Q&A: What Can Reiki DO and NOT DO?


SO what can Reiki do and what can Reiki not do?
I think a lot of people even in the wellness space aren’t very familiar with this!
— A yoga teacher who is still learning about Reiki xo 
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Dear Yoga Teacher who is still learning about Reiki,

Perspective of what Reiki CAN and CANNOT do will definitely vary person by person and how they view Reiki practice in their life. Let's begin with what Reiki cannot do...

  • Reiki CANNOT be used to harm, hurt or do anything negative. Reiki is only a positive life force energy that can only be used to benefit the recipient.

To ensure Reiki is being used for the recipient's highest good (even if the recipient is yourself), the practitioner can surround themselves with an energetic shield. You do this by simply visualizing a light surrounding you. Various lights have various protective properties which through intention, ensure that no negative energy patterns interfere with your reiki practice. 

  • Reiki CANNOT be a substitute for doctors, medicine or other proper medical and emotional therapies.

Reiki is meant to be a complimentary therapy to help individuals recognize their own natural abilities to heal. Reiki CANNOT be guaranteed to have specific outcomes. 

  • Reiki CANNOT be seen as a religion

Reiki rather, is about the life force inside of all of us as human beings, regardless of religious preference, ethnicity etc. Reiki can work EVEN IF a recipient does not believe in it. Although religious individuals who practice Reiki may incorporate important religious figures in their practice, you do not need to be religious to utilize Reiki.

  • Reiki CANNOT be given without receiving permission from the recipient

In order to give Reiki you MUST obtain permission from the recipient. Although verbal consent or written consent is the most ideal, sometimes those kinds of consent cannot be obtained. For my nurses- this is a complicated topic when it comes to caring for ICU patients or babies, for example. There are various debates on the best way/rules for obtaining consent. The following information is based upon my personal practice...

For children, parents should be asked to provide verbal or written consent. However, if the child cannot provide their own consent, you should very carefully assess the reaction of the recipient when you slowly enter their "personal space bubble". As we often assess for pain and discomfort, we should monitor for squirming, crying, restlessness, wincing etc. and honor those kinds of "discomfort" signals and stop immediately. This approach is also very useful for ICU patients or other recipients who are unable to provide verbal or written consent. It is so important for the recipient to willingly accept the energy transfer and feel comfortable with it It is imperative that Reiki practitioners maintain integrity and obtain consent/ensure comfortability of the recipient every single time, no exceptions.

  • Reiki CAN come from within ourselves.

Often, it is a misconception that Reiki comes from an external place that is separate from ourselves as human beings. That is untrue, as Reiki comes from the recipient's OWN connection to prana (life force energy) and ability to connect to universal love and light at all times. The practitioners job in providing Reiki healing is to help the recipient connect to their own prana, so they can heal and balance their energy centers.

  • Reiki CAN travel to wherever is in need of Reiki

You do not always need to know of the exact situation that is causing chakras to be blocked, nor do you need to know exactly why someone's energy is out of balance. Reiki has the ability to travel to the place of need, even if the practitioner is not sure where that is. Reiki can heal all on it's own, and often practitioners can begin their practice by tuning in and setting their intention for Reiki to serve the recipient in the interest of their highest good. Various affirmations can be helpful in setting this intention and giving the Reiki energy independence to heal on it's very own without direction of the practitioner.

  • Reiki CAN transcend time and distance

In turn, Reiki practitioners are able to send Reiki energy and healing to individuals near or far, past, present or future. 

  • Reiki CAN HEAL.

Various research studies are ongoing as to what extent Reiki can heal. Currently, it is well known that Reiki can help provide peace of mind, ease anxiety, reduce stress, and burn out in clinicians. Research studies are begging to also show Reiki can be incredibly impactful in health care and improve patient's overall recovery. 

  • Reiki CAN be used to make a BIG impact

Often there are international Reiki meetings or times where Reiki practitioners around the world send distance Reiki healing all at the same time, with the same particular intention. Sometimes Reiki practitioners will all send it to a certain person requesting help, or sometimes they will send it to a community or situation in need of healing and energy balance.

  • Reiki CAN be learned by anyone! (And it can be a CEU for medical staff!!)

ANYONE can learn Reiki, because EVERYONE has life force energy (prana) running through them! Anyone can be taught how to reconnect to their prana and how to balance their life force energy through intention and accessing the universal light and love available to us at all times. How amazing is that!

Although this list could be truly never ending, I think this is a fairly good overview. Please continue to submit to the Dear Universe column with any other questions! 

 -Team at Hold Your Healing