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Reiki & Energy healing

The Ancient Art of Reiki an Outsider’s Experience

Ancient Art of Reiki Diana Fels Reiki healing client on table natural health

The Ancient Art of Reiki an Outsider’s Experience
by journalist Nicola Ceccato, written as a feature article for University of Canberra and published in Australian Reiki Connection ARC Inc.

The Ancient Art of Reiki an Outsider’s Experience

When we are feeling unwell our first thought is usually, “I need medicine” or “I need to go see a doctor”. This is a very common way of thinking or more accurately, it is a very Western way of thinking.

Historically, the Western world has always relied on medication and doctors to get us through illnesses but what if there was some form of spiritual healing out there that could do the same thing? To question it even further, what if that healing could be sourced from inside of us?

Introducing Reiki, a spiritual energy healing technique that has gradually made its way into Western culture and has risen in popularity over the last century since its beginning in the early 1920s.

Reiki is of Japanese origin, founded by Mikao Usui who discovered the energy in 1922. Whilst Reiki is not based on a religion, some of its techniques derive from Usui Buddhism practices.

The Japanese translation of Reiki is spiritual energy; Rei means spiritual and Ki means energy. This energy is inside of us as well as around us and connecting in with the energy to heal the body mentally, emotionally and physically.

This energy is then harnessed through the method of hands-on-healing from a qualified Reiki Master, such as Diana Fels based in Canberra.

Before writing this piece, the only thing I knew (or more accurately thought I knew) about Reiki was that it was some mystical energy that could be passed through your body and magically heal you. I won’t lie, I had my doubts. However, this all changed very quickly once I got to talk with Diana and experience the energy myself.

I arrived at Diana’s place later than what we arranged. I lost my licence and spent too long looking for it before giving up and getting a lift, I was quite stressed by the time I arrived at Diana’s. I knocked on the door, feeling quite annoyed at myself for being late and a bit nervous as to what I would discover about Reiki. The idea of an unknown spiritual energy lingering around, made me feel slightly uncomfortable.

Those feelings of stress and previous nerves soon left once I met Diana. I found a very reassuring and calm presence about her and within minutes I realised she was an extremely easy person to talk with.

Stepping into Diana’s place I felt an instant cleanse of any worry, fear and uncertainty. The ambience was calming, relaxing and the space had a refreshing look with a collection of products and brochures on display. I could tell she was a professional and made the effort to make the place as comfortable and welcoming for her clients.

After introductions were formally made and we got comfortable talking, I dove straight into the depth of the topic by asking Diana what Reiki is about and how it works.

“It is an energy that heals the person in various ways. In a Reiki treatment the pure flow of energy is re-aligned within the body, clearing obstructions, strengthening the flow and healing the body mentally, emotionally and physically. Most of the time you will feel calmness, relaxation and it helps the person to be centred and focussed. That is probably the least you will receive, usually the person may receive something more. For some, they may notice health or physical conditions reduce, clear up or dissolve. It is also common to see a reduction in stress, anxiety and pain.”

Pointing to the front door Diana said, “There are some people who come to me that can barely walk down that garden path to my front door without help due to their health condition. As soon as they enter, they find the strength to get on the table without help. They literally throw themselves on the table! That in itself, without words, paints a picture. The fact they can get on that table like they’ve got this inner strength that comes from nowhere, just shows how much the healing is working for them.”

Intrigued by the wonders Diana has witnessed with Reiki healing, I had to question what type of people come in for this treatment. Hearing of people who come in that have severe health conditions or not in a good head space, to miraculously being healed sounded like something out of the Bible. Diana explained that Reiki is for anyone, she’s had people from young children to over 80 come in. She’s had people come in for mental and emotional health, relaxation, chronic illnesses, stress, physical conditions, pains and various other support.

“Sometimes it creates the impossible or makes changes in your life or you’ll start to notice things and it might fix or shift things that haven’t been working for you for a long time.” Reiki energy is sometimes felt by the person being healed and sometimes the healer themselves may feel the energy while working on the person as Diana points out.

“I feel it going around the body, so for me I can feel what’s happening and sometimes if I’m not getting it through the hands, I’ll get it through my body or both.

For me, I feel a sensation somewhere in my body and that indicates for me to move to that spot on the person’s body. That helps me to see that I obviously needed to go there because the person might say they’re having pain in that spot or there’s something there we needed to talk about.”

The more questions I asked, the more I understood about the relationship between our physical bodies and our emotions. What we might think is just a sore shoulder or tense back pain isn’t always because we’ve physically hurt ourselves there, it could also be linked with our emotions.

“Often we hold our hurts and pain in the body. Any trauma that’s happened to you in the past, a piece of that will store itself somewhere in the body and unless you deal with it and let it go, your body can develop aches and pains. If your emotional and mental state is not in a good place, it can present something in the physical body.”

