Reiki as a Practice of Self-Love

Before we dive any further, let’s do a quick review on what Reiki is. According to William Rand’s book Reiki: The Healing Touch, “Rei” means Universal/spiritual consciousness/spiritual wisdom, and “Ki” is similar to prana or chi which means life force.

Reiki means Universal life force, and it is a form of energy healing modality that was founded in Japan in the early 1920s. Reiki can be a practice of self-love. This can be done through doing self Reiki, which is the practice of giving Reiki to oneself. Before we dive deeper on that, to learn how to practice Reiki, one must find a Reiki Master Teacher that is well-trained, connected to a Reiki lineage, and someone that you trust to hold space for you during your Reiki attunement. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a teacher to get to know them first before committing to learning with them. A Reiki attunement is the process that intentionally reconnects the student with the limitless supply of Reiki.

According to Masaki Nishina in his book, Reiki and Japan, “Reiki is an innate ability that anyone can use; it flows through every human body.” After the student is attuned, the person has the ability to channel Reiki.

Alongside, the teacher instructs the students everything they need to know about Reiki such as it’s history, lineages, benefits, misconceptions, principles, techniques, and symbols. There are 3 different levels in learning Reiki: first level focuses on the physical body and the self, the second level focuses on distance healing and the emotional & mental bodies, and the third focuses on the spiritual body and allows someone to be a Reiki master.

To practice Reiki on the self, all that is needed is the first level of attunement.

In this attunement, the student learns how to do hands-on Reiki treatments for oneself. The student also goes through a 21 day energetic cleansing process after the attunement, in which the teacher suggests that the student practice Reiki everyday.

Now how can Reiki be a practice of self-love? First, practicing self-reiki asks the person to carve out time for oneself to receive the energy healing, no matter how long or short this may be. The act of placing one’s hands to specific parts of the body that is needing love allows you to connect and tune in deeper within. It can also be meditative to slow down, and if tied along with connecting to the breath and setting an intention, can bring in a sense of inner-peace and awareness.

Gokai, which means the Reiki Principles, was created by Mikao Usui and can also bring in a sense of ease and mindfulness in the presence. I like to think of them as mantras that I can use everyday. There are several renditions of the principles, but they all have the same message. One that I resonate with the most is in Christopher Penczak’s book, Magick of Reiki:

“Just for today, I will be grateful

Just for today, I will not anger

Just for today, I will not worry

Just for today, I will do my work honestly

Just for today, I will respect all life”

Starting your Reiki practice by allowing yourself to receive it is highly suggested before you start practicing to give this energy healing to others. This allows the student to experience and really get to know Reiki, and as important it is to share this energy healing with others consensually, it is also important to care & do the act of love for oneself.


Rand, W. (2000) Reiki: the healing touch. 1st edn. Southfield, MI: Vision Publications.

Nishina, M. (2017) Reiki and japan: a cultural view of western & japanese reiki. 2017-a edn. Scotts Valley, CA: CreateSpace.

Penczak, C. (2004) Magick of reiki: focused energy for healing, ritual and spiritual development. 1st edn. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Worldwide.

About The author


Ashley Ramos


she / her


North Carolina, USA


Registered Nurse (BSN-RN), Integrative Nurse Coach (NC-BC), Yoga & Reiki Teacher (RYT-500, RPYT


Fav Health Hack:

Take a moment for deep, slow breaths to calm the nervous system





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