This blog offers Reiki practitioners resources and tools to present Reiki practice credibly to health care professionals and the mainstream public and empowering you to be happier and healthier, and to take better care of yourself.
Reiki master Maud Maynard is the daughter of an aging mother with dementia who previously wrote about Reiki practice gave her a new beginning at midlife. Now Maud shares how practicing the Reiki Precepts brings tenderness to this bittersweet time of life.
Practicing the Reiki Precepts is easier once you’ve memorized them, which you can do right now if you haven’t already. Here they are, followed by Maud’s Reiki story.
Do not anger, do not worry
With thankfulness, work diligently
Be kind to others
Living with the Reiki Precepts
By Maud Maynard
My 94-year-old mother has dementia.
The past year has been a series of adjustments as she lost her independence and moved into a nursing home where she continues on her course, safe and cared for.
I have become my mother’s brain, taking over the logistics of her life, trying to help her maintain emotional balance as I make decisions for her physical care. My siblings and I see that she receives consistent attention through our daily contact with her.
Today only, practicing the Reiki Precepts
I maintain my emotional and spiritual balance through my Reiki practice.
Practicing the Reiki Precepts is my touchstone for navigating the anger, grief and confusion of dealing with the changes brought on by dementia. As I meditate on the Precepts, I am able to detach from the anxiety buzzing in the back of my mind.
Do not anger
Anger often rises from the unease anxiety brings. I become abrupt and impatient. When angry, I have a knack for the cutting remark or dismissive comment.
Anger tricks me into believing, temporarily, that I can exercise control over a situation whose power outstrips mine. Then I remember I can control only my response. The good news is that by practicing the Reiki Precepts, I cultivate self-awareness and that awareness reminds me to “let it go,” to surrender, correct, move on.
Do not worry
Of all the Reiki Precepts, “do not worry” poses the biggest challenge to me.
The logistics of insurance and expenses, of communicating with caregivers, of being 45 minutes away, wondering about her state of mind at any given moment, these things pile up and often take over my thoughts, even reaching into my dreams.
When I recognize my concern for Mom has crossed into toxic territory, I reorient with the guidance of the Precepts.
With thankfulness, work diligently
I am grateful she is in a facility where the staff is attentive. I am grateful my family is able to comfort her with our visits.
Practicing the Reiki Precepts, I diligently strive to maintain a positive attitude. I know my thoughts are important.
My goal is always compassionate detachment, being a stable presence as she continues her difficult progress. I can’t make this dementia journey for her but I can be a loving witness and companion.
Be kind to others
I bring kindness to her, her companions and the center’s staff. I make it a point to acknowledge and truly see the residents and staff alike.
Small acts of kindness and presence matter.
Reiki Precepts practice brings presence
I practice Reiki as I prepare to visit my mother, leaning into the comfort my practice brings me. I always offer Reiki touch to Mom. She enjoyed it in pre-dementia days, calling me her medicine woman (with a wink!). Now she is very content to sit quietly and hold my Reiki hand.
It’s not that I never get angry, frustrated or worried. Of course I do.
Yet with consistent Reiki Precepts practice and the presence that brings, I’m more quickly aware when I veer off-kilter. I take the time to adjust my state and my thoughts.
By maintaining my stability through Reiki practice, I am a better version of myself, the daughter I long and choose to be.
Just for today
Just for today, I cherish our time together.
When I am present, I can create memories for myself even as my mother’s memories escape her.
As a mother, it’s easy to pit your self care against the care of your family. That’s wrong understanding.
Think about it. Remember how profoundly Reiki practice refreshes your state, how quickly it opens your heart to the love that sometimes seems trapped inside.
Keeping love imprisoned in your heart is not a good state for a Reiki mother to live in, is it? As a mom, you don’t want to wear your heart on your sleeve, but you also don’t want it locked up.
Part of your job as a mother is to keep your state balanced so your heart stays strong and open.
Your Reiki self care supports you and everyone who depends on you for anything. Your self care carries you through life’s highs and lows, gains and losses.
Defy the obstacles, practice gratitude
Please keep in mind that most mothers are not Reiki mothers.
If you are Reiki trained, self care is easier for you than it is for other people. No matter the lineage or practice style, your Reiki training has placed self care literally in the palm of your hand. All you have to do is bend your elbow.
A mother’s exhaustion — anyone’s exhaustion — can make the yard between your palms and your body seem like miles, but you know self practice is simply not that hard. And it gets easier the moment you connect hands to body. Out of gratitude for your Reiki practice, practice self Reiki now.
Today only, right this moment, defy the obstacles and take better care of yourself.
That’s where real change begins. That’s how you can melt effortlessly into the stream of pure love your heart calls “Mother.”
Do yourself the favor of honoring your mother in any way that is meaningful to you. It can be as simple as pausing for a gratitude moment or extending your hand to a woman in need.
If you can’t give your mother a Reiki treatment, why not offer your gratitude to the primordial mother, the source of all life, in any form that is meaningful to you — Mother Earth, Mother Mary, Mother Divine, Mother Source. Fill in the blank as you will and get started.
Create a loving relationship with that which gives and sustains life. Imagine your mother as a manifestation of profound generosity. How does that affect your state?
Love is truth
You might have some very real negative feelings towards your mother. Don’t suppress them. Rather, feel them while in the safety of your Reiki hands, in the context of the primordial mother’s love.
Release your anger, worry and sorrows to that unending stream of renewal.
Daily self practice opens your heart to gratitude, generosity and true happiness. You experience mother’s love and so much more. With consistent self practice, you come to know you are Mother and every day is Mothers Day.
