If you are interested in trying Reiki, it’s important to seek out a practitioner who will be a good fit for you.
This is important when seeking out any personal service provider, and especially any practitioner from whom you seek health and wellness support. But it is even more significant when searching for a Reiki practitioner.
Why? Consider two points:
• Reiki is a very big tent, with no single authoritative way of practicing, and no commonly agreed-upon licensing or educational requirements. There are diverse lineages and diverse personal styles and techniques among Reiki practitioners, and many healers incorporate other healing modalities into their practice along with Reiki. For this reason, it is very likely that among Reiki practitioners there are some you will feel very comfortable with and others who may not be the best fit.
• Reiki is, above all, meant to support your own self-healing capacity. The healing process can feel deeply personal and can make some people feel vulnerable. To best serve your energy healing journey in Reiki sessions with your practitioner as well as outside of them, it is important to feel well-supported by your practitioner and comfortable with their distinct approach.
Carefully researching Reiki practitioners will help you find one that is a good fit for you and your needs and who can best assist you in facilitating your long-term holistic health and well-being. Here are four crucial guidelines below to help you in that process:
1. Understand the different levels of Reiki practice
Reiki training occurs through teaching Reiki principles and the history of Reiki, but the most important element of training is attunement. Attunement is the process in which a Reiki master facilitates a Reiki student’s connection to the universal life-force energy.
Opening the student’s energy pathways allows the student to channel healing energy to help others. Once attunement has taken place, it is lifelong.1
There are three generally acknowledged levels of attunement, called Level I, Level II and Level III. A Reiki practitioner of any level can channel healing energy in a session to benefit you. But it is generally helpful to understand the language of the levels of Reiki practice as you are likely to come across them on practitioners’ websites and informational materials.
Level I Reiki attunement is a fairly simple process and establishes the practitioner’s ability to channel universal life energy to help others.
Level I attunement is very accessible. If people in your family or social circles are interested in Reiki it’s very possible one of them has undergone this process. If you are comfortable with that person, it is perfectly reasonable to receive Reiki treatment from them. As a spiritual folk practice, Reiki does not require a professional or expert-level practitioner.
In addition to Level I attunement focusing on establishing a basic connection to the universal life-force energy, it also focuses on healing the self. Regular self-Reiki practice is an important component of a Reiki practitioner’s training and experience that enables them to better help others, as well as providing healing for themselves.2
Sometimes practitioners who specialize in another healing modality - such as massage therapy or acupuncture - become attuned to First Degree Reiki so that they can incorporate energy healing into their primary healing practice.3
Most Reiki healers who practice professionally are at least a Level II,4 also called a Second Degree Reiki practitioner. Level II attunement requirements vary according to different masters and lineages; however, in general, Level II attunement usually indicates some longer period of time spent practicing Reiki in addition to receiving Level I attunement (although not in all cases - ask your practitioner!).
Level II attunement involves the Reiki master opening the Reiki practitioner’s energy channels further, allowing them to connect more deeply with the universal energy and to channel more healing energy than they could at Level I.
Second Degree Reiki practitioners can practice distant Reiki, meaning they can heal Reiki recipients without being in their physical presence.
At Level III, a healer is considered a Reiki master and can attune and train other healers. Reiki masters can also train people to perform self-Reiki. Not every Reiki master becomes a Reiki teacher, but Level III attunement is required in order to teach Reiki in general practice.
2. Ask practitioners about their self-Reiki practice
This is probably not the type of question you would ask a conventional health care provider, so it might feel a little strange or nosy to ask this kind of personal question of a healer. However, Reiki is a spiritual practice and self-care with Reiki is a crucial aspect of how a practitioner connects to, channels and understands the universal life energy, ki.
Reiki master, educator and author Pamela Miles calls daily self-treatment “the most important thing” for Reiki healers:
Just as it is impossible to develop a relationship without being in touch with your friend, it is impossible to develop your relationship with Reiki practice without consistent self-treatment.5
This element of a Reiki practitioner’s overall energy healing practice is also emphasized by the University of Minnesota as something to look for when seeking out a good Reiki practitioner to work with.6
3. Consider your preferences
How open are you to different kinds of experiences in your session? Do you have strong preferences about certain aspects of your healing experience?
Below are some common ways in which Reiki sessions may differ. Any given practitioner may offer Reiki sessions from a variety of lineages and with other elements altered specifically to meet clients’ preferences. Other healers opt for a more consistent practice according to their own preferences.
