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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Help! My Reiki isn't working!

By Beth Lowell
Contributing Editor

"Is it possible for a person not to be able to do Reiki?", "Sometimes, I just feel like my Reiki isn't working!" and "I don't feel anything in my hands, and my dog doesn't appear to care one way or the other when I give her a Reiki treatment." are a few things I've heard - from students, from practitioners new to Reiki, and from those who learned Reiki a long time ago and are picking up practice again.

Recently I consulted a homeopath and when the subject of Reiki came up, she mentioned that she had taken a course in the past. She confessed she didn't get it. She'd felt nothing, and like somewhat of a fraud when practicing. She quit and dismissed Reiki. (When I delved into it a little deeper, I was pleased and relieved to see the “aha” moment in her eyes as she exclaimed, "Oh! I get it now, it's a spiritual practice!") But mostly I find that people don't "get it" in a way that builds their confidence so easily.

When I talk to people who feel unsure, I remind them of the precepts. But not worrying, working diligently, and having compassion for one's self sometimes are not enough to bolster confidence in those who simply don't feel a physical sensation. I remind them, as my teachers reminded me, to let go of expectations, remembering all the while how disappointed I was when my unevetful level two attunement felt pale in comparison to my first one, which came complete with colors and visions ---despite my concentrated efforts to prepare myself for such an occurrence. Practice and time build confidence, I tell them, knowing all too well how little these words might mean to someone looking for something more concrete.

I never hesitate to pass on resources I think might help answer any Reiki question, and they often include articles by Reiki practitioners published right here in the Reiki Digest. So this week, I'm asking Reiki practitioners of all levels to share your advice for those looking to build confidence in their Reiki practice…this could be as simple as relating pearls of wisdom that someone else shared with you, describing a helpful exercise that you've recommended to others, telling your personal story, posting a link to a useful article, or just offering a word of encouragement. Please use the comments box below to post your reply. If you are new to Reiki and need help, feel free to post your question here as well.


Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Beth, I am looking forward to reading several of your articles (in The Reiki Roundup), but the links don't work in Firefox for Mac. Please advise.


5:50 PM  
Blogger Jeffrey Hotchkiss said...

This is a very important topic, at any level of Reiki, but especially for new students. There are a number of reassurances and good practices.

One of the best: ask the person you treat, how it felt. Then compare their feedback to your subjective experience. Notice the feelings; attention makes a difference.

Consider that the feeling of doing Reiki changes, as you keep practicing. What's dramatic at the beginning becomes more balanced as you practice.

Self-treatment: the more you self-treat, the stronger others' experience of your Reiki. Also, your feelings in your hands and body as you practice self-treatment over time, become smoother and more balanced; less dramatic.

Hot hands can cool, as they become more effective. You may feel less "heat", your clients may feel more. This is a common cause of fear of Reiki not working, when one's hands cool down. I noticed my teacher's hands felt cooler, more peaceful, than mine when I started.

Reiki shares are a great way to build confidence. Compare notes with other practitioners, get feedback in a supportive environment. If you can't find a share in your community, organize one yourself. Odds are good there are many Reiki people around.

These are a few things to consider. Again, self-treatment -- it's the one thing you can do at any time, for practice, AND you are doing self-healing.

Just a few things, hope they help!

- Jeffrey Hotchkiss
EldersBloom - elders heal with Reiki

8:10 PM  
Anonymous Carol said...

The only time Reiki doesn't work is when I use it for myself. I have acid reflux and peripheral neuropathy and neither condition has been aided with Reiki. When I use Reiki on others, either distance or hands on, it is wonderful and has helped many but for me, nada, zip, zilch, zero. I think it could be that I may have a hang-up about helping others before me, or maybe I feel I am not worthy of help. Those are difficult feelings to get past.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Kumari said...