All of us benefit when every day is Mothers Day.
Taking better care of ourselves, the women we know, and all women helps our world move closer to one in which everyone feels safe and is safe.
And if your mom is anything like mine, she’ll be showering you with blessings, endless blessings you can feel.
Have you had a Reiki moment with your mother? Please share it in a comment below.
Caring for women with cancer
Each Spring, the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan offers a precious half day of pampering, self care education and a healthful, delicious meal to women addressing breast or ovarian cancer.
The event is a precious day of community service to anyone who practices Reiki at any level, from any lineage or practice style.
Will you be in the NYC area on Sunday, June 23, 2019? Eighty women will be waiting to put themselves in your hands.
You’ll offer your Reiki hands wordlessly with a partner to women on one of 20 Reiki treatment tables, women who likely have never had a Reiki treatment and never would if not for your hands.
We practice four rounds of treatment with a break for lunch provided by the JCC in the middle.
You’ll be forever changed by what you experience in this day of community service, not only by the women you serve, but also by realizing what a beautiful community you are part of.
People overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.
Ten, twelve years ago, I wasn’t thinking ahead. I was thinking of Reiki and spirituality. I was starting something, making something happen. A friend and Reiki student at the JCC suggested organizing the clinic and I said, “YES!”
Two years later, blogging seemed the next step in my continuing efforts to inject a more credible, thoughtful Reiki presentation into the public conversation to help people make the connection between Reiki and spirituality.
Beliefs are what divide people; doubt unites them.
Too often Reiki practitioners don’t separate Reiki practice from their own personal beliefs. They inadvertently create a barrier for people who are interested in Reiki practice but prefer to think for themselves.
Seriously, do you know anyone who likes beliefs shoved down their throats with the zeal of a Reiki evangelist? Of course not. Yet, we’ve all done that. We get all Reiki excited and you know what happens next. It’s not pretty.
Do you need help with your Reiki communication? ReikiCentral blog to the rescue! I published weekly for 5.5 years, and continued at least monthly since 2015.
The Communicating Reiki category has at last count 122 articles to help you communicate Reiki and spirituality more credibly, in a way that is true to your practice. That’s important for both home practitioners and professionals.
The response to your Reiki talk affects how you feel about yourself and your practice. Don’t you want to talk about something so important to you as your Reiki practice without stimulating much rolling-of-eyes?
The Reiki Stories category is a special treasure, a showcase where people express how Reiki practice supported them through tough times. Aren’t tough times often what brings people to a spiritual practice?
We need a body of credibly written articles for people to find when they google Reiki and cancer or Reiki and autism, or Reiki and dental work. Do you have a Reiki story to tell? I’m happy to help you, if you’ll take some editing without offense. You are the expert of your story, but I might know a little more about how to write it so people will keep reading.
Tell Me a (Reiki Healing) Story lays out how powerful a simple story can be. If you’re willing to put in the time to share your story credibly, and let’s get started.
Reiki is a spiritual practice
We live in spiritually bereft times. People are desperate for spiritual support. Reiki is a spiritual practice that can connect them to their spiritual core. Why skirt Reiki and spirituality when you could instead help people understand what’s missing?
Although people are hungry for spiritual support, they’re often not spiritually sophisticated enough to realize it. Rather than shy away from spirituality, Reiki practitioners can step up and help people recognize what they’re looking for. Remember what Steve Jobs said:
It’s not the customer’s job to know what he wants.
The clearer you are about spirituality, the more easily you can help others understand what it means that Reiki is a spiritual practice. For example, people often confuse religion and spirituality because they haven’t really thought about it. Religion involves dogma. In order to belong to a religion, you have to believe the dogma attached to that religion.
Spirituality, however, is belief neutral. You don’t have to believe anything to practice Reiki and experience benefits, both immediately–feeling better, functioning better–and long term.
Reiki and spirituality, not metaphysics
Reiki practitioners often confuse metaphysics and spirituality. Simply stated, metaphysics is conceptual; spirituality is a felt experience. Reiki practice gently shifts your state. You feel better. That’s a sign of spiritual healing. You might impose your metaphysical beliefs on why that shift happened, but that’s not necessary.
People don’t have to share your metaphysical perspective to benefit from Reiki practice. Their bodies will respond regardless their beliefs. That is, if you don’t scare them off by pasting your personal beliefs on this neutral spiritual practice..
How Reiki Helps lays out the physiological response to Reiki practice. You’re welcome to print and use to support your Reiki outreach.
Credibility or spirituality?
Fortunately, you don’t have to choose between them. Credibility and spirituality are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the more years of consistent daily spiritual practice you log-in, the more your credibility shines through.
Daily self practice is humbling and healing. It’s where we make friends with ourselves and our lives, and thus with others. You become more confident as you bring your hands to your body every day at your appointed practice time, day after day, no matter whether you feel like practicing or not, just because you said yes to your responsibility to take care of yourself, just because you decided to start something.
Why don’t you start something today? Who knows how much good you will have created in 10 years.
Our diverse Reiki lovers community
There are many ways you can be part of our growing, diverse community of Reiki lovers. It doesn’t cost a cent.
If you’re anything like the Reiki practitioners I’ve met around the world, you want to help and you love to share. If my work has helped you, please share it in any and every way that feels comfortable to you. Here we are on Facebook:
Arguably the most important benefits of daily self Reiki practice are that you feel better, function better, and make better choices.
Practicing daily self Reiki is a lifestyle decision. You make the choice to place hands on yourself and engage your self-healing every day. As you settle into the care from your own hands, you quickly feel some initial improvement. That motivates you practice daily. As in every day.
Because the experience is so enjoyable and noticeably beneficial, your Reiki self practice easily becomes something you want to do rather than one more thing you have to do.
Why daily makes a difference
That difference in motivation makes a big difference in how much you benefit. While even a single practice helps you feel better; repeated practice means you heal better. You get the best results with consistent practice.
With consistent daily self practice, your body can start addressing not only today’s wear and tear, but also the backlog of damage. Over time, daily practice builds your health and well-being so you have the resilience to be stress resistant.
Instead of your system being constantly overwhelmed by stress–you know what that feels like–daily self practice gives your body time to find its way back toward balance every day. And the benefits accumulate.
But don’t take it from me. This week, two recent students emailed me updates.
Better sleep, digestion and focus
After three months of daily self practice, a man noted, “Definite improvements in sleep, digestion and focus. Seems like I’m making better decisions. Markedly supporting my yoga practice. Not surprisingly, my health appears to be benefiting.”
I loved how matter-of-fact that report was. No sign of exaggeration or belief. He observed long enough to be clear about the improvement in sleep, digestion and focus.
Those are critical functions, folks! And they are all related. How Reiki Helps lays out the specifics.
When you sleep better and digest better, of course you feel better, function better and make better choices. when you feel better and function better, your mind is clearer; you’re better able to weigh competing priorities, and to stick with your daily self Reiki program so you can continue to feel better, function better and make better choices. You know, choices that help you continue to feel better, function better and make better choices.
But again, don’t take it from me.
One mom, 3 generations of improvement
Many mothers neglect self care because they are pulled in so many directions. After caring for their families and aging parents, moms have nothing left for themselves.
That’s why I encourage the moms in my Reiki classes to take care of themselves first. When you feel better, function better and make better choices, your whole family benefits–even if they don’t want Reiki treatment from you.
One mom in a recent class was grateful her mother came to live with them while being treated for cancer. From the first session of our Reiki class, before she even gave her mother a treatment, my student noticed her mom started sleeping through the night.
Sleeping through the night is good for anyone. And it’s especially important to cancer patients because most self healing occurs during deep sleep.
In her own words
Here’s what she experienced in her first month of daily self Reiki:
I am practicing Reiki every day and also on my mom and my son. I feel great!
I noticed the biggest difference in my overall sense of stability and calmness, regardless the circumstances. When I face an event or a person that would normally stress me out, I now feel like I am observing it from outside and it doesn’t disturb me emotionally. Also, knowing I can practice Reiki whenever I need it makes me feel protected and independent.
According to her latest scan, my mom’s cancer has reduced 70% since she started chemo 2 months ago. They say it is a significant improvement!
My son had a fever Friday evening. I practiced Reiki on him. The fever started going down that evening and it didn’t back! I kept waiting for the fever to return because he’s never had a fever for only one day. It’s always been 3 to 5 days. But that was the end of it and he’s recovered.
There’s more to this story. My student had been through several unsuccessful IVFs before reaching out to me. A year ago, the doctor advised that she stop trying. Her email continued:
And on top of that, today I decided to go to the doctor myself. They found a good follicle in my ovary and recommended starting IVF again. I am seriously considering it now.
Your daily self Reiki healing story
Do you have a story of how Reiki practice has helped you? Please share it in the comments below. Or get inspired by reading more Reiki stories.
Do you know someone who might benefit from this information? Please share generously!
Two weeks after learning Reiki self practice, a student emailed that she’s drinking less alcohol–much less–and has unexpectedly quit smoking!
Gift Saengpo-Reger works in real estate, a profession that requires a lot of socializing. She came to learn Reiki with me on the advice of a good friend. He told her she wasn’t present or grounded, that her mind was always off somewhere else and she needed to take better care of herself.
Maybe you can relate.
The difference a week can make
Over the course of a long networking evening that could span several parties, Gift used to enjoy up to 10 drinks–cocktails, beer, wine, shots. Now her tolerance for alcohol maxes out at three drinks. And instead of drinking most nights, she’s drinking only two or three times a week.
Cigarettes now nauseate her.
And she’s enjoying other unexpected benefits. Gift now goes to bed before midnight instead of 2 or 3 AM. That’s important because most self-healing happens while you sleep. And, maybe because she’s sleeping better, Gift’s skin is so glowy she doesn’t feel the need for a facial.
Drink less alcohol, stop smoking with Reiki guarantee?
Am I touting Reiki as a drink less alcohol, quit smoking cure all? Of course not.
Reiki practice helps your system find its natural balance. We all know how good it feels to be balanced. That said, balance is not a fixed state. Balance means different things to different people, and different things to the same person at different times.
That’s why although people commonly finish Reiki self practice feeling relaxed, calmer, more centered and present, we can’t predict the other details of what being more balanced will look like for any particular person, both immediately and as their daily self practice continues over time.
For example, one student who came to Reiki class to quit smoking found she smoked much less, but didn’t quit. Yet without even thinking about it, she stopped drinking coffee, a goal she’d carried in the back of her mind. It was weeks before she realized she hadn’t had coffee since she stopped at Starbuck’s on the way to our first class session.
In more than 30 years of professional Reiki practice, I’ve seen many students support their sobriety with their Reiki practice, or simply drink less alcohol. I don’t know if that’s what will happen for you, but isn’t it worth a try?
How much Reiki self care is enough?
Of course it makes a difference how long and how often you self practice, but there is no one-size-fits-all. Remember, balance is individual and of the moment. If you’re addressing a medical condition or life is stressful, it makes sense to practice more often and practice longer when you can. Then you can taper off as your health and well-being stabilize.
