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Reiki: Yay or Nay?!

This post was written by Angela
on April 18, 2014 | Comments (17)

Okay you guys and gals, there’s a conversation that started this week that I’m sure many many more voices can chime in on! In the world of energy-work (whether it be Reiki, Healing Touch, or something else) what has your experience been? Have you ever had a session? What did you feel? Was there a noticeable outcome? Are you a practitioner? What’s it like from your side of the table? Do you really believe this kind of thing works or is it all a bunch of hooey? Why am I asking so many questions?!

The Discussion
This week on KS95, morning hosts Ryan and Shannon were talking about Reiki. I love listening to these two because so often they bring up topics that aren’t mainstream, but that are entirely part of my world here at Llewellyn…ghosts, spirit communication, psychic ability, past lives, energy… It’s so entertaining (and kind of bizarre) to hear these kinds of things bantered about on a mainstream pop station without mockery. Well, maybe some mockery, but it’s in good fun and there’s great discussion about the validity of this or that.

So when Ryan mentioned his recent experience with Reiki I was especially interested to hear what he thought about it. He had a fall a while ago that left him with a hip pain and while he was on vacation he ended up going for a Karuna Reiki session to see if it would help. During the session he felt a lot of heat, mentioned there was some temporary pain relief, and was pretty enthusiastic about the whole thing. Shannon was not quite convinced, though. I volunteered to give her a trial session so she could see what it’s all about before solidifying her opinion. You can watch the video of her experience here:

Energy Work and I
I started studying energy work about ten years ago. I have been trained in Reiki, but I work non-traditionally, meaning I don’t follow the standard hand positions or “order” of progression that’s recommended. Instead I follow the energy and my intuition, something I gradually learned to trust more during a three-year training program and years of real-world practice. I’ve done sessions as a hospice volunteer to ease suffering and for friends and family to stop migraines, ease stress, assist through emotional trials, and more. For a couple of years I also provided it as a service in spas and healing centers. Now it’s mainly a healing hobby and a sharing of knowledge, so I was glad to be able to offer an example.

Don’t “Prove”
In the end Shannon wasn’t convinced and that’s okay! Check out audio from the show here.

I know from experience that this isn’t a modality you can fully explain. It’s like trying to define love. It has to be felt and even then it’s not always consciously understood or sensed. I also know from experience that it’s not worth trying to prove it. I’ll offer a sample session as an example to anyone who’s skeptical, but I try not to worry about whether it will be labeled good/bad or real/fake in the end, because I have no control over that and if I tried I’d stifle the flow of energy. Each session and each person can be so different, so sometimes you really feel what’s going on and sometimes you don’t.

Three reminders: ego has no place in energy medicine, you can’t force the exact desired healing request to occur, and the energy goes where it’s most needed.

Similar to energy work, I’ve been doing yoga for more than ten years and I think it’s the best thing ever, even more-so than chocolate (that’s saying something)! But in a recent class there was a newbie who didn’t seem convinced. I could tell he wasn’t getting much out of it. I could almost hear him thinking, “This is bologna! What’s this doing that I can’t get from lifting weights or running?”

In my view, yoga is to exercise what energy medicine is to bodywork. It’s the subtle version. You’re doing a lot of work, sometimes even more so than with the more obvious physical option, but until you actually notice the benefits it can be harder to grasp why it’s worthwhile. “Give it at least 10 sessions,” the instructor said to him. “Then judge whether it’s helping and if you like it or not. You won’t be able to tell until you give it more of a try and see how your body responds and what the benefits for you will be.” Maybe he will give it a try before fully judging it or maybe he won’t. When you need yoga, you find it and you know its benefits. It’s the same with energy work and so many other complementary and alternative options.

