Reiki for Kids

During my interview for The Daily Beast article on Reiki for kids, the journalist asked, “What kind of parent is interested in Reiki for kids?”

She was wondering if this were a New York City phenomenon.

“What kind of parent is interested in Reiki for kids?” I parroted back to her. “Every parent who has had a positive Reiki experience.”

And even parents with no Reiki experience often attend my First degree Reiki classes hoping they can help their children.

Why Reiki for kids?

Parents seek Reiki for kids for many different reasons. Some parents want to relieve their kids’ anxiety. Others seek to improve their children’s behavior and focus. And sometimes parents need to support their children as they address a serious medical diagnosis.

Reiki practice can help in all those situations, and many others.

How can that be? Because it doesn’t address the symptom, behavior or medical condition directly the way conventional medicine does.

Instead, Reiki practice gently encourages the child’s system to find its unique balance from within. As the child’s system becomes more balanced, his or her self-healing mechanisms engage and function optimally.

In that way, by supporting balance from within, Reiki practice supports the child’s overall well-being.

Arranging Reiki for kids

The most seamless way to introduce Reiki practice, especially a young child, is for you, the parent or caregiver, to learn First degree Reiki practice and practice on yourself everyday.

Please consider this, one of my most repeated sentences: the care of the child (family, patient, fill in the blank) begins with the care of the caregiver. Another way of expressing that is the wisdom we occasionally see on t-shirts:  “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

Seriously, anchoring yourself in your well-being every day — many times a day if needed — has a direct and profound affect on your child’s well-being. And as time allows, you can also practice Reiki on child (make sure you learn how in your Reiki training).

Or do you have a friend who practices Reiki? Is your child comfortable with that person?

If you take your child to a Reiki professional, be sure to thoroughly investigate that person’s qualifications. People doesn’t realize that Reiki certificates don’t guarantee any level or depth of training. Practitioners can get training online and decide that’s enough to be a professional (it isn’t). Or they can make their own certificates.

Professional Reiki for kids

Read the Reiki professional’s website carefully and thoroughly to get details of her training and experience. Don’t be shy to grill him on any details that are unclear. A Reiki practitioner who balks at your questioning is not one to trust with your child. A qualified Reiki professional will appreciate your concern and respond with relevant facts so you can make your own informed choice. And if she doesn’t, look elsewhere.

The most important question to ask a Reiki practitioner is whether he or she practices daily self Reiki. Daily, as in every day.

You only want to entrust your child (and yourself) to a professional who values Reiki practice enough to rely on it to support her own happiness and health.

No class or certificate can replace the understanding that develops as we practice hands-on self Reiki every day over time. Ideally the professional will also receive treatment from other Reiki practitioners. That helps professionals be more sensitive to the needs of clients, and to appreciate the profound inner support that unfolds in response to Reiki practice.

That’s such an important and overlooked point that it bears restating. Reiki professionals cannot appreciate how profoundly this gentle practice can support your child’s system in finding its own unique balance unless they have a strong foundation of daily self Reiki. Without that foundation, they are more likely to be intrusive and even judgmental.

Keep in mind that unlike other spiritual healthcare professionals, Reiki practitioners rarely have training in ethics and clinical arts.

Teaching Reiki for kids

Kids who are old enough to choose to learn to practice Reiki are probably old enough to learn to practice. It’s important that it’s not just something their parents want, but something they want.

Depending on his age and temperament, Your child might be able to join an adult class. If not, ask about children’s training. I have also trained families.

Reiki for children is not one-size-fits-all. Find a teacher who understands that, who offers you guidance and options until you find a good fit for you and your child.

Do you and your child already practice Reiki, or has your child benefited from Reiki treatment? Please share your story in a comment below to inspire others.

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11 thoughts on “Reiki for Kids”

  1. Great Article, My children have grown up with Reiki an my grandchildren receive Reiki as soon as there born. I have always worked on children, teenagers and have had amazing results. Hospitals are starting to open up. I live close to Ithaca N.Y. which is a very open community to holistic health. Someday we will be teaching in schools and assisting the students.

    While assisting in a Reiki share we had parents and a grandmother bring a 1 year old in. The instructor was scared and turned to me. Gentle Reiki was performed and the baby and parents were very relaxed and what needed to come to the situation was balance for the parents and grandmother.

    1. Thank you for sharing your anecdote, Sharon. I am a little confused about one thing — isn’t all Reiki practice gentle?

  2. I have been trained in Reiki for 17 years (even took level 1 twice) but didnt start using it daily until the spring of 2018. I was suffering with autoimmune stuff and started to do self Reiki at night for my headaches. I had such profound results that it sent me on a mission to refresh all I knew about it. I then started doing Reiki on my kids at bedtime. I tell you, bedtime has never been so peaceful and expedient! Whenever they get hurt or arent feeling good they ask for Rieki. I cannot express what a beautiful thing it has been for us!! I am in doing level 2 part 2 in a few days!

