Herts/Bedfordshire Reiki Testimonials: Cathy Birkinhead

reiki course bedfordshireAt Reiki Evolution we routinely ask our students to let us have their feedback about the training and support that they receive. We have set ourselves high standards and want to make sure that our students are happy with their training, and soliciting feedback is a good way of making sure that we are on track.

Below you can read testimonials from people who have attended Cathy Birkinhead’s Reiki Evolution Reiki training courses in Berkhamsted, Herts/Bedfordshire.



“Cathy has a very gentle approach, she listens well and communicates clearly. She gives clear direction and expectation of you. You feel very comfortable, relaxed and open to learning.

She has a great way of engaging with you. I would highly recommend her to anyone at any level”

Jane Gibbs, Dartford


“Cathy is a truly inspiring healer. She is organized and meticulous as well as patient and nurturing. I would consider her course of the highest standard and outlined in a way I can truly apply in my everyday life. My course with Cathy was life changing and gave me a better understanding of Reiki and a more intuitive knowing of my true healing potential. Cathy has such a professional approach to her course that I feel I gained every essential element to become a practitioner myself. I would recommend Cathy to anyone wishing to understand more about the sacred power of Reiki.”

Alan Morley, Wimbledon


“I loved my Reiki training with Catherine Birkinhead. I found her to be really kind and patient and made me feel at ease straight away and I could tell she knew her stuff. The course materials with Reiki Evolution were really easy to understand and grasp, and the Cd that came with the book was really fantastic as it basically goes over what you have read. The course fulfilled my expectations and I really enjoyed everything about it. The practicing on each other, sending energy, the meditations…..all in all a great experience and I would love to do it again.”

Maria Landolina, Putney


“Having known Cathy for some time now, I find her kind, caring, understanding and most efficient in her teachings of Reiki. I myself worked under her for the Reiki Master 3rd degree. The teaching of Reiki seems to be the way forward for Cathy so I wish her well in all she attempts in the future”

Jeannette Hill, Croydon


“Having previously known very little about Reiki, it was after a lovely treatment with Cathy that I became interested in this form of therapy and decided to further my knowledge with Level 1, and later, Level 2. Cathy provided me with course information and pre-reading material in advance, and the content of the course was thorough. Clearly presented and we had plenty of chance to practice what we had learnt.

Cathy was a patient and enthusiastic teacher and clearly enjoyed sharing her years of knowledge with us. It was a pleasure learning from someone so passionate about what they are teaching and I highly recommend Cathy to anyone wishing to embark on their own Reiki journey :0)”

Karina Cox, Putney


“I’d had a Reiki treatment a few years before doing the course but did not know too much about it, although I was very drawn to Reiki. From the first contact Cathy was very professional and made me feel I was making the right choice in course and teacher.

The pre-course work book was really interesting and it helped loads. I was able to learn the history of Reiki and get a good basic understanding of Reiki and the techniques before doing the course. I really liked the CD: I listened to it five or six times before attending the course. I don’t always find it easy to take everything in when reading, so listening to the CD along with reading really worked. I was able to also listen to it on my journey to work. Some of it did not entirely make sense but it all came clear when doing the course.

Having the agenda for the day before attending also helped to know what to expect. The course met all my expectations. Cathy is a fabulous teacher. The day felt very relaxed and went by quickly even though we covered so much. We went through techniques, felt energies and were able to give and receive treatments. I left feeling extremely relaxed and at peace, inspired and really connected.

It was a wonderful course and I would fully recommend it.”

Cathy Pressland, Dunstable, May 2011


”I was really pleased with the course content, it was very easy to follow so I had a good grounding when I attended the day course. The course more than met my expectations I really enjoyed the day and it was nice to learn in a small group, it was a nice relaxing atmosphere. The course materials were good and easy to follow. I liked the fact you had the back-up of a CD rather than just having to read the manual.

The live training was very good, Cathy my teacher was a very welcoming host and made me feel very relaxed about the day ahead and discussed what we would be covering over the day. I enjoyed the day as I felt I was able to ask questions and felt at ease with carrying out Reiki with the group. Cathy is extremely knowledgeable and I have booked my Reiki Level 2 and will be attending the regular Reki share. I think the Reiki shares are an excellent idea, especially if you do not have the opportunity to discuss Reki with other like minded people.

I think the way the course materials are set out are great and the day course was perfect so do not have any recommendations for improvement.”

Zoe Thorne, Bedfordshire, August 2012


”I thought the course content was spot on and yes the course definitely met my expectations. The CD and manual are very good as I use the CD every night and I keep going back to the manual which is very helpful and an invaluable part as you have both for reference.

