Choosing Your Reiki Words

“How can I get people to open up to Reiki?”

Reiki practitioners frequently ask me this question. It is a curious question to me, because I find people to be very open and interested in Reiki practice.

And also because, honestly, I don’t see it as my job to open people up to Reiki practice.

Why talk about Reiki practice?

My job is to reach the people who are already open to Reiki (even if they don’t yet know it), and to give them the information they need, information that brings them a step closer to connecting with a Reiki practitioner (maybe you!).

And perhaps most important, to give them that information in language that is comfortable for them.

Because if the language I use to communicate Reiki isn’t comfortable for people, the information I’m really giving them is that Reiki is not something they want to know more about.

When Reiki practitioners complain that the people around them are closed to Reiki, I wonder if they are really closed to Reiki, or if they just can’t get past the language that’s being thrown at them.

If you have trouble interesting people in Reiki practice, think about what you are saying that might be throwing up a roadblock. If you can’t find where your words are getting in the way of communicating Reiki practice, run your usual spiel by a friend who isn’t enthusiastic about Reiki, and ask for honest feedback.

And use it.

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18 Responses to “Choosing Your Reiki Words”

  1. Pamela Miles April 23, 2010 11:07 am Permalink

    Thank you for being brave enough to leave a comment, Sherry, and for making the excellent point that the best way to communicate about Reiki is to give a sample (assuming the receiver is amenable). In fact, Mrs. Takata famously said, I can’t tell you what Reiki is, but I can show you.

  2. Jo Faulk April 23, 2010 12:10 pm Permalink

    I do find that too many words used in describing Reiki can be a problem. Maybe this is because the vocabulary we currently have to work with does not accomodate us for this purpose. Attempts to describe this using our own words may offend some who do not think it aligns closely enough with their own religious/spiritual beliefs. Others may be offended because our words sound too religious (or too aligned with one specific religion) for them. This presents a tough problem for me, someone who likes to talk, but yes, better to show than to tell.

  3. Jessica April 23, 2010 12:13 pm Permalink

    I’m new to Reiki as well and have some concerns about this issue as well. I have some friends/family who are familiar (and comfortable) with Reiki, a lot of friends who aren’t familiar with it but are more than willing to try it and a few that are skeptical. I’m glad you pointed out that it isn’t my job to convince the skeptical. All I can really do is explain what it is and offer a sample. People are either open to it or they aren’t (unfortunately, my 12 yr old daughter is one of the skeptics . . . I’m still working on her though. Maybe she’ll come around :) .

    I think the thing I struggle with the most is that there are people out there who proclaim Reiki as a kind of “miracle” healing. I’ve seen people write that it can “cure” cancer and other diseases etc. While that may be true for some people, that’s not a description of Reiki I’m comfortable with. I’ve found that I’m more comfortable saying that Reiki is a gentle form of energy balancing that helps support the body in its own healing efforts and abilities. It provides deep relaxation and stress relief – something pretty much everyone needs these days. In most cases it should be used as a complement to (not a replacement for) traditional health care therapies.

  4. Pamela Miles April 23, 2010 1:07 pm Permalink

    It is so true, Jo, that too many words is a problem. And maybe rather than describing Reiki, we might try just describing how we feel after a treatment, or a couple of benefits we’ve noticed, keeping it short and sweet.

    Jessica, putting Reiki forth inappropriately such as you mention is definitely problematic for the field, and for the people who will turn away from trying Reiki because they can’t separate the message from the messenger. And the best remedy for this situation is to have more thoughtful practitioners participate in public forums, such as this blog and various facebook pages (please join the conversation at facebook.com/ReikiMed), and for professionals to create websites that make a credible presentation. This is why I offer the webinars, to help careful practitioners get comfortable with speaking out. WE NEED YOUR VOICES!!! :-)

  5. Mhairi April 24, 2010 2:59 am Permalink

    I too have found that showing is a great way to open people up to Reiki. I have a workmate who was suffering from bad back pain. I offered her some Reiki and gave her a quick 10 minute session. She has since come back and asked me for more and tells me she feels a “fuzzy” sensation when I treat her head area. Proof in the pudding I feel. I do always tell them that some people feel heat, some cold, some fuzzy and some nothing and that all are just fine because the healing will be occurring where ever the body needs it most and it may not be where we think and that all I am doing is channeling energy to allow the person’s body to heal of it’s own accord by balancing the body and raising their “auric” energy for want of a better description.

