From Hawai’i to Queens: My Reiki Journey Towards Healing

In 2005, I started my Reiki journey in Hawai’i.  At the time, I was going through massive shifts in my life that left me heartbroken and shattered, so I went to see a kahuna there (a kahuna is a wise woman/shaman in Hawai’ian culture.)  She told me that I was very powerful, and that I need to start doing Reiki.  She also told me that Goddess Guan Yin (the Chinese Goddess/boddhisattva of compassion and love, also known as Kwan Yin, Quan Yin) was around me.  Little did she know that I’ve always had an affinity for Guan Yin.  So, although I didn’t know much about Reiki back then, I trusted the kahuna, flew back to the mainland, and did my first Reiki attunement.  My Reiki journey continues, years later, and will continue to always be a part of my life.

“Kwan Yin and her snail” by K. Kendall, used with permission under CC BY 2.0.

Two Saturdays ago, at my Reiki Master’s house in Queens, New York, I was attuned to my Third Level of Reiki; and thus, earned the title Reiki Master.  People don’t often wait as long as I did in between attunements; but, everyone has their journey, and my path made it so I assimilated my healing work in my life, helped me harness my energy work style, as I continued going to grad school to finish my Masters of Science in Acupuncture.  This attunement was incredible and profound, and felt empowering and humbling at the same time.  With the first two levels of Reiki, I was able to hone Reiki healing on a wonderful physical level.  The Third Level delves deeper, because it heals on a soul and spirit level.  I’ve already seen its impact on my enhanced skills in the past week, alone.  In fact, my first Reiki patient since my attunement, a regular who wasn’t aware of my newly acquired skills, said after her Reiki treatment, “I don’t know what it is.  But, even though all past sessions have been amazing, this treatment was the most powerful!”

Reiki is a healing technique that was developed by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui in 1922, and has since evolved into many practicing traditions.  “Rei” is defined as the all-knowing divine universal, and “Ki” is the energy that animates all living things, and flows through everything that is alive, including plants, animals, and humans.  It is used all over the world by people of many different faiths, cultures, and spiritual paths.  I practice White Light Reiki.

Reiki is not taught in the way other healing techniques are taught.  It is transferred from the Reiki Master to the student during an attunement process, which opens the crown, heart, and palm chakras to create a special link between the student and the Reiki source.

Before the attunement, I prepared my body through eating well and cutting out red meat, no sweets, increasing my meditation practice, and keeping my mind clear and my body healthy, in general.  It’s recommended to not smoke or drink, but I wasn’t planning to do either anytime soon, anyways.  The attunements are always followed by a twenty-one day detox that flushes toxins you’ve been holding in your body, and releases feelings and thought processes that are no longer useful.  I’m still going through that part now.  It’s been intense, but I’m loving every minute of it!

So, what started out as a quest to heal my heart, has become a practice that helps me soothe my body, soul, and spirit, and also allows me to share that, and the healing effects of acupuncture, with others for a living.  When you follow your heart calling, only good can come of it!

What is your heart calling you to do?
I’d love to hear about it in the comments, below!

For common questions about reiki, check out my “What Is Reiki?” page.

Copyright © 2012 by Alcantara Acupuncture & Healing Arts. All rights reserved. You may quote, copy, translate and link to this article, in its entirety, on free, non-donation based websites only, as long as you include the author name and a working link back to this website. All other uses are strictly prohibited.

All information on this website is my own opinion, and not to be taken as medical advice. Reliance on any information provided on this website is solely at your own risk. Please refer to your medical practitioner before making any medical decisions.



  1. 8 Benefits Of Meditation And 14 Ways To Get Your Meditative Groove On | Alcantara Acupuncture Blog
    April 9, 2013

    […] Self-Healing Energy – There are many forms of energy healing out there.  I practice Reiki.  Energy healing is a wonderful modality to meditate with, because you can send healing to yourself and to others!  I incorporate this into my meditations daily, so that by the time you come in for a Reiki treatment that day, my mojo is ready to go-go!  Interested in learning more about how to do it?  There are many ways to learn.  I blogged about my personal Reiki journey in the post, “From Hawaii to Queens: My Reiki Journey Towards Healing”. […]

  2. reiki healing
    April 20, 2014

    great put up, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not understand
    this. You must proceed your writing. I’m confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

    • Margarita Alcantara, M.S.Ac., L.Ac., Reiki Master/Teacher
      April 20, 2014

      Thank you, reiki healing! I appreciate the encouragement and supportive comments. May your reiki healing work in the UK continue to flourish!

  3. What To Expect During A Reiki Treatment - Alcantara Acupuncture & Healing Arts
    June 5, 2014

    […] I set out to learn Reiki in 2005 (check out my post, “From Hawaii to Queens: My Reiki Journey Towards Healing”), I was doing so purely to heal my heart, and because I was guided to by a Hawai’ian […]

  4. Yvette
    January 20, 2016

    Very interesting & helpful to me. I’ve been attuned for 2 months and love Reiki. I’m finding it very difficult to meditate and to connect with my spirit guides, I already have a few clients that are my Guinea pigs for now, they have told me what a wonderful experience they have when I give them reiki but I’m struggling to believe that reiki is flowing through me…… I do feel things but I think I need more proof. I know it’s early days & maybe I’m a little impatient but I can’t wait to see & experience what you see/do & feel. Hopefully I will be taking my 2nd Attunment very soon, can you give me any advise? Am I expecting too much to soon? Thank you x

    • Margarita Alcantara, M.S.Ac., L.Ac., Reiki Master/Teacher
      January 22, 2016

      Hi Yvette,

      Congratulations on your recent Reiki attunement! All that you’re explaining is totally natural and to be expected, since you’re still learning how to get a good grasp on how energy works, and how YOU do Reiki. I commonly hear this complaint from Reiki students, particularly who’ve finished Level I (and even II and beyond) – not feeling confident that it’s flowing through you, simply because you don’t see instant physical manifestation of your handiwork. You will soon see that there is often a physical manifestation or “evidence” that happens sometime down the road, which you may or may not witness. And, sometimes there is evidence that is not physical or easy to see, because the shifts are made deep within, and then radiate outwards to those your client connects to. Trusting your Third Eye is a process. I encourage you to allow yourself to hone it in your perfect timing. Keep practicing it on yourself (and on close friends and family).



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