I think Cathy is a lovely lady very welcoming and friendly and easy to get on with. She made you feel very relaxed and comfortable in whatever you said. I think the home study before the live course a much better approach as I felt confident in what I had learnt at home so made the day more enjoyable as I wasn’t trying to do things for the first time. I’m now looking forward to my journey with Reiki and exploring deeper.”

Clare Fogarty, Buckinghamshire, August 2012


“Having just passed my 2nd degree I found this equally as good as the first if not better. The course content was spot on not to much but enough to manage and take in fully. I think the idea of manuals and CDs to work with before the course is a great idea as I wouldn’t have got to grips with the symbols on the day as the distant healing symbol is quite difficult when first looking at it. Over time and breaking it down it becomes easy but not possible to learn in one day. Cathy is a great teacher, she is warm and welcoming and very informative I learnt more than expected, I was introduced to crystals and sound of the symbols which was an unexpected bonus.

I thoroughly enjoyed my day. Cathy has given me lots of advice and is always at hand when I have questions so the ongoing support is good too. I’m not sure if I can comment on what to improve as I have never worked with anyone else regarding Reiki but I would say that I wouldn’t look anywhere else as I am more than happy with the way the courses are run from start to finish. I would and have recommended Reiki Evolution to anyone that is interested in going down this path.”

Clare Fogarty, Buckinghamshire, October 2012


”The course content was EXACTLY what I was looking for, very detailed and easily explained. The course totally met my expectations.

The course materials were of a good standard and Cathy was lovely, very welcoming and warm. She was also professional in her approach and I was very comfortable and confident in her ability to teach.

Except for one day, I have been practicing Hatsurei and self healing meditations every day. I’ve managed one seated treatment, received my first Reiju empowerment from you yesterday (amazing blast of light!) and have already noticed the difference with the energy.

I will definitely recommend Reiki Evolution to anyone who is interested and I look forward to my future involvement with you all.”

Marina Martin, Hertfordshire, December 2012


”Yes of course I would be happy to give feedback on my recent Master Teaching Course with Cathy Birkinhead. The course more than met my expectations. I think this was largely due to the fact that the pre-course materials are extensive, informative, and provide a variety of learning opportunities.

Also Cathy provided a very welcoming atmosphere which made me feel at ease and enabled me to feel open to ask any questions and share experiences freely. Cathy gave time for questions/discussions and I never felt rushed/hurried.

Carrying out truly intuitive treatments on each other really opened my eyes to what is possible using intent and intuition!! Loved it- this is definitely my preferred way if working!! I feel the course has really deepened my connection to Reiki and opened up my intuition further. I am excited to empower friends and family to the Reiki source and have some clients already interested to partake in a Reiki 1 course when I am ready!!! All good:) !! So thank you to you also for all your efforts and for bringing Reiki Evolution into being!!”

Maxine Rees, Hertfordshire, February 2013


“I would like to say that the Reiki 1st Shoden Course was a superb choice right from the start when I asked if our group could study together. Our teacher Cathy Birkenstead and yourself were very accommodating in agreeing to teach us as a group.I was thrilled that I had chosen well and the group commented from the very beginning what a good choice reiki-evolution and Cathy were.

To receive the course manual and cd’s well ahead of time was genius thinking, it meant for us as a group who meet weekly, that we could bring the reiki meditations in alongside our own meditations. I found studying the manual daily whilst listening to the cd at the same time really helpful and I was able to absorb the information quickly.

The content of the manual and cd’s is very, very, good it has a good balance of history of our founder Mikao Usiu Sensai and Reiki, the two different routes that it took and the back story of Japan with the developing disciplines that paralleled Reiki. Along with the all important diagrams and instruction which I found easy to follow, I went from understanding just a little about Reiki to really acquiring a good underpinning knowledge which made the day spent with Cathy so much more enjoyable.

The day spent with Cathy our teacher couldn’t have been surpassed right from the most beautiful venue she’d chosen for us, to the care taken by Cathy and Maxine to ensure that we were all looked after. Cathy has a lovely style of teaching she was able to put us all at ease very quickly and this went a long way to giving us a memorable day of learning to share Reiki. Maxine too was a lovely teacher and it was really kind of her to help. Cathy couldn’t be faulted she was very knowledgeable and made everything so easy to understand whilst being very helpful with our questions.Nothing could have been improved on our day with Cathy and Maxine it was just perfect !

