One of the great things about Reiki is it flows through you and not from you. However, many people drawn to Reiki and other forms of energy healing are empaths. Empathy is a form of psychic ability in which you feel the physical sensations and/or emotions of others as if they are your own. In general, empaths may have difficulty differentiating between a physical sensation or emotion from another person and one that is his or her own. This can be confusing, so it’s important you begin to recognize and acknowledge your empathy and work with it as you do energy healing.
Empathy is a gift for an energy healer or Reiki practitioner because it allows you to be more tuned into your healing partner and provide a more intuitive and personalized session. However, if you don’t manage it carefully, you may wind up taking on any negative energy from your healing partner while transferring some of your positive energy to them. This is one reason grounding and breaking the connection following an energy healing session is so important for both you and your healing partner. If you've received energy from your healing partner, you don't want to carry it with you throughout the day or into your next session.
In my First Degree Reiki classes, I teach my students to run their hands under cold water and touch the floor after a session to release the energetic ties between practitioner and healing partner and for grounding. This is an effective practice. However, as you begin to work more intuitively and allow the energy from your healing partner into your own energetic space in order to create a more focused and personalized healing session, it becomes even more essential to practice good energy hygiene in order to maintain your own energetic boundaries and well-being.
Learn to Differentiate Your Energy from Theirs
First on your agenda is discerning what physical or emotional sensations are yours and which are your healing partners’. Some techniques for doing this:
Ground or Push Out the Energy
Once you have read your healing partner's energy and understand what it is telling you, there’s no need to hold onto it for even a second longer. Therefore, once you’ve acted on the information you’ve received from your healing partner, you should ground it or push it away from you. Because you receive lots of information during a healing session, you may need to do this multiple times throughout. To do this:
Step Under an Energy Waterfall
Likewise, especially if you’re empathic, you will always need to ground and clear energy after a session, so you don’t carry the energy of your healing partner’s dis-ease with you into later sessions or as you go about your day. To do this, after your healing partner leaves and before your next session, use the exercise above. Then, visualize a Reiki or energy waterfall pouring down from above and filling your aura, chakras, meridians, and entire body with beautiful, pure, life force energy. This will remove any energy you've taken on and replenish any you've inadvertently given away.
If after this, the energy still feels connected or strong, consider a more powerful personal energy clearing, such as a salt bath or crystals.
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Energy Healing and Ethics
I teach multiple forms of energy healing including Reiki and crystal healing, and one of the topics I return to repeatedly in all classes is that of working as a healing practitioner within an ethical framework.
Yesterday, I taught my once annual Reiki Master-Teacher course in Portland, Oregon. At the Master-Teacher level, there is a deep need for a discussion of ethics because once you have attained that level, you also have the privilege of teaching and attuning others as energy healers. I view it as a huge responsibility and an absolute honor and joy that I am able to share with others in such a significant way on their path of spiritual growth.
What I teach my students about ethics is this: When you do energy work, you must always do so from a place of integrity. What I don't tell them, however, is what that integrity should look like.
It's important as an energy healing practitioner if you are working with healing partners (in other words, clients but I prefer the term healing partners because it reminds me the healing work is a partnership and not just something I am doing for them), you decide what your values and ethics are surrounding your practice of energy healing. Some ethics, of course, are required by law, such as having the appropriate licensing/certification in place, following ethical business practices, keeping appropriate documentation, and adhering to HIPAA, but others are deeply personal.
Within the framework of Reiki, we are offered a simple set of ethical standards called the Five Principles of Reiki. I teach them in First Degree Reiki and return to them throughout all degrees of the teaching and attunement process in my classes because they are the perfect jumping off point for developing any personal ethical framework for energy healing practice.
Just for today, I will not anger.
Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will be kind to all living creatures.
Just for today, I will do my work with truth and integrity (I translate this to "I will live with truth and integrity").
Just for today, I will be grateful.
These are simple beliefs and practices; something to strive for in our lives while understanding we're not going to hit every target every moment of every day. But keeping them as my core values serves as a lodestar, helping me to right myself quickly when I have moments of anger, worry, or unkindness.
As individuals, we can choose to accept or reject any of the above principles. We can also choose our own ethical framework for how we practice our energy healing and how we live our lives. I strive for internal consistency across all aspects of my life - as a healer, as a friend, as a sister and daughter, as a wife and mother, as an employee, as a writer, as a teacher, as a human being, etc. So my ethics for my teaching and writing are the same as for my energy healing practice, and they're the same for how I strive to live every moment of my life.
But I can't tell you what your core values should be or how you should apply them in your life and practice. This is something you need to do for yourself. Yesterday in my Reiki Master-Teacher class, I offered this suggestion. In the days and weeks to come, spend some time thinking about what your core values are as an energy healer. How do you want it to manifest in your life, and what effect do you wish to have on the lives of others? From there, think about individual habits and practices, and determine what your version of an ethical energy healer is. Then, work from there.
