“When the elements are in balance, we are in harmony with our life circumstances and our environment.” - Sara Burns

What is Five Element Reiki?

Core to the Sacred Transformations® Energy Healing Program and Services, Five Element Reiki™ is unique in that it emphasizes and honors Reiki’s true origins deriving from the Taoist’s Shamanic and Buddhist’s traditions based on the Reiki symbols actual meaning. Both of these traditions recognize the importance of balancing the five elements within our being as well as in nature. When the elements are in balance, it is believed that we then experience good health and harmony. The Reiki symbols meaning further support this belief and are used to promote balancing the five elements.

Shamans traditionally perceive the five elements as five living spirits. They recognize that these five spirits reside in our primary organs. They influence our health, emotions, and our ability to have successful relationships and financial strength as well as influence the state of our living environments. While more and more healing modalities are attempting to strip away spirit to fit into the western medical model, Five Element Reiki™ practitioners upholds and honors the ancient ways by connecting, conversing with and healing these five spirits using shamanic techniques and Reiki healing energy.


Why is the five-element theory important and how does that even apply to Reiki?

Five-element theory was developed over 5000 years ago through in-depth observations of how our energy patterns move in relation to our health, emotions, the seasons and our environment. When energy disturbances occur it can bring on discord within our environments, can cause illness, mood disorders and even misfortune on an individual level. Collectively, our imbalances create environmental conditions such as floods, earthquakes, fires, war and famine.

Reiki is a form of energy healing that works quite well with five-element theory, because its gentle, peaceful energy can aid in bringing the elemental energies back into balance. In particular, the second Reiki symbol aids in balancing the five elements. This assists living beings to restore their life force thus bringing their life back into balance.

By recognizing how the elemental spirits are stored and move through our bodies, along with instilling the energy of promoting elemental balance, Five Element Reiki™ creates a powerful modality that truly encompasses a body-mind-spirit approach towards healing.


What makes Five Element Reiki™ Different from traditional Reiki?

While both traditional and Five Element Reiki™ use the same symbols, there are a number of areas where Five Element Reiki™ digresses from traditional Reiki. They include the following:

1. The Five Element Reiki’s™ Foundation for Healing is based on the Symbols Origins and Meaning not the History of Reiki.

Many teachers, in their approach, traditionally emphasize teaching a Reiki history regarding three main original teachers. Traditional Reiki Practitioners see the history as a source of understanding Reiki as a healing modality. The difficulty with this is that the origins of Reiki taught by Mikao Usui, the “Reiki founder”, were taught very differently than the third main teacher, Madame Takata, who brought Reiki to the west from Japan. Madame Takata, admittedly, stated she changed how she did Reiki from the way she was taught by Dr. Hayashi, Mikao Usui’s protégé and student for nine months.

Dr. Hayashi also changed how he did Reiki from Mikao Usui. While Mikao Usui’s teachings were spiritually based, Dr. Hayashi transformed his Reiki teachings to be more medically focused by first incorporating amna- acupressure techniques to treat a variety of ailments. Ultimately, Dr. Hayashi’s teachings evolved into a more free form approach.

Since I began learning Reiki in the ‘90’s, I have witnessed how the Reiki history continues to change over time. This primarily has to do with cultural and language barriers, as well as some teacher’s personal interpretations and beliefs, rather than fact.

For example, early on, quite a few Reiki teachers claimed that Mikao Usui was Christian and that Reiki derived from Christianity. Some say he unsuccessfully attempted to seek this healing energy from Christian literature, and only then, continued to seek it out from ancient Buddhist texts. Some claim that the symbols were obtained by high adept Tibetan Buddhists monks and were only available to the elite.

In fact, Mikao Usui was a lay Tendai Buddhist monk, and two of the three symbols have been available to all Buddhists and practicing Taoists. Having a discussion on Christianity rather than its healing properties appears to be an attempt for Reiki teachers to come to some form of acceptance of eastern cultural teachings and energy in order to integrate it with their own western cultural upbringing.