  6. John janssen April 24, 2010 9:59 am Permalink

    Whenever I talk to someone for the first time in reference to Reiki I try to remember a presentation by Rick Bockner, the22nd Master initiated by Takata. Rick says he ALWAYS tries to find out something about the person/group so he can relate to them easier (nurses, scientests, etc)

  7. Pamela Miles April 24, 2010 10:19 am Permalink

    Thank you for sharing Rick’s sage advice, John. It make sense to learn a detail or two that helps us connect with the people we’re speaking to, whether it’s one person or a roomful, to bring the balancing benefits of Reiki treatment home to them in a very personal way.

  8. Lindy April 25, 2010 10:08 pm Permalink

    I felt very comfortable with your statement that ‘you don’t see it as your job to open up people to Reiki’. Because, in all honesty, every time I try ‘to open up people’ that’s exactly why it backfires. I have learned over the years that Reiki is a free flowing energy and it’s there for the ones already open to it. I guess that intuitively I know when some one is open to Reiki, and then when I talk about Reiki, my own words flow more freely and naturally and the people respond accordingly.
    Can anybody relate to that?

  9. Pamela Miles April 25, 2010 10:17 pm Permalink

    I can certainly relate to what you wrote, Lindy. We all feel more comfortable when we are aligned. Trying to manipulate someone, even for what we see as their own good, throws us out of alignment and we trip over our tongues. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Lou April 28, 2010 7:26 pm Permalink

    I do tell them that is helps them relax and stress relief. Then they ask how it works…that is what I have problems explaining to them so they will understand. Can anyone tell me how you would answer that question??

  11. Pamela Miles April 28, 2010 7:48 pm Permalink

    Lou, have you read the post What Is Reiki? What to do? I think it will help you with this.

  12. Amber May 25, 2010 1:14 pm Permalink

    I’ve been practicing Reiki on my man for two years and still haven’t told him. Will follow Mhairi’s advice.

    • Kimberly February 06, 2014 4:39 pm Permalink

      I love this! Every night, when my husband and I snuggle in bed, I give Reiki as he falls asleep… it’s even helped curb the snoring!

  13. sharonbaker June 17, 2010 11:07 am Permalink

    Here is a thought-I hope it will resonate and help with expalnation on some level. As a holistic RN I have been explaining energy concepts for 23 years now to general medicine or for the “patients” have never tried anything outside this box. It is not an easy task! I emphasize with the practitioners who must introduce Reiki -we are not raised with energy concepts. However, I talk about this-everyone who has had an EKG or EEG is familiar with the fact we have electrical patterns in our bodies-we can actually see the results. Laws of physics “wherever there is electricity there is a magnetic field.” So we are both electrical and magnetic. It is easier to expain our need for balance in this electrical system, just like we need balance is our blood circulation and other body organs. It is a concept the East has had for thousands of years and now science proves its effects.

  14. Pamela Miles June 17, 2010 12:34 pm Permalink

    Your strategy can be useful when the conversation gets to that level of interest, but it’s important, especially when speaking to scientists, to distinguish between electromagnetic fields, which science as documented, and the biofield, which is as yet undocumented by science.

    It’s premature to say that science has proven the value of biofield therapies. Although there is quite a bit of science to support acupuncture for various ailments, the scientific investigation of most biofield therapies, especially Reiki practice, is really just beginning.

  15. Healer (not my real name :-) March 20, 2011 1:46 pm Permalink

    Most of the time when I am trying to introduce someone to Reiki I have to fight on one of two battles:

    The science-oriented person who only accepts documented facts. Those are hard to convince if I use the word “alternative”. I never had success with those. I showed them some youtube videos about the aura photography and tried to start from there. Still nothing yet.

    The religious who doesn’t accept the idea that any one or thing can be asked for anything except God. My approach that worked with them to accept the treatment is that the universal life energy is created by God like anything else, and it’s free and available for anyone to use it just like air, and I ask them to ask God instead of asking the universal life energy. My approach only works to get them to accept the treatment but it’s not strong enough to get them to come back.

  16. Jennifer (MD) November 02, 2011 7:53 pm Permalink

    Someone once wrote that, ‘if they have to use a special camera to see it, its bogus’. Imagine how Mme. Curie felt! We use special cameras for lots of stuff in medicine (think PET scanning, MRI, CT, EKG, ELISA) -all based on a number of different technologies. Recently I think I’ve been clearly sensing people’s aura flow (or clutter/ interference) and that is really a weird feeling for me. While we may not have the technology right now to amplify these signals, from what little I know abut picking up Kirilian energy, it takes a lot of voltage, but can be done.

    (Oh goody, another energy hog to “see” these things instead of being in the experience.)

