I was asked recently about some myths floating around about Reiki. The woman inquiring felt drawn to Reiki for her own healing and to support others, but she had some fears after talking with a few people. I was able to calm those fears and help her to feel confident about listening to her inner wisdom. I’d like to clear up those myths for you too.
Some people worry that Reiki is not safe for pregnant women. Not only is this inaccurate, but Reiki can be very effective for managing the discomforts of pregnancy, working through fears about delivery, and supporting the health of both mother and child.
For example, I worked with a woman who visited me weekly during her third trimester. I provided pillows for her head, arms, and legs so that she could lie comfortably on her side and relax. I gently placed my hands on positions at her head, back, abdomen, and legs. Reiki eased pelvic pain and pressure, and allowed the expectant mother to work through her fears about delivering her first child.
Reiki can do no harm. It does not include manipulation of the body, nor use of substances that would be ingested orally or absorbed by the skin. A Reiki treatment involves light touch on the body, or no touch at all with the hands hovering over the body.
I’ve heard the myth that Reiki can cause broken bones to heal too quickly since I first learned Reiki 12 years ago. The truth is, Reiki supports the body’s immune system to heal itself in a way that is healthy and beneficial. It does not bestow superpowers onto the immune system causing it to go into overdrive creating new problems for the body.
Reiki is safe and natural. It serves as both a healing, and a spiritual, practice. It supports the body, mind, and spirit to be healthy and to thrive. In the case of a broken bone, for example, Reiki helps us to stay calm, can reduce pain, can reduce swelling or bleeding, and enhances the body’s ability to heal the bone and other tissues safely.
Readiness for Training
Occasionally, I hear of a Reiki Master telling a student that she’s not ready for the next level of Reiki training. This is always a surprise to me because I believe in the inner wisdom which guides each of us to that which will facilitate our growth and healing. I trust that when a student says that he or she wants to take the next course, that the tools of that particular course will support the next level of healing and growth for that person.
My role as a Reiki teacher is to assess for the class structure and fit itself, not the tools and the energy of Reiki. Reiki practice is personal and unique to each individual. It’s not my place to get in the way of that. I do, however, have a responsibility to insure that students can participate in class activities and move at the pace of the rest of the students. The classroom needs to be a safe space for everyone, including me. It needs to provide room for everyone to learn, practice, and grow.
There are only 2 situations that have popped up in the past 9 years of teaching, that have caused me to decline to teach someone. The first, was a mental health concern. The student had taken the first two levels of training with me during a time that her mental illness was stable and she was receiving professional counseling to maintain her health. When she decided that she wanted to join the Advanced Reiki Training (ART), I noticed that she had lost her balance. She confirmed that she was not currently participating in counseling and was struggling with symptoms. I expressed my concern that she would not be able to stay present during class activities (the ART class involves deep introspection and digging into the subconscious) and that she would be triggered frequently. I felt that she would not progress in the way that she intended if she couldn’t participate, and that her instability would interfere with the progression of the other students. We agreed that she would take the class when her symptoms abated and she could better participate in class activities.
The second was a man who had a history of trauma which clearly interfered with appropriate boundaries in his current interactions. I wanted to support his desire for healing and creating a healthy spiritual practice, but I felt that he would be better served by a male teacher in a smaller class.
In my view, the teacher’s role is to provide information about the system of Reiki, opportunities to practice, and support for personal and professional growth, not to direct a student’s personal healing process. Reiki training facilitates growth for the practitioner as well as those receiving Reiki.
Utah Law for Professional Reiki
When I first learned Reiki in 2003, I was told that Utah required a ministerial license to practice Reiki professionally. I was directed to a website where I could pay $15 to receive a ministerial license in the mail. That organization provided ministerial training, but it was not required for the certificate. I was uncomfortable with this.
I visited Ryan at the Division of Occupational and Professional licensing and he set me straight. Utah required no professional licensure for Reiki practitioners. The state still considers Reiki to be a spiritual healing practice and does not require professional or clergy licensure. We must, however, practice Reiki only unless we have another professional license such as massage.
Massage is now defined as “contact with movement.” Traditional Reiki practice does not require moving the hands across the skin. Reiki treatments involve only holding the hands in one location for several minutes, then lifting them and placing them at the next location. Reiki treatments can also be conducted with no touch at all.
From Utah’s Department of Commerce: http://www.dopl.utah.gov/licensing/forms/massage_Reiki.pdf
“…Utah Administrative Code Subsection R156-47b-102(8) states:(8) ‘Manipulation’ [as used in massage therapy] as used in Subsection 58-47b-102(6) means contact with movement, involving touching the clothed or unclothed body.
Reiki is defined as a ‘spiritual healing art’ that is performed on an individual by a Reiki Practitioner by ‘transmitting healing life force energy’ through the hands.
It is the position of the Division that to the extent that Reiki is used as a ‘spiritual healing art’ and does not involve the methods outlined in the scope of practice of Massage Therapy, then Reiki is not a modality of massage.
However, should a Reiki Practitioner while performing the ‘spiritual healing art’ involve the use of any of the methods outlined in the scope of practice of Massage Therapy, then the Reiki Practitioner must be licensed as a Massage Therapist.”
Do you have questions that you’d like cleared up? Please comment below. It’s important to me that people have accurate information about Reiki.