As a rule of thumb, I encourage students to commit to one full Reiki self practice each day that lasts around 30 minutes. That alone will make a significant difference in your life. Reiki is simple enough you can practice in bed, so your Reiki self care won’t jam your schedule.
You can practice more than that if you want to, or need to–another full practice, a shorter modified practice, or Reiki touches throughout the day to bring you back to yourself. It’s up to you and it’s all good.
Why you practice Reiki helps your practice
Gift is practicing two full self-treatments every day because she enjoys her practice so much. Her evening practice brings her to bed earlier and helps her remember her dreams. She practices again when she wakes up because practicing Reiki keeps her hands off her cellphone. Instead of slamming into high gear before she’s even out of bed, now she savors that first hour of her morning — which sets the stage for a calmer, more productive day.
It makes a difference that she’s practicing because she enjoys it and not to get specific outcomes like drinking less alcohol or to quit smoking. While a to-do list helps productive people get things done, the mind also needs down time.
I’m not saying it isn’t important to drink less alcohol or quit smoking. Those are great health goals. But be mindful not to practice Reiki to get something. That burdens your Reiki session with the weight of expectations.
Instead of focusing on what you want to make happen–to lose weight, drink less alcohol or quit smoking–try practicing to enjoy that exquisite tenderness as you surrender to your self care. How does that sound?
Reiki for tweens and teens
On the weekend, Gift’s 11-year-old couldn’t fall asleep after playing a few too many video games. She wrote, “I told him to lie down next to me and read a book while I was giving myself a full treatment. He flipped around books and still couldn’t sleep. So I put my hand on his back and he snored in 5 minutes.”
In more than three decades of professional Reiki practice, I’ve worked with many adolescents and teens, both giving them treatment and teaching them self practice. They quickly feel the sweet difference balance makes, and they appreciate not having to talk. Adolescents and teens who learn self practice value being able to soothe themselves.
At the end of her email, Gift wrote, “It’s magical.” Yes, Reiki practice can feel magical, but it’s really just natural. And isn’t that even better than magic?
Read more Reiki stories to see how Reiki helps other people like you feel better and function better and make better choices, ones that help them continue to feel better and function better, with greater confidence and ease, and enjoy their lives more fully.
Enhancing your Reiki practice is the one easy change that reverberates throughout your life and makes any other changes you desire more doable.
It’s the change that helps you remember who you are — who you truly are — so you can be happier and healthier even amidst changes and challenges you didn’t ask for, aka life.
What does enhancing your Reiki practice mean?
First let’s clarify what I don’t mean by enhancing your Reiki practice. I don’t mean taking more classes, learning more (invented) practices and earning more (dubious) certificates.
Enhancing your Reiki practice means practicing with generosity, giving more of yourself to your practice. The way to do that depends on where you are with your Reiki practice (keep reading).
But know that whether you are new to Reiki or you’ve been practicing a long time, you can always increase your Reiki benefits by enhancing your Reiki practice.
What Reiki benefits?
If you’re new to Reiki practice, maybe you’re wondering what benefits Reiki practice could bring you.
This is important and it’s often overlooked: Reiki practice is balancing, and balance means different things at different times. All the benefits your Reiki practice brings come from you being more balanced. And being more balanced more often. That increases your overall resilience.
So the benefits you’ll experience have a lot to do with how and where your system is unbalanced. If, for example, you have digestive problems, you’ll likely notice improved digestion and appetite. And better food choices. You might notice it right away, or it might take a week or so.
That said, in my experience, the most commonly reported spiritual benefits are feeling more present, clearer, more confident, more hopeful, more motivated, more productive, more loving to yourself and to others.
The two most documented Reiki benefits in the small body of not very good research we have (just saying) are improvement in pain and anxiety.
And the most commonly reported physiologic benefit is one that is so so so very important: sleeping better. Regardless the details of their insomnia — whether they can’t fall asleep or don’t stay asleep — people usually start sleeping better quickly, often the first night. And when you sleep better, your body heals better, and lots of other benefits become possible.
Then why not start now? As you continue reading, place your hands on your torso or head. Bring your attention to that inner connection and notice how your practice feels. Give it a few moments. The response to Reiki practice is fast but it might not be instant.
Do you notice a subtle change in your state, a feeling of more openness? Has your breath changed? Perhaps you’ve already sighed or yawned. Do you have a sense of being more present, less stressed, more comfortable in your body?
If you didn’t notice anything yet, stay with it a little longer. Maybe close your eyes.
Making a reasonable commitment to daily self practice
In your life as it is now, what amount of time can you commit to placing your Reiki hands every day? Is 5 minutes doable? Then start there.
When in your schedule can you comfortably commit to daily self practice? Comfortably is important. You want your practice to be supported in your schedule. Make it easy to get started. As you notice the benefits of your daily practice, it will be easier to keep your commitment to yourself. You don’t need to make yourself eat ice cream or pizza or whatever your favorite food is, do you? In time, your daily self practice will become every bit as delicious as your favorite food. You just need to get there.
I practice before I open my eyes in the morning. That way, I start each day as refreshed and centered as possible. It changes the whole day.
Maybe you have a longstanding daily self Reiki practice, as I do.
I started when I was trained in 1986. My daily self practice has seen me through many changes, but my practice hasn’t changed. I practice today as I was taught, and that’s the practice I teach online and in-person here in New York City.
Yet I am continually enhancing my Reiki practice simply by bringing more of myself to it. Attention enhances everything.
