By Cherie Hersperger – East Greenwich, RI

What is Reiki? Reiki (pronounced Ray-Key) is an ancient healing art that can provide stress/anxiety reduction and deep relaxation by activating the natural healing process of the individual’s body. Reiki channels life force energy, which is a non-physical energy that gives life to all living things (humans, animals, and plants), knowing exactly where to go and how to respond to restrictions in that flow of energy. It can work directly in the unconscious parts of the mind/body that contain negative thoughts and feelings to eliminate them. As Reiki flows through a sick or unhealthy area, it breaks up and washes away any negative thoughts or feelings lodged in the unconscious mind/body, thus allowing a normal healthy flow of the life force energy to resume. As this happens, the unhealthy physical organs and tissues become properly nourished and begin functioning in a balanced, healthy way, thus replacing illness with health.

Reiki can be administered by anyone who has at least First Degree Reiki training. A quiet place is preferable, but Reiki can be done anywhere, no matter what else is happening either around or directly to the recipient. Moments of touch from a Reiki-trained practitioner can bring comfort in an acute or emergency situation, such as after an injury, or before or after surgery.  Professional Reiki practitioners can have a dedicated space or can create space when making house calls. They frequently play soft music during the session as a way of masking outside noise, and the practitioners add additional support under your knees and cover with a blanket. Those receiving Reiki in a hospital, hospice, nursing home, or other healthcare settings may have a shorter session (15 or 20 minutes), while some private practitioners give 90-minute sessions. Most sessions are somewhere in between.

Some practitioners have intake forms and/or conduct a health interview; you may be asked to sign a consent form. The practitioner will explain the process; be sure to let the practitioner know if you have a health condition that might affect your ability to lie flat. Your practitioner should always ask for permission to touch you during your session at the initial intake.

The experience of Reiki is subjective, changeable, and sometimes very subtle. Your state will shift quite naturally as the session proceeds. People often experience heat in the practitioner’s hands, but sometimes the practitioner’s hands feel refreshingly cool. Other common experiences are subtle vibrations where the practitioner’s hands are placed or waves of vibrations throughout the body. Some people fall into a deep, sleeplike state. Sometimes the experience of Reiki is dramatic; for others, the first session in particular may be uneventful, although they feel better afterward. The most common experience is an almost immediate release of stress, and a feeling of deep relaxation and feeling refreshed. Sometimes feeling more tired in the evening is not unusual. This is your body’s natural healing response, so make sure that you rest. You will continue to notice a sense of being more centered, less reactive and very restful sleeping over the next several days. The healing process will continue after the session ends.

Your practitioner may suggest a series of sessions. Four sessions is a traditional recommendation and gives you time to evaluate what benefits you are receiving. Discuss how best to space the sessions to suit your needs and your schedule.

Cherie Hersperger is a Reiki Master/Teacher and owner of Time For You Studio in East Greenwich, RI She feels fortunate to be able to help others start to seek and understand that there are alternatives in achieving great health and wellness on their life’s journey.  Visit for more information or call 401-688-1468.


  1. That’s so cool that Reiki is able to activate your own natural healing process through deep relaxation and life force energy. I’ve been feeling really stressed lately, and it’s actually affecting my sleep. It seems like Reiki could really help me out, so I’ll have to find someone who can practice it.


Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: