Are Reiki Concepts Harming You?

Reiki HealingReiki practitioners are quick to assert that practicing Reiki causes no harm. I tend to agree.

But what about Reiki misunderstanding? How much harm does that cause?

Let me give you an example. A practitioner emailed:

I’m three months pregnant and feel like my hands are not as “powerful” (warm hands with energy) as they used to be, so I haven’t offered anyone treatment and I stopped practicing Reiki on myself.

Reiki healing restores balance

This mother-to-be made the mistake of judging her Reiki practice on the basis of sensation. This misunderstanding cost her — and the baby she carries — months of the balancing benefits of daily Reiki healing.

Reiki practice is balancing to the human system.

Maintaining balance means our bodies function optimally and while we sleep — deeply and peacefully — our self-healing mechanisms repair the wear-and-tear of daily living. Our bodies are better able to address problems early, long before imbalanced function creates pathology.

Maintaining balance means we are happier and make better choices that help us stay happy. It means we interact better with others and experience deeper satisfaction in our relationships.

Maintaining balance means we meet challenges with greater confidence and creativity.

Reiki practice, or Reiki energy?

Thinking in terms of “Reiki energy” and focusing on sensation is misleading. At best, it keeps our understanding of Reiki healing superficial. At worst, it leads to misunderstanding that devalues our Reiki practice.

Thinking of Reiki healing as a daily balancing practice keeps us mindful that the value of Reiki practice surpasses any sensations we might notice, or not notice.

Protect your Reiki practice

Think it through. If it keeps you from practicing Reiki self-treatment, it’s misinformation.

Has misinformation ever kept you from practicing Reiki? How did you resolve the misunderstanding? Please leave a comment below.


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20 thoughts on “Are Reiki Concepts Harming You?”

  1. Hello Pamela!

    It was very difficult to find this post again, but I really had to thank you for it, so I gave me the trouble of finding it, just to post my thanks!

    I was also not doing so much Reiki on me anymore, because of this concept “If I am feeling nothing, it means it is not working”. I decided to give myself Reiki for some times even if I was feeling nothing, and I noticed that my days were getting better, and now I can feel the Reiki again!

    Thanks a lot for the clue!

    This was happening because before I only gave myself Reiki on the intuitive mode, where you (or at least me), which is good, but is very susceptible to this thought “If I feel nothing, it means it is not working”.

    Now I just follow standard hand positions, and I feel soooo good… I have combined it with the Reiki Chime Timer that you recommended in other articile, and every Reiki self-session has the feeling as if I was flying on the clouds!!

    Thanks a lot!!

    1. Gustavo,

      I am so happy to hear that you are appreciating your daily practice. I have heard similar feedback from many practitioners who had been practicing “intuitively,” without structure.

      The discipline of a routine protocol for practice often gives the mind just the amount of structure it needs to settle down. When our awareness is caught up in mental activity, it is easy to miss how good our practice actually feels.

      1. Hello Pamela, here is Gustavo again.

        When my Reiki was not producing me any sensation, I slowly stopped giving me Reiki, but I found that meditation and positive thinking was helping me much more than Reiki, so the benefit was that now I know the value of meditation.

        As I told you, since I started using a “protocol” instead of intuition, I feel better with Reiki again.

        The question is that I always read that I should give myself self treatment every day, and also meditate every day. One self treatment session takes 1 hour from me, and meditation another 45 minutes. I have family and I cannot dedicate so much time of my life to this, so I have been doing self treatment some days, and meditation on the others.

        I could also do 30 min Reiki and meditation every day, but I do not think it is so good.

        What are your thoughts on this problem of needing too much time to do meditation and Reiki every day?


  2. I just love Rose’s imagery of the sea. I was immediately able to relate that to my own self-treatments. Some days the energy and sensations are so strong and others days a bit quieter….like a calm sea…I can picture myself floating there, gently swaying in the water.
    When I first started daily self-treatments, I too was alarmed on days that my hands felt luke warm. I have since learnt to trust and know the Reiki is always working.
    After I had completed my level1 training, I was on the internet searching for information on Reiki…one site promised me level 2 initiation and certification instantly for free, when I clicked on it, I was shown a certificate for “Dummy” and it said “serves you right for thinking you can do it like that”. I had a good laugh but noticed my hands no longer felt as warm when I practiced Reiki. OH No! I thought I had lost it through my foolishness but then remembered my teacher said once learnt you will always have the ability….Ah the good old Reiki “newbie” days!

    1. I agree, Jennifer, but is it “Reiki” that is quieter or louder, or our response to the practice? I think that is where people get confused.

  3. Pamela, I found the title of your blog a smidge confusing, as my mind immediately went to the PREcepts, but having read your blog–once again I am grateful for your clarity. I used to have very, very strong sensations. When these faded (for whatever reasons), I judged myself as having failed in some way. But time has shown me daily practice is a little like floating on a sea. Some days there are magnificent waves–of feeling, emotion, sensation, memories, recollection, and so on. Some days it’s so still as to be imperceptible–like perfect, body-temperature bath water. Together, they create a rhythm that I may not discern but trust is there.

  4. A very nice response to misguided interpretations.

    As an EFT/Tapping coach and mom, I have run into something similar. When my daughter was experiencing morning sickness, which has been common for all 4 other pregnancies, but I was not knowledgeable about energy healing at that time, she resisted tapping, because she had bought in to the belief that morning sickness meant a healthy baby. She thought that if the morning sickness disappeared she might actually lose the baby.

    I am not passing judgment on her, in fact, I knew this meant that I had a fear to clear in myself, or it wouldn’t have appeared in my experience.

    I have said before that energy healing has no side affects, at all, the worst it can do is nothing, but I believe it always works, we just may not see the results till later.

    Thank you for your message.

    Btw, baby number 5 from my oldest daughter is due tomorrow. We are excited to meet her. That will make my ninth grandchild. I have so much to be grateful for, because I am so blessed!


  5. When I first learned how to practice reiki I was told that reiki is an energy that is directed by the practitioner for the healing of the receiver. I learned how to clear chakras, put reiki on relationship issues, and use reiki symbol combinations to make the whole process more potent.

    This approach to reiki self-treatment put me on the fast track for healing. A lot of issues came to the surface and overwhelmed me. Eventually, I stopped practicing reiki self-treatment because I wanted a break from all that healing! It was a period in my life when I seriously doubted reiki and was not sure whether or not I would continue to practice.

    I came across Pamela’s book and resonated with the simplicity of her reiki practice. I began to practice reiki self-treatment again and I let go of all the techniques and intentions. I now cherish the quiet, contemplative,”being at the right place at the right time” space that reiki practice provides.

    My healing has been gentle and unsensational since then.

    1. Thank you so much for your note, Christine.

      In the decade after Mrs. Takata died, there was considerable splintering in the Reiki lineage. North American culture lacks the Asian understanding of truly holistic healing — balancing the system and being patient while it does what it does best.

      We are a pioneering culture, and this brings a certain aggressiveness in the race to the finish, to obvious results rather than slow steady improvement.

      When it comes to healing, that impatience creates unnecessary suffering, glorifying strong reactions that are generally not needed if we are patient and don’t force the system to change too quickly.

  6. When I had my first Reiki treatment 21 years ago, it was so impacting that I have had full faith in it ever since. I have not ever questioned it and it always has some impact. Recently I treated a beautiful mentally challenged young woman. Her response to the Reiki was ‘I feel so much more love in my heart’. I have used at accidents, in school as a teacher, just being anywhere and let Reiki do its job. It isn’t always the hands that ‘switch on’ it can be anywhere in thhe body. Ever felt your feet getting ‘hot’ doing earth healing?

    1. That is a simple, beautiful sentence — “I feel so much more love in my heart” — and echoes the Reiki experience of many.

      Instead of looking at sensations in the hands — or feet — of the practitioner, why not pay attention to the self-healing response from within the receiver? Such things as slower breath and heart rates, relaxation in facial muscles, belly gurgles, and salivation indicate that the nervous system is shifting from sympathetic overdrive to parasympathetic (rest and digest) dominance.

  7. Thank you for the article posting… I realise I am blocking myself and started to disbelief in myself to be able to heal me and others. This has now resulted in having no one coming to me to be healed. It is time to put my ego aside and start healing daily and opening up and listen and trust that I am doing the right thing. Thank you!

    1. You are very welcome, Bianca. Daily Reiki self-practice is the key to continued growth and well-being, racticing every day, whether we feel anything or not, whether we feel like practicing, or not.

  8. Thanks for your insight Pamela. This is a question that often comes up with my students & I like your definitive statement: “If it keeps you from practicing Reiki self-treatment, it’s misinformation.”

  9. This posting today was exactly what I needed to hear today. When doing my daily self-treatment lately, I have noticed days when I did not feel any sensation in my hands. But I always feel more balanced and prepared to face my day when I start with my Reiki self-treatment. Whenever I felt misled by all the Reiki “extras” and “add-ons,” which make me feel like I am not doing enough, I come back to the simple hands-on of just being the love of Reiki.

  10. I very much liked the statement “If it keeps you from practicing Reiki self-treatment, it’s misinformation.” But I don’t quite understand the title “Are Reiki Concepts Harming You?” in the context of the article itself. Is the belief that you need to feel Reiki for it be effective a Reiki concept or a Reiki misunderstanding?

    1. Thank you for your question, Judith. I am asking people to evaluate their concepts about Reiki practice to see if they support or interfere with their practice. The Reiki concepts I’ve heard are generally misunderstandings.

      The only concept I can think of that supports practice is realizing we can take our questions directly to our contemplative practice rather than letting the uncritical mind jump to conclusions that take us away from the simplicity of daily practice.

  11. “Are Reiki Concepts Hurting You” could not have come at a better time. I have noticed a change in sensation also and started to question my abilities. It is good to know that I am just getting in my own head and in my own way.

    1. Many practitioners experience those doubts, Maria. We can trust our practice, and remember that when our sessions become less sensational, it may be an indication that we are more balanced, but we have to continue our practice to stay that way.

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