This is a post written in collaboration with Udemy—we’re honored to work with anyone this dedicated to learning and personal development, because, to paraphrase Maya Angelou, when we know better, we do better. ~ Ed.
As a practical kind of person, I’ve always been a bit skeptical when it comes to things like energy healing.
It was something only barefooted free spirits wearing tie-dye and dreadlocks did instead of going to a medical doctor. All well and good for them, but surely not something that’d ever be valuable or helpful to me…
Until I actually experienced an energy healing session.
A family friend (who is also a Reiki practitioner) visited me and after hearing about some shoulder pain I was struggling with, she offered to do a treatment, off the cuff (so to speak).
An hour later, I said goodbye to her feeling about 10 kilograms lighter—physically, emotionally, and mentally. I was freer in parts of my body, mind, and heart that I barely realized were feeling tense and weighed down until then—nevermind my shoulders, which also felt incredibly spacious.
After that, I opened my mind a chink to the possibility that there might be something to this and I dug a bit deeper.
This is when I discovered the wealth of amazing Reiki and energy healing courses on Udemy.
There are many different types of energy healing. Reiki is a Japanese technique developed in the late 1800s which is based on the principle that a trained and “attuned” therapist can channel energy into the body to activate its natural healing processes and restore physical and emotional well-being. Like any type of energy healing, it is a little mysterious, though there is science behind it.
The term itself is composed of two Japanese words, Rei and Ki. While Japanese words can have several levels of meaning, Rei can be defined as the higher intelligence which created the universe and holds it together—the subtle wisdom that permeates everything. Ki is the intangible energy that animates all living things—animal, plant, and human.
When our Ki is high, we feel strong, confident, and open to both life’s challenges and its joys. When it is low, we feel weak and are more likely to get sick. We receive Ki from the air we breath, from food, sunshine, and from sleep. It is also possible to increase our Ki by using breathing exercises and meditation. When we die, our Ki leaves our physical body. Ki is what’s referred to as Chi in China, Prana in India, and in more Western or scientific contexts as bioplasma or life force.
So what a Reiki practitioner does, in the most basic terms, is interpret and redirect Ki throughout the body. This can be done in person, or from a distance, with the subject of the healing practice in mind.
Some people describe the experience of Reiki healing as a tangible sense of warmth coming over the entire body and a feeling of ease and peace pervading the mind and spirit, even when the healing takes place at a distance. Patients often describe a relief from pain for some time following a healing treatment. With sustained treatment, many say they experience improved overall health, quality of sleep, sense of spiritual or intuitive connection, and mental, emotional balance.
But because it can’t quite be nailed down to a physical explanation, a lot of us are still dubious or even nervous about energy healing practices like Reiki. I found that diving a little deeper into this vast and ancient tradition gave me not only a better understanding of my own body and mind, but also of the nature of my connection to others, to the world around me—to everything I understand and have yet to understand about it.
The practice of Reiki is actually relatively easy to learn, once you understand the principles behind it.
You can then use its non-invasive techniques to create balance so that healing can occur on all levels in the body and mind of the recipient—which could be yourself or another.
I’m so intrigued, in fact, that I’m taking it one step further, with an online course on Udemy. They have so many to choose from, but I’m planning to start with their best-seller, Reiki Level I, II and Master/Teacher Program with Lisa Powers, a seasoned Reiki practitioner and Director of the International Reiki Organization.
This course qualifies you to practice Reiki on others, and you receive distance attunements (energy alignments) for all three levels from Lisa. You also receive a traditional certificate from Lisa upon completion. Even if I never go on to do treatments for others, I know I will benefit from being able to work with my own energy to improve my well-being.
Here are four more things I learned from energy healers that opened my mind to the wisdom of these traditions, and gave me a thirst to learn more…
1. If we are sensitive or empathic, we can use energy healing techniques to protect and care for ourselves:
The principles of energy healing can help us learn how to protect our energy body (otherwise known as our aura) to prevent us from absorbing or taking on other people’s energy and emotions, which can be a powerful gift, but equally, when faced with heavy or negative emotions, we can benefit from clear boundaries.
Udemy’s Essential Energy Care for Empaths course is designed to help us reduce and even eliminate the negative impact of energy from other people and the environment in order to live more freely and joyfully, be able to better deal with crowded places like at malls and theaters, people who are energy vampires, emotional family drama, negative work environments, and other typically challenging and draining situations for those of us who are more sensitive to energy.
2. Understanding our chakras (or energy centers) helps us to heal:
When I did my first yoga teacher training, our meditation and yoga philosophy instructor explained the chakras like this:
Energy is constant change and motion, so all energy that moves through or arises from the body needs to go somewhere. Energy will travel via the path of least resistance and these energy pathways (or nadis in a yogic context) intersect and interact. It’s a little like road maps. You have hubs where several roads from different directions intersect. The traffic tends to get slowed down at these points and, sometimes—if there is a more permanent obstacle—it can get stuck.
Once an intersection is blocked, the energy cannot flow freely to the rest of the pathways and therefore, one obstruction can have a knock-on effect on the whole system.
Which is why it’s important to keep these intersections healthy and clear. Your 7 Chakras: The Complete Guide to Your Energy Body with spiritual teacher and energy healer, Alexander Fairman is a great Udemy Masterclass to start with: understand more about the basic functions, energies, and purpose of each chakra, be able to identify and diagnose chakra orientations and characteristics (blocked, healthy, or blown open) in yourself and others, and understand how society and culture affects the chakras as well as the practical steps we can take to strengthen any one of our chakras.
This deeper understanding of the flow of energy through our bodies can allow us to have a greater degree of control and awareness in our responses to life and give us the ability to heal blocks and wounds that we may not even be aware of.
3. Animals can also benefit from Reiki:
Yep! Because, of course, animals also have Ki, they can therefore benefit from energy balancing too. In fact, they are very sensitive to energy and love receiving Reiki. Like people, you can perform effective Reiki sessions with animals using hands on methods or from a distance. And because it’s non-invasive, it’s an ideal therapy for all kinds of animals, from domestic pets to wildlife. Learning animal Reiki can also help you to communicate and connect better with your pets and other animals.
Lisa Powers (who also teaches the Reiki Masterclass) has a separate course focused on dealing with animals that incorporates all the basics of Reiki so you can also do it as a stand-alone:
4. Our past lives can affect the energy in our current ones:
Now, for some of us, this may be a little out there. It was for me, too—at first. But the more I read into this area of study, the more I am intrigued and even a bit baffled by the many people who have been documented to recall details about previous lives, which turn out to be accurate, with no other way of knowing these specifics.
It’s one of those delicious mysteries of life I guess—one that fascinates many of us. And, according to energy healers, past lives can have an impact on the energy and experiences in our current one.
Karen E. Wells, author of two bestselling books on past life regression and hypnotherapy, has developed an equally bestselling course on Udemy which dives right into this specific area of energy healing.
Past Lives—Explore The Past To Heal The Present is designed to teach us how to see and identify issues from our past lives, heal our own past life trauma, as well as learn how to regress others and help them to heal what they may have been holding onto for hundreds or thousands of years.
Completing the course qualifies you as a Past Life Regression Therapist, but there are absolutely no prerequisites except an open heart and mind and an internet connection of course. The course is fully accredited by IICT (International Institute of Complementary Therapies).
I was once possibly the most skeptical person there is when it comes to Reiki and energy healing, but when I finally opened up to the possibility that it may be of real benefit to me and others, I learned so much from those who practice it—and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Brand Content Editor: Khara-Jade Warren