I have neither walked in another's shoes nor had their experiences, so I am in no place to tell others what their core values should be or how to live and act from those core values. I have spent a lifetime developing mine and allowing them to grow and shift as I have grown and shifted. But I invite you to spend some time thinking about your core values. What is the highest vision you have for yourself? How does it make you feel to visualize dwelling within that vision? If it feels good deep down in your soul, then this is the place to begin forming your core values as an energy healer and as a human being.
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Being mindful during a Reiki session can create a more meaningful and intentional healing experience for both the Reiki practitioner and his or her healing partner. In his teachings, Dr. Mikao Usui taught practitioners three foundational practices that he called the three pillars of Reiki, gassho, reiji-ho, and chiryo. Each of these practices has multiple purposes, and all are equally necessary during a Reiki healing session. Purposes of the three pillars include:
-Serving as a source of spiritual hygiene to put the Reiki practitioner into a calm and centered state of mind before and during channeling Reiki
-Allowing the practitioner's ego to step aside and allow intuitive information from the Reiki energy, her healing partner, and Divine Guidance
-Connecting the practitioner and his healing partner to the Reiki energy
-Allowing the practitioner to work more intuitively as she channels Reiki energy to her healing partner
-Creating an "envelope" of mindfulness for the session for both the practitioner and his healing partner
The First Pillar: Gassho
The first pillar of Reiki, gassho, is more than a meditative practice. It also serves as a form of spiritual hygiene, a ritual to create intention and focus, an invitation to mindfulness, a call to set aside ego, and the primary method to invite and ignite Reiki healing energy within a session.
While gassho is primarily taught in Western forms of Reiki as a meditative practice that entails holding one's hands in prayer position and focusing on where the middle fingertips meet, it is far more involved and deeper than these simple instructions indicate. During gassho, while the fingertips serve as a physical focal point to help the Reiki practitioner remain mindful and in the moment, a skilled practitioner combines the mindfulness of gassho with breath work and intention.
As Spiritual Hygiene
As spiritual hygiene, Reiki practitioners should engage in gassho for 5 to 10 minutes before every session in order to purify not only the energy of the space in which the sacred sharing of the Reiki energy will occur, but also to enter into a state of mindfulness where he or she is open to Reiki energy and positive guidance. This is especially important for practitioners who live "normal" lives between sessions (and don't we all?) where the needs of the world often intrude on upon our ideal spiritual state of being.
Before every session, perform any energy work in your healing space you normally do as part of your pre-game ritual, whether that involves burning herbs, drawing symbols in the space, or any other space clearing ritual. Next, sit comfortably in the space in gassho. Concentrate on your breathing and the space where your middle fingertips meet. Feel Reiki forming in the air around you and breathe it in, allowing it to flow in through your nose and lungs and throughout your entire body. Exhale tension or anything from your day that does serve you nor not belong in your session. Do this for as long as it takes. Some days, it may only take five minutes, but on those other days where the world has intruded, it may take longer. Do this until you are calm, peaceful, centered, and out of your ego. Only then should you invite your healing partner into your healing space.
To Set Intention and Invite and Ignite Reiki Energy
Once you have invited your healing partner into the appropriately prepared space, consulted with them as needed, and they are resting comfortably on your treatment table, stand at your partner's head or feet and enter into gassho again. This time, do so focusing on any intention for the session you and your healing partner have agreed upon along with the intention to serve the highest and greatest good. Once again, feel the Reiki gather around you. Breathe it in, and invite it to flow through you and into your hands. When you feel your hands ignite, you can begin your session.
To Return to Mindfulness or Seek Guidance
Throughout your session, you can return to gassho any time you feel the need. Gassho is your safe space where you can return to mindfulness, refocus or reset intention, or receive guidance about where to place your hands on your healing partner. It is the form within the freedom of an intuitive Reiki session. If you feel your mind start to drift or notice your energy shift, return to gassho. If you feel unsure about what to do next, return to gassho. Walk to your partner's head or feet again and stand in gassho until you feel refocused. If you need, ask for guidance and then pay attention. A thought may come into your head, a part of your healing partner's body may "light up" in your gaze, or you may just feel drawn to a certain area. Go with this flow. Return to gassho whenever you need to recenter, wish to return to mindfulness if the outside world starts to intrude on your session, or feel unsure of what to do next.
To Give Thanks and Return to Yourself
You can also return to gassho at the close of a session. When you feel ready, move to your healing partner's feet and stand in gassho. Give thanks to Reiki and to your partner for allowing you to channel the energy to serve the highest and greatest good. Then, invite your energy to return to you and see the energetic connection between you and your partner releasing. When you feel ready, run your hands under cool water or touch the ground to ground yourself.
