The authors discuss the religious spiritual healing practice Reiki, revealing components of it that help transform the message held by the alleged life-force called reiki energy into meaning expressed in efficacy for the recipient's body, mind and spirit. Components that are analyzed include but are not limited to, touch, symbols, initiation, and precepts.
The practitioner's surrender to a combination of internal and external authority - with reiki energy being part of that - is a crux in Reiki practice and one means with which practitioners speak of beneficial effect.
This work contributes to academic knowledge about how practicing a religious or spiritual practice may contribute to one's well-being and flourishing life. Moreover, it explores the question of the nature of Reiki in academic definitions of religion.
Dori-Michelle Beeler is a Medical Anthropologist and Reiki Master.
Jojan L. Jonker is an independent Religious Studies' scholar and Reiki Master.