Energy Is Everything:

Let’s be real, Reiki has hit mainstream popularity as of late, but what exactly is Reiki?  Do you need Reiki? This is the story of my journey to Reiki,  how it’s changed my life, and what a typical session looks like. My experience with Reiki is going to be vastly different from yours. Good or bad, we are all our own individual beings with our own special gifts, so each experience is going to be unique to each one of us.

My Personal Testimony:

My first Reiki session was not great, it was down right disappointing. I found the practitioner online and they had good reviews so I decided to go. My reason for going was that I have a chronic illness and at that time I still didn’t know where my health struggles stemmed from. I was seeking healing, answers, guidance, a clue, something! I found none of those. But that’s also because I didn’t know what to expect, and I didn’t know how Reiki worked. I didn’t experience Reiki again until years later. I had been in a severe car accident and was seeing an acupuncturist for rehabilitation. We had a great connection from the start, she had really great energy.  I did not know until I met my acupuncture practitioner that I could “feel” energy. My acupuncturist was the gateway for me, she was my expander. She opened the door and helped guide me to a new way of thinking and feeling. An awakening if you will. A light switch was turned on. Sessions with her started as a wave of energy, to the point where I had to grab onto the table because I felt like I was going to fall off! And those were just our regular acupuncture sessions, this was before Reiki came into the picture at all! From then on,  I started to notice that I would feel this energy more often and not just in the treatment room. I started feeling the wave from all of the healing practitioners in my life.  My doctor, my massage therapist, and even from people I came into contact with at the grocery store or the movie theater. Weeks had gone by and during one session in particular something shifted. My eyes were closed and I felt the waves but this time was different, this time it is was SO MUCH STRONGER. It was so profound that I asked my acupuncturist what she was doing that was different, and she replied “Reiki”. I immediately went and got certified through her teacher. I dove right in to the practice, and study of Reiki head first, and I never looked back. That was in 2015 / 2016. I have so much to be grateful for as to what Reiki has brought into my life. I even became a Licensed Massage Therapist so that I could be the best version of a Reiki Practitioner that I can be. (That in and of itself has opened up so many other doors, but that’s for another day.) I wanted to be able to legally touch my clients to give them the best Reiki session they’ve ever experienced. Not to say that you have to be able to touch your clients in order to have a successful session, that’s not the case at all. I have had many treatments from amazing Reiki Practitioners that never touched me, but in my heart, intuitively the way I wanted to work with people is through touch. Needless to say, Reiki has changed my life, and so I want to help you understand exactly what it is, and maybe it can change your life as well!

A side note on energy: Energy, or energy medicine has been coined as an esoteric concept, but really we can all feel it.  Energy is what gives you that “gut feeling”, or intuition. Since I was a little girl, I had “feelings” sometimes so strong they were debilitating and I would have to leave a place or a person. Those were warnings, but there is good energy to be felt too. In fact this is how I describe pulling Tarot cards.  You know how to pick the right Tarot card because you can feel it pulling you in.

Ok, Ok, But What Is Reiki?:

Reiki is referred to as a healing modality. I personally don’t often refer to myself as a healer, I like to think of myself as a helper.  I help my client through the medium of Reiki, and their bodies innate wisdom toward balance does the rest. Reiki works on all levels, and can be used to help in countless ways. There is a lot of research on the benefits of Reiki, where it’s used, and it’s origins, which I won’t go into here. Overall, the essence is that Reiki is energy. Reiki is working with the individuals energy the same way acupuncture, or Tui Na works with the energy meridians of the body. With Reiki we are working with the energy systems of the body to help bring balance to the body to prevent, or reduce dis-ease, and leave the client with a sense of lightness and flow. There are many benefits to receiving Reiki, mind, body, and spirit. I know, I know, this may sound a little too woo for you but If you are still interested in what Reiki is or what Reiki can do, I highly encourage you to try it for yourself. And please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments.

What A Reiki Session Looks Like:

This is probably going to be different for each practitioner. You are likely going to be asked to fill out a waiver and discuss your intentions for the session. I personally like to pull a Tarot card for the session and discuss, and then I have my client get on the massage table fully clothed.  The patient can be either on top of the sheets or under, whatever is the most comfortable.  Typical sessions are based on clearing any blockages of energy, balancing chakras, and incorporating a sense of grounding. In a Reiki session, the energy that is drawn in by the recipient is done so through the practitioners hands. The energy will go where it is needed and in the order that the recipients body-mind determines. During the Reiki session the practitioner places their hands on or just above the clients body. The practitioner conducts universal energy from their arms, and out through their hands where it flows into the clients body. Sessions can range from 30 minutes to two hours depending on what your needs and intentions are. I also wanted to note that you do need consent just like any other modality to send or perform Reiki on someone. You cannot send or receive Reiki if permission has not been granted.

Distance Reiki: Have you heard of distance reiki? I feel distance Reiki has now brought me to the magic, yes, I said magic, of this intuitive medicine. Before our collective timeout I had only performed a handful of distance sessions. But through the power of social media I have been able to connect with people all over the world and to touch their lives in a positive way within the medium of distance Reiki.  Distance Reiki works just like in person Reiki just from the comfort of your own space. It’s just as potent, just as beneficial, and just as magical as connecting with others can be. The idea, is basically that your practitioner of choice creates a centered space, and sends positive loving Reiki energy to you, where ever you are.  This is probably the most esoteric concept in Reiki, but to put it simply, it is basically what you do when you ask someone to pray for you, or meditate on you.

What To Look For In a Reiki Practitioner: If you are interested in receiving Reiki I would highly encourage you to try a few different practitioners to get a feel for the energies and sessions you feel you resonate with the most. Please keep in mind you may feel nothing at all. Reiki doesn’t have to be for everyone. However, I do encourage you to try, who knows,  it may change your life! Take care and be well.


Brie James is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, and Shamanic Healer.  She came to working with energy medicine, and physical medicine through her own personal healing journey.  She practices Massage Therapy at Zen Space and Cupping Studio in NE Portland.  You can find her on Instagram at: @ritualhauswellness.  In her free time Brie enjoys working out, playing with her Son, and enjoying all that Portland Oregon has to offer.