting to observe how the power of using Reiki becomes stronger as a person practices.

Reiki Training

Interested in getting training in Reiki, but not sure where to start? Check out the Alternative Healing Academy’s Home Courses. They offer different courses for you current level:
Learn Usui Reiki Level 1 via Home Study at the Alternative Healing Academy
Learn Usui Reiki Level 2 via Home Study at the Alternative Healing Academy
Learn Usui Reiki Levels 3/Master via Home Study at the Alternative Healing Academy
Become a Reiki Master – Learn Usui Reiki Levels 1, 2 and 3 via Home Study at the Alternative Healing Academy