Treating both sides: is this necessary?
An unnecessary Reiki rule?
In many Reiki lineages, students are taught that they need to treat both sides of a client, asking them to turn over half-way through a treatment so that student can gain access to the client’s back. But is this really necessary?
Might the treatment be just as effective if we left them where they were?
I think that most Reiki people would accept that when we treat someone, the energy is drawn according to the recipient’s need to the right places for them on that occasion, to do whatever they need to have done on that occasion, so we aren’t ‘pushing’ the energy to where we want it to (or think it ought to) go.
We are a necessary bystander in the process: we need to be there for the healing to happen, but we have metaphorically stepped aside, created a ‘healing space’ for the client, and they do the healing that they need to do, in the way that they need to do it, experiencing whatever is appropriate for them to experience as this happens.
Could we just hold their hand for 60 minutes?
So, in theory, we could just hold someone’s hand for an hour and the energy would be drawn by them to the areas of need, and we’d need to do nothing further than that.
But given that when we work intuitively we can be drawn strongly to areas of need – ‘hotspots’ – and given that we can experience the flow of energy subsiding in those areas after a time, and given that when we work intuitively we can be guided to hold a series of hand positions, sometimes symmetrical, sometimes not, in a particular sequence, this suggests to me that there is value in allowing the energy to guide you (which is what I believe is happening when you work intuitively), and there is a value in placing your hands in different positions as you treat.
There is something special, I believe, in working in partnership with the energy and allowing it to guide you in terms of where you rest your hands, and for how long you hold each position.
So going through a series of hand positions, whether a set of ‘standard’ positions or intuitively-guided hand positions, helps to ‘fire’ the energy from lots of different directions, and it’s drawn into the areas that have the greatest need.
We don’t just treat the square inches underneath our palms
The energy doesn’t just go into a small area of the body underneath our hands when we treat: it moves through the body and you could imagine the energy travelling to chakras, through meridians, into the aura, into all the different aspects of the energy system, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, whether or not we ‘sent’ the energy there, because it’s being pulled by the recipient’s need.
Many of us will have experienced the situation where you’re treating one part of the body and the client comments that they can feel the heat, or coldness, or tingling or whatever in a different part of their body.
And because the energy will move from where we ‘put it’ to where it is needed, this suggests that we do not need to place our hands on every square inch of the body in order for a treatment to be successful, and I do not believe that it is necessary to specifically ‘treat’ the back in order for the energy to flow to the back of the body from wherever we place our hands.
Turning over routinely is so disruptive
On a practical note, disrupting the flow of a treatment so that the client has to wake up half way through, drag themselves half into the seated position and turn themselves over and get comfortable again, really does break the ‘spell’ that they are under and, since the relaxation that people experience when receiving Reiki is greatly beneficial, I wouldn’t want to wake them up and lessen the depth of their relaxation in this way routinely.
That’s not to say that I never treat people’s backs, of course.
No rules should be followed slavishly.
But I only do this when someone has a specific back problem and what I do is to start by treating the back for a while, and then turn them over into the ‘face-up’ treatment position, and carry on with majority of their treatment that way.
In fact, in my First Degree manual I provide a series of hand positions that you can use when treating backs. But I don’t recommend that you do that routinely because it’s not necessary.
Over to you
If you routinely turn people over half way through a treatment, why not try not doing this and see what happens?
And post a message below to let me know what happened and what feedback you received from your client.
Here’s lots of advice about giving treatments
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Author: Taggart King