3 Questions for Reiki Practitioners

Looking for a Reiki practitioner? Asking these questions will help you find one who is a good fit.

Already practicing Reiki? Contemplating these questions helps clarify your understanding so you can communicate and share Reiki practice more effectively.

3 Questions to Ask a Reiki Practitioner1. What do you do?

Although practicing Reiki and talking about it are very different skills, any Reiki practitioner should be able to describe a Reiki treatment in simple, straightforward language — hands-on, clothes-on, lying down or seated comfortably in a chair.

If a Reiki practitioner does not offer a practical response, he/she is giving you valuable information about his/her demeanor and approach to practice.

Only you know if that is a comfortable fit for you.

2. Is it a “do” or a practice?

Reiki practice is very passive. Traditional Reiki practitioners place hands, offering the client a (rather irresistible) invitation to reset into self healing mode without over-riding the body’s inherent wisdom or using any degree of force.

For that reason, Reiki practice is safe.

Shamans and energy workers take a more assertive approach to treatment, actively engaging in the client’s subtle vibrational field, deliberately reorganizing, removing, and sometimes depositing. (No value judgments here, just highlighting important distinctions.)

However, many (most?) Reiki practitioners do not distinguish between actively intervening and practicing. While that might not seem important to you now, if you are paying for professional service, as a smart consumer, why not find out first what you are signing up for?

3. Why do you call it Reiki?

Mikao Usui (1865-1926) was the Japanese spiritual seeker who founded the practice now known outside of Japan simply as Reiki.

There are three major lineages of Reiki practice:

  • Usui’s original lineage, which continues as the Gakkai;
  • Usui/Hayashi lineage, which has become available outside of Japan in the last ten years or so; and
  • Usui/Hayashi/Takata lineage, which brought Reiki practice to Hawaii in the late 1930s, and eventually the rest of the world.

Most Reiki practitioners identify themselves as being in the Usui/Hayashi/Takata lineage.

Sometime after Hawayo Takata’s death in December 1980, not recognizing the value of continuing to practice as one is taught, many Americans made arbitrary changes to Reiki practice and to the Reiki initiation process, usually without disclosure, meaning they called their practice “Reiki” even though it might be considerably altered and in some cases not trace back to Usui’s initiation lineage.

As a result, most Reiki practitioners who identify themselves today as Usui/Hayashi/Takata lineage (often using the term Usui Shiki Ryoho) do not realize the practice they were taught is far removed from Hawayo Takata’s practice and teachings.

The ensuing diversity and lack of a consensus regarding standards has resulted in considerable confusion not only in the Reiki community but also for the public interested in Reiki practice, who often makes judgments about Reiki practice based on very little exposure to the practice.

The only way you can know what you will receive in a treatment or class, or even what you are practicing, is to ask questions — lots of them. No worries about being a pest! A reputable Reiki professional will be delighted you are bringing so much care to your choice, and will often have a website that addresses your questions.

Just one more question, please…

Here’s a fourth question: do you practice daily Reiki self treatment?

If you are a Reiki practitioner who answers “No” — why not start today?

If you are interviewing Reiki practitioners to find a good match for you, and the practitioner says, “No,” go on to the next.

You deserve a Reiki practitioner who values the practice enough to rely on it, and who has a personal commitment to daily self care.



4 thoughts on “3 Questions for Reiki Practitioners”

  1. Thank you for all the information you provide. It’s very thought provoking and unbiased. I’m interested to learn Reiki but did have one question for which I never found any answers for. Is it possible to switch Reiki masters between level 2 and Master levels? For instance, If the student had to move from one city to another where he/she can no longer can go back to their Level 1 and 2 teacher.

    Light prevails,

  2. Hi Pamela! As always, a very enlightening read. The second point is really interesting too, although I would frame it as “allowing” vs “doing” 🙂

    I’m an Energy Healer & a Reiki Master, and I see value in both approaches. Energy Healing is fantastic but we do have to learn what not to do (or when not to do it). As well as when to step back and allow. The depth of training makes a huge difference. I was lucky to have wonderful teachers and supervision. Reiki is simpler, safer from a human error point of view.

    Funny thing is I do find it a lot easier to give myself Reiki, and not Energy healing. Its easier to detach and just allow when healing yourself 🙂

    Love and Light,


  3. Dear Panela ,
    Real your email and blogs are very informative and innovative which encourage of to read it more than twice Pamela and your talented is reflected .
    Warm regards

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