Although I almost absentmindedly place a hand throughout the day, or if I put my feet up to watch Law & Order reruns in the evening, my approach is not quite as casual for my dedicated practice each morning. Then I make a point to be present. My attention might eventually wander, but I start mindfully and gently return my awareness to my practice throughout the session.
Enhancing your Reiki practice with others
Whether or not you’ve committed to daily self Reiki, you can enhance your Reiki practice by sharing treatment with other Reiki practitioners or receiving professional treatment.
I look forward to my weekly Reiki practice shares with friends. Being on the table passively receiving care supports our well-being and deepens our recognition of the benefits of practice, which motivates us to practice more consistently. It also helps us be more sensitive when practicing on others.
Starting your Reiki self practice
If you haven’t learned to practice Reiki yet, really, what are you waiting for? You could be feeling so much better. And when you feel better, you function better, and you make better choices, the ones you’ve been trying to make but…
If you can’t find a teacher who’s a good fit for you, consider learning Reiki self practice online with me. I offer interactive online Reiki training that will start you practicing an hour into our first session. My experience has been that students start noticing benefits from their very first self practice. You could too!
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.
Staying constant, embracing change
Life is all about change. How can you be true to yourself and your timeless values — kindness, generosity, truthfulness, etc. — amidst the swirling challenges of contemporary life?
And how can you know which changes you really need to make, and which are just distractions? So many students have come to my classes over the years thinking they needed to change spouses or change careers only to discover they needed to change their state so that they felt better. Here’s a simple, often overlooked truth: it gets hard to appreciate the good in our lives when we don’t feel good.
Finally, how can you have the clarity and courage to embark on the changes you need to make to support your happiness and health?
That’s what Reiki practice can give you, an inner anchor in your very best, most spacious, timeless self, a reminder of who you truly are, so you can live your life with gratitude, love, and creativity.
My Reiki practice hasn’t changed, but I am always changing, and my daily self Reiki practice helps me make the changes that are needed. My continually enhanced Reiki practice enables me to live in today’s world, carrying traditional Reiki practice values into the future.
Please share with us how your Reiki practice supports you. Who knows how many people you might inspire?
Parents seek Reiki for kids for many different reasons. Some parents want to relieve their kids’ anxiety. Others seek to improve their children’s behavior and focus. And sometimes parents need to support their children as they address a serious medical diagnosis.
Reiki practice can help in all those situations, and many others.
How can that be? Because it doesn’t address the symptom, behavior or medical condition directly the way conventional medicine does.
Instead, Reiki practice gently encourages the child’s system to find its unique balance from within. As the child’s system becomes more balanced, his or her self-healing mechanisms engage and function optimally.
In that way, by supporting balance from within, Reiki practice supports the child’s overall well-being.
Please consider this, one of my most repeated sentences: the care of the child (family, patient, fill in the blank) begins with the care of the caregiver. Another way of expressing that is the wisdom we occasionally see on t-shirts: “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
Seriously, anchoring yourself in your well-being every day — many times a day if needed — has a direct and profound affect on your child’s well-being. And as time allows, you can also practice Reiki on child (make sure you learn how in your Reiki training).
Or do you have a friend who practices Reiki? Is your child comfortable with that person?
If you take your child to a Reiki professional, be sure to thoroughly investigate that person’s qualifications. People doesn’t realize that Reiki certificates don’t guarantee any level or depth of training. Practitioners can get training online and decide that’s enough to be a professional (it isn’t). Or they can make their own certificates.
Professional Reiki for kids
Read the Reiki professional’s website carefully and thoroughly to get details of her training and experience. Don’t be shy to grill him on any details that are unclear. A Reiki practitioner who balks at your questioning is not one to trust with your child. A qualified Reiki professional will appreciate your concern and respond with relevant facts so you can make your own informed choice. And if she doesn’t, look elsewhere.
The most important question to ask a Reiki practitioner is whether he or she practices daily self Reiki. Daily, as in every day.
You only want to entrust your child (and yourself) to a professional who values Reiki practice enough to rely on it to support her own happiness and health.
No class or certificate can replace the understanding that develops as we practice hands-on self Reiki every day over time. Ideally the professional will also receive treatment from other Reiki practitioners. That helps professionals be more sensitive to the needs of clients, and to appreciate the profound inner support that unfolds in response to Reiki practice.
That’s such an important and overlooked point that it bears restating. Reiki professionals cannot appreciate how profoundly this gentle practice can support your child’s system in finding its own unique balance unless they have a strong foundation of daily self Reiki. Without that foundation, they are more likely to be intrusive and even judgmental.
Keep in mind that unlike other spiritual healthcare professionals, Reiki practitioners rarely have training in ethics and clinical arts.
Teaching Reiki for kids
Kids who are old enough to choose to learn to practice Reiki are probably old enough to learn to practice. It’s important that it’s not just something their parents want, but something they want.
Depending on his age and temperament, Your child might be able to join an adult class. If not, ask about children’s training. I have also trained families.
Reiki for children is not one-size-fits-all. Find a teacher who understands that, who offers you guidance and options until you find a good fit for you and your child.
Do you and your child already practice Reiki, or has your child benefited from Reiki treatment? Please share your story in a comment below to inspire others.
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One of my Reiki students’ enthusiasm and dedication to Reiki practice are contagious, and she carries the practice with grace and professionalism. I was organizing the Reiki Room and a talk for the Cancer Wellness Expo when she asked for mentoring how to introduce Reiki at her corporate workplace.
So even though she’d been practicing for barely six months, I invited her to offer Reiki chair treatment at the Cancer Wellness Expo. And she did!
