Reiki Healing Is for Everyone, So Let’s Speak to Everyone

Reiki clinic three practitionersDo you wonder why some people hop aboard when you speak about Reiki healing, while others vacate the premises?

Try listening to yourself.

What do you say?

Go to a blank screen and write your usual Reiki spiel, whatever you say when someone asks, “What is Reiki?”

Speak it aloud and jot down notes — this is not a writing assignment (yet). Don’t try to make it perfect, just get a snapshot of what you usually say. (Three minute pause.)

Now pick up the closest magazine or newspaper, turn to your favorite blog or online news source, or turn the TV on to a talk show or the news.

How does your language compare to the language used in mainstream media? How many words or phrases are you using (universal life force energy, perhaps?) that are only found in obscure (by mainstream standards) Reiki documents and websites?

Reiki jargon-free zone

Words and phrases that are only used among people brought together by their shared interest in a particular topic are collectively called jargon.

Jargon is a shorthand that everyone in the club can decipher. Insiders know the meaning of these words and phrases (or do they? — do you really know what universal life force energy means? But that’s another conversation.)

But the very same jargon that is comfortable among people with a shared passion makes other people feel like outsiders. It’s a classic turnoff that makes listeners literally change channels.

Learn from your doctor

Think about how your doctor talks to you. What part communicates and what part doesn’t? And remember that you are very motivated to understand what your doctor is saying, because you are impressed by her credentials and you believe she has information that is important for you to know.

When people ask you about Reiki, you probably don’t have the credibility of a physician, and if you’re not mindful of your listener, your word choice can quickly dissolve any credibility you do have.

If you want to pique people’s interest in Reiki, try speaking their language instead of expecting them to learn yours. Most people won’t bother.

The Communicating Reiki category includes many other articles to help you reach more people. Please give the suggestions a try. If you make any changes to your Reiki talk, please leave a comment sharing your results. You might be delighted by the difference a little tweak makes.

Want to build your credibility on your own schedule, from the comfort of your home? The Mainstreaming Reiki webinar series was created with you in mind. Topics include:

  • Back to Basics
  • Professional Readiness
  • How to Explain Reiki
  • Where’s the Proof?
  • What Is Spirituality?
  • Is Reiki Safe?

Learn more about the Mainstreaming Reiki webinar recordings here.

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12 thoughts on “Reiki Healing Is for Everyone, So Let’s Speak to Everyone”

  1. Lilia Robberts

    My life has been stressful since I got kicked out of school and lost my scholarship. I have let down my parents and my friends and most importantly, I have let down myself. Reading this article I am starting to think that Reiki healing is something that I want to look into. Thank you for explaining what Reiki jargon was. I never thought about these different phrases bringing people together with the love of Reiki.

  2. MaryBeth Walz

    This is a difficult thing, to me. I know in my Silpada business, I’m encouraged to come up with a 60 sec. blurb. I like that idea.

    But I’m having a hard time doing that with Reiki. But I’m still fairly new. I will just have to keep practicing!

    It’s very frustrating since I have a background in copy writing, write poems, instruction manuals, etc.

    Boggle boggle boggle!!

    Thanks, Pamela, for your Webinar this weekend. It was a lot to absorb and I enjoyed the whole presentation!! 🙂

  3. Jessica, whenever possible, I start Reiki presentations with a brief sample. Moving through the audience placing each hand on a head for even a minute, it goes pretty quickly, and I bring Reiki students to help with a large group.

    Once people have experienced the Reiki connection, they have a context for what is said about Reiki. Also, the experience brings greater harmony into the room.

    But it’s important to let people know that if they don’t want to be touched, you can place your hand above their head, or they can wave you away. We don’t want people to feel pressured to decline in front of everyone.

  4. Thank you Isabella – that’s very helpful! I am giving a Reiki presentation of sorts this afternoon and I’m worrying a bit too much I think about the words that I’m going to use to explain it. After reading your comment, I’m not going to worry so much (and maybe I need to remind myself of the Reiki principles too!). I’ll just give people samples so they can feel it for themselves. I think that’s the best way to “explain” what Reiki is.

  5. This is a good point for discussion. As Usui Reiki Master Teacher and now Karuna (R) Reiki Master Teacher I always find myself in situations where I have to explain ‘Waht Reiki is” also to those who are attracted to healing and wold like to receive healings.
    I simply say” Reiki is a natural healing technique which will work at restoring and maintaining harmony within your body and mind. it is natural as it is based on your own body and mind connection. the one that is at work for you” Stop Full dot. I am not spending much time on semantic as experience also proves it: reiki is about practice and not in about books and learning words. It is about ‘mudras’ energy movements which will be directed by the flow of energy of the body of the receipient.

