I perused many defining websites to find how others would describe Reiki. Many people get quite ethereal in their definitions of Reiki, which tends to only confuse those that are unfamiliar with this healing modality. It is truly very simple, though.
Rei-Ki (pronounced ray-kee) in its simplest translation from Japanese to English is as follows:
Rei = Universal
Ki = Life Force Energy (aka Chi)
All living people possess this energy. Reiki is the system which enrolls and directs this Universal Life Force specifically for healing. Healing can occur on any of the planes – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and karmic.
A Reiki practitioner is someone who has been trained in the art of directing this energy in a series of classes, as well as becoming a clear channel for healing energy. A Reiki Master has undergone further and more intensive training, as well as an apprenticeship program, which usually lasts a year.
A Reiki Master Teacher is a Reiki Master who trained, during their Master internship, to teach others about the healing art of Reiki to those who wish to become Reiki Masters themselves. In my experience, Reiki Master Teachers have also incorporated other healing modalities in their work which has deepened their understanding of energy and healing, although this is not a necessity.
There are other titles one can pursue and acquire in Reiki, such as Grandmaster or Lineage Bearer, all of which indicate that the Reiki Practitioner has spent years gathering information, experience, and education in Reiki. Much of my research into these levels has shown that they are only active in the Western practice of Reiki and have been spawned because Reiki Masters have wanted to set themselves apart from other Reiki Masters. My experience has led me to understand that it is not the title that sets a Healer apart, but it is, rather, how the Healer carries themselves and how they embody their Gifts.
Reiki is a gentle, hands-on healing therapy which has been around for centuries and is becoming more readily accepted by traditional Western medicine communities.