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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Reiki Digest for February 28, 2007: Enhancing Reiki with Aromatherapy, Part 2

Alas, as advanced as our technology has become, there is still no way to convey scent over the Internet. That's too bad, because this week's edition would smell soooooo good: Guest writer Michelle Shinagawa offers the second and final installment in her series, Enhancing Reiki with Aromatherapy. If you use your imagination, you can almost smell the lavender, the eucalyptus, the orange, the grapefruit... can't you?

We also have another Reiki Roundup, and of course another Celeb-Reiki.

First, let's finish what we started last week.

Michelle Shinagawa is a Reiki Master, Certified Aromatherapist, and founder and owner of Purple Fish Healing in New York City.

Enhancing Reiki with Aromatherapy, Part 2

(Click here to read Part 1)

By Michelle Shinagawa

How to decide what oil to work with

I normally have 10 to 15 minutes of checking in and verbal counseling with the client before I start the physical part of the Reiki session. Based on the information from the verbal part of the session, I choose three oils and let them smell one by one. I ask my client which one resonates with them the most. I don’t normally tell them what each oil is until they pick one. It normally it turns out to be the one that was calling me the most, but I want my client to be part of the process. Here are four things you could do to help you decide which essential oil to work with.

1.Talk: While you are talking to your client about how they are doing and what support they need, you can decide which oil to use, based on what challenges they have or what intentions they have for the session. You can also decide on which oil to work with based on which chakra your client may need help in. There is more information about chakras and essential oils in the Aromatherapy Essential Oil Information section of my website,

2.Reiki Scan/Intuitive Guidance: You can scan your client’s body or place a hand on your client’s head and ask for guidance to decide which oil to use.

3.Pendulum: You can use a pendulum alone, or use it to vertify the information you got from the Reiki scan/Intuitive guidance. If you are new to the pendulum, all you need to know is “to and fro” (towards and away from) means YES, left and right means NO and circle means “maybe.”

4.Kinesiology: I use this for a confirmation of the information from the Reiki scan/Intuitive guidance. It’s very easy. Hold the bottle at the client’s chest and ask them to hold the arm at the shoulder level. When you try to press the arm down, if the arm goes down, that means the client could use that particular oil. If the arm is strong and stays up, try a different oil.

Important Information about Essential Oils

Quality: It’s very important to know the source. Do the research on the company you are buying the oils from. Check on the standards of the company, how they grow, harvest and distill. It’s a very expensive and time consuming process to produce good quality oils. There are many inexpensive adulterated oils on the market. When it comes to essential oils, you get what you pay for. If you are interested in purchasing oils from me, please visit my website.

When using oils with a client:

- ALWAYS ask your client about skin sensitivity and allergies before applying essential oils on your client.

- Keep vegetable oil near by: If your client has an allergic reaction to the oil, DO NOT flush with water. Essential oils will spread when you flush with water and make things worse. Please use vegetable oil. It can be olive oil from your kitchen. I've never needed to use this, but it’s kind of like having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.

- Tell your client not to rub their eyes when they get a drop of a sharp oil like peppermint, oregano, basil, etc., on their hands.

Safe oils for different individuals

Below is a list of what is generally considered safe oils for particular individual. However, everyone has a different reaction; please use caution and test them before use.

Babies: Chamomile Roman, Lavender, and Rose: 1 drop each per ounce of vegetable oil.

Children: Chamomile Roman, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Mandarin, Rose and Rosewood: 25% dilution with vegetable oil.

Pregnancy: Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Neroli, Mandarin, Patchouli, Rosewood, and Ylang Ylang: 50% dilution with vegetable oil.

Elderly: Any oil: 25% dilution with vegetable oil.

Oils recommended to avoid with particular individuals

Below is a list of what is generally recommended to avoid when using oils with particular individuals. I only included the most common essential oils. Just because it’s not listed below does not mean they are safe -- please use caution.

High blood pressure: AVOID Clove, Cypress, Hyssop, Juniper, Lavender, Spike, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme.

