What Shamanic Reiki is and What is Not


Reiki has become a fairly common practice in many parts of the Western World. There are still places, however, where it is largely unknown. In many parts of the United States, many people have never even heard of Reiki, let alone have any idea what Shamanic Reiki is. As a Shamanic Reiki Master practitioner in San Francisco, I often have to explain to people exactly what it is I do and answer the question; what is Shamanic Reiki?

First and foremost, Reiki is a non invasive and hands on Japanese spiritual healing art, originated from the system developed by Mikao Usui, Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki. In Japanese, (Rei) which means “Universal Life” and (Ki) which means “Energy” (otherwise known as Chi in Chinese medicine or Prana in yoga). 

Now, Shamanism is this ancient form of spirituality -it’s essentially a love story about falling in love with yourself, life, with the raw, wild beauty of creation, honoring all the elements, the animals, all of nature, earth, and all spiritual realms. With Shamanic Reiki; you combine the wonderful, nurturing aspects of Reiki energy with the deep connective intuitive nudge of spirit that you get when it comes with Shamanic work.

I can walk in both worlds - where in this reality with you and also diving into the spirit world to connect with helping spirits, guides, or ancestral spirits, trees, plants, rain, the earth for guidance, wisdom, information to bring back into this world to serve your highest evolvement, with your permission of course. When you infuse these two modalities together, you have this powerful, gentle healing modality which is truly transformative.

To add, Shamanic Reiki is an energy healing system that is passed on from Master to student through the process of attunement. There are three levels of practitioner: first degree, second degree, and third degree, or Master Teacher/Practitioner.

  • First degree Shamanic Reiki introduces a practitioner to the history and basics of Reiki and opens them to Reiki, especially on a physical level. First degree tends to practice Shamanic Reiki on themselves.

  • Second degree Shamanic Reiki introduces symbolsdistance healing, and strengthens the mental and emotional connection to Shamanic Reiki.

  • Third degree, or Master level, deepen the spiritual connection and introduces the Master symbols, allowing the practitioner to attune others to Shamanic Reiki.

Shamanic Reiki also has specific hand positions and even sacred symbols. The energy of life itself is surrounding us all the time and Shamanic Reiki practitioners can tune into it and channel it toward the highest good of themselves, a client, or a situation. It can be used to bring wholeness and healing on many levels and in all areas of life.

I see Shamanic Reiki as a sort of concentrated form of prayer. I always believed, even as a small child, that the power of prayer came from putting the intent out there into the world and letting the world, or God/Divine, take it from there. Shamanic Reiki offers us a more direct and focused connection with Spirit, and a system to concentrate our efforts in getting our intent out there and working for the greatest good. I believe that once attuned to Shamanic Reiki, with the help of Spirit, we are able to manipulate the vibratory energy around us with our intentions in a way that brings about healing. This is my way of understanding Shamanic Reiki. Others may have a completely different understanding, and this is perfectly okay. Everyone experiences Shamanic Reiki in their own way.

Shamanic Reiki is spiritually based, it is NOT rooted in any religion.

It was founded by a Buddhist, but Shamanic Reiki does not require one to become a Buddhist, or to have any particular faith, to be practiced. There is no inherent reason why Shamanic Reiki cannot be used by anyone of any particular religion, although there are some faiths that feel Shamanic Reiki is not in alignment with their beliefs. I have had many Christians question me about whether Shamanic Reiki is appropriate for them, and while I believe that it is, I think this is something that an individual must decide on for themselves. No one can really answer for you if Shamanic Reiki will feel right to you in regard to your religious beliefs. If you are questioning this, I recommend that take some quiet time to reflect on it before and after meditation and try to let you higher-self guide you.

Shamanic Reiki is NOT an alternative to Western medicine.

It is best when used in conjunction with Western medical treatments. It may make a person feel better right away but should never be expected to be an instant cure. Shamanic Reiki brings healing, which is not always the same as a cure. Sometimes it works by bringing physical and/or emotional comfort when no cure is possible. It can take multiple Shamanic Reiki sessions for chronic problems before clients can really feel the healing benefits. It is good to set a general intent for healing and then be open-minded and have faith that Spirit will guide the healing for the highest good.

I believe that Shamanic Reiki has the potential to help everyone. Not everyone will feel that Shamanic Reiki is right for them, but I think that the more people learn about it and the more familiar they become with the system, the more open-minded and receptive they will come to be to it.

With love & light,