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Emotional Healing with Reiki: A Guide for Reiki Practitioners, Part 1

Article by Johannes Verheijden, Reiki Master

Editor’s note: This is Part 1 of a multi-part guide for Reiki practitioners. Over the next few days, we’ll publish the other parts as well.


This is not a manual for those who don’t know anything about Reiki, or about working with energy. You will not find a description of the Reiki attunements here, nor the symbols, nor the explanation of what Reiki, or working with energy is. There are other, far better books that cover these subjects and I feel no need to add to that information at this point in time. This manual is for Reiki practitioners, young, old, who have only just started or are already senior in experience. Level I, II or Master.

This manual contains ideas, observations, thoughts and experiences of thirty odd years of experience in healing, treatments, massage, readings and guidance. Lessons taught and learned over the years; with humble gratitude, for I am merely an instrument of my abilities and try to serve them as well as possible.

This is not a manual about physical problems. It will mainly focus on addressing, treating and healing emotional challenges and clutters, that often express themselves as a physical component and very often expresses themselves as physical discomfort or pain. I am not talking about psychiatric patients here, but about people like you and me that in their upbringing, or during their lives have experienced situations or events that – sometimes even many years later – still need to be processed before they can be left behind.

If you have any comments, additional remarks or complementary experiences that you wish to share, please do. You are cordially invited to send them to me: joh.verheijden@gmail.com

But first of all:

Many thanks Sony Godfrey for suggesting that I write this manual and encouraging me to go on after having read it half way through. It has been an honour to respond to your invitation to undertake this journey.

And last but certainly not least thank you Cathy Fagant for being the extra pair of eyes I so needed to take away my initial insecurity.

Before You Start…


Before you start it is imperative to observe your client. It is one of the most important basic principles of treatment, healing, both hands on and from a distance. From the very first moment you are in touch with your client you observe him/her.


Look detailed at your client. Without any prejudice, or thought. Be as neutral as possible and just look. By detailed I mean look inch by inch at the face of your client when you are talking. Take in all the information that your client shows you, but probably will not (be able to) tell you. The left side of the body represents the emotional being, so the left eye is more related to emotion as where the right eye is more related to ration. So look at the interaction between the eyes: how they look, how they focus, stare. If your client stares, ask what your client sees, what it represents, what it symbolises, what your client experiences or what your client resonates to. How do the eyebrows move in various emotions, do the eyes close if emotion comes nearer or not, or when the person thinks, is surprised, or painful, in happiness or laughing.

Image by Rego

Look at frowns, are they there all the time, or when thinking. Look at the way the face is built. Is the left side more tensed than the right, or the other way around (think of ration and emotion). If a face is “bigger” on one side, this usually means that either emotion, or ration had the upper tone for many years. It has become a way of being to let emotion or ration have the more important say in life. This does not mean that is bad or good, it is merely the experiences, decisions and /or survival technique that your client has taken on. Do the eyes have “tear bags” below them containing old sorrow, or recent grief. How does the face look when it is in rest? Are there any wrinkles in the face – emotional wrinkles that is, not necessarily wrinkles from age. Is the skin (too) tight, or baggy, soft or damaged…

A face will tell you a million stories and every single movement and posture of the face gives you information, tells you a little detail about your client that you can use in your treatment / healing.

But not only the face gives you information. Just a few examples to get you started:

Look at shoulders. Is the left different from the right – is one pulled up higher than the other (your client likes to be in control, but is not sure if he/she is right now for there are external elements that can disturb this. You can often see this looking at starting television reporters 😉 ). Or are they “drooping”, showing tear bags..? Is one arm resting on the backrest, suggesting that the person is open, but really is trying to find support and holding back on information at the same time? The more calculating type..

Look at the way the hands move. Are they tensed, floating, telling their own story, relaxed, closed, open? Are the fingers busy, or holding tight, folded in the lap? Are the nails bitten off, or (too) well manicured..?

How is your client sitting? Posture will tell you an awful lot about the person at that particular moment and in general. Is your client sitting with arms crossed in front of the chest and legs crossed, feet down (or poising) head down, shoulders up, eyes low, face flat without too many expression..? Or are the arms open, legs relaxed, back straight, head up, eyes up, face lively, gesticulating, jaws relaxed and open, voice at a “normal” volume, words clearly spoken, the client looking at you – making contact, etc…

Every body part will give you information that you can use to assess your client and the more information you will collect, the better you will be able to assist your client in reaching his/her goal!