  3. Hi Pamela,

    What a wonderful article, thank you! I love how you highlight the fact that Reiki training isn’t standardized, and to be honest it scares me to think that someone might print their own certificate ???

    I have only given Reiki to a few kids and teenagers, but have found that it can be very helpful. As a Reiki Master I am thinking of offering a class for young ones and was wondering if you have any thoughts on how to adapt Reiki 1 to their age group (if only length, etc)

    Thank you!


    1. No matter the age of the students, it’s always important to teach to the people in the room. There are so many different approaches to Reiki practice that I cannot go into detail, but that will give you a good foundation. If you want more, consider the How to Teach First Degree Reiki recorded training in my Reiki Professional Academy. It gives a structure that you can adapt to any practice style and any age group.

  4. It would be wonderful for more children to have Reiki as a means to provide self-care anytime. Too many children are given prescriptions for ADHD or anxiety. Reiki could certainly help. I wished I had learned Reiki in my teens/early 20’s. What a positive difference it would have made earlier in life as a healthy way to reduce stress and promote balance.

    1. At the beginning of the school year, I got a 7 year old client who was having ‘behavioral issues’ in school. They were potentially going to be moved into a ‘special ed’ class as the meltdowns were causing much distraction at school. They were considered to have ADHD (accent on considered… this labeling has gotten way out of hand and is not being properly screened across the board). The parents, not knowing what to do to alter the situation for their very bright child, sought an alternative treatment. They did not want this stigmatizing label put on their child nor use the recommended medications. They were at their wits end finding discipline techniques, as they were told by teachers to do, with which they were comfortable and able to apply consistently.

      This young client not only got a handle on themselves exhibiting a greater level of ‘self control’, their tantrums became more like ‘huffs & puffs’ and even that now rare. ADHD is off the table so of course so are the meds. The parents are of course so very grateful and I now treat the teacher’s child!

      Friends are starting to call me the ‘baby whisperer’! LOL Oh… and the mom just got her Level 1 training yesterday.

  5. You had asked to hear about our experiences with Reiki for kids. I am a critical care nurse who has been trained in Reiki level 1 for almost a year. I am part of the reiki team at the hospital where I work and we provide reiki to patients Monday – Friday in 4 hour shifts. Anyway, I have two teenage boys and when I was learning, I asked them to let me practice on them. They both thought it was “weird” and in particular did not appreciate the reiki music. Fast forward 8 months…. my 14 year old hurt his knee playing soccer on a Friday. He jumped up for a ball and fell, landing directly on his knee cap. I was working all weekend so his dad iced it and gave him Advil. By Sunday night he was still in pain and I was home from work. He said, “Mom, can you give me some Reiki?” And in the same breath he shook his head and said “Nevermind”
    Teenagers, right? So I sat him down on the couch where he could watch football, and I gave reiki just to the injured knee for 10 minutes. When we were finished, he wanders away and sits at his computer and I hear from the other room “huh – it doesn’t even hurt anymore” later on he asks me “What even IS reiki?!” So we talked about it and he asked for Reiki everyday after that until he was better, which along with Physical Therapy took about 2 weeks. Now I tell that story to skeptical patients and I ususally convinced them to try it.

    1. What a wonderful story, Claudine! Thank you so much for sharing it. My kids and I sometimes practice Reiki while watching baseball games, both full treatments and to calm ourselves when our team isn’t doing well.

      1. Hi Pamela
        I am a Reiki practitioner at the Children’s Hospital in the UK and our project has been running for 6 years. I would like to share an experience from my private Reiki for Kids practice.

        A delightful 3 year old girl comes in for a treatment with mum and decides that we must include her special soft toys in our treatment. This is a great way in when you are having difficulty in approaching a child, or they are very shy or nervous about you and the strange thing your hands are doing… so Reiki can start through a soft toy, a favourite teddy.
        So we started our session by giving Reiki to her 3 favourite soft toys, a blue, a brown and a white rabbit, an entire rabbit family!
        Soon enough she stopped moving around, laid down and became very calm. I carried on and moved my hands towards her body, I usually work hands off the body, so just above it.
        I could feel her muscles relaxing. She now had a smile and although mum was worried at first as little one tends to be hyperactive, the worry had vanished as mum witnessed her daughter become very relaxed, happy and calm. I thought to myself, Reiki is extraordinary because now mum is chilling out on the sofa, receiving the Love, Warmth and Compassion which her daughter is being blessed by and that will impact no doubt on their day ahead and relationship between themselves and everyone and everything they encounter for at least the next couple of days…
        Afterwards she just sat down, rearranging her rabbits’ positioning and held her hands over them.
        I asked her : – “ What are you doing?”
        She replied: – “ Magic!”

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