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Ask RMT – In-person versus Distant Reiki Sessions – Do they have the same effect?

At the core of Reiki is the knowledge that we’re all simply energy, a fact also proven by quantum physics. This healing energy moves without being confined by time and space but is there any difference between receiving a healing session in-person versus from a distance away?

Check the answers provided by well-experienced Reiki Masters to the following question sent to us by Andrea:

“Are in-person Reiki sessions and distant sessions providing the same effect?”

Answer from Elaine Hamilton Grundy, www.reiki-centre.com

Thanks for this question, Andrea! In Reiki level two we learn the distance healing symbol and this allows us to send Reiki to others via distance. In my opinion, it is extremely effective but a few things for you to bear in mind when making the choice for yourself or loved ones. There is an important part played by the recipient in any healing – it is always the recipient doing the healing for themselves, even if it is via your hands as a conduit. Some people feel this more keenly when they are in the room with you – the thought of “oh, something is happening, I can feel it” and this produces the subconscious commitment for change or healing. Some people need to feel this physically and may not respond the same way if it’s via a distance and they don’t really notice anything. I overcome this by connecting virtually with the person and making sure they take time to actually talk to me as we do the healing – in this way it is very immediate, and they get to feel the physical sensations as they would a face to face healing session.

Secondly, most of us are starved of physical contact. We are not particularly tactile in our daily lives, and the act of having someone touch us is incredibly healing all on its own. For some people this is an important part of the healing process – to be nurtured and physically connected with another person – this will be of varying importance from person to person. You may also have the opposite case whereby the person actually does better at a distance as touch has trauma attached to it and the person is actually more comfortable and open at a distance.

As a giver of Reiki healing I personally don’t notice a difference apart from my hands’ sensations – when I am in the room with someone they tend to get quite hot, whereas when I am sending they tend to be very tingly. But for you, you may have a preference so that is also something to take into consideration.

As far as the Reiki is concerned, time and space are not issues. Reiki is universal life force and the act of healing is really more of an activation within the person of their own innate healing abilities – you are not physically pumping any actual substance into the person, and so there is no reason to be physically present. Your presence is as a gentle witness to the others’ healing, as all healing is, so whether you are witnessing in the room or witnessing in the ether, it is all one and the same.

Hope this helps! Hugs to you,

Answer from Pamela Miles, www.reikiinmedicine.org

Hands-on Reiki practice and distant Reiki practice elicit the same self-healing response from deep within the receiver, from the core of his/her being which is always well. We never know what the “effect” of a Reiki practice is.

Answer from Pauline Raphaela, www.awakeningofthesoul.com

Yes, distant sessions can be just as powerful as in-person sessions because you must learn to trust that the energy being transmitted isn’t within your control. The energy needed comes from universal life force to the person in need. Many of my distance healings are more powerful than in person.

Answer from Samantha Avery, samanthaavery.com

Dear Andrea,

Over the COVID pandemic clients, have needed much support. With isolation regulations in action across the globe, clients are more mentally receptive to receiving distant Reiki. Clients are reporting a similar and deeper healings with distant Reiki than they would with face to face. When explaining how distant Reiki works, I find it helpful to explain that over 900 hospitals across US, UK, South America, and Australia are offering Reiki as a complementary therapy to patients with cancer, cardio, palliative care, accident, and emergency and so on. A number of surgeons have Reiki practitioners in the operation room. (US and Mexico). The practitioner has to stand at a distance from the patient so the surgical team can perform the necessary medical procedure. Hospitals are reporting that patients receiving Reiki recover quicker, need fewer pain-relief medication, and are more responsive to traditional medicine. When the mind has an understanding of the power of Reiki, especially in a medical setting, your clients will be able to allow the Reiki to support them.

I’d like to share this testimonial from a recent client: “Absolutely amazing, I was skeptical at first with a phone session. Glad I went ahead, best Reiki session I’ve ever had in my life, I’ve had a few & this was completely on another level, such healing, thank you.”

