Reiki is a palm healing technique developed in early 1920s by Mikao Usui, a Japanese Buddhist. As a form of alternative medicine, the technique involves transferring ki, or healing energy through the laying of palms. Reiki is generally broken into two traditions, traditional Japanese reikei and Traditional western reikei. There are 3 types of degrees in both Japanese and European forms. These are the First, Second, and Master/Teacher certifications. Reiki classes and the teaching of the method outside Japan are commonly organized in line with the degrees listed above.
The Shoden or the First Degree reiki classes teach foundational ideas and techniques. At this stage, the teacher gives the student numerous reiki master attunement process attunements. Palm placement positions that are most conducive for body treatment are taught. Completion of the Shoden allows the reiki practitioner to remedy himself and others. The Reikei Master/Teacher determines the length and life long the course. Typical First Degree reiki classes are four sessions spread over a number of days, some maintain two sessions over 2 days.
The Okuden or Second degree reiki classes educate practitioners the use of attunements, specialized symbols that boosts the ki’s strength and the length over which it can be applied. The particular attunements create a provisional, provisory connection between the practitioner and the recipient, hence, enabling the practitioner to transfer healing energy to the recipient regardless of time and location. At this stage, a particular attunement that generally enhances the use of the specialized symbols, in particular, the capacity of reiki to movement through the practitioner. Passing the Second Degree course successfully allows the student to practice “distant healing”. Reiki students in Japan attain the Second Degree after a decade or two of regular practice under Usui’s mentorship. A majority of Japan-based reiki students sometimes do not advance to the Third Degree.
The Shinpiden, or the master training stage prepares the pupil to become a learn at or to train reiki. In reiki parlance, the word ‘master’ does not entail spiritual enlightenment. Rather a practitioner at the Master/Teacher degree can change other people to reiki as well as train other practitioners at the Third degree. It is during this stage that the practitioner learns an advanced specialized symbol and performs one or more attunements. The length of the Master/Teacher course is determined by the tradition and philosophy of the reiki master giving the training.
Reiki education or the teaching and practice of reiki is unregulated thus, there is much variation in training methodology and costs, and length and speed of completion. Classes are often taught personally but reiki classes are also available on line. Reiki traditionalists often argue that attunement must be done in person to be effective. They will assert that distance reiki attunements and reiki “crash courses” will be no substitutes for in-person training, experience and patience in mastering reiki.