The Second Pillar: Reiji-Ho
Gassho is interwoven throughout the other two pillars of Reiki. Reiji-ho, the second pillar, is all about asking for guidance. While First Degree Reiki practitioners learn the Reiki hand positions, as they progress they may begin to feel comfortable enough to work intuitively. I encourage my students entering Second Degree Reiki to begin working intuitively as often as possible during Reiki sessions knowing if they need to, they can always return to the hand positions.
In reiji-ho, you invite guidance in. It begins in gassho, with your hands held in prayer position asking to have your hands and energy guided to serve the highest and greatest good of your healing partner. And then, you wait and you use all of your senses to listen. Listen to how your body feels, what your mind thinks, what your eyes see, and how your healing partner responds. As you wait for guidance, observe with all of your senses and allow your mind to empty so it becomes a vessel into which guidance can flow easily. You will learn over time how your Divine Guidance signals you. You may spot a twitch. You may feel something in your own body. You may hear instructions in your mind. You may feel as if you are magnetically drawn to somewhere on your healing partner's body. There is no wrong way to receive information.
Reiji-ho takes trust in yourself, your healing partner, your Divine Guidance system, Reiki, and the universe. It also requires mindfulness. It requires you to allow yourself to be energetically open in order to become a vessel the universe uses to serve the highest and greatest good. When you receive a signal, trust it, act on it, and know the Reiki energy will flow exactly where and as it is needed for the highest and greatest good. When you feel yourself slipping out of that space as a vessel and a channel and back into your own personal stuff, return to gassho and re-set yourself.
The Third Pillar: Chiryo
The third pillar of Reiki, chiryo, is all about action. Chiryo means "treatment," and it is an essential part of every Reiki session. New Reiki practitioners focus primarily on chiryo, following the mechanical process of placing hands on the body in set positions and trusting the Reiki will flow where it's needed. However, as a practitioner becomes more deeply involved in the true practice of Reiki, chiryo is something that flows and changes depending on intuitive information the Reiki practitioner receives and the needs of his or her healing partner.
A practitioner truly engaged in chiryo moves beyond the basic hand positions and sometimes even moves beyond use of the hands. He or she may be intuitively guided to gaze, tap, stroke, blow, or visualize along with placing hands, palms, or fingertips in the ways they are guided to do so. In this way, a mindful session of Reiki becomes a flowing dance of energy that involves the practitioner, his or her healing partner, and the entire universe.
Image by David Mark from Pixabay
Intuition plays an important role for energy healing practitioners. As I grew in my own practice of the energy healing arts, I started to work more intuitively as I tuned into what my healing partners were experiencing.
In my classes and books, I often encourage people new to the healing arts to start to listen to their intuition. While some nod with complete understanding, I notice from others a flare of panic in their eyes.
I get it. When I first started working with energy healing, I was one who looked vaguely panicked. Although I've been intuitive all of my life, I spent a lot of time worrying my intuition would let me down when I most needed it. Fortunately, that has never happened.
New energy healing practitioners learn techniques and tools for practicing their craft. For example, First Degree Reiki practitioners learn basic hand positions for use during sessions. Sound healing practitioners learn bowl layouts, instruments, and tonal patterns. Crystal healing practitioners learn about the specific energies of crystals as well as some basic grid layout and uses. Virtually every energy healing modality teaches specific techniques to new practitioners.
These are all important foundational tools and techniques that allow new energy healing practitioners to enter into sessions with confidence knowing they have techniques they can use to create a safe and positive experience for their healing partners. Without these foundational techniques to impart confidence, a new practitioner may feel anxious entering into a session, and that anxiety can be passed on to the healing partners, which isn't ideal for creating an environment of safety and security throughout the session. However, at some point on your energy healing journey, I strongly encourage you to tune into your intuition and begin working more intuitively in your practice.
Recognizing Your Intuition
Everyone has a Divine Guidance system that communicates with them via intuition. Some people have spent a lifetime ignoring that intuition, however, and it’s gotten really quiet as a result. I was one of those people. I thought I didn’t believe in any of that stuff, so I ignored intuitive hits except for a few REALLY big ones that were impossible to ignore. However, once that belief started to change and I started to listen to and seek guidance from my intuition, it grew stronger and louder. Now I’m shocked I once believed I didn’t have any intuition. I’ve noticed this happening with the energy healers I teach, as well.
