Curious About Reiki? Here's How To Make Sure Your First Experience Is A Great One

Written by Sharna Langlais

Whenever I teach my Reiki certification courses, I always tell my students, “You are the only person who can practice your kind of Reiki.” That’s because energy medicine is deeply personal. Our energy is as unique as our fingerprints and is constantly changing and evolving.

This also means that finding someone to work with your energy is deeply personal.

"Reiki is an energy healing modality, where the practitioner acts as a conduit for universal energy in order to rebalance and clear blockages in the chakras, or energy centers."

When I teach, I do an exercise in which I have my students place their hands near another student’s — almost touching — and feel the energetic push and pull. It still amazes me that one pairing of people (often complete strangers) can be extremely powerful, yet when each of those people is paired with another, they might feel very little.

In my opinion, this idea is at the heart of finding a Reiki practitioner that’s right for you. It’s not about whom they’ve worked with before. It’s not about flashy websites or artistic head shots, and it’s definitely not about competition between Reiki practitioners (which, in my opinion, is unhelpful and counterproductive). It’s about understanding how someone practices Reiki, and whether his/her way works for you.

So, how do you find out?

1. Ask yourself what you need.

"What do I need?" is always an important question to ask yourself as you move through life. Understanding if Reiki is right for you, and determining what you want to get out of your Reiki sessions will help you find a variation and a practitioner who can meet your needs. Are you recuperating from a surgery and need someone who can support your recovery? Are you working through depression or anxiety, and need a practitioner who can help you with your mood?

Are you highly stressed and want someone to help you relax? Are you looking for someone who combines other modalities with Reiki? Taking stock of your needs and making a list of what you’d like to get out of your sessions will help you evaluate which practitioner is right for you, and help your practitioner create a treatment plan.

Chronic issues tend to take longer to heal than acute ones, but the number of treatments needed for each person and each issue will vary. Healing is a process, not an event.

2. Talk to your friends.

Word of mouth is a key referral source for many of us in the service industry, and that’s because it really works. Chances are, you’re friends with someone because your energies work well together, so friends and family are great sources for referrals.

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3. Do your research.

Use a search engine to find a Reiki practitioner in your area, read reviews on Yelp, or search the many professional Reiki membership organizations that list the paid members and/or practitioners they’ve certified. When looking at a practitioner’s website, read the “about” or bio section, as well as any testimonials that are available. You’ll also want to take a look at price and make sure their cost per session fits into your budget (most sessions cost between $25 and $100), and whether or not they use hands-on touch (many Reiki practitioners do not place their hands directly on the body, and that’s something you might want to figure out if you want beforehand).

4. Look into distance practitioners.

Reiki is a modality that can be done quite effectively via distance since energy is fundamentally transcendent. It doesn't have physical limitations. So you might consider widening your search past your local area and seeing whether any practitioners you find offer distance Reiki. Some people love the distance modality, as it may allow them to work with a practitioner they really connect with but isn't local, whereas others prefer to see a practitioner in person and have that face-to-face interaction. This is a personal choice. Distance Reiki can provide a lot of flexibility for people who have busy schedules or might not have many practitioners in their area.

What to ask potential practitioners:

  1. What is your approach to [name the issue you are seeking help with]?
  2. Have you ever worked with someone experiencing [name the issue]?
  3. Does your method use hands-on touch?
  4. Do you incorporate any other methods into your work?
  5. Do you work via distance and, if so, how?
  6. How frequently do you suggest sessions? (Depending on the issue you are working through, this question will be easier for the practitioner to answer after a first visit.)
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5. Schedule an initial session.

While most practitioners will be happy to answer a few questions via email or phone, many will want to see you for a first session to help evaluate your energy and unique situation. A first session will also help you know whether or not you’ll feel benefits from working with this practitioner, and/or whether the practitioner’s style is comfortable for you.

Doing your research on the front end will help you narrow down your list and, just like choosing a doctor, you might see several before you find one that works for you. Remember that you are empowered to choose your own team, and that you are entrusting someone with some of the most important parts of you. When you find a Reiki practitioner that is right for you, you’ll also have started a relationship that can benefit you on your healing path for years to come.

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