There are a variety of options for training to become a reiki therapist, but the principles are basically the same regardless of the path one takes. Reiki students may take courses through a reiki school or private lessons with a reiki therapist, also known as a reiki master. One can also become a reiki therapist by taking courses over the Internet.
Reiki is a method of alternative healing that originated in Japan. Performing reiki involves transferring energy through the therapist to relax and heal the recipient. Reiki therapy is done through a process called attunement, which involves different hand positions placed above the recipient's body. There are two types, traditional Japanese reiki and Western reiki. Since Western reiki is more formalized, it may be easier for students to learn.
Three levels, or degrees, must be completed before someone is fully qualified as a reiki therapist. Generally, the first two levels can be completed in two days each, although it can take less time. In the first level, the aspiring reiki therapist learns the procedure of performing reiki and the theory behind the practice. Some of the specific material the student learns includes techniques, the history of reiki, and scientific evidence that supports reiki as a healing practice. After completing the first level, students are able to perform reiki treatments on other people as well as themselves, and are one step closer to becoming a reiki therapist.
The second degree, or level, in the path to become a reiki therapist teaches students about symbols specific to the practice of reiki. These symbols increase the students’ knowledge and ability to perform attunements. The third level is the point at which the student has enough training to be considered a reiki therapist.
During the third level, the student generally learns about reiki’s master symbol. This final level is usually more intensive and often requires a longer training session, sometimes several courses. At this level, a student training to become a reiki therapist may become an apprentice to the reiki master in order to gain more knowledge and experience. Apprenticeships can last up to one year. Upon completion, students are able to perform reiki on anyone, and can also teach courses.
After each level is completed, the student receives certification to practice reiki at that level. In the U.S., standard licensing requirements to practice reiki have not been established. It may be useful for reiki therapists to join a reiki association, such as the International Association of Reiki Professionals.