Straight from the beginning, Reiki will help you relax. If nothing more and nothing less, you can use Reiki to release stress. This is of great importance because stress causes headaches, migraines, ulcers and a thousand other physical maladies. So, the sooner you apply Reiki, the sooner you can calm your mind and heal psychological pain. As you get deeper into Reiki practice, other benefits will accumulate. Reiki will cleanse, open and unite all levels of your being (body, mind and soul). This will help you feel more whole, more complete and more in tune with yourself. If you decide to study Reiki and do healings for yourself and others, additional benefits will accrue. Your sensitivity and insight will increase as you heal more people. You will also experience an increase in your consciousness and energy level. Week by week, you will develop spiritual awareness and appreciation. This is not a guarantee as much as a description of the most common experiences that students encounter during their training and practice. Within a short time, you will gain clearer intuition and understanding of yourself and others. Taken together, these experiences will boost your confidence and consequently, your ability to help others.
Is Reiki Safe? I always read about the benefits of Reiki, but is it really safe? This question comes up quite often. Most sources claim that Reiki is totally and perfectly safe. I would like to agree, except that some issues remind us that we must be very careful when healing and working in the spiritual realm. For example, some people are afraid of ghosts and are particularly wary of something like Reiki because they can feel it but can't see or explain it. Many people who are very sensitive unknowingly or unconsciously absorb negative energy from people, spirits or the environment that can adversely affect them. Reiki itself is not dangerous. The most likely danger to occur during a Reiki session is that the healer picks up negative energy or feelings from the patient. I've seen healers crying or experiencing heavy tension in their hands from healing. It's important to note that the purpose of healing is to raise a patient's level of energy and remove unwanted energy/emotions from their hearts, but this does not imply that the healer should take on those energies. Many students mention that they pick up negative energy even when they are just walking down the street or in a crowded bus. For example, Ashta felt very susceptible to negative energy in her workplace. During her healing session, she asked, What can I do for psychic protection? First, we can ask why those negative energies were being directed at her. Was it something she did that needs to be addressed through direct communication? Was she attracting those psychic attacks for some hidden reason? Later, she asked, How can I open my heart? This becomes very complex because if she establishes psychic protection, it might seem that she is closing herself off from the universe, just the opposite of opening her heart. I suggested that she send compassion to the person that seemed to be attacking her. This raises the issues of openness, susceptibility and vulnerability.
How can we know how open we should be to the world? A healer needs to be open to the flow of energy. This includes coming into contact with negative emotions or psychic attachments. If you are susceptible to picking up unwanted emotions from others, look into your own heart and determine why you are tuning into those feelings. Are you seeking reflection or confirmation through the feelings of others? It seems normal to seek people who emanate positive feelings that resonate with us, but what about negative feelings? Do negative or stressful feelings from a crowded airport resonate with feelings hidden within your shadow self? You can effectively use these experiences to understand your unconscious self.
Do we need to be vulnerable as healers? Yes, in the same way that by opening our hearts to love, we need to accept vulnerability. As Tennyson wrote, Tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. So, the answer is yes, you are vulnerable while healing, but that does not mean that you set yourself up as prey to all energy that lurks in dark shadows. The important thing is to be aware of energies and emotions whether they are positive, negative or undefined. Remain open to energy of any sort, but that does not mean you should absorb those energies. Be aware, and make a conscious, informed decision of which energies are conducive to your well being and to the promotion of your patient's well being. In correspondence with one of my students, we discussed these issues.
She wrote to say that "I have been using Reiki recently to heal my brother and a good friend, both of whom have big emotional issues that I helped them clear, but in the process, I picked up some of their problems accidentally. I learned that when we send Reiki, it is supposed to be channeled through us and we are not supposed to pick up any of their problems so I'm not sure why this is happening. I know I am psychically quite attached to both of them so maybe this is the problem. For example, when my brother has a sleepless night with worry, I often have a sleepless night for no apparent reason, and I only discover later that he didn't sleep that same night."
I wrote back to her with several suggestions, saying that, "For now, concentrate on doing healings only for yourself until you are very strong and certain that you are ready to be of service to others. Are you doing regular self healing? Do this every day for at least half an hour to remove any unwanted stress or energies. Work on each chakra and sweep your hands through your aura to cleanse it. Create a "cocoon" of Reiki around yourself. Visualize Reiki symbols and white light all around you. This will purify and release any energy attachments."
I continued by explaining that, "Yes, your psychic attachment to your brother and friend is causing some distress. Try to detach from the healing process. See yourself as a witness to the Reiki flowing through you for the benefit of others. Request Reiki and thank Reiki. Be aware of your expectations because this can also be a form of attachment. Be sure that you are sending energy and not receiving energy while healing; receive energy only inasmuch as you need to know what is taking place, but not so much as to harm you." Many students are living completely in their minds, and are relatively disconnected from their hearts and bodies. In terms of energy, this means that all of their energy is up in their brains, leaving them unbalanced and poorly grounded. In these cases, I explain how to move the sense of "self" from the head to the heart to understand how you feel, rather than what you think about your situation.
What does it mean to move myself to my heart? Moving the self means to shift your consciousness so that it seems to be located somewhere else. It means moving the sense of "I" from the head down to the heart. Normally, breathing through the nose would appear to be "below" the mind. When you move your sense of self down to your heart, relatively speaking, it will seem that your breathing appears above your sense of consciousness in your heart. This technique facilitates a deeper understanding of self and a broader awareness of relationships from a "heart-felt" perspective. In summary, Reiki is very safe, but it is also wise to take precautions. In a similar paradox, keep your heart open while monitoring what passes through it. I would like to suggest a few techniques that you can practice to supplement your Reiki experience. These rituals focus your mind while at the same time your intention empowers the rituals.
Always request Reiki to purify and protect you while healing
Use incense or candles to purify your healing or work environment
Practice meditation regularly; this raises the energy level in your mind as well as your environment
Practice feelings of equanimity with all experiences and feelings; be equanimous with pleasure as much as pain; with relaxation as much as stress
Send loving kindness to friends, family, disinterested persons and enemies with equal compassion
When you truly feel threatened and seek security from psychic attack, cross your arms, cross your feet and mentally surround yourself in a cocoon of pure white light