The Cancer Wellness Expo was a huge success and the Reiki Room was too. Participants rated their Reiki experience high among many valuable offerings, and asked for more next time.
I wasn’t surprised. Reiki practice brings fast, tangible support, which is just what people addressing cancer need.
Feeling better matters
People start feeling better moments after a Reiki practitioner places hands lightly and mindfully on their head or torso. If you’ve received a cancer diagnosis, you know how challenging it can be to simply feel better.
Feeling better can be subtle but it’s unmistakable; you know when you feel even a little better.
Some people describe it as feeling lighter; others feel heavier or more grounded. The details of feeling better are different for different people, but no matter how you describe it — centered, calmer, relaxed, balanced, etc. — feeling better means your body’s ability to self-heal is stepping up.
That’s a good thing any time, and especially when facing a serious diagnosis such as cancer.
Reiki supports your medical treatment
If you’ve been given a cancer diagnosis, you’ve seen that it changes your life in more ways than you anticipated.
And in more ways than your oncologist can help you with.
Conventional cancer treatment addresses the disease, and remarkable strides have been made in cancer treatment during the decades I’ve collaborated in mainstream medicine as a lay Reiki professional.
But enlightened cancer care doesn’t stop with medical treatment; you need more support as you go through often arduous cancer protocols. Feeling better can even mean you’re able to complete your treatment protocols in optimal timing because your self-healing mechanisms are optimized, your body recovers faster. Feeling better means less stress hormones in your blood stream, which can just what you need to tip the scales in your favor.
Reiki supports on-going cancer wellness
Your need for support doesn’t stop when your medical treatment ends. Once you’ve completed your treatment, you might find yourself unexpectedly on the precipice of a psychospiritual abyss, as you face a future laced with uncertainty and fear of recurrence.
Again, Reiki practice can provide the subtle spiritual support that helps you feel better and heal better. When you feel better, besides a palpable sense of relief and steadiness, you start to function better, and you make better, more health-promoting choices.
Empowering your self care
You can receive Reiki treatment from a professional or from a friend who is Reiki-trained. Ask if Reiki treatment is offered at your cancer center. Some centers offer Reiki very publicly; others wait for the patient to ask.
But as lovely as it is to receive Reiki treatment from someone else (I share treatment weekly with friends), you don’t have to depend on others for Reiki treatment. Learn to practice Reiki for yourself and you’ll never again be alone and helpless with your pain and anxiety.
PLEASE NOTE: Choose your class carefully (here are some tips what to look for). There are no standards for Reiki training. Many classes don’t include enough practice experience so you leave the class confident enough to keep practicing.
Simply being in the community of other cancer fighters and thrivers is deeply nourishing. Truly.
People with social support heal better. Who understands better what you’re experiencing than others who are going through it themselves? You’ll experience a sense of being seen and known that you can’t find anywhere else.
Plus you’ll discover effective, innovative cancer supports at cancer wellness events, practices and products that don’t yet have mainstream visibility, and maybe never will. Many useful products are made by small companies started by other cancer thrivers. Small companies can’t compete with corporate giants for visibility.
Similarly, many valuable services are offered by individuals rather than corporate entities with big marketing budgets. Reiki practice is a good example. Most Reiki professionals are independent, not affiliated with any health center.
Recognized in cancer treatment, but hardly mainstream
A number of prestigious cancer treatment centers such as Memorial Sloan Kettering, Dana Farber/Harvard, M.D. Anderson, and Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center have offered Reiki treatment to patients, some of them for years.
Nonetheless, Reiki practice is not well known, not by the mainstream public and not in mainstream medicine. And some people who have heard of Reiki are uncomfortable with the presentation. The public doesn’t realize Reiki practice isn’t New Age.
I’ve worked for years to change that. As a lay Reiki master, I was part of a team that set up the first-ever hospital Reiki program at Beth Israel Medical Center in the mid 1990s, and I went on to create many hospital programs after that.
For more than a decade, I’ve offered my Reiki & Medicine Intensive to train Reiki professionals how to bring Reiki practice into mainstream medicine.
Tips to help patients get the Reiki word out
We will reduce so much suffering when more doctors and nurses, and the mainstream public, know about Reiki practice. You can help by sharing how Reiki treatment supports you with your friends and your doctors.
Please don’t do anything you feel might negatively impact your relationship with your medical team. You are your first priority. Don’t waste precious time with your doctor trying to make a point you know won’t land. Save your vitality for your healing.
That said, oncologists are increasingly open-minded about what helps support their patients. You know your doctor. If it’s comfortable, perhaps when your oncologist comments on how well you’re doing, you might hand her my peer-reviewed medical paper Reiki Support for Cancer Patients.
Another medical paper of interest is the study we did at Yale in which a 20-minute Reiki treatment improved heart rate variability (HRV) as much as beta-blockers. Your body heals more effectively when your HRV improves.
Peer-reviewed medical papers help doctors because they are written to high medical standards. Peer-reviewed medical papers communicate what doctors who practice evidence-based medicine need to know, in language that is meaningful to them.
Communication tips for Reiki practitioners
Success in any field starts with effective communication. People need to know in very practical terms how Reiki treatment can help.
But you didn’t learn how to effectively communicate Reiki practice in medicine or to the mainstream public in your Reiki training. No one does.
Some of the women who organized the Cancer Wellness Expo had experienced the benefits of Reiki practice while they were undergoing cancer treatment. They approached me to bring Reiki practice to their event.