Even I Forget
In my own experience, the most powerful Reiki session was probably around number eight. It blew my away. If you’ve ever had that x-ray ink injected into your blood you know the sensation of heat running from top to bottom throughout your body. It felt like that, starting like an orgasmic explosion at my heart and pulsing like waves up and down from head to foot. My eyes shot open in alarm to see the practitioner’s unmoving hands  inches above my chest, her eyes closed; she had no awareness of the powerful shift that had just occurred, but I’ll never be able to forget it.

That experience is my reminder of how powerful this modality can be and also clues me in to why it is often misjudged. I’d gone for her to help with pain in my arm and didn’t see benefit for that ailment from the session, but the energy goes where it’s most needed and obviously my heart was where it was at. If I hadn’t felt the shift, I might have assumed since my arm was the same that nothing had actually occured.

I’ve felt and seen first-hand what energy work is capable of, and still I need to remind myself. As a practitioner even I sometimes disregard it, forgetting its power. I forget to give myself sessions. I choose to pay for a massage consistently instead of energy work. When our day-to-day lives are based so much in the physical…the tangible world we see, taste, touch…it can be so easy to dismiss the more subtle parts. But when I finally have a session again I’m reminded how beneficial it can be, how much it actually effects things, and I wonder at how I could ever forget.

But enough from me, what about you? Are you an enthusiastic Ryan or an unconvinced Shannon? No matter which, we want to hear from you!

Reader Comments

Written By Joanne smith
on April 18th, 2014 @ 11:02 am

As a certified aromatherapist I encourage all of my patients to seek a reiki treatment in between their aromatherapy treatments as a sort of booster shot. I’m an holistic aromatherapist so mind, body, soul is very important to me.

Written By ann
on April 18th, 2014 @ 11:14 am

I also work with reiki, I go with my intuition and not the rules! I believe it works but one session won’t cure the problem! I pick up problems with my hands a bit like reflexology. I’m good at what I do and love working with reiki. If people don’t believe in it then an hour of relaxation isn’t that bad!

Written By Scott
on April 18th, 2014 @ 12:19 pm

My reiki experience was horrid. I was very much into getting the treatment and the master stopped the session halfway through. She said there were blockages, that my magic and hers didn’t work. I asked her to explain and she said something about her planets being in alignment and ethics. That was it…end of discussion. I was left paranoid and confused.

I scheduled with another master recommended for intuitive session. I was told that my spirit guides were being pushed aside, that I was being assailed by elementals and interdimensional beings. My chakras were so out of line, it was a wonder my bag of bones still had a soul. So….I called horse crap and haven’t been to another reiki place since.

Written By Karen Jennings
on April 18th, 2014 @ 1:14 pm

YAY, it helps!!

Written By Angela
on April 18th, 2014 @ 1:46 pm

It’s great to hear your feedback!Joanne, aromatherapy followed by a dose of reiki sounds like heaven. I tend to mix in essential oils as well. Ann, I like your logic. 🙂

Written By Angela
on April 18th, 2014 @ 1:58 pm

Wow, Scott, I’m sorry you had two negative experiences. I think what the practitioner meant was that she wasn’t sensing any energy coming through and if she really felt like nothing beneficial would come of you working together, she didn’t want to waste your time. Unfortunately it sounds like she approached it in a really confusing and somewhat alarming way. I’m sure you’re fine! If you want to try it again I’d recommend finding someone new on your own and asking questions about their process before the session so you know what to expect. For example, I might share intuitive symbols or impressions I get during a session, but only if the client wants that information; I don’t share without their permission and those kind of “extras” are technically a part of Reiki treatment. They’re add-ons according to the practitioner’s interests and abilities. I don’t know about or have interest in planetary, elemental, or interdementional topics (all of these items fall outside of traditional Reiki)…so each practitioner has a bit of their own style that matches their interests.

