There are several different types of reiki training, but the most common is through a process called attunement. An attunement happens when reiki knowledge is transferred from a reiki master — an expert in the field — to a student. This is generally considered the most effective form of reiki training and, after this process, the student knows how to perform reiki and is ready to do it.
Anyone can undertake reiki training. The knowledge is passed from the reiki master to the student during attunement, so there is no minimum intelligence level required. Generally, a beginning class in the first level can take six to seven hours. In the class, students learn the basic hand positions of reiki. There typically are no government regulation or licensing requirements to practice reiki, although some organizations do offer certification programs.
Reiki training can also be done by working with a reiki master one on one. Although the best way to learn reiki is by working directly with a practitioner, distant attunements are possible. With these, someone can learn reiki online, through videos or by reading books. This is generally considered less effective than regular attunements, because the energy from the reiki master to the student does not transfer as easily over a distance, so the students' healing powers are not considered as strong.
An alternative form of medicine, reiki originated in Japan. It promotes relaxation and healing and is considered a holistic treatment, because it focuses on both body and mind. Reiki masters use their hands in different positions on the body, and a life-force energy flows into the reiki master's head, through the hands and into the recipient's body. This energy is supposed to help not only the recipient but the reiki master as well. Reiki, although it is a spiritual idea, is not connected to any particular religion, but it is sometimes associated with Tibetan Buddhism.
The popularity of reiki has increased, with one reason being that it promotes both physical and emotional well-being and can be used in combination with other medical or alternative treatments. Reiki training prepares one for attunement, and before that happens, it is suggested that the student go through purification rituals. This can include fasting, eliminating meat and alcohol from the diet three days prior to attunement and meditating regularly.
The most important thing one should consider when looking into reiki training is comfort with the reiki practitioner. The process is flexible, and the student can decide how many levels to complete. After becoming a reiki master, one can treat not only other people but himself or herself as well.