Reiki for Health and Mindfulness: Q&A with Reiki Practitioner Kristi Nakayama

The popularity of Reiki has been increasing over the years. Often referred to as energy healing, you may have heard about Reiki, but what exactly is this alternative therapy and why would it be of interest to us? Beauty News NYC sat down with Reiki Practitioner Kristi Nakayama owner of Nori Reiki to learn more about her fascinating work and its benefits.

For those of us who don’t know too much about Reiki can you explain what it is?

The easiest way to describe reiki in ways that more people are familiar with is to liken it to the sensation and relaxation you feel with acupuncture.  As an acupuncturist uses needles in specific areas throughout the head and body to open blood flow or similarly, chi or energy, a Reiki professional will use her hands to open up blocked energy in different areas of the body.  It is a very calming, gentle and relaxing but very powerful holistic form of healing. It promotes a restoration of your body’s natural energy flow, allowing for your own immune system to work to better heal itself.  In this way it can greatly benefit as an adjunctive treatment on top of more western medical treatments.  For example, Reiki has been proven in studies to help speed the process of healing in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or help with anxiety and insomnia in veterans under medical treatment for PTSD.  A Reiki practitioner’s hands either gently touch, hover above, or send energy remotely to different points throughout your body.

What was your inspiration to get certified?  

I have been dedicated to my own healing process since I was in my early twenties, in efforts to cope with the anxiety and depression I experienced since I was a very young child.  I remained dedicated to therapy throughout my twenties and early thirties and felt I was managing enough to “get by.”  Then in my mid-thirties as I was going through a divorce, my anxiety and insomnia were on a surge (also due to my work stress and crazy work travel schedule).  I felt really out of balance and on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  I knew I needed some serious help but wanted to find a doctor that focused on a holistic approach to healing before trying medications.  I found this incredible primary care physician whose approach was just that and one day he asked me if I was open to energy work.  I had no idea what that was.  Through guided meditation and energy work for about a year and a half on a monthly basis, I had made leaps and bounds in my healing and management of depression and anxiety.  Nothing had been as effective in combination with my usual dedicated health regimens of eating mostly vegetarian (with occasional fish), dedicated yoga practice, running etc.  I then branched out to a network of different healers in the bay area over the next six years.  Over the years in strengthening my meditation practice, I started to really hear my inner knowing (aka gut, instinct, intuition) for the first time.  This is when I realized my life path to serve and heal others through the modality that was the most effective for me, Reiki.  Having gone through such dark times myself, struggling just to “be normal” for so much of my life, to finding such an effective and loving healing modality, I am able to help and heal others’ pain and trauma from a place of extreme compassion and understanding.

Where did you get your certification and what was the process like?  

Believe it or not, I found the most magnificent woman and reiki master on yelp!  After much research and a lot of options in the San Francisco Bay area, I was so curious when I read the overwhelming number of 5-star reviews and praise of how magical this woman is.  I refer to her as the first angel on earth I have ever met.  Her name is Anna Dorian, her practice is called Vibrant Reiki and she also offers additional, life changing healing services outside of Reiki (from my own experience).  My first Reiki class with her was in a group of 20+ other curious healers and it was one of the most connected and loving experiences I’ve ever had in a single weekend.  Over the two-day course we learned the placement of hands on a client/patient’s body, how to set up a session, how to discuss boundaries and practice safe touch so every person has a positive and safe experience.  Then there is this magical process in the training called the “attunement” which is an initiation or reconnection of the healing powers and connection to spirit that resides in all of us.  It is like the opening of a pipe that allows water to now flow freely.  It opens up the Reiki practitioner’s ability to transfer universal energy onto another person, animal, plants etc. (i.e. any living beings). 


What are the benefits of Reiki?  

The benefits of Reiki are almost innumerable and it is not contraindicated with any other treatments.  The relaxing state that Reiki puts patients in is very conducive to healing.  It has been shown in studies to help physical injuries, anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD, supports your immune system through medical treatments like cancer or surgery as well as helps to break unhealthy patterns like addictions.  I also have a significant number of creative clients that say they experience a surge of their creativity and ability to “pour” out their creative work after our sessions.  Whether a person experiences a subtle, almost meditation-like relaxation during a session or a profound physical or emotional healing, results are always seen.  

Anything else we should know? 

I am very concerned about the state and health of our most selfless and health care warriors during this COVID pandemic.  I feel very called to give back to this amazing community of workers.  Seeing videos and reading articles about the trauma our healthcare workers are experiencing from the early COVID outbreak days in New York, treating patients through non-stop shifts, seeing and comforting patients as they die alone, working tirelessly through their own fear of dying and so much more, just breaks my heart.  I have worked closely with nurses and physicians for over 17 years (on the industry side) and they truly are warriors and heroes. I have so much respect for the work they do and I really would love to reach out to as many of our nurses, doctors, medical assistants, and respiratory technicians to offer greatly discounted Reiki services to support them through this pandemic as they have risked their lives for so many others. The pandemic has escalated so badly throughout all of the United States and other parts of the world and my hope is that through the amazing comforting and healing power of Reiki, that I too may comfort and support our incredible healthcare workers.  

To learn more about Nori Reiki and how Kristi can help you, check out her website: or follow her on Instagram @nori_reiki.