Ragweed allergies: AVOID Chamomile or Yarrow.


This is the tricky part. As a Reiki practitioner or aromatherapist, you CANNOT diagnose or prescribe. Remember you are not a medical doctor. You may know how wonderful essential oils are and how much it will help your client, but you cannot prescribe essential oils for your client. (This applies to New York state in the U.S. -- I know that The Reiki Digest now has readers from over 40 different countries, please check your local laws.) You cannot use words like CURE.

What you can say is “Promotes good health,” “Makes you feel good,” “Mood elevating,” and/or “relaxing.” What you can also do is share your experience or quote an essential oils book.


My recommendation is to start by doing some more research. Then start practicing using essential oils with yourself, your friends and family until you feel comfortable offering it to your client.

1. Check with your friend/family/client about their sensitivity and allergies. If they don’t have any, proceed to step 2.

2. Place your hands on your client's head and do a Reiki scan and intuitive guidance to see what oil may be good for the session. If you are Reiki 2 or a Reiki Master, you can use the 3rd symbol to help connect to your client.

3. Once you have an oil chosen, let your client sniff the bottle to see if they like it. Then put a drop of oil in your hand and rub your hands together to activate the oil.* Then start the Reiki session as usual.

4. After the session make a note of your experience and your client's comments.

* After you practice a few times, you can start to offer the oils to your friends/family/clients on their hands, crown or wrists on step 3.

Enjoy! I hope this will help you to explore the wonderful world of aromatherapy.

Information gathered from:
Essential Oils Desk Reference (3rd Edition)
Foundation Level Training for Aromatherapy Industry by Katharine Graf

Thanks again, Michelle!

Now I'd like you all to turn your attention to your hara center, also known as your tanden. For those who don't recognize either term, it's an energy center about 2 inches below your navel. Breathe, relax, and feel the energy. While you're doing that, tune in to this week's podcast of The Reiki Show, featuring Tendai priest Jiryo Sensei, in a third-eye-opening discussion of form, formlessness, the use of kotodama (words carrying spirit), universal sound, and more with host Frans Stiene.

When you're finished listening (and meditating), we'll move on to this week's Celeb-Reiki: Prince Charles. While we still haven't found any direct, documented, published connection between His Royal Highness and Reiki per se, the heir to the British throne has long been an advocate of alternative and complementary medicine. This week, he made headlines by suggesting that McDonalds should be banned. The Prince of Wales made his much-quoted remark while visiting the United Arab Emirates, which has the world's second-highest diabetes rate.

Reiki Roundup

First stop, Battle Creek, Michigan, where Reiki Practitioner Peggy Bragdon got a nice writeup about her career change from shoe repair to natural healing.

Our second stop is also in Michigan, home of William Lee Rand and his Reiki News magazine. The monthly online edition for February is now available for perusal.

Next, Stockholm, Sweden, where 3 to 5 lucky people can get free Reiki sessions. If you're not in Sweden and you still want free Reiki, do a Google search on the words "free" and "Reiki" and the name of your city. Hundreds of practitioners offer free or inexpensive demonstration sessions, so you might find one in your area.

Finally, back into the blogosphere, where ReikiBlogger has a somewhat appalling, somewhat entertaining post about what NOT to do when practicing Reiki.


Shinpiden master class update: There is still one space remaining in the New York City Shinpiden workshop with Frans Stiene of the International House of Reiki, April 14-16. Click here for more information, or contact:

As you know, The Reiki Digest is a free, advertising-supported publication. This week, we welcome two new advertisers: Spirituality and Health Magazine, and Gaiam (one of my favorite places to shop!). You'll find their ads in the left-hand column, right under the ad for Dancing Light Candles. We also have a special video preview of the much-talked-about movie, The Secret, at the bottom of the page, thanks to Gaiam.

Wondering what happened to the printable PDF edition of The Reiki Digest? Don't worry, it's coming back soon, as a monthly publication.

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