There will always be a combination of the above and that is where your observations come in! That is where you start to combine the information your client is giving you for you to assess. If you have any questions that you think will help your client to get closer to him/herself, ask for clarity. Clients in general are very good in “hiding” themselves from things that they find difficult or painful. It is your skills that will invite them to open up a little bit more and come closer to themselves. All in a safe environment of course! You and your client will have to work on a basis of trust

Sometimes you meet clients that have it all clear in their head, and are able to verbalise everything just perfectly – so you might wonder, why would this client need a treatment..? Well, having things clear in your mind, having thought of situations and knowing what emotions came with these situations does not mean that these emotions have been digested, or have fully found a place. Letting go of, or accepting basic deep profound emotions are necessary for anyone to grow and develop to their full potential. You, as Reiki practitioner can be or are a tool for many in their strive to develop their full potential. Use is wisely and without any hidden agenda’s!

If you are not 100% pure in your intentions towards your client or in practicing Reiki, then stop treating anyone but yourself until you are, or leave this path.


Your client will tell you what he/she thinks is the trouble (often a physical problem, sometimes a personal situation). In many or few words will she/he will tell you the situation and the words will be filled with memories, emotions, experiences and thoughts. Too many to tell them all. Too many for your client to be able to tell or remember them all in the right order. No matter how long ago things happened or a situation went on, it is impossible to tell second by second all thoughts, emotions, decisions and external influences that put your client emotionally and in terms of development where he/she is. The words will be coloured, drenched by emotions, opinions, (forced) views, (presence or lack of) self esteem et cetera. Which is fine, for that is who this person in front of you is. Built from millions of the smallest impressions, both consciously and subconsciously.

The words colorize the character of this person, the history of this person, where this person is at the moment you talk to her/him. It paints who this person is, together with the gestures, the posture, the way of breathing, clothing, way of drinking, eating, holding a cup, the decoration of his/her house, the preferences and everything else that this person is able to “show” you. Everything that this person is will be neatly balanced, no matter how odd or incomprehensible he/she might be at first. Never ever underestimate the power of the brain nor the immense power of the need to process emotions, for the imprint that we all have, based on thousands of experiences all will need to have an emotional way out!

Image by dotcompals

So, between all the words and signals that are being brought to you, you need to listen between the words, listen between the lines. What words are used more often than others, what phrases have become synonyms for situations or the way your client handles them. What combination of words will be used to express emotions. Where do words get stuck, or turn a person into rage or tears, or laughter. Listen carefully for words lie even if they tell the truth. They will try to deceive, or distract even when meant to be focussed. And not only listen, but ask questions as well. Stay focussed yourself and be aware that words can easily take you to different roads.

Your client will practically always describe the situation in such a way that he/she is the weaker, more dependent object. He/she will come with a demand for help which by nature in almost every health system is a subordinate role. Hardly ever will you find a client (or a caregiver for that matter) that will propose a treatment agreement based on real equality. It is starting point with this dependency that will automatically put you in a “higher” hierarchic role and you will have to be very aware of this. If possible bring yourself up to the level of your client, where you have a demand for help and your client has a treatment goal. You need the assistance (by focussing, opening up, going to/through an emotion, …) of your client in order to be able to succeed. It would be very convenient if your client could verbalise what it is that he/she wants you to do. So, you will need to cooperate! If you feel that you are the leading person in this, you are wrong. You are the instrument that your client temporarily uses to develop and you are there to assist him/her. Only when you level with your client will you be able to truly help him/her. You as a person are / your ego is of no significance, but merely a channel through which Reiki is being given.


Observations are not only done by eyesight and it is not only body language that is important. Your clients do not come to you for groceries, but hoping – expecting perhaps – that you will be able to help them. Feel how your client is with you. Tune in to your client. Intertwine with the energy of him/her. How to do this..? Feel! Feel the smallest vibration changing in your body. Feel the slightest change in your breath, tingles in your head, or chest. Let your energy float to the energy of your client and let it mingle. Feel one, without trying to influence anything and with no other reason than to assess your client and get as much information in order to be able to better treat and heal your client.

Assess the energy that your client is sending. “Taste” it, like you would taste good wine. In fact the analogy with wine tasting is rather remarkable. When you first taste wine, you primarily taste the alcohol and all wine tastes the same. But having tasted different types of wine, you might distinguish the different types of wine. You can distinguish a Bordeaux from a Rioja etc. After knowing more about wines, you might taste the different fruits and herbs and kind of wood, in which the wine rested for a few months or years.

It is the same with experiencing energy. At first you wonder if you feel anything at all. You cannot distinguish your own energy from the energy from others. But the more you work with it, learn from it, tune in more often, you will get a feel for the different emotions that come along with energy. The lightness or darkness / heaviness of energy, the different “wave lengths”.