That meant we didn’t have to “sell it.” If you think that sounds crass and commercial, please think about this: event organizers need to know the value Reiki treatment will bring their attendees. If you can’t communicate that value, your collaboration won’t get very far.
You’re not alone. Most Reiki professionals need help communicating about Reiki practice to the mainstream public and to medical professionals. Please don’t fault yourself, but if you want to help more people, take the time to improve your communication skills.
Making your Reiki & cancer wellness event a success!
There were many reasons why the Reiki room at the Cancer Wellness Expo was such a success. Here are a few things to keep in mind for your event.
Location location location
The location of our Reiki room at the Cancer Wellness Expo was perfect, accessible yet a little separate from the presentations and exhibitors.
Reach out to attendees
Don’t assume people will sign up on their own. Many people don’t know about Reiki; others have heard of it in ways that made them uncomfortable. Reach out to attendees in whatever way fits the event.
One Reiki practitioner arrived early and stationed herself near the door. As attendees arrived, she invited them to sign up for “a deeply relaxing experience.” She didn’t hide that it was a Reiki treatment but she just didn’t lead with the word Reiki. That strategy worked; we booked every treatment slot.
Schedule comfort into your schedule
Make a schedule that supports both the attendees and the Reiki practitioners. To do that, you need to be clear what you are offering and how to best support the event’s goals.
For example, we offer full table treatments at the JCC Spa Day. We designed the event to be a sweet cocoon of pampering and gentle education for women in active cancer treatment.
The Cancer Wellness Expo, however, is a very different environment, a busier schedule with many talks. We scheduled people for chair treatments every 20 minutes. That left enough time to welcome the clients, give them 10 minutes of hands-on practice, and let them sit a few minutes before returning to the main event. And the practitioners had time to stretch and get water between clients. We scheduled additional breaks for the practitioners during the 3-hour afternoon session.
Alignment is the foundation of a successful event
No matter the flavor of the event, it is vital that each practitioner is present with each client and allows the client ample space to have her own experience. This is not the time for Reiki propaganda. Nor should you give a psychic reading or impose your interpretations of a client’s experience.
Respect boundaries and honor the peacefulness of the client’s post-treatment state by staying quiet.
Even if you are paid, public events are community service; they are not the time to go deep with an individual client. Rather, you are creating a setting in which each client can have her own Reiki experience.
Stay aligned with the goal and ambience of any particular event, while being true to the practice. I’ve organized Reiki rooms in various settings, including Google and Unilever. If you let it, your Reiki room will have a heartfelt warmth to it even in a corporate event.
And be prepared to learn with each event. As the Reiki student mentioned in the opening wrote to me after the event, “Once a person is on the chair, the practice speaks for itself. One can see the difference from the moment they close their eyes before the treatment begins to the moment they open their eyes at the end.”
Are you ready to step out in front of your community and bring Reiki treatment to people where they are? The Reiki Public Events training gives the structure and refinements needed to make your first public Reiki event successful.
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We start the happiness contagion with self practice. First yourself, as Hawayo Takata famously said, not only makes us happy but also helps protect us from being a hypocrite or camouflaging your anger as righteous indignation.
Self practice starts with us and extends from there, like the proverbial pebble in a pond of kindness.
Isn’t that a more uplifting image than the images so many current headlines often bring to mind?
Let’s become a global community of deliciously defiant happiness warriors enacting a kindness (r)evolution! Are you in?
There are many ways to join us and they all start with Be Kind.
Be Kind and then share below how it shifted your day towards happiness.
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And share share share kindness, with love and respect for yourself, for others, and for all that is.
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Kindness and healthy, compassionate boundaries go hand-in-hand. We’ll explore boundaries as a spiritual practice at my Blessed Boundaries retreat at the beautiful, bucolic Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.
Reiki abuse. It’s something no one wants to talk about until it’s too late. Let’s change that.
In the U.K in 2013, a Reiki professional was jailed for sexually abusing Reiki clients. While that’s the only public notice of Reiki abuse I’ve found, people have been privately sharing painful stories of abusive treatment by Reiki professionals for many years.
My response is always the same. I’m deeply sorry for the pain they are experiencing, and I encourage them to get the support they need to heal.
I also explain what the public doesn’t know: there are no agreed-upon standards for Reiki practice or training and no professional accountability. In fact, it’s not uncommon for someone to set up as a Reiki professional with no professional training or experience.
I encourage the person to practice self-Reiki if they’ve been trained, or to find a responsible teacher to learn Reiki self-practice. I help them compensate for the lack of Reiki professional standards by offering guidelines for choosing a class that is a good fit for them.
Abusers among us
Everyone is vulnerable when reaching out for help. That vulnerability might be especially acute for those seeking help from a spiritual or health professional.
The Reiki abuse stories shared with me mostly involve psychospiritual manipulation, Reiki professionals taking advantage of the vulnerability of someone who came to them for healing and/or training.
How can it be?
Clearly there’s no excusing abuse.
That said, if we look at the situation honestly, it’s not surprising abuse happens in the Reiki community. Although the impulse to protect those in need seems deeply ingrained in most people, that’s not true of everyone. Even stringent medical licensing doesn’t protect the public from those determined to use their position to exploit others.
Without standards for Reiki practice or training, anyone can set up as a Reiki professional without investing in training, mentoring or professional supervision. People can present themselves as Reiki professionals without learning how to create and maintain an ethical therapeutic relationship.
It doesn’t occur to many Reiki professionals to stop and contemplate, what is my responsibility to people who come to me for help?
Few Reiki professionals take the time to first create the foundation of consistent daily self practice. They take on the responsibility of healing others without an on-going commitment to self-healing. While it’s no guarantee, the commitment to daily self practice helps us stay grounded and behave ethically.
