Why do I feel tired after giving a healing?
You are probably trying too hard. Reiki does not depend on you giving, or trying, or doing anything special at all. Just relax, and don’t worry if nothing happens during the session. (If nothing happens, it’s because the client isn’t ready for anything to happen.) It’s not up to you, it’s up to reiki.
In Reiki, I don’t use my own energy, but if I do a treatment without Reiki, am I using my own ki?
Many Reiki practitioners believe that as they do give Reiki they are topping up the energy levels of the receiver. A bit like topping a car up with petrol. If you let the car drive on too long, it will break down, but if you give it some regular top-up, it will run just fine.
We need to understand the difference between adding energy and energising. When adding energy, like filling a car with petrol, the receiver will always have to keep going back for more, relying on an external source of energy. When energising, it’s different. Imagine a laboratory rat that has been given amphetamines. The amphetamines did not add any energy to the system, just facilitated the burning of existing energy in the system.
The beauty of Reiki is that we are able to energise recipients without giving from our personal store of ki.
If you give your own energy during a healing, you’re trying too hard. You’re also manifesting certain beliefs:
- that the receiver needs you
- that there is not enough energy to go around.
Neither of these beliefs are true. There is plenty of energy to go around, and the practitioner is not the one helping the receiver. Reiki is helping the receiver help himself.
Relax, allow the energy to flow, and let the healing happen without you adding anything.
What is ‘energy exchange’, and why is it important?
In one version of the Reiki story Mikao Usui treated people for free:
[Usui] decided after a few days to go to the beggar city in the slums of Kyoto to treat the beggars and help them lead a better way of life. He spent seven years in the asylum treating many illnesses. One day, however he noticed the same old faces kept coming. When he asked why they had not begun a new life, he was told that working was too troublesome, and that it was better to go on begging. Usui was deeply shaken and wept. He suddenly realised that he had forgotten something of great importance in his healing work, namely to teach the beggars gratitude. In the following days, he thought out the Reiki principles…
With the lesson being that Reiki practitioners should not give their time and efforts away without some form of energy exchange. In today’s world, money is the most convenient way of making this exchange, but it can be anything.
The concept of exchange has its roots in three Japanese concepts: giri, okaeshi.
Giri, in this usage, means obligation or indebtedness, and it is a big deal in Japanese culture. Such indebtedness can weigh heavily on the mind, and can even carry a degree of shame.
Okaeshi means ‘a gift in return’, and is the way people free themselves from obligation. Okaeshi can be money, or another service, or any kind of assistance. When it is given, the receiver becomes free from indebtedness, and truly owns the gift. There is no feeling of obligation or guilt.
If you provide someone with a reiki healing session and ask for nothing in return, they will feel unsure about how they are supposed to feel. They will feel unsure next time they do something that might jeopardise the healing: how could they possible go out and get drunk after the beautiful healing you have given them? However when they have given their gift in return (the energy exchange), they are free to own the healing, to make it part of their life, and eventually to realise that they are the master of their own healing journey.
Why aren’t there any techniques in Reiki for removing blocked energy?
Many healing modalities distinguish between too little energy (kyo in Japanese) and too much energy (jitsu in Japanese). So why in Reiki do we assume that we can just keep giving energy to an area and solve the issue? Don’t we risk giving too much energy to one area that is already overloaded?
Reiki is different to healing techniques such as qi kung or shiatsu because Reiki is not about topping up deficient energy or removing excess energy. Reiki is about transformation.
It is the very beginning of understanding to think of reiki as energy, like electricity, which can be applied to an area that needs a kick-start. As your depth of practice matures, so you will see deeper into the phenomenon of reiki, which is a more subtle practice than that. It connects to the very core of the human (which some call the spirit) and looks for the quickest way for positive change to be affected.
With reiki, hyper-energised areas are transformed into balanced areas, and hypo-energised areas are simultaneously transformed into balanced areas.
If this all seems too simple, it’s because it is. Reiki requires very little intelligence or skill from the giver, just a receptive awareness of where the hands need to be placed now.
Nothing need be added, and nothing need be taken away.
I feel stronger energy in one of my hands. Is this a problem?
No. It’s relatively common to feel this, and it’s not something you need to change. In fact, you can use it to your advantage. Use your dominant hand for areas that feel they need the most energy, with your non-dominant hand playing more of a support role. For example, you may be giving energy to the head and sense that the healing is becoming intense. You may choose to move away from this area and treat somewhere lower down the body, but what if you want to continue treating the head? Leave your dominant hand there, and place your non-dominant hand on the sacral area. This will help ground the client while allowing you to continue treating the head.
You may also find your non-dominant hand more sensitive when scanning.
How can you avoid giving away your own energy instead of Reiki energy during a healing?
When I feel depleted after a healing it is because I am trying too hard. Perhaps I am trying to impress the client with my healing powers, and instead of relying on Reiki I am pushing too hard, and using my personal store of ki.
The solution to this is easy. Relax and let Reiki flow.
For more details on unwanted energy transfer, please see the page on protection.