Here are some links that may help:

  • Medical Reiki (US): www.medicalreikiworks.org/about-us-1
  • Sam Buxton Sunflower Trust (UK): www.cancertherapies.org.uk/informationfornhstaff
  • Dr. Charlie Teo, Neurosurgeon (AUS): In the TV show ‘Medicine or Myth’, Brain surgeon, Dr. Charlie Teo explains Reiki and distant healing:
    “Reiki is actually based on a lot of science. The body emits energy… the body is made up of molecules, and these molecules have a positive and a negative. A Reiki master can interfere with that energy by simply placing their hands close to you. They don’t even have to touch you. Because that can influence these energy flows and these currents through the body.”
    Dr. Teo continues to share the quantum physics of distant Reiki; how Reiki can be sent remotely. SBS MEDICINE OR MYTH. Series 1, Episode 8, (40 mins in)

Answer from Thea van der Merwe, www.viterra.co.za

Reiki is Reiki, whether done in-person or on a distant basis. On energy and spiritual healing level, I believe that the effects are equal. In-person contact has additional benefits that cannot always be replicated on a distant basis, but this has more to do with our nature as human beings and the value we place on physical human interaction and contact.

Answer from Wanda Buckner, www.healingenergyservices.com

Both human and animal clients experience the same healing benefits and range of experiences during distance sessions as they do in hands-on sessions. Distance sessions are an important part of every Reiki practice because they expand the availability and benefits of Reiki to a greater range of clients and conditions over a larger geographic area than possible with hands-on only sessions. When practitioners set their intention for Reiki to be given to a specific person or animal, the sender and receiver are energetically connected whether the distance is a few inches or many miles.

Even when the practitioner is in close proximity to the client, healing at a distance may be required. In the hospital, moving around the client to place hands on the joints or chakras may not be possible due to IVs and monitoring devices. Some human and animal clients cannot travel to the practitioner or live at too great a distance for the practitioner to come to them. Regular clients may choose in-person sessions one time and distance healing another time depending on the situation.

Wild animals are best treated at a distance so they do not habituate to humans. Some farm animals are only touched for medical treatment or activities like sheering and dislike touch. Birds, fish, and snakes must remain in their environments. Aggressive dogs are not safe to approach. In these cases, Reiki is best provided at a distance.

Sometimes the greater challenge with distance healing is convincing yourself and your clients that it works! I remind people of energetic connections they may have experienced, such as knowing who is calling when the phone rings or feeling they must call home before they know an accident occurred.

I use a pendulum to demonstrate to distance clients that we are energetically connected. Zoom, Skype, and similar programs allow me to be face to face with clients. I show clients how a pendulum responds to the energetic flow from my fingers. They see the pendulum move and even change direction as it picks up the energy from my fingers. The pendulum swinging in a circle indicates the energy is open and flowing. The fingers are alternately charged so the pendulum’s clockwise movement changes to counterclockwise as I move from one finger to the next. A back and forth movement indicates compromised energy.

Following this demonstration, I use the pendulum to assess the energy of the large stuffed dog, I use as a surrogate during the Reiki session. I check my dog Benjie’s chakras and joints with the pendulum. Benjie is only used for Reiki, so his energetic system is always open and flowing evenly.

Next, I designate Benjie to stand in lieu of the human or animal client. I assess the client’s energy flow using Benjie as a surrogate. People see that the pendulum swings differently with Benjie as the client than it did when Benjie was himself. The pendulum indicates where energetic openness and compromises exist. If the client has a lower back issue, the pendulum will show a compromise in that area. People see the accuracy of the pendulum in identifying their or their animal’s challenges. I make note of the energetic results and then conduct the Reiki session.

At the conclusion of the session, I use the pendulum with Benjie as the surrogate to demonstrate the changes in the client’s energetic system. The pendulum’s assessment reinforces the client’s experience by providing a visual verification of the changes that occurred.

Reiki does not require a visual or physical connection to be effective. Whether clients live nearby or on another continent, our mission as practitioners is to provide Reiki in the manner that best meets the clients’ needs at that time—hands-on, nearby, or at a distance. Our client experiences and results confirm the power of Reiki and distance healing.

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* All answers were organized and displayed based exclusively on their content, aiming to create fluency and flow in exposing the perspective of each Reiki Master on the topic discussed.

** ASK RMT is a Reiki Rays project where experienced Reiki masters answer questions from members of our communities. If you need clarity on a certain Reiki topic, send us your question at contact@reikirays.com, subject line ASK RMT.
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