Challenges in Reiki treatments:
Tips for Reiki Practitioners and Reiki students
By Ora Waldman
In this article I would like to touch on some technical challenges involved in giving Reiki treatments. I hope these tips can be of assistance, especially to those who are just starting to explore the Reiki world as practitioners.
1. When clients are covered with a blanket it can sometimes be challenging to locate a specific area on which you would like to work. It is very important to be cautious and mindful in these situations, not to ‘dig’ with the hands trying to locate a certain area. This can, for the very minimum, disturb the flow of the treatment and cause physical discomfort for the client. But while some clients may ask for a cover because they are cold, others may need it for an added sense of security, and any ‘invasion’ on their personal space underneath that cover may elicit emotional distress.
Some ways to get around this challenge:
1. Work over the blanket, since the Reiki energy is not disturbed by a blanket any more than it is by a piece of clothing. When you reach an area where you are not sure what’s underneath and wish to avoid touching any private organs, channel the energy over the area being treated from a distance of several inches (see tip # 2 for more about channeling in this way).
2. You can mention something about this at the beginning of the treatment or at the point when the client asks for a cover. While covering your client, you can say something like, “The Reiki works just as well with my hands placed over the blanket, but to avoid touching any private areas there may be some places where it will help me to momentarily lift it to be sure I’m placing my hands on the right spot. Will that be ok with you”? Then continue the treatment as per your client’s request.
2. Channeling from a short distance over the body:
In Reiki treatments, our hands need to be either touching the client or not touching at all. Why is this important? When channeling Reiki from a short distance, it can feel uncomfortable and awkward for clients when they know the hands are not supposed to be touching them and yet from time to time they feel brief touches of finger tips on their body. This can feel especially unsettling if the area being treated is a private area such as the genitals or a woman’s breast, which in Reiki treatments are never to be touched. Channeling Reiki without touching the body can be challenging for a number of reasons:
1. For many beginners, it is much easier to sense the flow of energy when physically touching the client. This can be the same for some clients who are experiencing energy work for the first time. While the ability to sense the energy will grow significantly with practice, know that the benefits of channeling at a short distance over the body cannot be overstated: When you channel Reiki above the body you are working directly with layers of the auric field to restore healing, alignment and harmony into the whole energy system of the person receiving the treatment, influencing their entire system - the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects. When working on the auric field, clients often report feeling deeply nurtured and a sense of “being enveloped” by a warm, kind, comforting, and loving energy.
2. Channeling at a distance over the body can be challenging also because you do not have the body of the client to support your hands, and holding them up can become strenuous after a while.
3. The practitioner’s hands are too close to the body, their eyes are fully or semi-closed, or the client requires a lot of energy in that area, which may cause an energy ‘pulling’ effect of the hands towards the body.
In my private sessions with clients I use various techniques which help me overcome the challenge of keeping my arms up for long stretches of time. Here is one very simple and effective tip, followed by two additional tips which you may wish to try:
1. Keep your arms close to your body, such that your upper arms are in line with the sides of your body, and your lower arms and palms stretched forward. For example, if you work on the stomach and for some reason it cannot be touched (could be that the person has had severe burns or has gone through a surgery and the area is too tender to be touched), rather than having one palm over the side closer to you and the other arm stretched to cover the side farther away from you, work with both your palms side by side over one side of the client’s stomach, and then move to the opposite side of the treatment bed and work in the same way on the other side of their stomach. In this way, you don’t strain your muscles as much and your arms have some ‘leaning support’ from the sides of your own body.
2. It may be that you sense or see part or whole of the energy system of humans and you find yourself using more of your treatment time to channel Reiki to the energy field which surrounds the physical body. Working for long periods of time “in the air” can be strenuous on the arms and body. When I work with a certain auric layer I find that ‘resting my palms’ on that layer helps. It isn’t exactly that I am resting them ‘physically’, although there can be situations in which energy areas can feel quite dense. But while you channel the Reiki at that level, remember it is no different than working on the physical body, in that even when we work on the physical body we in essence work with its energy field, not the physical level. Try, in the same way you would focus your attention to what happens in the body while you channel there, to focus your attention on what the auric field communicates with you. When you bring your attention to all the information and sensations which emanate from the auric field, your hands should be quite occupied and content ‘touching’ the auric body and ‘working’ with it. When your focus is diverted from your arm muscles to the fascinating workings of the Reiki with the human energy field, you may find that in certain situations there is almost enough content and energy there to ‘rest your hands’ upon. Try this approach and see if it works for you.
3. Breath-work and grounding-techniques can also be helpful in these situations, as they help ‘center’ us, focus our attention, and relax the mind, body and muscles. While you work from a distance over a client’s body, try to apply any techniques that you may have learnt in you Reiki training or elsewhere and notice the difference it brings to your work in your ability to sense the energy and even your ability to keep your arms up.