What Exactly is Reiki?

Jennifer Foley, the owner of Balanced Soul, explains what Reiki is and why she thinks it is beneficial.
Featured Image Woman Reiki

blonde woman soft smiling in nature
Jennifer Foley

Is it just me, or does the phrase “I’m so stressed out” seem like a daily part of our vocabulary? According to the article by the American Psychological Association, “Inflation, War Push Stress to Alarming Levels at Two-Year COVID-19 Anniversary,” inflation on everyday items like gas, grocery costs, and energy bills, plus supply chain issues and the invasion of Ukraine has caused stress to skyrocket. This is compounded by the fact that our nation is struggling to deal with the prolonged pandemic and its effects on our daily lives. 


Unfortunately, these compounding stressors have real consequences on our minds and bodies. Now more than ever, we need to put self-care at the forefront of our daily lives. It is my belief that Reiki is an incredible wellness tool that brings your emotional, physical, and spiritual self back into harmony and balance, allowing you to live a more positive, stress-resistant lifestyle.


different colored Reiki crystals in a light blue porcelain bowl

Reiki is a Japanese form of energy medicine based on the foundation that all humans, animals, and plants have a life force. The word comes from the Japanese word “Rei,” which means “Universal Life,” and “Ki,” which means “Energy.” Reiki is not affiliated with any religion or religious practice, and it is a subtle and effective form of energy work.


The intent of Reiki is to promote well-being. It allows for an energetic clearing to occur in the body, is conducive to healing, and helps free the withheld emotions stored in the body. Everyone can experience the healing benefits of Reiki. It promotes pain relief, speeds the healing process, relaxes the receiver, eases depression and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, releases muscle tension, and creates a calm emotional state.


The philosophy is rooted in five Reiki principles that guide the healing experience and spiritual tenants for living a balanced life.


  1. Just for today, I release angry thoughts.
  2. Just for today, I release worry.
  3. Just for today, I am grateful.
  4. Just for today, I expand my consciousness.
  5. Just for today, I am gentle with all beings.


Unlike massage and chiropractic care, Reiki uses minimal (if any) touch or pressure on the body. The Reiki Master hovers their hands in specific sequences just above the client’s body with an occasional light touch as needed. A Reiki Master must undergo intensive study and complete three degrees of an attunement process. In a Reiki session, the Master does not do healing TO someone, but WITH them. 


Occasionally, a Reiki Master may learn that the client receiving the healing does not believe in the modality. If the client has given permission for the healing and is open to the experience, healing will happen with or without the client’s belief in the process. Today, Reiki is used in hospitals, hospices, and veterinary care. 


A Reiki session can help ease tension and stress and help support the body to facilitate an environment for healing on all levels – physical, mental, and emotional. Reiki is not a cure for a disease or illness but assists the body in creating an environment to facilitate healing. Reiki is a great tool to use as a complement to traditional medicine.  

Reiki can be experienced alone or in conjunction with other medical treatments. It is a great partner for chiropractic care, massage, homeopathy, chemotherapy, and other medical treatments. Reiki does not interfere with medications or other medical procedures. Reiki healing cannot help congenital birth defects or disabilities, but it can make living with the condition more comfortable. Watch my chat with a local chiropractor Dr. Hillary if you’d like to learn more. 



White Reiki room with massage bed with white sheets and a gray blanket

A Reiki session is typically 60 to 90 minutes long. During an initial session, a Reiki Master will give the client the opportunity to discuss any problems or issues they are experiencing and ask them what they are hoping to achieve from their session. The client will rest comfortably on a massage table on their back with their shoes removed for the actual session. Unlike massage therapy, no articles of clothing are removed, and a client is always fully clothed; loose, comfortable clothing is suggested. 


The session will then proceed with the Reiki Master moving through specific, standard Reiki hand positions, beginning at the person’s head or feet. The recipient of Reiki might feel a warming sensation or tingling during the session, or nothing at all except for sheer relaxation. The session should be enjoyable, relaxing, and refreshing.

Interested in experiencing the healing benefits of Reiki? Come see me, Jennifer Foley, at Balanced Soul and see the healing benefits for yourself. Schedule your appointment today.

Jennifer Foley has worked in the health and wellness field for more than 30 years, meeting the needs of adolescents, preteens, and adults in the Indianapolis area. Her love of knowledge relating to healing led her to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Health Communication and a master’s degree in health promotion-disease prevention, and she has advanced training as a Holistic Practitioner, a Certified Wellness Program Coordinator, a Mayo Clinic Tobacco Treatment Specialist, and is also trained as an End of Life Doula and Usui Reiki Master. She enjoys helping people find their balance as an integrative well-being coach at Balanced Soul. Learn more at balancedsoulindy.com.

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