Looking at the broader picture, we live in a spiritually naive, spiritually illiterate culture. People are confused about what “spiritual” means, and people in various spiritual communities struggle to understand what power is appropriate to give a spiritual teacher. Students don’t realize going beyond your boundaries is a transformation that can happen organically from within when you commit to daily practice.
Some teachers assume parental or even dictatorial roles and profess the need for tough love. They think clients have to be pushed to heal. As if you could push the river.
As with all spiritual practice, Reiki practice develops your sense of agency. That’s true whether you receive treatment or practice self Reiki.
Spiritual practice opens our inner awareness, giving us a broader perspective. A life that is overwhelming when lived at the surface feels more possible when experienced from our core.
Reiki practice unfolds the appreciation that no one controls everything. While we might find ourselves in difficult situations or challenging life circumstances, we are not helpless; our choices always matter.
Perhaps you’ve seen that healthy sense of self arise in you or a client, that confidence that says, “I can work with this; I can find my way.” People who come to Reiki overwhelmed by a medical diagnosis begin to feel hopeful that they can overcome the challenges they face.
And it’s not a blind faith hopefulness that distorts the very real limitations they’re addressing. Not at all. The sense of hopefulness Reiki practice brings leads people to be more attentive to their inner cues and more motivated to take better care of themselves.
That’s why Reiki self practice is particularly well suited to people who have been victimized. When victims are approached with the respect they and all people deserve, Reiki practice can be an invaluable cornerstone of their healing because it helps them grow from within at their own pace.
That’s what I’ve seen when offering Reiki demonstrations to victims support groups and what I’ve heard from colleagues who have done the same.
Reiki can heal the damage from abuse
If you’ve been abused, you know how hard it is to trust enough to let someone else touch you. The ability to self practice removes that concern.
Whether you self practice or receive treatment from someone else, Reiki practice opens an inner spaciousness in which you feel better, not so pressured.
And when we feel better, we function better, we think more clearly, and we make better choices.
Of course, if you’ve been abused by a Reiki professional or teacher, it might be hard for you to consider Reiki practice. I encourage you to separate Reiki practice from your Reiki abuser. Place your hands on yourself and notice your physiologic response. Feel your breath naturally and spontaneously open. Bask in the safety of the moment.
What to watch for as a client or student
Whether you are looking for a Reiki professional to offer you treatment or a Reiki master teacher to train you to practice, choose your Reiki professional or teacher with great care. This is a Buyer Beware market.
There are many fine Reiki professionals. Take the time needed to find one that is a good fit for your needs.
Your teacher’s responsibility is to support you in making your own choices, not to make them for you. Run from a teacher who isolates students and tries to override your personal will.
If the teacher manipulates or even pushes you with too much enthusiasm to go past your understanding of your boundaries, that teacher might be engaging in power play.
Even if he or she wants to help, being a Reiki bully isn’t helpful.
Reiki practice evokes a person’s self-healing. We cannot force people to heal or to learn.
Look for a teacher who is in service and encourages students to develop agency.
What to watch for as a professional
Overbearing teachers or practitioners are unlikely to see themselves as Reiki bullies. You don’t have to be a full blown Reiki abuser to be causing pain.
As Reiki professionals, we straddle the fields of spirituality and health care. Becoming a professional healthcare provider requires a period of mentoring and supervision. Healthcare professionals are required to take continuing education to maintain their licenses.
There are no Reiki licenses that hold us to ethical professional standards. It’s up to us to engage in continual self inventory, reflection and inquiry to keep improving.
Take an honest look at your clinical skills, how you interact with your clients/students. Ask yourself a few questions:
Do you think it’s your job to tell them what to do or do you support them in making their own choices and finding their own healing path?
Do you push students to meet your standards or help them develop their own meaningful standards?
Do you like having people dependent on you, or do you seek to strengthen your students’ self agency, engaging them to make choices at every juncture?
Healing from Reiki abuse
Here are my suggestions for anyone healing from Reiki abuse or any abuse:
Don’t give up;
Defy your circumstances;
Believe in yourself;
Commit to a daily spiritual practice to help you discover your true worth and live your life from your wholeness and wellness.
Reiki harm reduction
Everyone has his/her own unique healing process.
If you feel that sharing your story — without naming names — would be healing for you, you are welcome to do so in a comment below. Your story educates others how abuse can happen. That might help people recognize potentially dangerous situations and make healthier choices.
If you share your story, please avoid giving names or any identifying details. This will not be helpful if it devolves into vigilanteism.
My goal is to help people who have been victimized to find healing and to help prevent abuse by educating others what to watch for.
So please, if you feel it would help you, tell the story that is yours to tell without incriminating others. While it might be valuable at some point to confront your abuser, this is simply not the place for that confrontation.
We will give anyone who wants to share here the space to do so without imposing our comments. Please do not reply or comment on anyone else’s story; just tell your own, if you feel drawn to do so.
UPCOMING IN-PERSON EVENTS
Blessed Boundaries: Living from Choice
Spiritual Retreat at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, New York August 26-31 Join me for 5 days of spiritual practice, inquiry, discovery and healing at bucolic Omega Institute. Open to experience your wholeness, find deeper joy and greater strength in simply being yourself, and learn very practical strategies and skills for maintaining healthy compassionate boundaries. This retreat is open to everyone, not only Reiki practitioners. Come as you are; no prior spiritual practice experience is needed! And did I mention how good the food is, or that Omega accommodates a range of dietary needs? Register here!