Who is Reiki for? Reiki can be of benefit to anyone. It is particularly good for relaxation, stress relief, relieving physical aches and pains and calming emotions. Plants and animals can benefit as well as people, they are very sensitive to Reiki. If you go on to learn Reiki yourself, you will discover many more applications and can give yourself treatments. It actually makes sense to learn Reiki yourself, its methods are simple and you can go as far as you wish to with it; not everyone will want to practice professionally, some will prefer to use it simply as a personal energy practice or self development technique. Many physical therapists also learn Reiki and find that it can enhance the effectiveness of their work. There is no pre-requisite in terms of background or religious belief, Reiki is for the benefit of all.
What exactly is Reiki “energy”?
Reiki is a universal, life force or spiritual energy that some believe comes directly from God or a divine source. It is a kind of pure energy flow which a practitioner connects up to and then channels into the recipient. It may help to imagine the Reiki practitioner like a human radio that has been tuned into the Reiki frequency. The radio waves are the energy that passes to you through them - we can’t see radio waves either but we can hear the sounds and we can also feel the reiki energy! The recipient or client will draw in whatever energy they might need at that particular time and as the energy passes through the practitioner, they also will feel the benefit of the flow of energy. This is one of the reasons people love Reiki, it benefits both parties involved in a treatment!
How do I know I am getting the right sort of Reiki?
There are many different styles that have developed since it first came to the West, but essentially Reiki is Reiki and whoever treats you will be passing on the exact same energy on to you, whoever their teacher was and whatever they call their particular brand. Some Reiki practitioners also may choose to combine Reiki with crystal, sound or drum healing or other modalities.
How do I pick a practitioner?
All practitioners will have a lineage or "family tree" of masters, starting with Mikao Usui, who have passed the energy down to them and they will be able to tell you what their lineage is. In reality, this probably won't mean a great deal to you! From a treatment point of view, most Reiki sessions will be very similar whoever the practitioner is. There are regulatory organisations such as the Reiki Federation and the Reiki Association that some practitioners and teachers choose to affiliate themselves to, following a voluntary code of ethics and practice. Reiki practitioners and teachers must verify their lineage so the family tree of student and master traces back to the founder of the system, Mikao Usui. However, probably the most important thing is that you feel comfortable with your Reiki practitioner or Master and that you are a personal match, so it makes sense to contact them first and see how you feel. It is only really if you are going to learn Reiki that you may want to investigate the methods your teacher uses a bit more, as although the energy is the same, the course content may vary quite a bit and varying levels of post course support are offered, from none at all, to ongoing contact and help.
How long does the treatment take? How many sessions will I need?
A typical treatment lasts about 45 minutes to an hour with one practitioner, less if two or more are treating you. Many therapists encourage a course of three consecutive weekly treatments initially to get the healing momentum off to a good start but it of course depends on your individual needs and preference. You may of course decide you would like to learn Reiki for yourself and a first degree course includes how to give self treatments.
How is the treatment given?
All treatments are carried out fully clothed, with eyes closed, more usually lying down on a treatment table to ensure total relaxation but a seated treatment is also possible if you are more comfortable that way.
The practitioner will gently lay their hands on different areas of the body (with a light touch, no pressure or manipulation), but also may just hover their hands a few inches away from the body itself, to work in your energy field.
Your practitioner will typically treat you in two possible ways: they will either follow a set of standard hand positions (starting at your head and moving towards your feet) or they may be intuitively guided and use a seemingly more “random” approach. Both types of treatment are perfectly normal. Some practitioners treat both sides of the body and will ask you to turn over so they can treat your back. If you have a back problem it is usually best to have this treated first.
What can I expect to feel during a session?
It is probably best to approach a treatment session with an open mind and not have any fixed expectations. However, amongst the feelings that people report are a comforting warmth within a cocoon of energy, coolness, pulsing or tingling. Occasionally a feeling of floating, lightness or drifting, a deep sense of relaxation and drowsiness. Sometimes a treatment can bring feelings or memories to the surface for you to process and release. You may not seem to feel anything at all or drift off into a light sleep. All experiences are valid ones and your experience will be exactly right for you.
Are there any after effects? Is it safe? Do I need to check with my Doctor first? The very most you may experience after a Reiki session is what may feel like cold or flu symptoms for a day or two, which is an indication that your body’s energy system is having a “flushing out” or “detox”. The Reiki energy will continue to work with you for a period of time even after your session. With deep relaxation can come a temporary exacerbation of any symptoms you may have, this is normal as with a release of tension that may have been held in your body for some time, you will feel tired! Further treatments may be what you need to continue to anchor the flow of Reiki along with changes in lifestyle or perspective.
A Reiki treatment is totally safe and is perfect to be used in conjunction with any treatment your doctor is giving you and many other alternative/complementary therapies. If you have any health worries it is always wise to see your Doctor first as Reiki is not a replacement for medical help nor does it diagnose or cure any condition.