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Why People May Say No to Reiki

Article by Janice Campbell, Reiki Master Practitioner

When I first became acquainted with Reiki and experienced my first attunement, I felt I had been introduced into a new realm of existence. It seemed the potential for healing was incredible. I wanted to share it with everyone. Actually, I wanted to heal the whole world, but I didn’t know how.

In the United States during the 1940’s, something “Japanese” might not have been welcomed with open arms because of the World War II era. But even today, if you ask someone if they would like you to “do Reiki” on them, there’s a good chance they wouldn’t know what you are talking about. Many people today consider Reiki to be “New Age”, which is ironic as it is ancient.

It is impossible to “explain” Reiki to someone ingrained in western thought and medicine. But when you get down to it, you cannot explain it at all; it has to be experienced.

The whole point of “asking” someone if they would like Reiki is to give them the choice to say “no.” There’s something about the human experience that sometimes involves needing our pain. We hold onto it tightly enough. Maybe we are afraid to let it go because we don’t know what we will find in its place. Maybe our pain defines us and we wouldn’t know who we are without it. Any good therapist knows that you don’t take away a person’s defenses until they are ready.

Image by vaRiax_

When we receive Reiki for a particular problem, that problem can become intensified. If we are ill, it can actually make the symptoms worse as part of the ultimate healing. This is sometimes necessary for the healing to take place. Reiki does not just place a band aid on the wound, it brings the pain to the surface to be cleansed and healed. This can be an uncomfortable process. A person, who is already wounded, may not be ready, or strong enough, to handle this process. It may be too much.

People have a tendency to put their pain in neat little boxes and then pack them away, especially if the pain has been long term. As part of the healing process, Reiki can be an internal windstorm, making a mess of everything. This can be more disturbing than healing to the person not yet ready. We are all familiar with the upheavals attunements can facilitate.

To receive Reiki, one has to be able to “receive.” Sometimes, we are just not in that spot. And only the person can make that distinction. The Reiki Practitioner cannot.

So when someone says No to Reiki, it could be because of ignorance of Reiki itself, which education, like this website, will help. Or it could be they are not yet ready for the change that healing can bring. And we must respect that. It’s not about the Practitioner and their wishes; it’s about the person and their needs. Until they are ready to handle the healing, they are not ready for Reiki.

Janice Campbell has been practicing Reiki for 12 years. As a potter, she creates “ Prayer Bowls” which can be used to deepen one’s meditative experience. Part of the process includes Janice directing the flow of Reiki into the bowls as she creates them. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, Ty, and son, Quincy. She also has a cranky, black cat named Cletis.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Pam Carr June 12, 2013, 4:10 am

    Thank you for this article, really interesting.

  • Holistic Spirituality June 13, 2013, 2:03 am

    Really loved this! Thanks. I am still in that want to heal the world place, so this was good for me to read.

  • Michelle June 13, 2013, 2:42 am

    I often try to explain Reiki to my friends, but feel my explanation leave them puzzled. Thank you for letting me know that Reiki cannot really be explained. I feel so much better now! Great article!

  • Col RD Bali June 19, 2014, 12:56 pm

    Thank you very much for the wonderful article. It is not only in America/ Europe that people are unaware of the benefits of The Reiki but also the same story is repeated in India and elsewhere in the world. Let people experience Reiki with a open heart and it is possible only if we can offer a free healing session for a short duration. Reiki can be popularised mostly by word of mouth by your clients who will act as your brand Ambassadors.
    With Love & Light

  • Sherrie July 16, 2014, 8:40 pm

    I am trying to practice Reiki, I am trying to remember to do Reiki on myself. I hear doing Reiki on your
    food is really good,and do Reiki to help sleep and just to help you feel better. I’ve completed Reiki 1 and 2. I have not done any Reiki on anyone else, must me & my dogs. And the dogs at the shelter

  • Ronfladonf July 17, 2014, 7:18 pm

    About getting the approval of the receiver. Most of the time if the person / animal / plant doesn’t know or is unable to receive, I set the intention ‘ if this not right, it can’ the for every possible reason, I want the reiki to flow to earth so that the earth can use it for her’

    I also refer to their higher self for this

    Most of the time the energy doesn’t go to the receiver (if it is an adult… For a baby most of the time it works)

    But with this tip there’s no problem.
    Works with many energy healing

  • bindu govindan October 20, 2014, 11:17 am

    nice article!!!! 🙂

  • Steven Lucas October 20, 2014, 11:39 am

    Hi Ray,

    Getting a positive response can be gained by framing the question in a positive way – Not so much “Would you like Reiki”, as “How would you like your Reiki”. Any fear or hesitation in the questioners voice can be picked up even if only subliminally, and will get a negative reaction.
    The same goes for any explanations you might wish to give. The more hesitation you have around your answer, the more worries you put over.
    Be positive about the gift of Reiki, both for yourself and for your clients and potential clients and you will achieve more success.
    Of course, as stated above, if the person is genuinely not ready to receive Reiki it is because it is not their time yet to have the experience, but you have to think that if you were put into their path at this time, it is either to prepare them for you to help them or to put the ‘Reiki’ notion into their heads for later.

    Steven Lucas

  • Amanda January 22, 2015, 12:29 am

    Wonderfully put into perspective. I also agree that not only ready to receive, but also to let go

  • Christine Barone June 8, 2015, 5:29 pm

    Hello, I live in Cary, NC. I practice Reiki 1 .. Do you sell your prayer bowls locally ? Do you have a website ? I love your articles in Reiki Rays.
    919 208-7745

  • Natural Balance Massage and Reiki Srrvice September 5, 2015, 1:18 pm

    Where I live not a lot of people are open minded to Reiki or alternative therapies, but in one instance I was doing Reiki on a man and he had a barrier around his chest area, so much so the energy I was channelling actually rebounded back into my energy field and spun me out. Generally though people will accept Reiki when they are ready, so I never push myself onto a client. Great article. Thank you. 🙂

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