Written By paul
on April 18th, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

I was on IMVU and one female friend had pain in her lower back, I was never trained in energy healing but I read about it and both of my parents (my dad and step mom) were practioners of Reiki. I decided to try and heal her or at least ease her pain. I positioned the camera view so that I could see the back of her avatar and held my right hand palm up(as that I am left-handed) and with my left hand towards her avatar’s lower back. I visualized the energy flowing from above my right hand down through my arm and shoulders and out through my left hand into her back. she told me later that the pain was gone and asked me what I did. The second woman that I did this for was confined to a wheelchair for 5 years I did the same thing to her as I did for first one. She told me that for the first time in 5 years she WALKED into her therapist’s office. as to date, the wheelchair is in her closet and she goes hiking with her mom. I have had NO FORMAL training in energy healing but it is for real.

Written By Lisa
on April 19th, 2014 @ 8:49 am

To Scott, so sorry for your negative experience. I would encourage you to not give up on reiki! I am a practitioner of traditional Japanese reiki. It is important for the client to set an intention prior to the treatment. There is unlimited source of life in our universe, however the quality of our existence begins with us. I work with my clients to look to their subconscious to discover why they have blockages and we work together to gently clear them over time. The reiki practitioner is merely a conduit for the healing energy of the universe; it is undeniable. For a ‘master’ to deny you treatment because something may be bothering you is counter to the purpose. As Angela so wisely recommended, I would explore the philosophy the practitioner follows and find one who practices mindful healing with loving kindness for their clients. Looking for a practitioner who is a Shibumi member adhering to the traditional Japanese vision and philosophy may lead you to what you seek. All the best!!!!

Written By Raven
on April 19th, 2014 @ 9:57 am

Loved seeing you in this context, Angela!
Reiki is so powerful – I brought it into surgery on Tuesday for a breast cancer patient, and even when she was coming out of anesthesia in post op, she told me she could feel the difference when I was there. (I hadn’t been able to give her Reiki when we first arrived, because her nurse needed to work on stabilizing her.) The surgery was a complete success, and she called me two days later to tell me she was home and didn’t need pain meds!
Keep up the great work, Angela! Reiki rocks it, and so do you!
With love & gratitude,

Written By Melissa Lizon
on April 19th, 2014 @ 5:23 pm

I say yay Reiki! I am a Reiki Master Practitioner. Reiki is a wonderful healing modality that has yet to fully be appreciated by the masses. I hope in the future many more people will discover what a truly beneficial tool it can be to complement any existing medical, spiritual or therapeutic treatments

Written By Pat Mul
on April 20th, 2014 @ 3:15 am

Reiki only works on four levels. It is effective but it’s really a simplified form of dimensional energy healing. It’s had it’s time.

New Paradigm Multi Dimensional Transformation works on 365 levels. It is faster and far more effective than Reiki. The energy is developing fast and growing bigger. This increase that has been given to us because so many people are raising their consciousness. This means that sessions are even shorter. Which mean that a practitioner can help more people.

I find it quite amusing to have read here about a practitoner who says there is a block and they cannot help the person. Of course they can’t. They aren’t working on the right level of dimension simply because they can’t.

My clients often report very quick if not immediate results. I only really suggest multiple sessions for health problems that are chronic or of a karmic nature. Even then I’ll do blueprint DNA work alongside sending energy to the person who I am working with.

Sometimes I’ll get a text or an email from somebody in great pain and desperation,even before I can text back they are dinging on my phone that a migraine – or whatever their issue was – has lifted!

Yes Reiki has it’s place for those who want to spend a lot of money and time going to multiple sessions. I have always preferred fast and cost effective methods and that is why New Paradigm Multi Dimensional Transformation is so much more in line with my personality.

Oh and by the way I only use the term “Master” to indicate that I have completed the full training and am entitled to teach courses.

I hope this short point of view of mine helps people realize that there are more effective forms of energy healing. So that they can make an informed choice.