So at first it will be difficult to tell the one from the other, but no worries, you will be able to develop a more sensitive “antenna” for different energies. Just keep on focussing and try to concentrate and tune in to the different wave lengths of the people around you and you will find – step by step – that you will develop a fine(r) sense for lower- and eventually higher energy as well…

Johannes Verheijden

Johannes Verheijden

Johannes Verheijden (1965) has been Reiki Master since 1998. He has been working with energy for as long as he can remember and over the years Johannes specialized in healing emotional issues. Ever since he first got in touch with energy work Johannes resonated to it. It “spoke” to him and over the years he learned to channel the energy and to heal people emotionally by using energy, often in combination with massage, or aura reading/healing. Johannes is initiator of the World Reiki Wave, which will take place for the eighth time with thousands of Reiki practitioners joining on the 21st of June. He is based in Zeewolde, the youngest village in The Netherlands. Johannes can be reached through Facebook by www.facebook.com/ReikiMasterJohannesVerheijden, or by e-mail: joh.verheijden@gmail.com

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Lori Conrad June 12, 2013, 6:07 pm

    Very persecutive Johannes, thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts. I always look forward to your perceptions and your open, non-judgmental insights. Looking forward to the next “Wave” on June 21st.

    • Johannes Verheijden June 12, 2013, 9:49 pm

      Thank you Lori, for your kind words. I do believe the next wave is going to be a very good one!!! 🙂

  • Frederick M, June 12, 2013, 7:41 pm

    I enjoyed this it, It was a Really Good Read, I find Myself wanting, waiting, that’s what good Writing is all about, Thank You …. Frederick

    • Johannes Verheijden June 12, 2013, 9:50 pm

      Thank you Frederick. Much appreciated. If you have any questions, you will know where to find me!

  • Carlos Antonio de Carvalho Cunha June 13, 2013, 6:48 am

    I see a lake and start a rain over the lake when i put REIKI in someone. When the rain starts stopping I know that is finishing the time of application.
    So the rain finishing and i stop too.

    • Johannes Verheijden June 13, 2013, 9:56 am

      That is really beautiful and very respectful Antonio!

      • Isa October 20, 2013, 12:00 am

        My soul was looking for some Reiki Master to say the things you say Johannes. I have always felt people were often taking Reiki as something lighter than the profound sacred thng it is to me. Thank you so much for the way you explain things and for sharing your experience. It is very nice to listen about the rain falling as an indicator to stop giving Reiki. I never heard anything like that, but I experience something different. When I start giving Reiki on a especific chakra, my eyes are closed, see nothing but black. When the Reiki energy is unblocking a knot or the healing is effectively taken place, I see lots of colours, intense changing colors. When the colors disappear and I return to black I do know I have to change the chakra or end the treatment. Thanks a lot for sharing this 🙂

  • Luz June 13, 2013, 3:56 pm

    Thank you!! for have been interesting and singular way to see and feel everything when I make Reiki to other person. Anyway I always study and Take my time for make everything in good way but your explanation is more deep and wonderful… I follow you in Facebook Too….. 😉

  • Johannes Verheijden June 13, 2013, 5:19 pm

    Thank you Luz, much appreciated! I am happy you liked it!

  • Sandra June 14, 2013, 6:03 am

    Thank you for your wonderful description, it is a really interesting read. I am a new level 1 Reiki Practioner and am absorbing all new (to me) reading material it’s all so interesting. I look forward to reading more. Thank you Sandra, Fife, Scotland x

    • Johannes Verheijden June 14, 2013, 8:09 am

      Dear Sandra. Thank you for your comment. I hope you can put it to good use! If you have any questions, please do come back to me.

      Best regards, Johannes

  • Athakla Oummou Mahmoud June 16, 2013, 9:16 am

    Thank you , for your time , It’s really interesting, when I make Reiki, I feel like I m a Eagle in the sky, and some power pushing me to fly faster, when this power stop my Reiki stop too
    , thank you one more time , I will follow you in facebook

    • Johannes Verheijden June 16, 2013, 12:35 pm

      Dear Athakla,

      I hope you can put it to good use :-). If you have any questions, please do come back to me!



  • Ester September 7, 2014, 5:54 am

    Great article, I been practicing Reiki for about a year, not ready to open my own practice, I always enjoy the article by Reiki Rays. I hope someone can answer this, sometimes when I’m close to my husband I get the chills, not sure what to make of it, thanks.


  • Ashwini chube November 10, 2014, 7:56 am

    Dear Johannes,
    Firstly, a big thank you for this beautiful article..you have made things very simple to understand..
    I believe emotional healing is the need of the hour.. We see people having emotional issues in all age groups..and reiki can help them.. Hence this article can definitely help

    I recently got attuned as a Reiki master and have a very firm and strong belief in reiki..I believe whatever is the problem , reiki is the solution
    thanks for sharing this
    I am very much looking forward for the next reiki wave in December 🙂
    Thanks and Kind Regards,

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