I find it interesting explaining reiki to clients. Some clients have done their own research already (or have had treatments in the past). Some clients don’t really care to know exactly what reiki is: they are just open to trying it and finding out through experience what it means to them. Some clients hear about it from others.
I think the majority of my clients get their ideas of what reiki is by comparing it to other practices or what they’ve heard. So, because some practitioners combine reiki with massage, some call up for reiki massages. Some practitioners use crystals so I’m asked whether reiki is about crystals. And lots of clients (as I’ve written in other blogs) hope for some sort of clairvoyant ability to diagnose a problem and tell them something interesting or what they hope will be useful about them.
I try to gauge the interest of a client and I usually describe a reiki treatment as tapping into and looking for the same healing energy and space that we find in meditation, yoga and other practices, and when the brain is operating at that frequency, it feels good. It heals. In the quiet, present moment, it is different from worrying about the future or past. And the way the mind is connected with the body, clients often (but not always) feel energy and effects throughout their body, as well as usually feeling a deep sense of relaxation.
Bronwen Logan from the International House of Reiki recently wrote a blog post about how she describes reiki to clients: as ‘sharing’. I’d encourage you to read the whole post, since it’s really great and a nice perspective on what a reiki treatment is.
What I’d highlight are her words here:
In non-Reiki terms, you can also see that when we give a gift, for example, we also receive happy endorphins that support our wellbeing. At the same time the other person receives the gift, and they also give their thanks with their endorphins flying high too. So, giving and receiving exist in this same space, they share the space together with neither one dominating or standing out, just being. If you see it this way, then there is neither giving nor receiving, just sharing. And in the sharing space we can let go and just be together without fear or judgement or worry; a true healing space.
It’s such a beautiful, simple description, and I’m not sure all my clients will accept that reiki is or can be as simple as this. Some will hope there is a greater level of expertise or technicality. That I am doing something instead of just trying to be. But if you can accept the simplicity of the concept, that a reiki treatment is a shared experience between client and practitioner, and that simply being in a quiet, present place is healing, I think it is profound.
It also reminds me of another description I read, from a practitioner who was asked what she is doing to a client during a treatment. She said (I’m paraphrasing here, as I don’t remember the exact words) that she was not doing anything but simply loving her client, being there to love.