On the other end of the spectrum, some Reiki groups claim that they are the “right” or “best” Reiki group based on their ability to trace a lineage of teachers, who passed on the Reiki attunements. Others claim their practice is the only right one because it is based on using Japanese terminology and practices.

As Reiki claims it is Universal Life Energy, then it should remain universal and not separated out in conversations regarding various religious belief systems, who gave what attunement to who, or cultural practices, which do not fit in with our western upbringing.

While many Reiki practitioners to this day disagree over historical information regarding the “three Reiki leaders”, Five Element Reiki™ moves away from this topic and focuses on the relevance, origins and meaning of the Reiki symbols. Although Five Element Reiki™ practitioners work with the same symbols, this information is not a mere intellectual discourse of discussion, but utilizes the deeper meaning of the symbols to guide them in their healing work. In short, the elements are indeed universal and the focus is to bring them into balance.

2. Five Element Reiki™ Practitioners recognizes that elemental energy manifests certain conditions and moves in set patterns.

Understanding these symbols formulates our belief and understanding that we are made of the elements and that the elements correspond to specific energy movements, emotions, health and our environment. This is one of the biggest differences from traditional Reiki because typically traditional Reiki Practitioners are taught that energy simply flows where it is needed.

Five Element Reiki™ practitioners, have education and insight into the energy discourse prior to commencing work on a client. This allows for more than the application of theory and skill sets. The training enhances the practitioner’s ability to assess their client’s state of being in a professional, detailed oriented manner. It also allows for them to formulate an effective treatment plan that both the practitioner and client understand. With this knowledge, practitioner can confidently provide treatments rather than second-guess him or herself as to whether or not the healing was effective.

Five Element Reiki™ can be viewed similar to acupuncture treatments based on their utilizing the same theory as their foundation to preform energy healing work.

3. Five Element Reiki Practitioners work from a Shamanic Perspective and Honors Universal Life Energy as Living Spiritual Beings.

Traditional Reiki practitioners refer to having the ability to heal by being a conduit to channel “Universal Life Energy.” This term is vague and some tend to interpret it to mean that practitioners are tapping into an inanimate object to assist with healing.

Because Five Element Reiki™ practitioners work from a shamanic perspective, we acknowledge that we are connecting with living, higher spiritual beings who aid in our healing practices. In shamanism, these Reiki helping spirits are said to come from the upper worlds. This principle can be identified in the first Reiki symbol, which is derived from Taoist origins and is called the Pace of the Wu. Wu is defined as shaman. Five Element Reiki™ practitioners work from the understanding that this symbol is an energetic pattern that connects us here on earth with the higher beings at the point of the Big Dipper. The Big Dipper is considered the gateway to heaven from the Taoists belief system.

This is important for several reasons: Many Reiki healers do not understand that once their own spiritual energy is activated, they begin to have the ability to connect with higher beings with greater ease. This spiritual energy, oftentimes, is referred to as Kundalini energy from the eastern traditions. It usually remains dormant in a coil until the Reiki Master activates the energy. After which this energy rises up the spine, gradually opening the various chakras while purifying the various energy bodies of our being.

Due to this lack of understanding, many Reiki practitioners have been driven into believing that they need many “levels” of attunements -or more and more symbols to work with -rather than clearing their own obstacles to connect with higher beings. The more a practitioner is focused on clearing their energy fields, and their karmic obstacles, the stronger their psychic abilities and healing energy will become.

Because students are steered into believing they need more symbols to do better work, they seldom are educated as to how to effectively move energy in their client’s body. Many falsely believe that they will somehow magically become a Reiki Master simply by being given a “Master” symbol. Ironically, many do not understand that the Master symbol was instilled within them during the first Reiki attunement.

Having the insight that Reiki is working with living spirit, Five Element Reiki™ practitioners develop a bond with these healing spirits rather than continue to seek out multiple Reiki attunements and multiple symbols. They seek out ways to honor these spirits that help them heal their clients. They also strive to honor the interconnectedness of all sentient beings by living a virtuous life. We view the healing work as a partnership of both spirit and practitioner. This means that the practitioner is an active participant in the healing work, not just a mere vehicle for an invisible source to do whatever just in case something might go wrong.

