Reiki is a spiritual-based system of natural healing created by a Japanese Buddhist named Mikao Usui. Commonly considered a form oriental medicine or therapy, it uses hands-on-healing on palm healing, which its’ practitioners believe channels energy or chi through the palms to the patient. It produces a state of equilibrium and permits self-healing.

The two major branches of Reiki practiced are Traditional and Western Reiki. Many differences exist between the two branches with the main difference being that Western uses a specific hand placement instead of relying on intuition to guide the hand. Both branches incorporate a hierarchy of levels referred to as First, Second, and Master or Teacher, all having their own set of techniques and skills.


Reiki has many sacred symbols that were once a closely held secret, only being revealed to the student upon reaching the second level of hierarchy. The symbols are believed to help the flow of chi or life energy. Below are the meaning of reiki symbols attained at the second level:

Cho Ku Rei – The symbol of power. Used to invoke an increase in the strength of the energy flow. Although it can be invoked at any time during a session, some practitioners use it at the beginning to get a boost or in closing to seal the healing energy. Beneficial when used to focus energy on a specific body part or area. Boosts the power of other symbols when invoked together.

Sei He Ki – A symbol of emotional or mental healing. Balances both hemispheres of the brain resulting in peace. Used to heal anxiety, depression, sadness, or anger. Also an aid to quit addiction such as alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes. Heals headaches such as migraines or tension headaches caused by stress, either mental or emotional.

Hon Sha Ze Sho - The symbol for distance healing. This symbols eliminates distance as an obstacle to healing allowing healing powers to be sent to people across the room or around the Earth. It can also be applied to send healing Reiki to an activity or event in the future such as an operation or medical procedure.

In general, the symbols help the practitioner direct and focus their energy healing techniques. Being transcendental by nature and separate from the mind, they connect the practitioner to God and a universal consciousness, serving to heal the afflicted. Think of the symbols as keys that open the doors of awareness.