    Meditation has been shown to have many proven benefits and still its considered “weird”. Who’s publishing these ideas anyway? the Koch brothers of Glaxo-Smith-Kline. Medicine (western, that is), might get you about a third of the way towards improving your health. AT BEST.

    I am a board-certified allergist/ internist and now, beginning REIKI MASTER. Was a physics and sciences major in college.

  17. -->
  18. Sherry April 23, 2010 10:35 am Permalink

    Im so new to this I actually feel funny leaving a comment.. But you asked me too so I will. For me it was my husband that not really laughed at me but kinda said… Whatever you want to do honey… Until I reached out and touched him when I returned from my first Reiki class last week. When he saw the reaction my yellow lab had to Reiki. He is supportive now. It has also helped to acknowledge it is a alternitive for therepy.
    Thanks for this site. It has been very helpful!
    Have a great day!
    Sherry

  19. Pamela Miles April 23, 2010 11:07 am Permalink

    Thank you for being brave enough to leave a comment, Sherry, and for making the excellent point that the best way to communicate about Reiki is to give a sample (assuming the receiver is amenable). In fact, Mrs. Takata famously said, I can’t tell you what Reiki is, but I can show you.

  20. Jo Faulk April 23, 2010 12:10 pm Permalink

    I do find that too many words used in describing Reiki can be a problem. Maybe this is because the vocabulary we currently have to work with does not accomodate us for this purpose. Attempts to describe this using our own words may offend some who do not think it aligns closely enough with their own religious/spiritual beliefs. Others may be offended because our words sound too religious (or too aligned with one specific religion) for them. This presents a tough problem for me, someone who likes to talk, but yes, better to show than to tell.

  21. Jessica April 23, 2010 12:13 pm Permalink

    I’m new to Reiki as well and have some concerns about this issue as well. I have some friends/family who are familiar (and comfortable) with Reiki, a lot of friends who aren’t familiar with it but are more than willing to try it and a few that are skeptical. I’m glad you pointed out that it isn’t my job to convince the skeptical. All I can really do is explain what it is and offer a sample. People are either open to it or they aren’t (unfortunately, my 12 yr old daughter is one of the skeptics . . . I’m still working on her though. Maybe she’ll come around :) .

    I think the thing I struggle with the most is that there are people out there who proclaim Reiki as a kind of “miracle” healing. I’ve seen people write that it can “cure” cancer and other diseases etc. While that may be true for some people, that’s not a description of Reiki I’m comfortable with. I’ve found that I’m more comfortable saying that Reiki is a gentle form of energy balancing that helps support the body in its own healing efforts and abilities. It provides deep relaxation and stress relief – something pretty much everyone needs these days. In most cases it should be used as a complement to (not a replacement for) traditional health care therapies.

  22. Pamela Miles April 23, 2010 1:07 pm Permalink

    It is so true, Jo, that too many words is a problem. And maybe rather than describing Reiki, we might try just describing how we feel after a treatment, or a couple of benefits we’ve noticed, keeping it short and sweet.

    Jessica, putting Reiki forth inappropriately such as you mention is definitely problematic for the field, and for the people who will turn away from trying Reiki because they can’t separate the message from the messenger. And the best remedy for this situation is to have more thoughtful practitioners participate in public forums, such as this blog and various facebook pages (please join the conversation at facebook.com/ReikiMed), and for professionals to create websites that make a credible presentation. This is why I offer the webinars, to help careful practitioners get comfortable with speaking out. WE NEED YOUR VOICES!!! :-)

  23. Mhairi April 24, 2010 2:59 am Permalink

    I too have found that showing is a great way to open people up to Reiki. I have a workmate who was suffering from bad back pain. I offered her some Reiki and gave her a quick 10 minute session. She has since come back and asked me for more and tells me she feels a “fuzzy” sensation when I treat her head area. Proof in the pudding I feel. I do always tell them that some people feel heat, some cold, some fuzzy and some nothing and that all are just fine because the healing will be occurring where ever the body needs it most and it may not be where we think and that all I am doing is channeling energy to allow the person’s body to heal of it’s own accord by balancing the body and raising their “auric” energy for want of a better description.

  24. John janssen April 24, 2010 9:59 am Permalink

    Whenever I talk to someone for the first time in reference to Reiki I try to remember a presentation by Rick Bockner, the22nd Master initiated by Takata. Rick says he ALWAYS tries to find out something about the person/group so he can relate to them easier (nurses, scientests, etc)

  25. Pamela Miles April 24, 2010 10:19 am Permalink

    Thank you for sharing Rick’s sage advice, John. It make sense to learn a detail or two that helps us connect with the people we’re speaking to, whether it’s one person or a roomful, to bring the balancing benefits of Reiki treatment home to them in a very personal way.