4. Five Element Reiki™ Practitioners believe that the purification process after attunement is a continual process of Karmic purification that ultimately leads to Enlightenment.

Traditional Reiki practitioners have been taught after “being attuned to Reiki energy” that that they will undergo a 21 day purification process. There is no evidence that the purification process last 21 days. Five Element Reiki™ practitioners believe that the attunement is an initiation to begin clearing karma that ultimately leads to enlightenment. This process is a gradual, spiraling journey that works in accord with the students readiness to understand deeper wisdom and to develop greater compassion- the two key factors required to achieve enlightenment. Therefore, the purification process is viewed as an infinite journey towards enlightenment.

Key to understanding this process is that it not only has an impact on the physical body, but the emotional and spiritual bodies as well. This principle lies in the second Reiki symbol, which is known as “hrih”(shree) in the Buddhists traditions as it is believe that it promotes a gradual unfoldment of the chakra petals.

5. Five Element Reiki™ Practitioners recognize the importance of living clean lifestyle and working in environments that are conducive to healing.

Traditional Reiki practitioners believe that anyone can treat anyone anywhere regardless of their own health and emotional wellbeing because they are a mere conduit of energy. Five Element Reiki™ practitioners understand that not only do we have a human body, but that we consist of various energy bodies that influence our health and wellbeing as well as those we are interconnected with-especially when we are treating other people.

This is very important to other’s healing process. Although Reiki may be channeled, each other’s energy field influences both the practitioner and client. If the Reiki healer habitually takes recreational drugs, narcotics for pain, or is experiencing a bigger illness, like cancer, than the practitioner will have a low state of energy frequency. This will influence the client’s energy field causing it to be lowered by the practitioner due to the lower frequency state. Therefore, Five Element Reiki™ practitioners recognize the importance of having an on-going spiritual practice. Practitioners strive to have a clean lifestyle that consists not only of a good diet but a life of integrity, virtue and peace.

6. Five Element Reiki™ Healing Sessions are Goal Focused

Although Traditional Reiki is not classified as massage, many traditional practitioners advertise in ways that infer it to be a massage type treatment. Some practitioners even specifically advertise their services as “Reiki Massage”.

Traditional Reiki Practitioners treat in a variety of ways that have not been clearly defined by the Reiki community. Because many traditional practitioners bill only for hourly services, many do not adequately assess their client’s needs, and again, work under the belief that energy simply flows where it is needed.

Five Element Reiki™ considers most health issues to have underlying emotional-spiritual causes, which are reflected in elemental imbalances. Because of this, we assess client’s to identify elemental imbalances and formulate a energy healing treatment plan based on this assessment. Each week, we monitor our client’s progress reaching their goals, and coach them on ways to overcome obstacles in order to bring health and balance back into their lives.


How is Five Element Reiki™ different from Acupuncture?

It differs from acupuncture in that practitioners do not need to work with needles. This allows practitioners to work in areas that needling would be painful, such as the soles of the feet or palms of the hands. Skilled Five Element Reiki™ practitioners can also identify disharmonies in the multiple energy fields of their client’s body as well as deep within their physical organs. This is accomplished by the practitioner’s ability to feel the state of their client’s various energy fields.

Growing in popularity, increasingly acupuncturists are seeking ways to fit more into a western medical mode. Assessments are becoming more focused on symptom management as seen by the growing practices of “community base acupuncture centers” or office clinics with several treatment rooms in order to preform treatments for multiple clients at a time. Unfortunately, working on the spiritual level is becoming minimized in these types of work environments. In addition, many acupuncturists today view the five elemental spirits philosophically rather than actual spirit. This can cause treatments to be more focused on symptom management based rather than deep spiritual healing as it was originally intended to be.

Five Element Reiki™ practitioners spend a significant amount of time working with clients. Treatment sessions typically take 2 hours and the practitioner is fully present with the client through the entire session. As previously stated, these sessions involve assessing the client’s history, physical problems and emotional issues. Practitioners move energy in the proper fashion while making contact with one or more of the five elemental spirits to gain insight into the deeper causes of a client’s state of being.

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