Devote some time to considering whether any of these variables is important to you, and be sure to discuss them with practitioners you speak with as you make a decision about who to work with for your first Reiki session:
• Music and sound. Reiki sessions are usually performed in a calming atmosphere. That may involve silence, soft recorded music or nature sounds, or other sonic elements such as Himalayan singing bowls, chanting, or drumming. Usually there is not much talking in sessions, but some Reiki practitioners believe complete silence is important.
• The setting. Soft light is standard and may incorporate candles and lamps. Aromatherapy may be incorporated into the session. You will be treated fully clothed (unless your Reiki session is being combined with a form of massage or another healing practice that typically requires you to disrobe). Reiki practiced in person is most often performed while the recipient lies on a cushioned treatment table. If this doesn’t work for you, a cozy chair may be used instead. Usually a blanket is offered.
• Prayer. The healer may initiate the session with prayer. Reiki is a spiritual rather than a religious practice; it is suitable for followers of all faiths or none. However, Reiki practice often puts people in deeper touch with their own religious traditions and some healers like to incorporate their own faiths into their practices. If you have strong preferences about prayer as part of a session and the faith it may come from, it is wise to ask your practitioner about this in advance.
• Touch. During a Reiki session, the healer will either apply light touch or hold their hands just above different parts of your body. If you have areas of your body that are sensitive (if you’re recovering from surgery or an injury, for example) or if you simply prefer not to be touched anywhere, let your Reiki practitioner know. If you prefer a hands-on approach, you should feel free to share that as well.
• Incorporation of other healing modalities. Many Reiki practitioners are interested and trained in other healing disciplines. These might range from craniosacral therapy to massage therapy to crystal healing to acupressure to working with the chakras to shamanism to herbal medicine. If you are new to Reiki it might be best to start with a simple Reiki session for clarity’s sake. This can introduce you to the practice of Reiki and allow you to experience its benefits by itself. However, you may want to ask your healer if they can incorporate other modalities at a later time if this interests you.
Along with inquiring about the above variable elements of a Reiki session, it’s also a good idea to simply ask the healer what you can expect. All Reiki healers are different and opening a conversation about expectations during a session will help you ensure a good match.
Communicating clearly about what is leading you to Reiki treatment will also likely help your healer tailor a session to meet your needs. Tell them what brings you to them and ask them how their session will address your goals or help you, whether you are hoping to get help handling specific health conditions like chronic pain, anxiety, and depression or seeking more general support with stress reduction, relaxation, and overall wellness.
4. Ask healers what led them to Reiki practice
Asking an open-ended question like this can be a good way to start a broad conversation that will give you a lot of information and help you understand a healer’s philosophy, perspective, and interests. It will also give them an opportunity to reveal their demeanor and personality.
Being able to relate to your healer can help you feel comfortable and relaxed during Reiki sessions, and this can help facilitate your overall healing process.
There are other questions that can similarly help jump-start a helpful conversation with a Reiki practitioner you are considering working with. Another one is: “What does Reiki mean to you?” The specific question isn’t important - what is important is finding a way to open a conversation with the healer that helps you determine your comfort level with that practitioner.
Remember that Reiki is meant to facilitate your healing process and support your own self-healing capacity. The more you feel you understand and are comfortable with a practitioner and their specific way of practicing Reiki, the more likely you are to benefit. Finding the right Reiki practitioner for you is a courageous and wonderful step on your way to holistic healing.
Find a Reiki Practitioner near you
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1“Reiki Attunement - The Process and the Purpose”:https://www.centreofexcellence.com/reiki-attunement-process-purpose/
2“Reiki Levels of Attunement 1, 2 and 3 Explained”:https://reikiguide.org/reiki-levels
3“Finding the Right Reiki Practitioner or Reiki Master for You”:https://www.starchaser-healingarts.com/finding-the-right-reiki-master-or-reiki-practitioner-for-you
4“Finding the Right Reiki Practitioner or Reiki Master for You”:https://www.starchaser-healingarts.com/finding-the-right-reiki-master-or-reiki-practitioner-for-you/
5“The Most Important Thing”:https://reikiinmedicine.org/daily-practice/the-most-important-thing/
6“How Can I Find a Qualified Reiki Practitioner?”:https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/reiki/how-can-i-find-qualified-reiki-practitioner