Where Does Reiki Energy Come From?


Last Updated on December 20, 2022

Reiki energy is a non-physical force that surrounds all living entities. It’s not present in just Reiki, but it also applies to many other principles in traditional Asian culture.

Reiki is an alternative form of healing that uses a lay-on-hand technique to promote positive energy to a client’s body. Founded in Japan in the early 20th century by Dr. Mikao Usui, this healing technique grants its patients many positive benefits.

These benefits promote health to a patient’s entire body—whether it’s a physical, spiritual, mental, or emotional type of wellness.

During the Reiki therapy process, the patient, fully clothed, will be asked to lie down on a flat surface. There, the alternative healing process will commence. In a silent space, the practitioner will lay their hands gently over parts of the patient’s body for 3-5 minutes. 

During this therapy session, the practitioner will act as the conduit for good energy to transfer to the patient’s body. This makes the patient feel more relaxed and pleasant overall. 

But for the most inquisitive, there are questions to be asked, namely—where does this so-called energy come from?

Let’s look into and understand what Reiki is and where its energy-healing properties may come from.

The Origins of Reiki and Reiki Energy

To understand the origins of Reiki energy, it’s important to understand what it means from its words. Reiki is the combination of two Japanese concepts, rei and ki.

Rei means soul, divine, or spirit. Ki, on the other hand, means energy or consciousness. Tying the two concepts, the term Reiki would altogether mean something along the lines of “universal life force.”

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Ki (or Qi, in Chinese) is a prominent concept in traditional Asian culture. It’s an old but integral component of Chinese philosophy (5th century BCE). There have been early records of this concept found in the writings of Chinese philosopher Mencius to prove its age. 

It’s an underlying principle in both Chinese martial arts and Chinese traditional medicine.  Its influence extends to other Asian belief systems as well, brought over to Japanese shores. 

What did the ancient Chinese think about this energy?

Ancient Chinese considered qi a “life force” that permeated through every living entity observable in the universe. This form of energy links everything and everyone together—forming a body that acts as one cohesive unit.

The flow and rhythm of qi can be studied and channeled by people. If someone proficient in qi understands its rhythm and flow, they could lead treatments and exercises that utilize this principle. This provides stability and longevity to the person that this energy is meant for—whether it’s self-directed or for others.

Related: How To Explain Reiki to Skeptics

Tying Qi to Reiki

Qi is the abstract and universal concept that is present when Reiki therapy takes place. Reiki practitioners refer to this form of energy as the same universal life force that originated from ancient Asian philosophies. 

This energy allows the body to enter a revitalized state where the body would have the means to facilitate self-healing.

At least, that’s one theory. There are other theories about the origins of Reiki’s healing properties that have undergone rigorous research as well. 

Let’s take a look at the theory of Ann Baldwin.

The Biofield Theory

Ann Baldwin teaches physiology at the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine. She’s also a Reiki researcher interested in the practice of how Reiki affects the body.

She once discussed the phenomenon known as the biofield, which is an electromagnetic field that all living entities possess. For humans, this field extends to up to 15 feet from their current position.

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How does it work? First, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the electrical field that humans do possess and give out. Many of our vital organs send out signals that produce this electrical field. 

One such case is our brain, which produces an electrical field. Another more prominent organ is the heart, whose electrical field can be measured with the electrocardiogram, or ECG tool. 

Remember the biofield? According to Baldwin, the magnetic interaction of the brain and heart with Reiki may explain its beneficial effects on people. The biofield plays an important role in guiding bodily function and affects how energy influences the body as a whole.

In a nutshell, the biofield contributes to changing the physiological and psychological functions that are present in human beings.

How Reiki Came To Be?

After Dr. Mikao Usui fasted for 21 days on top of Mt. Kuruma, he discovered Reiki and its healing properties. From a near-death experience, Reki has given Dr. Usui strength and vitality once again.

Dr. Usui didn’t want to let this alternative mode of healing stay hidden from the public. He spread it, and soon after, this technique caught wind and became known by many all over Japan.

Today, people from all over the world draw benefits from this alternative healing substitute. Many hospitals across the United States claim to have used Reiki to promote healing to patients. The medical conditions these patients undergo typically fall under life-changing diseases too—like cancer, AIDS, and forms of major surgery.

Related: How Is Reiki Performed in Practice?

Is Undergoing the Reiki Therapy Safe?

Yes, it’s absolutely safe. While the true existence of Qi has been a highly contested topic, Reiki has provided treatments to millions worldwide.

However, Reiki dependence as a substitute for proven treatments for life-threatening conditions doesn’t do any good. This line of thinking is harmful and can endanger one’s nervous system, digestive system, and overall health. To repeat, Reiki therapy doesn’t contain a one-fits-all type of treatment for health issues; it’s just there as a complementary mode of healing.

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Instead, Reiki’s ability to naturally heal the body and promote a balanced, energy-flowing state makes it a great substitute. This comes in the form of Reiki therapy itself, which allows your body to undergo a state of complete relaxation. 

Many would claim to have felt a transformative experience during the Reiki therapy. Others would recount feeling tingling, warmth, and emotions throughout the experience.


Reiki energy comes from the various life forces around us that make up our essence.

Due to the energy’s transferability, practitioners trained with this form of healing can use this energy to help promote healing.

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