  26. Lindy April 25, 2010 10:08 pm Permalink

    I felt very comfortable with your statement that ‘you don’t see it as your job to open up people to Reiki’. Because, in all honesty, every time I try ‘to open up people’ that’s exactly why it backfires. I have learned over the years that Reiki is a free flowing energy and it’s there for the ones already open to it. I guess that intuitively I know when some one is open to Reiki, and then when I talk about Reiki, my own words flow more freely and naturally and the people respond accordingly.
    Can anybody relate to that?

  27. Pamela Miles April 25, 2010 10:17 pm Permalink

    I can certainly relate to what you wrote, Lindy. We all feel more comfortable when we are aligned. Trying to manipulate someone, even for what we see as their own good, throws us out of alignment and we trip over our tongues. Thanks for stopping by!

  28. Lou April 28, 2010 7:26 pm Permalink

    I do tell them that is helps them relax and stress relief. Then they ask how it works…that is what I have problems explaining to them so they will understand. Can anyone tell me how you would answer that question??

  29. Pamela Miles April 28, 2010 7:48 pm Permalink

    Lou, have you read the post What Is Reiki? What to do? I think it will help you with this.

  30. Amber May 25, 2010 1:14 pm Permalink

    I’ve been practicing Reiki on my man for two years and still haven’t told him. Will follow Mhairi’s advice.

    • Kimberly February 06, 2014 4:39 pm Permalink

      I love this! Every night, when my husband and I snuggle in bed, I give Reiki as he falls asleep… it’s even helped curb the snoring!

  31. sharonbaker June 17, 2010 11:07 am Permalink

    Here is a thought-I hope it will resonate and help with expalnation on some level. As a holistic RN I have been explaining energy concepts for 23 years now to general medicine or for the “patients” have never tried anything outside this box. It is not an easy task! I emphasize with the practitioners who must introduce Reiki -we are not raised with energy concepts. However, I talk about this-everyone who has had an EKG or EEG is familiar with the fact we have electrical patterns in our bodies-we can actually see the results. Laws of physics “wherever there is electricity there is a magnetic field.” So we are both electrical and magnetic. It is easier to expain our need for balance in this electrical system, just like we need balance is our blood circulation and other body organs. It is a concept the East has had for thousands of years and now science proves its effects.

  32. Pamela Miles June 17, 2010 12:34 pm Permalink

    Your strategy can be useful when the conversation gets to that level of interest, but it’s important, especially when speaking to scientists, to distinguish between electromagnetic fields, which science as documented, and the biofield, which is as yet undocumented by science.

    It’s premature to say that science has proven the value of biofield therapies. Although there is quite a bit of science to support acupuncture for various ailments, the scientific investigation of most biofield therapies, especially Reiki practice, is really just beginning.

  33. Healer (not my real name :-) March 20, 2011 1:46 pm Permalink

    Most of the time when I am trying to introduce someone to Reiki I have to fight on one of two battles:

    The science-oriented person who only accepts documented facts. Those are hard to convince if I use the word “alternative”. I never had success with those. I showed them some youtube videos about the aura photography and tried to start from there. Still nothing yet.

    The religious who doesn’t accept the idea that any one or thing can be asked for anything except God. My approach that worked with them to accept the treatment is that the universal life energy is created by God like anything else, and it’s free and available for anyone to use it just like air, and I ask them to ask God instead of asking the universal life energy. My approach only works to get them to accept the treatment but it’s not strong enough to get them to come back.

  34. Jennifer (MD) November 02, 2011 7:53 pm Permalink

    Someone once wrote that, ‘if they have to use a special camera to see it, its bogus’. Imagine how Mme. Curie felt! We use special cameras for lots of stuff in medicine (think PET scanning, MRI, CT, EKG, ELISA) -all based on a number of different technologies. Recently I think I’ve been clearly sensing people’s aura flow (or clutter/ interference) and that is really a weird feeling for me. While we may not have the technology right now to amplify these signals, from what little I know abut picking up Kirilian energy, it takes a lot of voltage, but can be done.

    (Oh goody, another energy hog to “see” these things instead of being in the experience.)

    Meditation has been shown to have many proven benefits and still its considered “weird”. Who’s publishing these ideas anyway? the Koch brothers of Glaxo-Smith-Kline. Medicine (western, that is), might get you about a third of the way towards improving your health. AT BEST.

    I am a board-certified allergist/ internist and now, beginning REIKI MASTER. Was a physics and sciences major in college.


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