Article by Carrie Anderson
Recently, I was asked what advice to give to a new Reiki practitioner. I thought that I had touched on most of the issues that I had faced. However, days later, the most important lesson that I learned during my first Reiki training has been the most valuable piece of advice that I was given, and I would like to share it. My teacher, as a side note to the William Lee Rand textbook, paused and said, “I want to make it clear that Reiki is Reiki. Nothing else is Reiki. You don’t need to add anything, nor do you need to feel that you must offer more. Don’t cloud the concept of Reiki. If you choose to use crystals, incense, or other modalities, then make it clear that they are aside from and different from Reiki.”
There’s Massage Reiki, Crystal Reiki, Reiki with Tibetan Sing Bowls, etc. that use Reiki paired with other healing methods. I was excited to explore many of these areas and that’s one of the great things about Reiki. It’s so malleable and all encompassing that it can easily be partnered with many forms of alternative care like yoga, meditation, reflexology, Shinrin-Yoku.
Stress can come from deciding that Reiki must have another component to it, that offering Reiki itself must have more, in order to gain clients. As my teacher instructed us, always make it clear that Reiki is energy healing, so that there’s no confusion among non practitioners, in seeking treatment, as to what constitutes a complete Reiki session. For example, I once went to get a reflexology treatment. I had a rudimentary understanding of what a reflexology treatment should consist of, however, what happened had nothing to do with meridians or my physical body. The practitioner had posters depicting reflexology, but instead, without explanation, the practitioner did an aura cleansing and disconnected what he was convinced was a connection that I had to the planet Jupiter. It’s been twenty years since that visit and I’m still not entirely sure what healing modality was practiced on me. I know it wasn’t reflexology.
This piece of advice has served me well all of these years and kept me grounded in my Reiki practice. When I first became a Reiki practitioner, I felt that I needed more, more knowledge, but also I saw online how many people use Reiki with other modalities. I felt that I needed to have training in other areas instead of “just” Reiki. I forgot my teacher’s advice and fell down the proverbial rabbit hole into trying to find the perfect Reiki add on. I explored crystals, reflexology, singing bowls, tarot, and more. Then I realized I was making choices based on not how I wanted to practice Reiki, but on how I perceived Reiki as needing more because of so often seeing it offered alongside another modality.
I love practicing yoga. I have my 200 hour YTT and I spend hours reading older yogic texts. Once, I was asked if I would lead a yoga class with Reiki at the end. I know this is a common style of class, but it didn’t feel like something that I could offer. I can see the cohesion and interconnection of Reiki and Yoga, but didn’t think that I could offer both in a classroom style. I offered to see the students on a one on one basis after the yoga session for a quick `15 minute Reiki session, but the studio owners wanted a quick Reiki session for all of the students at one time and I didn’t feel that was conducive to a sound and comprehensive introduction to Reiki. I kept what my teacher had said in mind when I declined the offer to teach that class.
I think once we learn Reiki, there are so many possibilities suddenly unfolding in front of us, so many other paths to take to awakening, that choosing one can be daunting. Reiki’s ability to work gloriously with other healing makes our minds swell with the sudden connections we can see in the universe.
I still have an intense interest in crystals, singing bowls, and reflexology. I am so glad that I learned more about each of these topics. However, I realized that my main focus and the area I want to be a life-time learner and student is Reiki. By pairing it down and simplifying the message that I was trying to convey, I’ve become more at home with my Reiki practice. I’m confident that Reiki is all that I need to offer.
How you practice Reiki is an individual preference based on your energy, beliefs, and interests. There’s no wrong way to practice Reiki. However, if you ever feel that Reiki isn’t “enough” sit back and examine what led you to that thought. If you feel you will be a better and more authentic practitioner pairing it with other energy or healing modalities, then that is your path. However, if you feel that Reiki isn’t enough because of outer beliefs or messages, remember Reiki is Reiki.
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Carrie Anderson has her Bachelor’s in Anthropology with a Minor in Women’s Studies. She is a Reiki Master with additional training in Grief Reiki, NOW Reiki, Crystal Reiki, Reiki Space Clearing, and Animal Reiki. Her focus is on Distance Reiki. She also has certifications in Teen Guided Meditation, Chakra Cleansing, Meditation Guide, Manifestation Practitioner, Energy Healing with Color and Art, Reflexology and Acupressure. Additionally, she is a Yoga Instructor with a focus on Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Children’s Yoga, and Yoga Nidra. Carrie is a co-author with Mellisa Dormoy for the book, “Easy Mindfulness for Today’s Teens”. She is an active member of the Natural Healer Society and may be reached at email@example.com