What is Reiki and How Does It Work?

In partnership with Rose Reiki

You’ve probably heard of Reiki. But do you actually know what it is or how it works? You may have also heard about chakra-balancing, chi energy flows and universal life forces, all of which form part of this ancient spiritual practice... but what does all that actually mean? And more importantly, does it really work? We sat down with local Reiki Master Practitioner Lisette Ellis, founder of Rose Reiki, who was more than willing to answer all of our questions, so that we could break it down for you.

We were also lucky enough to try out a session in person to help us to understand it better - here's what we discovered...


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1.  What is Reiki?

Reiki is a type of healing based on ancient Eastern practices which recognises that life energy, or chi flows through all living things. Practitioners believe that good health signifies a strong life energy force, whereas low chi will manifest as sickness or stress. Reiki techniques are designed to activate the positive flow of energy in our bodies, therefore promoting overall health and wellbeing.


2.  How does our energy flow?

The energy centres in our bodies are known as chakras. There are seven main chakras that run along our spine corresponding with our body’s major organs and nerve centres. Reiki is based on the belief that for us to function at our best, physically, emotionally and spiritually, these chakras must be open, or balanced. Practitioners believe that our chakras can become blocked as a result of injury, trauma, stress or emotional suffering, and this imbalance can cause illness.


3.  How does Reiki work?

When giving Reiki, trained practitioners channel bio-magnetic energy. This has been shown to induce energy flows which activate the body’s natural healing processes, restoring a sense of wellbeing. This positive energy is channeled through light touch as the practitioner’s hands hover above your body. However, this action can also be performed through Distance Reiki - more about that later!


4.  What’s the science behind it?

Many people believe in the positive power of Reiki due to their own personal experiences of this ancient practice. However, practitioners accept that medical professionals and clients are looking for more than anecdotal evidence, and one of the aims of the UK Reiki Federation is to support research on the healing properties of Reiki. Whilst they readily admit that there is much still to learn, they have compiled a library of fact-based research papers which document the positive effects of Reiki, particularly on stress, anxiety and burnout.


5.  Are Reiki practitioners qualified?

Like many complementary therapies, Reiki relies on voluntary self regulation. The UK Reiki Federation is the largest professional organisation in Europe. They offer training and maintain a list of qualified practitioners. It is the person doing the Reiki who is regulated in terms of  how they work and how they interact with the public, not the Reiki practice itself.  


Rose Reiki


6.  What happens in a Reiki session?

Reiki is always given fully clothed, in a safe, peaceful and relaxing environment, sometimes with gentle music playing in the background. The first session includes a brief chat about your health and wellbeing, and considers what you are looking to achieve from the session. The Reiki takes place on a spa treatment couch or sitting comfortably in an armchair with dimmed lights and a cosy blanket and usually lasts for around 30-45 minutes. With permission, your practitioner may lay their hands lightly on your body, touching your feet, head and shoulders during the session.  Their hands will hover over your whole body, focusing on your chakra points as they channel Reiki.


7.  How does it feel?

The most common thing that people experience is a feeling of deep relaxation, similar to a relaxing massage but less physical and much more spiritual. Some people feel heat and slight tingling sensations at times during the session. Some people can experience colour sensations and a sense of spiritual depth…. And some people just fall asleep! 


8.  Have you actually tried it?

It is said that once you have tried Reiki for yourself you won’t need any further convincing of its healing powers. That sounds like a challenge, so we took up Rose Reiki’s offer of a complimentary session each; an in-person session and a distance Reiki share. Having approached the sessions with no specific ailments in mind, our pre-session chats soon uncovered a few physical niggles and emotional hang-ups that could benefit from some positive energy. With Rose Reiki the additional healing properties of crystals, Rose Alchemy and rose oil were factored into the sessions to elevate the experience.

So, how was it? The overriding sensation we individually felt was one of deep relaxation, of stepping off the treadmill for a short time and using the session to refocus and enjoy some me-time. We approached Reiki with an open mind, but being quite sceptical in nature, we were surprised to feel heat and slight tingling sensations at times during the session. But much more surprising was the sense of colour and presence, and the intuition and spiritual understanding that was evident when we discussed these sensations with Rose Reiki’s founder, Lisette afterwards. As a Reiki Master, Lisette seemed able to channel some of the things that we were thinking or worrying about, and also seemed to recognise what we needed to do about them. We immediately rebooked!


9.  What are the limitations of Reiki?

Let’s be clear, Reiki is a healing technique but it is not a replacement for traditional medicine. It can however support medical treatments, and it can be used as a standalone complementary therapy to promote feelings of emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.


10.  How does Distance Reiki work?

Practitioners believe that Reiki can be performed from a distance, facilitating healing on someone who is not physically present. It is based on the principle that everything is made up of molecules which are vibrating all the time - energy - and as we are all made of energy we are all part of one large energy field. When you feel ‘good vibes’ you are feeling positive energy, and equally when you walk into a room with a bad atmosphere, the energy is dense and can make you want to turn around and leave straight away. Reiki Masters believe Distance Reiki channels positive vibes across distance and time.  



About Rose Reiki

Lisette Ellis is the Founder and sole Reiki Master Practitioner at Rose Reiki, which is based at the Bella Spa in the grounds of the Bella Luce Hotel here in Guernsey. She is registered with the UK Reiki Federation and offers both In-person and Distance Reiki in line with its Code of Practice.

Lisette's passion is to help others to heal themselves, and she does this using safe, gentle yet powerful vibrational healing modalities including Reiki, Rose Alchemy and crystals.

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