What is Reiki?

Have you ever had difficulty explaining reiki?

People have interesting reactions when they hear the word “Reiki”. If they have heard of it, they may say, ‘Oh I love Reiki!” or ‘My friend Mary had it and said it was great’, or “I’ve heard of it, I want to try it, but what exactly is Reiki anyway?”

You’ve learned Reiki and you’re still trying to figure out how to explain it to people. You’ve been for a reiki treatment and experienced the peace and relaxation and want all your friends to try it Now! You want to let the world know about this wonderful healing practice but how do you explain something that is not tangible.

This is one of the most popular questions I get asked during classes whether it’s Reiki Level 1 or Reiki Master Level. People are always looking for ways to explain it to family, friends and colleagues. So below I’ll give a few tips about explaining reiki and some examples – from this hopefully you can find a way for you to share what reiki is or even what it means to you.

Remember KISS – Keep It Simple Simon!

1. Your First Time Hearing About Reiki. Think back to the times when you first heard the word ‘Reiki’. Did you think it was some type of massage or something airy fairy! What have your learned from that experience. Take the newcomer by the hand and show them the practical / grounded side to Reiki. Show them that Reiki is useful for everyone.

2. Know your audience. You will be able to have a different conversation with someone who is interested in ‘Spirituality’ than someone who thinks a Chakra Cleanse is a cycle on their washing machine 🙂 (I love both conversations!)  When I go to my mechanic he has to speak layman terms to me or otherwise I’ll be lost and I’ll not understand what parts I need to get or what the heck is wrong with my car. So know or get a feel for who you are talking to.

Think of when you are explaining something very new to a child who has never heard of it before. It is best to give a small bit of information and let them lead the way with their questions.

3. Ask Them Questions. Before you go launching into who Dr. Usui is, what miracles reiki  has provided you in your life, STOP. What is it that the person wants to know. Have they any experience of reiki before – what was that experience like? Don’t be afraid to ask them questions so you are addressing their needs at this moment. Can you be more specific? What exactly would you like to know about Reiki? Tell me, what’s your particular interest? Your friend  /colleague might then say she has surgery coming up or she is experiencing a lot of stress in her life and is wondering whether Reiki treatment could help her heal faster (Yes, it can)

4. Let go of the need for people to think the same as you. Yes, you’ve learned reiki or experienced a reiki treatment and wow, you can feel the benefits and you want the whole world to share in this and feel this way too. You’re are dying to tell everyone you meet, you want to drag them to a chair to give them reiki. Some people will be delighted to share in your excitement and others will roll their eyes. That’s okay! Be respectful of peoples choices and beliefs. Remember, it is not your role to force information onto someone who is not ready to receive it. Allow time and patience with yourself and them also.

5. Learn to accept that not everyone will love Reiki / Energy healing. That’s just life. Not everyone loves running, peanut butter, Greys Atanomy. Everyone has their own taste. It would be a boring world if we all thought the same way. My parents have no interest in reiki / energy healing and I have no desire to force it upon them or even talk to them about it. Yet my mother will write down the names of people she hears on the radio / TV who talk about healing / reiki / yoga etc as she knows I’m interested in it.

6. Be mindful not to make presumptions about who may / may not be interested. I’ve been in so many situations where someone asks me what I do and part of me thinks they won’t be interested. Often it is these people who want to know more or have a partner who has had / learned reiki and are inquisitive. You wouldn’t believe the amount of weddings (and even funerals) I’ve been at where I’ve spent most of the time talking about healing to people I would have presumed would not have been interested. For me at those times, I let the person guide the conversation and ask them questions about what exactly they want to know rather than me overtaking the conversation. You would be surprised what you might learn from other people!

Ways to Explain Reiki

Pick and mix what might work for you. Tailor it to your audience. You may explain it to friends / family differently than if you are working professionally with it.

  1. I could talk all day about reiki but the experience explains more than words could. There is no shame in taking Mrs. Takata lead, saying, “I can’t tell you, but I can show you,” and sitting your friend down for a Reiki sample which can just take a few minutes. Ask them to keep their eyes closed for a few moments and notice how they are feeling, and any little way in which it is different than how they felt before, was there any little sensation they might have had. Then simply ask, “How are you? What was that like?” and let them know that he experience can be very subtle, and that there are no right or wrong answers. That’s the beauty of it!
  2. I can’t really explain what it is. I only know how it makes me feel. Then explain how you feel it has made a difference in your life. Remember keep this simple & grounded – peace, clarity, stress relief, sleep etc and don’t feel the need to go into miracle cures, life changing episodes, spiritual growth. Know your audience!
  3. Reiki is an energy healing practice that is usually done by placing the hands in a series of positions over or slightly above the body. Reiki promotes healing by activating the relaxation response and helping the body to balance itself from a very deep level.
  4. Reiki is a spiritual healing practice that supports overall balance. (You could leave out Spiritual). Not everyone wants a spiritual connection. They might just want pain relief, to feel less stressed, to be listened to etc. Also everyone has a different meaning of Spiritual / Spirituality.
  5. Reiki is a healing practice that promotes overall balance and encourages balance in body, mind, emotions (and spirit)
  6. Reiki is a spiritual healing practice that promotes relaxation. If asked for more, you could add that relaxation promotes a person’s natural ability to heal. If allowed, you could also offer a hand or two (in the very literal sense) to provide a little Reiki sample.

So play with it and see what you come up with. I’d love to know how you explain reiki!