Article by Angie Webster
One of the most interesting challenges I have met as a Reiki practitioner has been learning how to explain what Reiki is and the ways it works to help us to those who know little or nothing about Reiki. I find that a different explanation is needed depending upon the person to whom you are speaking.
Some people are ready to learn more than others, so it is best to tailor the explanation to the needs of the specific person. Many people will want to learn more as they take in a small amount of information, whereas if you overload them with too much information at once, they may lose interest or misunderstand something. Think of when you are explaining something very new to a child who has never heard of it before. It is best to give a small bit of information and let them lead the way with their questions.
It may be easiest for you to think back to your own level of understanding when you first heard of Reiki. What sort of things did you wonder about? What information did you find confusing? What information did you find helpful? When I first the word Reiki years ago, I was very confused about how to pronounce it (RAY-key) and what it did. I decided it wasn’t for me based on a few pieces of unclear information. This can be the case for many people, so go slow and easy. It is not going to be helpful information if you overwhelm the person and they may become confused.
The best way I have found to explain Reiki is to say that it is an energy healing method that is usually done by placing the hands in a series of positions over or slightly above the body. If the person wants to know more, I will explain that Reiki promotes healing by activating the relaxation response and helping the body to balance itself from a very deep level. Sometimes it is best to offer a demonstration of Reiki, if the person is open to that. The experience of Reiki says more than words ever could.
Something that can frighten people who are new to learning about Reiki is the use of spiritual terminology. This kind of terminology can lead to the fear that Reiki is a religious practice or that it goes against certain religions. It can also lead to thoughts that Reiki is ineffective. Many people are uncomfortable with the word “spiritual” or “spirit”. Use your best judgment in deciding if the person is able to understand that healing occurs on all levels, including the soul or spirit level.
Some people will want you to explain how Reiki works. No one really knows the answer to this. But you can tell them that Reiki allows positive energy to flow into the body through the hands of the practitioner and that this balances and heals the energy in the body. You could also explain some of the things that Reiki has been scientifically shown to do, such as decrease pain levels, speed healing and relax the mind and body. Make sure that the person understands that Reiki can only do good and can never cause harm.
Let your own understanding of the person you are speaking to guide you in what to say. When a person wants to know more and is enthusiastic, you will sense that. Likewise, you will learn to sense when a person is not able to take in too much information. Remember, it is not your role to force information onto someone who is not ready to receive it. Allow time and patience and be at peace. When the person is ready to receive more information about Reiki, they will know it is time. As healers, part of the process is allowing things to go forward at the pace that is comfortable to each individual. And acceptance that each of our paths is different.
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Angie Webster is a Reiki Master, Teacher, and Author. Angie’s primary focus is animal Reiki, which she adores. She teaches online classes on energy healing, flower essences, herbalism, and personal growth. Angie often works with nature healing and Earth healing, hoping to better understand our connection with Mother Earth. Angie is the author of Animal Reiki: How it Heals, Teaches & Reconnects Us with Nature and Reiki from A to Z. You can follow her at: angie-webster-healing.teachable.com and on Facebook (facebook.com/angiewebsterhealing).