The word Reiki (Pronounced Ray Key) can be translated as universal energy or life force. Rei meaning Universal, and ki meaning energy or life force.
Another interpretation of Reiki, derived from the translations of Mikao Usui's memorial stone in Japan is 'A method that came into being through a moment of enlightenment.'
Reiki is an invisible, gentle energy that works by balancing a persons' energy system, promoting the body's own natural ability to heal, on all levels; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through the body and surrounds the very being. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit and created many beneficial effects including relaxation and peace, security and wellbeing.
Where does the the energy come from? Well no one can say for sure. Scientists now know that this energy, sometimes known as chi or prana, does exist throughout the universe. In fact everything in the universe is made of energy. Having said this, the energy we call Reiki does not appear to be a cold clinical energy but warm and loving. Some people would suggest divine or spiritual.
Reiki is very similar to western spiritual healing. A spiritual healer isn't connected to any particular energy, this is something they work at, something that comes naturally to them. A reiki practitioner is connected to the energy with a ritual known as an empowerment or attunement. This allows anyone to connect to Reiki and begin channeling immediately.
You do not have to follow any particular religion or have any spiritual belief to use or work with Reiki. Reiki is acceptable to all religions, as well as atheists or skeptics.