Getting attuned is just the beginning of your Reiki journey. Finding how and where it fits into and influences your life is a personal journey, unique to you. However there are some common questions about Reiki that cause confusion, and your Reiki Master may not always be available to answer those questions which leads to the tricky process of finding answers online. In this Q&A I’m going to answer the most common questions I’ve come across from Reiki practitioners.
Question: I’ve heard of Reiki practitioners taking on other people’s symptoms; can this really happen?
Answer: This can occasionally happen and demonstrates how important it is to ground and protect yourself before channelling Reiki to someone, and to cleanse your energy field afterwards. The way I understand it is that we’re empathic and we want to take away someone’s suffering. We channel Reiki to them and in doing so we’re spending time inside their energy, focussed on helping them to heal. In this situation I think it’s possible to accidentally absorb some of their difficulties, like a kind of super charged empathy! This happened to me shortly after I was attuned to Reiki One, when I took on the illness symptoms of two close friends.
My opinion, based on my experience as a Life Coach, Reiki Master and empath is that we need to go into every Reiki session with an awareness of appropriate boundaries. As Reiki practitioners our role is to channel the energy and facilitate healing, not to fix someone’s problems or take away their suffering. We are only part of the process. That’s why I prefer using the term ‘Reiki practitioner’ rather than ‘Reiki healer’ as it suggests we’re there to deliver the energy, not take responsibility for someone’s healing process.
Question: Will Reiki stop working if I don’t do it for a while?
Answer: This is a question I get asked a lot and one that I was worried about when I hadn’t done it for some time. I’m pleased to say that no, Reiki will never stop working, even if you don’t use it for years. Once you’re attuned to Reiki you’re tuned into it forever. It’s like a path has been cleared and it stays open. To get back into it simply place your hands on yourself and let it start flowing again.
Question: During a treatment should I have my hands on someone or just above them?
Answer: This is down to personal preference and figuring out what you and the person you’re giving a treatment to are comfortable with. Touch can be very reassuring in a therapeutic setting, but it can also feel too intimate – for the practitioner as well as the client. I tend to have my hands on my client’s head, shoulders, arms, solar plexus, tummy, knees and feet. I keep my hands an inch or two over their throat, chest and groin as these are sensitive areas. But if in doubt check with your client what they’re comfortable with and explain what you’ll be doing.
Question: I don’t see or feel anything when doing Reiki or receiving a treatment; is that normal?
Answer: Reiki is working even if you can’t sense it. It’s easy to get attached to seeing and feeling things during Reiki – I know I used to – but the things we sense don’t reflect the strength of the energy flow. I’ve had some powerful experiences as both a practitioner and a client, but there have been far more occasions when I’ve just felt pleasantly relaxed and a bit warm during a treatment. I have to confess that when giving a Reiki treatment my mind often wanders! I used to fight against this but now I don’t; if I allow my mind to wander I feel less attached to the outcome of the treatment and I don’t try to direct what’s happening, I just go with the flow and trust that the energy will go where it’s needed. Often whilst my mind has been wandering my client has had an intense experience with all the bells and whistles! Reiki feels different o everyone and it varies from treatment to treatment, s trust yourself, trust the Reiki and see what happens when you release your expectations.
Question: Is Reiki only for doing hands on treatment on people?
Answer: One of the great things about Reiki is that you can apply it in so many ways. You can use it on plants, animals, crystals, food and drink. You can send it to past situation or future events. Reiki is limitless; it is only limited by our imagination and willingness to trust that it works. This article is full of ideas for how you can easily do Reiki in just 5 or 10 minutes during a normal day, even if you’re rushed off your feet.
Question: There seem to be different types of Reiki. Which one is the best?
Answer: In 1937, Hawayo Takata returned from Japan to her home in Hawaii, where she’d been attuned by Chujiro Hayashi. Here she started a Reiki clinic in which she used some different teaching methods to the teachers in Japan. This is how two branches of Reiki first emerged: Eastern and Western. As more Reiki Masters were attuned these branched out further, as different teachers brought their individual backgrounds, beliefs and interpretations to their practice of Reiki. There are now many branches on the Reiki tree, too many to list. I think this variety is a positive thing as it brings diversity and fresh influences to the tradition of Reiki. But it can also be divisive, with a minority of Reiki Masters claiming that their style of Reiki is better than others.
When it comes down to it it’s all Reiki, and no way of doing it is more powerful, spiritual or effective than another. We’re all equal in our Reiki.
Question: Do I have to so self healing or can I just use it for other people?
Answer: If you’re not comfortable doing self healing it’s important to ask why that might be. There are many barriers to nurturing yourself; you may feel unworthy, anxious about what issues could come up to be faced and healed, impatient, afraid or not sure how to do self healing comfortably. Just as we need to learn to love and accept ourselves before we can fully love and accept others, so we need to give ourselves the time and space to heal our own wounds so we can channel Reiki clearly for others.
I find that if I havn’t done much self healing then I give someone a treatment I seem to absorb some of the energy I had ment to channel for them. The Reiki has gone where it’s needed most immediately – to me!
Reiki helps to heal old inner wounds and release outdated beliefs about yourself that no longer serve you. If you’re concerned about what could come up for you through self healing get guidance from someone who can help you to work through the process, such as a Reiki Master, counsellor, Life Coach or spiritual mentor.
Everyone experiences Reiki differently. Trust your own intuition and your experiences with Reiki, and ask questions if you need to. No matter how much experience we gain and no matter what level we’ve been attuned to it’s vital to remain humble, curious and open minded.