Reiki is a natural and complimentary therapy that can be taken alongside other medical treatments to enhance and improve the healing process. It has risen in popularity in hospitals across Australia including, Palliative Care Australia, Cancer Council NSW and Saint John of God hospitals and continues growing around the world.

When talking with Diana about other medical treatments, she stresses that doctors and medical experts are still very important in someone’s recovery. “No therapist, it doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor or in another therapy, should promise you a cure.” She further explained that there’s, “Some people out there that think they’re Obi Wan Kenobi and will tell clients to stop all your medications or seeing someone else, I’m going to cure you. No one should ever do that. You don’t know what the person’s journey is, should always respect client’s choices and seek a doctor or medical professional when needed.”

In my research I found there were various negative perspectives surrounding the practice of Reiki. Quite a few people seem to think that the treatment of hands over the body by a Reiki Master, is a scam and can be easily duplicated by someone else without training. However, this information is proven to be false. A 2017 study found that Reiki is more effective than placebo treatment. It gathered quantitative data from various peer-reviewed research articles and compared the treatment of Reiki over placebo treatment where an actor mimicked the hand movements of a Reiki Master. The paper concluded that Reiki was found to reduce pain and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression as well as improving that person’s self-esteem and quality of life.

To become a Reiki healer and be qualified to work on others, you need in-person training and initiation to Reiki energy. This is when a Reiki Master teaches others about Reiki and how to heal with it. This process is in the form of three training levels; Reiki 1, Reiki 2 and Reiki 3.

Being a Reiki Master, Diana regularly holding these training workshops. An important part of this training is a person’s lineage, as Diana explains. “Lineage is every master whose taught above you and all Reiki training should trace back to Mikao Usui at the top.” She proceeded to show me her certificate which was on a Japanese lineage and traced back to Reiki Master (and founder) Mikao Usui. She explains that not all people have the same lineage.

“Some people will have western lineage. There are many people doing Reiki and some have created their own systems of Reiki or sometimes not actual Reiki. When checking lineage, you can see the names and the connections aren’t right of where people have come from.”

Just from talking with Diana, I can see that authenticity is highly important to her and something she doesn’t take lightly. Diana continues deepening her knowledge and connection to the practice. For example, chanting kototama traditional Reiki mantras, (words have power), which she finds to have a “vibration which quite embedding’.

At the end of the interview, Diana turned to me and asked, “Would you like me to do some Reiki on you, so you can feel the energy too?” Now this was a question posed to me a few years ago by a friend that practiced Reiki. I remember saying no because the idea of Reiki healing seemed to be the same as trying to get blood out of a stone for me. However, after sitting with Diana for three hours chatting about it, I had a different perspective. Hence why it was without a second thought that I agreed to it because I was genuinely curious about what this energy could do.

As I lay on the massage bed, Diana started working her way around my body just lightly touching different parts and at times, hovering above. Laying there for the first few minutes I started worrying. What if nothing happens? What if something does happen? Deep down the thought of the unknown still scared me.

As the session went on, I started feeling a sense of relaxation and peacefulness. I felt calmer and more collected and it was then that I felt a tingling sensation, just above my forehead. I look up to see her hands hovering ever so slightly above my head. I could have sworn she was touching me, but she wasn’t. “How is it all feeling?” she asked. I described the tingling sensation of what I thought was her touching my forehead and how easily relaxed I became. She laughed knowingly, “You can see the mind’s confusion, it’s like I can feel that but you’re not touching me.”

She continued working down my body and stood over my feet for a while, the tingling started again but with a more pulsed vibration to it. Again, I could have sworn she was touching my feet. She smiled as I described the feeling to her and said, “You see that’s what I like about its tangibility; you feel it, I feel it and you can feel like something’s happening too. I think to myself, that’s good because it’s not just me feeling something too then.”

Curiosity got the better of me and I couldn’t help but ask her what she felt. She pointed to the palm of her hands saying, “At the moment I’m feeling tingling like a vibration.” The fact that she could feel those sensations whilst I could too was a bit dumbfounding for me.

Walking out of the interview, I felt relaxed and at ease, something about that experience changed how I saw things. Changed how I felt about things. It reminded me that we can never stop learning and expanding our minds as humans and being open minded is the best thing you can be in this world.

Reiki may not be for everyone and everyone who tries it may have a different experience, but that doesn’t mean it’s invalid or mythical.

From what I’ve seen and felt, I can now believe that

Reiki does work for people and I mean what else would explain its successful rise?

Would like to know more? 

Reiki or Reiki courses

Nicola Ceccato Journalist






Nicola Ceccato is an upcoming Journalist. Nicola is lovely, we had so much fun chatting very professional and did an amazing job and wanted to share her wonderful article. The Ancient Art of Reiki: an Outsider’s Experience written for a feature article for University of Canberra.


McManus DE (2017) ‘Reiki is better than placebo and has broad potential as a complementary health therapy’, Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, 22(4):1051-1057, doi:10.1177/2156587217728644

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