If you’re someone who doesn’t believe you have intuition, you may just not recognize it as such yet. Some ways your intuition may be manifesting include:
For example, if you have a sudden thought you should use a specific crystal in your session, use it. If an affirmation or intention for your healing partner pops into your mind, incorporate it in your session. If you suddenly feel you need to offer a visualization for your healing partner while she's on the table, share it. If you feel you need to sound a specific singing bowl, do it. If you feel you need to move your hands and energy in a specific pattern, do so. These are examples of guidance, coming in to help your healing partner receive exactly what she needs when she is in your healing space.
Exercises for Developing Intuition
The following exercises can help you to develop your intuition. I recommend either working on yourself or a pet, or inviting a trusted friend in to be a healing partner who engages in the session to help you develop your intuition. If you work with a healing partner for this, realize these practice sessions are for your benefit and shouldn’t be treated as a regular energy healing session. Always give thanks to your intuition when it guides you.
Minds Eye Intuition
This exercise may help you learn to recognize intuitive thoughts and feelings
This is an exercise we actually practice in my classes. Most people are surprised at how easily it works for them.
Some people receive intuitive information empathically, that is, there bodies and emotions tell them what they need to know.
Visual changes may be subtle, but they can also indicate where you need to work on your healing partner.
I find using tingshas or a singing bowl are the best way to start to understand audible changes.
You can pay attention for other physical changes by running the receiving (non-dominant) hand down the body about an inch above it in the pattern noted in the hand sensations section, noticing any of the following changes:
I recommend practicing all of these several times with different practice partners to see which of these provide the strongest feedback. Once you feel confident in recognizing the changes, start to incorporate them in your practice session, knowing that you can always return to your foundational techniques if you feel you aren’t receiving intuitive information.
As always, I’m here for questions and support. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can help.
Image by Ke Hugo from Pixabay
Reiki in Everyday Life
I am so proud to be a Reiki Master-Teacher, and one of my great joys in life is teaching others about this useful form of hands-on or distance energy healing. Reiki has become such an ingrained part of my daily life, I almost don't realize how much I use it anymore.
I remember after my First Degree Reiki class and attunement, I wasn't quite sure what to do with the Reiki or how to incorporate it into my life. I took every opportunity I could find to channel the energy and was always seeking situations where it would be beneficial. Reiki was on my mind a lot back then.
Now a few years down the line with the daily practice of Reiki in my daily life and the number of Reiki students I have taught and attuned in the triple digits, I almost don't notice when I am incorporating Reiki into my life because it is such a part of what I do each day. And Reiki comes into my life daily at various times throughout the day.
I thought I'd share some of the ways I make Reiki a part of my daily life for those of you seeking to make the energy a bigger part of yours, as well.
As Reiki practitioners, you will find your own way to incorporate Reiki energy into your life, as well. Hopefully by learning a few of mine, you will find ways you can make channeling Reiki a practice in your life, as well.
Image by KrutSolt iStock Photo
I taught a First Degree Reiki class in Portland, Oregon yesterday. It is always beautiful and humbling to be with new practitioners as they have their first experience channeling this powerful form of energy healing. It is truly an honor and a privilege I am allowed to share Reiki with others and start them on their energy healing journey. They all knocked it out of the park, and I know they will go forward as confident Reiki practitioners.
I'm attaching my course outline here so you can see what you'll learn and do in the four hours of class. At the end of the class, you'll be able to channel hands-on Reiki energy to yourself and others. For more information about the levels of Reiki, click here. Click the images below to download and print. If you plan to attend the class, download and print my Reiki Level One manual.
Today is the anniversary of when I took my very first Reiki class and was attuned as a Reiki Level 1 practitioner. My life was so different back then, and Reiki was something I'd always been curious about, but I had no idea how much it would change my life.
The day I was attuned to Reiki was the day I stepped into my true power as an intuitive energy healer.
I've always been highly intuitive, and I've always had deep compassion for others who are suffering. In fact, as an empath it took me many years to understand is that I not only had compassion for those around me who were suffering, but I also took on their suffering as my own without realizing it. As a result, I was riddled with poor health. In fact, when I took my first Reiki class I was in such poor health I could barely stand and practice the hand positions because I felt so ill.
Reiki gave me the tools to delve into energetics. It opened me up to new ways of being in the world, and it provided me with a new practice I was able to use to help those who were suffering and to help myself as well. Before I was attuned to Reiki, I thought about health in an entirely different way. After I was attuned, I truly understood how body, mind, and spirit work together to create what we experience as health, and Reiki became one of many energy healing practices I incorporate daily in my own life to balance body, mind, and spirit.
I can't imagine where my life would be without Reiki. It has been a practice that has opened me to universal love and source energy in a way I only thought I understood before I was attuned. It has provided me a way to share loving energy with friends, family, pets, and clients. It's allowed me to send healing to humanity and the planet. It has opened my life up in uncountable and almost unexplainable ways, and I am grateful every day I have the opportunity to teach and share this beautiful practice with the world.
Truth in Experience