10 questions about Reiki answered
Article by John Nye, a Reiki practitioner based in Surbiton, Surrey
How am I supposed to feel after a Reiki treatment?
I usually respond to this question by asking my client how they are feeling - because that is how they should be feeling.
In a Reiki treatment your body draws the energy through the therapist, who acts as a channel. In effect your body is the healer and the therapist facilitates that process rather than pushing anything into you. The Reiki will therefore be drawn wherever and however it is needed.
So someone who was feeling tired before the treatment is likely to feel energised by it, whilst someone who was feeling stressed will be more relaxed.
There is no standard package of what you will feel like - it will depend on what you need at the time.
Does Reiki have any side effects?
Certainly no harmful side effects - because the body is balancing itself it will not create any. Short term some people a slight headache or similar because the body is releasing toxins that may have built up over a number of years. The good news is that this happens rarely and the symptoms should disappear fairly quickly as the toxins are cleared from the body.
Another reaction can be feeling spaced out as the treatment has taken you very deep. If so you will need to ground yourself - some water and maybe a biscuit will usually do the trick. I always advise my clients to ground themselves after a treatment - enough to enable them to cope with what awaits them back in the 'real' world without losing the pleasant feelings resulting from their treatment.
How often should I have a Reiki treatment?
As often as you can - ideally, every day. The more you have Reiki the more your mind, body and spirit will continue in balance. The longer the gaps between treatments, the more the effects of the Reiki will wear off. Reiki practitioners treat themselves with Reiki every day - check that any practitioner you are considering going to does this. It's probably impractical (and too expensive) to visit a professional practitioner every day and you might consider taking 1st Degree so that you can enjoy daily self-treatment. If you have a partner you could both take 1st Degree and then you can treat each other. Really it's a matter of personal choice - but have a treatment as often as possible for you, even if that's not very often.
As Hawayo Takata (who introduced Reiki to the West in the late 1930's) once said, 'Better a little Reiki than no Reiki at all.'
Can I have too much Reiki?
No, you can't. In a Reiki treatment your body draws the energy through the therapist, who acts as a channel. In effect your body is the healer and the therapist facilitates that process rather than pushing anything into you. Your body will recognise when it is in balance and will simply stop drawing energy - it will not want to harm itself by overdosing. This is where Reiki differs from drugs or alcohol. They take your body out of balance and create a craving for more. That's why you can overdose on them - but not Reiki.
Will Reiki stop me getting ill?
Even Reiki Masters get ill and die, so Reiki is not a recipe for everlasting life. What Reiki will do is strengthen the immune system and increase the body's capability to fight illness. It does this by balancing mind, body and spirit and by reducing the stress of modern living that eats away at our immune system. Thus you may get ill less often and get better more quickly if you do. I've certainly had less colds and flu in the winter since I've been practising Reiki.
Will Reiki work if I'm using other complementary therapies?
Reiki certainly won't interfere with any other therapy, complementary or conventional. As your body is drawing the energy it needs all it will do is top up whatever it needs after another therapy. It can also help or complement the effect of other therapies by putting you in a relaxed and receptive state before any treatment.
It is a good idea though (if only as a matter of courtesy) to tell other therapists that you are using Reiki too.
If I have regular Reiki treatments will I be able to stop taking my medication?
You would be ill advised to discontinue any medication without consulting your GP or specialist. Reiki is complementary therapy, not alternative therapy - it works with and not instead of conventional medicine. Reiki practitioners are not qualified to give you advice about medication (unless they are also medically qualified) and you should beware of any Reiki practitioner who suggests you stop taking your medication. That said you may find that Reiki makes your medication more effective (as your body is now more receptive) and that you can, with your GP's guidance, reduce the dosage, perhaps eventually to zero.
I have suffered from back pain (asthma, SAD, etc.) for years. Will a Reiki treatment cure it?
It doesn't work like that. Any chronic condition like this has built up over a number of years and you can't expect it to disappear in an instant. For Reiki to effect a cure you would need regular treatments over a long period. You might even consider taking 1st Degree Reiki so that you can treat yourself every day.
A more realistic expectation is that Reiki will help you manage the effects of your condition - working with any medication you are taking and alleviating some of the side effects.
Can Reiki help me stop smoking?
It can help, yes, in perhaps two ways. First let's get things straight - you'll only give up smoking if you want to. This can be a difficult process as nicotine is an addictive drug and you will suffer side effects when you stop using it. Most likely you'll feel under increased stress, especially if you have been using cigarettes as a means of stress relief. Regular Reiki treatments, by reducing your stress levels, can reduce your need for nicotine and therefore reduce the likelihood of you going back to old habits.
Also as Reiki works on your body you are likely to find that it will be less tolerant of toxins - as I have developed my regular use of Reiki, I find I am less tolerant to certain foods. You could find that you feel bad instead of getting a buzz out of a cigarette after a Reiki treatment and that will give you a powerful reminder that you really do want to give up.
I have a dentist's appointment (job interview, examination, etc.) today and am feeling rather stressed about it. Can Reiki help?
Yes. In a survey of clients that I conducted, over 95% reported that they felt more relaxed after their treatment. None said that they felt more stressed. So that if you've got something potentially unpleasant coming up remember that the key part of the word treatment is treat. Pampering yourself to reduce your stress levels is a quite legitimate method of facing up to that dental appointment. The situation is slightly different with something like a job interview. If you are too relaxed you might not perform - a little adrenalin can be a good thing in a competitive situation.
Balance is the key here - enough Reiki to help you stop going to pieces but not too much to lose your focus. Fortunately, given the way Reiki works, if you focus your intention during the treatment your body will recognise the correct balance for the situation.
John Nye is a Reiki practitioner based in Surbiton, Surrey. John can be contacted on 020 8287 6550, 07710 306 460
He also has a web site - www.reikijohn.co.uk
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