Reiki For Dummies
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Reiki practitioners come in all ages, shapes, and sizes. You can even give Reiki to yourself if you have studied Reiki. Here are two types of Reiki practitioners you'll encounter:

  • A friend or family member who practices Reiki: You might find out about Reiki from a friend or relative who then extends an informal offer to give you a Reiki treatment in your home.
  • A professional Reiki practitioner: You generally pay for these services, which are provided in a specially designated location. Professionalism in Reiki is growing as more practitioners establish businesses where they provide Reiki.

The difference between a professional Reiki session and a freebie session from a friend is like the difference between a chef's meal cooked at home or cooked in his restaurant. Both are exquisite but are prepared in different environments.

A Reiki practitioner is a professional just like a massage therapist, chiropractor, or even a doctor. The Reiki practitioner has spent time learning his trade and polishing his skills. In the future, health insurers may cover Reiki services.

Locating a professional practitioner

If you're ready to try a private Reiki session, how can you find a good practitioner? You can find Reiki in a beauty salon, a chiropractor's office, a village hall, or a private office. Try these suggestions:

  • Get personal recommendations. Nothing beats a positive reference from someone who's actually been to a Reiki practitioner. Ask your friends and family and your health care practitioners, including massage therapists, chiropractors, and psychologists, if they can recommend a Reiki practitioner.
  • Go to your local Reiki circles that are open to the public. Individual Reiki practitioners or groups of Reiki practitioners may run regular Reiki circles or host special Reiki events in your neighborhood. These public events give you the opportunity to try out Reiki and ask about Reiki practitioners in your area. The sessions are usually shorter than the usual private session, and you may have more than one person working on you.
  • Look in your local newspaper. They may have ads or news stories about Reiki practitioners.
  • Call your local hospital. Some hospitals run Reiki programs or have Reiki practitioners on staff.

Interviewing your potential practitioner

After you have the names of some professional Reiki practitioners, you can contact them by phone or in person to see which one appears to best meet your needs. Ask them the following questions:

  • What level of Reiki are you? A professional Reiki practitioner should have studied 2nd-degree Reiki or beyond. Although people with 1st-degree Reiki training may treat family members or within the setting of a Reiki circle, they don't have the experience to treat professionally.
  • What healing systems do you use alongside Reiki, if any? Find out whether they use other systems of healing, such as reflexology or polarity therapy. Some massage therapists or other healers combine Reiki with other healing arts. Let the practitioner know if you want a combined session (which sometimes costs more) or want to receive only Reiki.
  • What do you see as the value of Reiki, especially for me? This question is important because it gives insight into the practitioner's view on how Reiki can help you. See whether the answer meshes with how you feel about receiving Reiki.
  • How many sessions do they think I will need? This answer gives you further insight into the practitioner's perspective on how Reiki works. Some practitioners recommend a series of appointments, especially for dealing with long-term illness or stress. Others take a more laid-back approach and leave it to you to decide.
  • How long have you have practiced Reiki? It helps if the practitioner has been working on her own healing with Reiki or another healing modality for at least a year if not decades! However, it's quality over quantity when it comes to practicing Reiki, as some people work on healing for years to get to the same place as another person can get in a year.

On a practical note, consider these questions for yourself:

  • Is the location of Reiki convenient for you? The closer to home, the easier it will be for you to get there.
  • Can you afford the price of the Reiki? You'll be more likely to repeat your Reiki experience if you can pay the fee. If the cost is too high, speak to the practitioner. Some Reiki professionals use a sliding fee scale.
  • Can the practitioner travel to your home or office? Some Reiki practitioners, like their massage therapist counterparts, take traveling Reiki tables and travel to a location of your choice. Doing so frequently involves a greater cost, as the price of the session includes travel expenditures. However, this service is useful if you are homebound.
  • Do you feel comfortable with this person? This is the most important thing. For you to be able to relax, you need to have some basic trust that the person knows what she is doing and treats you with respect.

Trust your gut (your intuition) when choosing a Reiki practitioner. If someone "feels" right to you, then she is, no matter what the answers to any questions might be. On the same note, if someone "feels" wrong, then that person isn't the right one for you, no matter how well recommended the person might be.

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