To learn Reiki does require some study, but is a process of attunement from a Master who instills symbols into your heart and third-eye chakra and opens up portals for higher vibrational energy to flow through. It is very much a spiritual experience although it has tremendous healing effects on one's physical body as well. Reiki has been known to shrink and remove tumors, regulate heart rates and eliminate symptoms of various mental disorders. I have personally seen testimony of a person who has been cured of cancer with Reiki treatments while different doctors claimed that it was nothing short of a miracle. In fact, many cancer-care facilities are beginning to recognize Reiki as an effective method to compliment other treatments that mainstream medicine has to offer these days.
The word Reiki is of Japanese origin and was discovered and developed as a healing method by Dr. Mikao Usui in the early 20th century. Rei is simply defined as "Spiritual Wisdom" and can be interprited as a simple understanding of love and harmony or as a complex channeling of esoteric knowledge and wisdom. Ki is defined as "Life Energy" and is expressed as many different words in many different cultures. Chi energy, Orgone energy, Life-Force energy and is ultimately expressed as a divine Love energy. It is the same energy that makes plants grow, that makes the world turn and the sun continue to burn throughout the millenia. It is the eternal driving force of all existence, expressed through a pure and divine beam of consciousness when channeled correctly.
My first experience with recieving a Reiki treatment was short but incredibly beneficial. The instant the practicioner began, I felt a wave of calming energy flow through my body and surround me like a blanket. It was a feeling I haven't had since I was a child without a care in the world. I could feel places like my neck, back and shoulders completely relax when they were normally quite tense. I felt all of my exterior concerns melt away as I instantly slipped into a deep, relaxing meditative state. Any sort of tension or aches that I was experiencing immediately disappeared and I just felt like I was completely balanced and in tune with everything that was wonderful about the universe around me.
The Reiki Master that had performed this on me went on to tell me how Reiki had changed her life and the way she viewed the world around her. Being a fellow intuitive being she described how she would often be out in public and sense unbalance in the people, animals and even the plants that were around her and give them Reiki treatments and watch them suddenly become brighter and more alive. This particular Reiki Master practiced without physically touching anyone and kept her hands a couple inches away from those she was treating. The more common method of Reiki treatment involves direct hand placement on a person's body and both methods are perfectly acceptable and equally as beneficial. One beautiful part about the Reiki system of healing is that the practicioner recieves a healing experience while performing treatment on a client as opposed to some Shamanic healing treatments where the healer can actually take on a client's illness and put themselves at risk of becomming physically or emotionally harmed by the healing process they are performing. Reiki is certainly the "safest" form of natural energy healing and has never been known to be harmful. The only exception to that is that when Reiki is used to heal repressed emotional trauma, sometimes negative memories will briefly surface on their way out of the body as part of the healing process and can lead to temporary emotional distress or uncertainty. Some of these symptoms point to the collapse of the ego which can be confusing and emotional at first, but are certainly beneficial in the long-term.
The steps to becomming a Reiki Master start with a first attunement and a class on the ethics, history and basic set up for beginning to share Reiki energy with others. This is the level that I've currently been at for the last year or so. I find it's more of a stage of becomming familiar with the mindset of Reiki and experimenting with it on myself, plants, animals and the occasional loved one with tension or headaches. The next step (Level 2) of the process is learning how to heal people from a distance instead of physically being present and involves different symbols and tuning the frequencies to higher levels to increase healing capacities and essentially one's own consciousness. The 3rd level is the Reiki Master level where one can safely say they're qualified to open their own Reiki practice or teach others the benefits of it. There is some more formal training involved with the teaching and administering Reiki attunements, at least that was the route that I chose. There are many qualified masters out there that have nothing but good intentions but I was fortunate enough to have been given a Reiki Lineage chart that shows the master who attuned me was attuned directly (through a couple generations of Reiki Masters) by William Lee Rand the founder of The International Center for Reiki Training, who in turn was attuned by predecessors of Dr. Usui himself. The only advantage this route has to offer is the assurance that the source of this divine energy is pure and not misinterprited by others who are claiming to be masters without the proper attunement.
Reiki practicioners are readily available all over the world and can assist anyone experiencing any type of physical, emotional or spiritual discomfort. Although Reiki is only one of many natural healing modalities I would suggest that it is the best place to start for anyone looking to seek treatment or become a healer themselves. There is certainly no risk involved and absolutely infinite amounts to gain from what it has to offer.
The following video is just one example at Reiki's ability to heal in ways that modern medicine can not. You will witness (after a brief talk) a video of this healing occur via ultrasound in real time while a client undergoes a treatment from three practicioners at once. This is an extreme case of healing and everyone will experience something different but this is certainly evidence of Reiki's power.