Written By George
on April 20th, 2014 @ 11:52 am

Hi, it is difficlult to express in words the experiences I have had in my Reiki sessions…I will try though. I was a very skeptical person and have been experiencing 3 years of chronic pain. After trying all the non alternative pain relief methods, with no effects, I decided to go whole heart into alternative. I had a very good acupuncturist who recommended I see a “spiritual” Reiki practitioner. I had no idea what I was getting for a treatment, however went in very “open minded” with hopes of some kind of pain relief. Well, what I experienced was nothing short of indescribable amazement! I am contemplating writing a book about my experiences with alternative practitioners, especially my Reiki experience. From the moment the practitioner touched my ankles and I felt that energy flow through my body up to my head with a distinct shiver, I knew there was some kind of energy transference going on. As our sessions progressed I have experienced uncontrollable shaking, uncontrollable emotional releases (crying/laughing/happiness),feelings of bliss, and an overall wellness that I have never felt before in my life. It has had a profound effect on me as I have never experienced anything like this in my 52 years of life! My pain is not gone, but I have an amazing feeling of connectedness to a greater spirit than I have ever felt, no fears of the future, and would recommend everyone try it. Everyone may not have the same effect as I did, but I truly believe I have an angel as a practitioner, and now that I have experienced this, I can’t get enough. I have just touched the surface here of what I have experienced, the other experiences are beyond words and consciousness. Believe me I am not making this up and I am not doing this to promote anyone in particular, but the profound experience I had is something I have a hard time keeping to myself.

Written By Tina
on April 20th, 2014 @ 10:01 pm

I don’t blame you one bit. I am a Reiki master and I have never heard of any Reiki master acting or talking like the two you had.
First of all Reiki has nothing to do with MAGIC and I have never heard the term magic used in Reiki. Also Reiki has nothing to do with astrology, so we do not concern ourselves with planet alignment. Nothing against magic or astrology, but that has nothing to do with Reiki.
So, Scott, I don’t know where those two were coming from, but it sure was not simple Reiki energy work. Please do not let that discourage you on getting a good Reiki treatment. I agree with Angela; next time sit with the Reiki practitioner and get a feel of where that individual is coming from, and if it agrees with what you expect, then go for it.

Written By Rahul Rana
on April 30th, 2014 @ 3:08 am

That was a nice discussion above there about Reiki. I am a keen learner of astrology techniques and so i used to search all the web for the related items. Basically i also write about crystal therapy and Reiki healing techniques.

Feel free to visit my article: What is Reiki

Written By Catherine
on October 26th, 2014 @ 6:54 pm

I’ve experienced wonderful relaxation with Reiki and it was the only thing that relieved pain for my father when he was dying of bone cancer. However, I’ve worked in the alternative therapy regulation field and know that the training of alternative practitioners is often lacking in the fundamental area of client/therapist relationship. They may be trained in their modality but not all practitioners are adequately trained in the ethics and practices of therapy – the relationship between practitioner and client regardless of the modality. That’s what seems to have been the problem with Scott’s Reiki therapist. It doesn’t help that some alternative therapists reject the idea that they are therapists and that they have a therapeutic relationship with their clients.

Written By SoulBlessed
on January 10th, 2015 @ 7:50 pm

I love Reiki! I found Reiki after my father died suddenly from a surgery gone wrong. I was raised a born again Christian and both my parents were ministers. When my father passed suddenly, I was angry with God and religion. I started searching for answers and I saw Reiki classes advertised on a window. I don’t know how or why it caught my eye but it did and by this time I was in deep depression. When I met my teachers, I liked them right from the start. I put religion on a shelf and let my inner spirit guide me. I learned so much about myself and others. My healing finally began from within and I wasn’t surprised that my throat chakra was blocked b/c I had no voice of my own. It took me a year to find my voice and who I was spiritually. This happened in 2001 and when my mother crossed over in 2010, I wasn’t as grieved as I was with my dad.

The journey of life doesn’t end, and Scott, don’t let a negative experiences with Reiki be yours. If you still feel the drawing to Reiki then listen to your gut and don’t give up. I’m praying that you find the right teacher:) Go in Peace, Soulblessed


  1. Reiki: Yay or Nay?! |  on April 18th, 2014 @ 11:29 am

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