Reiki is an alternative therapy that consists of channelling energy through touch in order to activate the body's natural healing process and this has proved to be a success in all the schools where it has been tried.

Teaching Reiki in schools is part of the "Escola do Ser" project and began as a pilot project in Guimarães, where 84 children received six one-on-one Reiki sessions and a group of young people were trained for nine months. "The results were brilliant! The children became calmer and started to pay more attention. Overall, the whole school community shared the same opinion: the project was an asset for everyone," said Sílvia Oliveira, head of the Association of Reiki for Children and Youth.

After this successful experiment, the project began to spread all over the country, from North to South through more than 100 schools. As a result, Reiki for children has sparked the interest of people from all over the world. "In 2019, Reiki masters from several countries came to our country to see how we develop Reiki in schools. They loved the project and took it to the Netherlands", she said.

Also, to make the sessions more fun, Silvia Oliveira launched a book aimed at children to help them in Reiki classes. Reiki Super Hero is also translated into English, Dutch and Ukrainian and can be purchased through the association.

Reiki benefits

According to Sílvia, the main benefits of Reiki are the reduction of stress and anxiety, through the feeling of relaxation and well-being that it provides. In addition, it helps in the treatment of depression, reduces chronic pain and improves quality of life in general.

"Mikao Usui used to say: Reiki is the secret art of inviting happiness. So when we start working on ourselves, we are able to do a better management of our emotions. In childhood Reiki helps with emotional management, self-awareness, improving self-esteem and resilience, among other skills," she highlights.

Quoting the same master, Sílvia said that Reiki is simple. Although “sometimes adults make it complicated, children experience Reiki in a very simple way, because Reiki is an energy that is inside each one of us. A child's mind, which is still very pure, keeps the Reiki energy much more active, but as we grow up this changes”.

Credits: PA; Author: PA;

When is the right time to start?

We can start at any age, including when the mother is pregnant, because "if she receives Reiki it will benefit the baby". However, to start with a greater awareness of what is happening - seven is the best age.

"I believe that more and more parents and teachers feel that children need something more to help them managing their emotions. But I also know that it is necessary to explain to the whole school community and parents what this spiritual practice consists of, because the word spiritual is not always well seen”. It is important to note that “we are not based on any religion or beliefs, but only on techniques that help children managing their emotions," she added.

Taking the project to Lagos

In the Algarve, this project started in schools as an after-school activity in some primary schools in Lagos, but will go the next mile this year to a new building, ex Sargaçal Primary School in the municipality where more children can join.

Sara Coelho, counsellor for Education in Lagos council, is very happy with this project which aims to provide children with new tools for personal development. As a psychologist herself, she finds these personal tools very useful.

"My professional background obviously leads me to have some knowledge in this area. I am a psychologist and I know that when students are calmer they can do better in school", she said.

Sara Ceolho added: "My vision is that it is possible to practice yoga or Reiki and, at the same time, go to a psychologist. These activities also provide us with well-being, they give us balance, but in difficult times, those who want specialised support should go to a psychologist or a psychiatrist."

Credits: PA; Author: PA;

Antiga Escola do Sargaçal

With this new project, the association's idea was to extend the project outside the school environment. "Not all the children in the municipality are being covered and it makes sense to give this possibility to these children, hence the need to provide a physical space. As I said earlier, this is a project we have embraced and we think it is useful for the municipality. If it is useful inside the school, it can also be useful outside the school. That is why we have allocated the old Sargaçal school so that they can develop these activities", said the councillor.

Furthermore, Sara Coelho compares what we are doing in the Algarve with what other countries already do. "For example, in Japan, before work or school periods, they often do some physical exercises, relaxation exercises, and people start the day very well. That's what we are trying to do."

“Any municipality takes pleasure in being a pioneer, in showing that it is on the right track. So, we have to feel proud and feel pleasure in embracing these types of projects", she said.

If you would like to find out more information or sign your children up, you can do so from May at


Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252

Paula Martins