Article by Deborah Lloyd, Reiki Master
One of the most challenging aspects of providing Reiki treatments to people we have never met before is responding to their reactions to Reiki. The reactions can be from one end of the spectrum to the other! Some clients may rave about the session, stating they feel calmer and more relaxed. Their aches and pains may be resolved. They may have had some kind of mystical experience. They may schedule their next appointment before they leave your practice space.
On the opposite end, a small percentage of clients may state they did not feel a thing and think the experience was a waste of time and money. How can we respond to this kind of reaction? Can we take some actions to alleviate, or decrease, the chances of dealing with a disappointed client?
While we certainly cannot control clients’ reactions, there are some things we can do to clarify expectations. Before the treatment begins, ask new clients what their goals are. Some people have unrealistic expectations for one Reiki session. For example, if a client has had chronic pain from a ten-year old back injury, one hour of Reiki will probably not end this pain. And, we need to be careful in not promising such a result. Anything is possible, and miracles do happen during Reiki treatments; but there are no guarantees of a physical cure.
What we can promise is that Reiki always brings some form of healing into a person’s energetic being – it may be physical, but it could also be mental/emotional or spiritual – or, a combination of any of these aspects.
A “red flag” to look out for is the client who informs you they have tried every kind of medical treatment, many types of alternative healers, etc., and no one has been able to “fix” their problem. You soon realize the client is taking a passive role in the healing process, expecting a miracle cure and not looking at his part in maintaining the problem.
Healing involves two people – the practitioner and the client.
Both have an active role in the process. The person providing a healing modality facilitates the process, using tools in which he has been trained – in our case, Reiki healing energies. The client needs to participate in the process, in whatever ways are necessary. If the client with the back injury continues not to do the stretches a physical therapist has recommended, or he never takes the time to build in rest times during the day, Reiki will have a limited effect. Perhaps, it is a mental block, such as he thinks his worthiness is based on his work as a carpenter, although his occupation will only enhance the pain.
How do we respond to a negative reaction?
With grace and confidence! We do not respond in anger, defensiveness, or doubt the value of our work. Rather, we validate the client’s feelings and invite him to think about the reasons why the experience did not seem helpful to him. Here is an example (but please use your own words, making it comfortable for you!): “I am sorry your expectations were not met; however, please know healing energies entered your being. These energies went to the core, or the real reason, of why your body is carrying this back pain. Often, these reasons are not obvious during one, or a few, sessions. Healing can be a long process, but it can teach us many things about ourselves, why we experience these hard things in life.”
This kind of compassionate understanding may open the door to holistic healing for a client. Or, the client may not be ready for the healing path, and we need to accept this reality too. Sometimes, we have simply planted a seed, and it may be months, or years, or not in this lifetime, before the client makes the decision to pursue the healing path.
Grace and confidence – we trust the fact we have done the best we could do in the situation – and that is a true blessing in this work.
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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/, firstname.lastname@example.org and at Deb Lloyd Healing on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/deblloydhealing)