What is the Deal with Reiki Attunements?

There seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to Usui Reiki attunements.  Do I really need an attunement to practice Usui Reiki?  Do I need to be attuned to Animal Reiki to treat animals?  There are so many types of Reiki, do I need to be attuned to them all?  Do distance attunements work?  Can I download my attunement automatically by reading a book about Reiki or by watching an attunement video on YouTube?  These are a few questions about attunements that I hear regularly. 

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