What a great topic--some of my students have such a strong experience in the beginning, like lots of heat for several weeks, then it begins to dissipate and they think they're not doing Reiki anymore. This happened to me in first lots of light shows and visions, then it got much more quiet, and i missed the light shows. Made me feel like i wasn't getting it right. Therein lies the catch. When we apply an outer expectation to an inner experience, we are attached to the past and not in the present with what is. Hawayo Takata had a great way of keeping it very simple--she would say when you applied your hands "Reiki on" and removing hands "Reiki off". While the sensation is lovely, it is not necessary for Reiki to be flowing, or "on". I often think some initially get stronger experiences when first coming into contact with a new or higher vibration or state of being, as the change in awareness and frequency is quite marked. But as we go along, and become more familiar with the higher frequency, we actually are not as aware of the distinctions, as we are feeling more natural in the newer place. It can feel like nothing is happening, however, what may be truer is that we are operating from a different plane altogether. ANd the other expereince, of not feeling anything, can be cured by more practice, as sometimes we need to develop thte subtler senses, and the ability to "feel" these sublter sensations are not as refined. TO those practitioners, i would say keep going, keep practicing. My mother was one who could never feel anything when i gave her Reiki. Then one day, she had burning sciatic pain, and she felt the Reiki heating up her leg and finally a healing warmth. But this took almost 10 years of not feeling anything. It is also advisable to get Reiki treatments for yourself as part of your practice. This too can really help to gain confidence as you receive for yourself the full range of personal Reiki experience.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reiki is always working. It may not be manifest, visible, tangible, perfumed, or felt but it is there, at work, at cellular, emotional and aura level. All the time. Most often it is the mind, the thoughts,the filters, and many other optional accessories that some like to add to their life that blocks the awareness of how pure life energy is blending with one's life. Moreover, in a civilisation where intution has been relegated to a 'para-normal' state rather than bein accepted and utilised as a guide for action, people tend to thin in rational terms and base their action in left-thinking patterns. In these circumstances, Reiki will not seem to be working and even more some will go to the conclusion it is jus tnot working. It is fluffy , mumbojumbo and placebo effect.

What is also possible is that it may not seem apparent for some person that Reiki is actually 'something' Expectations about results, about feelings or emotions are very high in this category of persons. I did Reiki on this" and " this did not happen" this means " it does not work" Expectations such as this are not applicable with Reiki.

One experience is that once a person get a Reiki treatment once, Reiki is at work at the most micro level cellular level and it may take many years before that same person gets in touch again with Reiki. There are synchornicities at work with Reiki. The timing is always appropriate. THe mind must get out of the way.

Love and gratitude

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Kiki said...

I always learn from others' examples and experiences (and am grateful they take the time to share), so here are a couple of mine...

The Reiki energy seemed to be "taking" with one woman (who did not have a specific complaint), but when she sat up, she said, "I didn't feel anything." "That's fine," I told her. "But do stay aware of how you feel on all levels for the next few days." The next day, she called me, very excited, to report that she'd just run into a person who "could always push her buttons." She had felt calm and had not been engaged by the other person, who had gotten more and more agitated as the normal scenario failed to develop. She said that since she had never been able to avoid getting riled up by the other person before, she felt sure the Reiki had helped.

In a second case, a woman told me she had suffered from plantar fasciitis for several years. As we talked, I could see the benefit she got from the problem--things she didn't want to do (and felt guilty about avoiding), but now she "couldn't" do them because of the pain. She accepted Reiki energy well all over her body, with all my normal "heat indicators" (where needed, and when we got to "enough"). But when I got to her feet, they seemed totally resistant. So I "spoke" to them (in my head): "You don't have to accept the energy; that's fine. But maybe you'd like to store it up and have it available for later, in case you do want it then. I'll just offer it, and you do as you like." They still seemed cold when I felt "enough" after about 10 minutes. When she opened her eyes, she said her feet felt better than they had in years. She said at first she'd felt nothing, but then, "when you started using that heating pad, it really helped." She wanted to get a heating pad like it that could produce so much heat, to use at home.

When I feel that I want to "cure" something, I sense that my ego-desire helps inhibit the freest flow of the Reiki. But I also accept that, just as my guides have allowed me to "resist" their help when I've been stubborn, those on my Reiki table are allowed to resist, too, and that's fine. (Asking that "only those who are ready to change and whom I can help will show up there" is also helpful!)


9:19 AM  
Blogger Beth Lowell said...

My apologies for broken links - they're fixed now!

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great topic! Reading through the comments it is so interesting the variety of opinions and suggestions. For me I have found that my Reiki sensations appears stronger as I have continued to practice over the years, my 'heaty' hands have never become more quiet or balanced though it always delights me to get the feedback from others - for other poeple my hands can feel everything from hot, cold, gentle, buzzing, tingling, sharp pins and needles to nothing at all yet to me my Reiki pretty much feels hot and prickly all the time!

when I get asked this question my usual recommendations are:
1. Join a Reiki Share group in your area and go regularly to the groups - there is nothing like a group treatment to get your hands buzzing! I have yet to have someone NOT feel their Reiki during a group treatment session.

2. Believe you have it - this may sound strange but our own belief system can block your sensations completely. Again if you believe in yourself and trust you have Reiki, its surprising what can happen to your awareness.