    You know, i like you article because, simply it stands out for what Reiki is: simple, humble and deep and personal. there aren’t 2 treatments the same, there aren’t 2 conditions the same, and there aren’t 2 outcomes the same!
    Franckly after 11 yeasrs of practice, i still feel Reiki practitioners tend to be very academic and making sure ‘their teaching’ is presented as ‘ the teaching’ When actually Reiki is a healing energy as flexible and mutable as the cellular level of our own body and mind. therefore there can’t be a definition of Reiki per se. there can only be an introduction to Reiki energy flow then the person, the patient, the student, the listener, will understand what they are ready to hear or read.
    By trying to define Reiki too much and by trying to give it borders, some have actually contributed to make it look as a practice with an end in itself. When actually Reiki is an opening, to life, to wellness, to balance, to new ways of living and connecting. Reiki does not like to bec ompounded. It likes to be Free and work on its own. It does not like to be labeled more than necessary. It likes to permeate the body mind connection at the best and highest intention. And eventually will succeed time and open-kindness permitting.

    Living in the East has been very conducive. If I say I am a Karuna Reki Master people don’t ask me what Reiki or Karuna is: they feel there is a connection with Buddhism and instantly there is a good intuitive understanding it is about inner peace. and they want me to help them helping others.

    Beauty-fulll isn’t it ? Thank you Pamela, I admire you! Your smile is an invitation to Reiki energy flow!

    Gratitude!

  6. Heather, it’s not weird to be able to adapt to your listener, it’s skillful communicating. Good for you! It’s smart of you to add a carefully chosen piece of relevant information once you know you have someone’s attention.

    Hospital interest in Reiki is growing quite nicely, and Therapeutic Touch and Healing Touch are well recognized in hospital care.

    You’ve stated it so well, Linda–when we tone down the excitement, there is less resistance. Thanks!

  7. this is a much needed reminder since i do see that when i tone down the excitement there
    is definitely less resistance. I work the same way, so it makes sense that other people do too. Try bringing up Reiki when you’re in a heated talk about Congalese women contracting HIV with political activists who’ve never heard of it and it suddenly becomes very awkward unless you’re aware of your word choices.

  8. I completely agree, my 8 year old son has kind of trained me for this type of situation. I have developed this wierd ability to switch how I am talking to someone almost instantly, because my 8 year old is a special case. I often find myself doing this when trying to talk about anything holistic not only Reiki. I try to change how I say things because their not going to understand most of it if I don’t. However I try to do a bit of education also once they show an interest. Usually by a slight demonstration. As for Energy work in hospitals….I wish that people would be more open too it. We are on a huge awakening point around the world. I pray I just get to see it!!!

  9. I completely agree, my 8 year old son had kind of trained me for this type of situation. I have developed this wierd ability to switch how I am talking to someone almost instantly, because my 8 year old is a special case. I often find myself doing this when trying to talk about anything holistic not only Reiki. I try to change how I say things because their not going to understand most of it if I don’t. However I try to do a bit of education also once they show an interest. Usually by a slight demonstration. As for Energy work in hospitals….I wish that people would be more open too it. We are on a huge awakening point around the world. I pray I just get to see it!!!

  10. I am also very passionate about Reiki and I am working on communicating the practice of Reiki better. Pamela’s Medical Reiki Seminar that I took this past weekend has helped me tremendously with that. It made me notice that I also had been stuck in jargon! I now describe Reiki sessions instead of trying to explain the whole Reiki system. The seminar has also given me the confidence to talk about my Reiki practice more. I went to a FreeNI networking luncheon last week and introduced myself and what I do. In addition to that I plan to do a presentation with Reiki treatment samples at my gym and the local library. The Medical Reiki Seminar made me realize that we cannot sit back and hope that others will do the work. Us Reiki practitioners have to take every opportunity to talk about Reiki and what Reiki self-care has done for us! Thank you, Pamela, for blowing some wind into my wings!:) One more thing…the NCCAM backgrounder on Reiki that Pamela co-authored is a very valuable resource to help you communicate Reiki more effectively. I took some of their information and put it on my website. It is not copyrighted and duplication is encouraged. I am hoping to see Reiki in more VA and military hospitals soon!

  11. You bring up a good point, Jessica. Sometimes it’s our words, and sometimes it’s our passion that turns people off. I know when someone is so excited that they start looking a bit deranged, I immediately become very skeptical. 🙂

    Describing very simply how we feel during or after a Reiki treatment can be a good start, especially if our description is something others can relate too, such as “I start feeling more relaxed as soon as I start practicing Reiki, and somehow more like myself.”

  12. I totally agree Pamela. In fact, although I’m passionate about Reiki, I often get turned off by how other Reiki practitioners discuss Reiki. It’s often couched in what I would call “woo woo” language that makes it seem too “out there” for the average person. I try to bridge the gap for people between Western medicine and health care alternatives like Reiki by speaking about it in terms that they’re already fairly comfortable with. Most people understand the idea that there is some form of energy surrounding us and that our cells, when broken down to their components, are actually “made” of energy. Starting with that as a base for a discussion of Reiki makes it more logical for people and it’s easier for people to see how Reiki might help them.

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