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Is Reiki a Complementary or Alternative Modality?

Article by Deborah Lloyd, Reiki Master

Have you used the terms “complementary” and “alternative” as ways to describe the healing aspects of Reiki? While we may think the words have similar meanings, they vary in important ways. The implications for Reiki clients can be great, if we do not have a clear understanding of how to use these terms when discussing Reiki effects.

Complementary means, “completing, or enhancing” something else; while alternative means “one of two choices.” When we add either of these words to traditional Western medicine, or another healing method, the message is quite different. A Reiki practitioner may tell a person with cancer that Reiki will complement chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or other treatments. This means the medical treatment may be more effective with the addition of Reiki energies.

If the Reiki practitioner uses the term alternative, a client may think the practitioner is recommending not to use medical treatment and use Reiki only. Many people facing serious diseases are utilizing non-government-approved medications, juicing, yoga, meditation and other modalities. These modalities may either be complementary, or alternative, depending on the person’s choice. However, as non-medical practitioners, we must be careful not to recommend, or seem to recommend, any particular path.

What we can say, to every person we meet, is Reiki always brings healing energies into a person’s being. This does not mean Reiki always brings a physical cure, but Reiki can play a complementary role. It may enable someone to take a lower dose of a medication and have the same, or better, effect. It may decrease pain. It may bring faster healing to surgical incisions, or areas that received radiation.

Is Reiki a Complementary or Alternative Modality?

Reiki can bring much healing into the mental/emotional and spiritual aspects of a person. It may reduce anxiety and stress, helping the person to become more relaxed, thus enhancing effects of other treatments. It may help in the decision-making process of choosing the best treatment for that person. It may enhance the spiritual connectedness. As we are not divided into separate compartments of mind, body and spirit, Reiki also enhances the complementariness of these aspects of ourselves.

If Reiki decreases pain, thus reducing anxiety, it brings more healing to us. If Reiki helps us to realize the spiritual growth possible while living with a chronic disease, a person can realize the esoteric value of sickness. The list goes on.

One of the most important lessons of being a Reiki practitioner, or working in any capacity of helping people, is that our words can have great meaning to a client, or Reiki student. I continue to be amazed by what clients remember from something I said at a previous session, or during a Reiki training. We must remember to be careful with our choice of words, and with the messages we give.

At the same time, we also have to remember people will “hear” through their own perceptions and understandings. There can be misunderstandings, due to no fault of our own. When that happens, apologize and clarify what you really meant to say. And, always ask for spiritual guidance whenever you inform other people of the many gifts of Reiki.

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Deborah Lloyd
Deborah Lloyd

Deborah Lloyd is a Usui and Karuna® Reiki Master and certified holistic therapy practitioner, providing Reiki sessions and training in Asheville, NC. Deborah is the author of two books, 22 Messages from the Archangels; and, Believe and it is True: A Story of Healing and Life Lessons. She is also one of the co-authors of Reiki 101: 101 Answers for Your Reiki Questions. Reach Deborah at http://www.deblloydhealing.com/, deb@deblloydhealing.com and at Deb Lloyd Healing on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/deblloydhealing)

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • EL August 24, 2019, 12:39 am

    How about saying Reiki is “life transforming” (be it; healing from something (on “all” levels!), or transitioning from; living, to passing on!)… Our Being is already healed! What is broken, are beliefs we carry (adopted and given to us by others!) that don’t belong… Reiki is about an awakening from within, helping us through pure knowing and understanding that works both for others and ourselves! Thank you for sharing that we remain open, if misunderstandings happen… Everyone has differing definitions to many of the words we regularly use… Communication is a mutual co- authorship between individuals… If we take a stand, we create a divide, build a bridge and everyone thrives! Namaste…

  • writeously August 26, 2019, 5:16 pm

    Thank you Deborah!
    HSZSN 3X!

  • Deborah Lloyd September 15, 2019, 11:32 am

    Dear EL and writeously,
    Thank you for your comments, much appreciated.

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