3. Trust the feedback of others - this has been mentioned already, but I re-emphasise it. Everyone has different sensitivity to energy in much the same way that everyone has different eyesight, and if you simply don't have 20-20 energy sensitivity then you will be hard pushed to ever feel anything - my mum (also a reiki master) is one such person but she gets such amazing results that she has stopped worrying about it and simply trusts that her Reiki energy is powerful, and working perfectly.

In love and light, Elaine.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Andi said...

For me, I find that my feelings come and go. Sometimes everything feels so strong, I can tell where to put my hands longer or when to move on. And other times I just can't feel a thing.

When I get like that, I simply go through my routine and trust that I'll eventually feel it - or not - and that it will do what it needs to. 9 times out of 10, by the end of the session I'll begin to feel the energy again. And even when I don't, my family and friends usually can tell me they felt it.

But even when there's nothing for me to feel, I always trust that it's doing its work. And I find a certain sense of comfort knowing that....

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is interesting. In the last three months I have had 3 different Reiki students who have experienced what I would call a drought. One, initially, could not feel the energy and drubbed herself wondering what was "wrong" with her. Another had such a powerful experience post Reiki I and II attunements then could not feel anything after doing almost non-stop self Reiki. A third student said that others who had received Reiki from her previously now could not feel it. My responses were that the sensation varies and builds, everyone's sensory capacity is unique. However, changing the first one's focus from "am I doing this right?" to repeating the 5 precepts when she did Self-Reiki allowed her to step out of expectation. Now she's feeling more. The second had become full of worry, fidgeting about quality of Reiki-staying in her head. Patience was the advice- just for today do not worry. Approaching Reiki is not a linear process. She relaxed, the sensations came back. The third person is someone who is very comfortable traveling in higher realms at night. She wasn't fully inhabiting her body. So in one Reiki session she fully came back into her physical body and almost instantaneously, her sensory capacities - feeling the energy was back. So while, in general, the message is to be patient with this spiritual practice and with yourself, there are some things the teacher can do to assist the student to fully claim and feel.Gentle guidance via Reiki soothes us and allows the sensory experience of Reiki to flow.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thought I'd add my own observations and experiences, here.

I, too, became dismayed when the flow of Reiki was no longer as prominent as when I was first attuned. However, an excellent practitioner told me: "Your body is simply raising to the vibration that Reiki is healing at." Kind of like getting used to the temperature of a cool swimming pool after being in for a few minutes. Just because it isn't really strong doesn't mean it's not there.

Once, I worked on a patient very quietly and just focused on being a good practitioner because I felt very subtle with the flow. Quietly, I asked how she was doing and if she was experiencing anything. Her surprising reply was: "OH YES! This is amazing! I feel wonderful! and I see all kinds of swirls and lights, like the aurora!" So, with that it was confirmed to me that yes, I was doing just fine.

There are only two real instances I can think of where it just won't work at all. The first being when a practitioner tries to force Reiki to do healing - the flow will just minimize. I always had the impression that Reiki had a conscious and always knew what was needed. In fact, most of my best healing sessions were when I simply said: "Let's give him/her exactly what he/she needs," and they are usually the most powerful.

The second always amazed me: when Reiki becomes strictly about money. Countless times, I've seen practitioners focus solely on making cash rather than actual healing/teaching and their business always seemed to fail. One example: a New Age shop in Chicago, open for years, decided to corner their market on Reiki. Whereas they had multiple teachers at one point, they narrowed it down to one, and she was pretty expensive. Surprisingly, the shop folded and I couldn't help but wonder if that had something to do with it.

Intention, in my opinion, is the best way to ensure Reiki will always be working for a practitioner.

12:55 AM  
Blogger Tezorian said...

Does anyone know how to solve this problem i'm having. Not much of a problem actually, but it's rather uncomfortable. Everytime i practice Reiki, i feel as if my head is blowing up. The same feeling you get when you hold your breath and push really hard. Plus usually an intense tingling sensation on my entire head. Or if you will a hyperventalation sensation, but only in my head. Any advice or excercise is appreciated.

5:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes. keep giving reiki to your head and pass through that tingling sensation.. do not give up.... other advice is... ask you hands to stay up on your head until necessary be it 30 minutes...

Love & laughter

9:36 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hello!! I am taking a home study course and my distant attunement was done early morning today. I reached this lovely space because I was searching for other people's experience with Reiki Attunement. Because I felt absolutely nothing. No tingling, no colors, no warmth..nothing. I was quite disappointed really. I wish there was some way of knowing it worked.

3:34 AM  

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