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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Reiki add-ons

By Beth Lowell


Recently, I participated in an online discussion about using other healing methods as “add-ons” to Reiki. For the discussion’s sake, aromatherapy was used as an example. Because of the rapid fire nature of online conversations and the speed with which we multitask, time for thorough contemplation isn’t always an option.

During this particular conversation, I offered the comment that I personally would not combine aromatherapy with Reiki, but I wasn’t sure why.

After the discussion had ended, I came to this conclusion: Reiki, by its very nature, addresses the recipient, rather than a symptom. The use of essential oils in aromatherapy is largely to target specific conditions. This doesn’t mean that aromatherapy and Reiki can’t be used together, but I think the question becomes, what’s the add-on – Reiki, or aromatherapy?

For myself, I think if Reiki were the primary modality, using another method that treats a symptom might cause me to develop an expectation for an outcome. Perhaps just putting an essential oil that promotes relaxation, like lavender, on one’s hands before a Reiki treatment is not the same as applying an oil to treat a specific condition, but a Reiki treatment is so relaxing, I’m not sure it needs help. On the other hand, if I choose to use aromatherapy to address a condition first, then Reiki becomes a wonderful way to support that method.

The distinction is important for those who offer more than one service to clients, and reinforces the importance of clarifying to clients what the difference in purpose and intention for using each method is. Often clients who know nothing about Reiki are referred to me, so it’s important to help them understand what it is that Reiki can do to help them or their animals as opposed to a different method, for instance, massage. And while I can certainly use Reiki to support massage, I would obviously never incorporate massage into a Reiki treatment.

I don’t think it’s a question of right or wrong when it comes to using multiple healing methods at the same time, but I think being clear in one’s practice, and explaining the details to clients is important so that they can understand the implications of each and make informed decisions about the care that they choose to receive for themselves and their animals, as well as explain it to others. After all, how can they give you a good recommendation if they can’t really explain what it is that you do?

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