I can’t think of anything that could be improved on,on this course everything has been superbly thought out and works very well, in fact I would like to add the whole package is perfect. I would happily recommend this course to anyone who is looking for the ‘real thing’ and I have already recommended to my own clients who knew I was attending the course and asked me how I got on.

I look forward, as do the rest of the group, to Reiki 2 later in the year.

I will remember this special day for always.”

Anne Stokes, Buckinghamshire, April 2013


“I had the most amazing day with Cathy, she’s an amazing teacher, thoughtful, considerate, catering to the person individually.
I wish I could say my 28 day ‘clean up’ has been a breeze BUT it’s been a difficult time for me. However, I’m coming to the end of the cycle and I’m starting to feel better!

Reiki isn’t something I initially intend to ‘practice’ on the public, it’s more a personal journey for me but I’m definitely planning on doing my Master Course hopefully next year.”

Marina Martin, Hertfordshire, July 2013


“When I finished my Reki level 1 I was thinking that not much more new stuff will be included in Reiki level 2. I was wrong! I loved Reiki 2 and everything was very interesting. I have met one my friend who was studying Reiki 1 and 2 with different courses and when we compared the course content I was grateful that I am with Reiki Evolution. My friend is thinking now to book some other Reiki course with Reiki Evolution.

The course met all my expectations and even more. I enjoyed every minute of the course and I am very confident now to practise Reiki with other people. I absolutely love Reiki and the way how your programme is prepared is brilliant!

I like an idea to receive all materials earlier. It gave me a chance to gain more information before the practical exercises. As I know, some other courses are giving materials after the course and some masters are just reading information during the training instead of practising exercises. Materials are very interesting, clear and CDs are fantastic.

I have no words to describe my teacher, Cathy Birkinhead is amazing! I feel lucky that I met her, I feel lucky she is my master and I feel lucky to have now with Cathy our Reiki-shares. She is very professional, she has a lot of experience and her personality “wants you” to learn more.

I hope my comments are clear and again I want to say thank you for fantastic Reiki course.”

Joanna Botcherby, Bedfordshire, August 2013


What did you think of the course content?
“Excellent, very detailed, lots of background, and information about the cross over between reiki and other schools of thought.

Did the course meet your expectations?
Yes, and exceeded them.

What did you think of the course materials (manual and CDs)?
From a purely practical point of view, very professionally done with a high quality finish. The CDs particularly are excellent. From a content point of view, they are detailed yet clear. The meditations CD is just fantastic.

What are your comments about the live training, and your teacher, or the home study approach?
Cathy was absolutely superb. Friendly, professional, warm and clearly knew her stuff backwards. The home study materials were clear and concise – the table showing ‘listen to this, the read this, then do this’ was particularly helpful.”

Stella Blockley, Bedfordshire, December 2013


“As before when I was doing all my courses with Reiki Evolution, the last one, Master Reiki level was absolutely fantastic! I love everything about it and I will say again, I love Reiki!

Please see below my answers to your questions:

What did you think of the course content? To me it was the most interesting part of all courses.
Did the course meet your expectations? Definitely, even more than I expected. I just love it!
What did you think of the course materials (manual and CDs)? All materials are great and very useful. I am sure I will be going back to them in the future. I would recommend all of them.
What are your comments about the live training, and your teacher? I believe that all Reiki people are lovely, at least I would expect so. Buy saying this I want to add that I am extremely lucky I have met Cathy and I am sure that her person had huge influence on me and my decision to continue Reiki training. I wouldn’t change anything what she did. She is an inspiration to me…Adding to this great materials and having a chance to go through them at home at any time, I can only assume that this is exactly what I need.

Joanna Botcherby, Bedfordshire, January 2014


“Thank you for the opportunity to join the course with Cathy. Three years ago, I have been in NZ and received a Reiki treatment. I did feel uplifted and more creative afterwards. Therefore, I felt quite a while that I want to get to know more about Reiki. Finally, I found your website and decided to join the course with Cathy. The course material has been sent quickly so I had some time to liaise with it. I enjoyed to read in the Manual and listened to the CDs a few times. The Manual is well structured and provides a fundamental introduction for the live course. Cathy has a very caring and gentle approach. Feeling the energy, to give and to receive treatments, this has been a fabulous experience for me. Especially the feedback afterwards has built up confidence and the desire to explore. I do realise that things are already changing within myself. I am more calm and peaceful inside, also find it easier to focus on things.

I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to get to know about Reiki. I am very grateful that I met Cathy who really inspired me.”

Doreen Winkler, Cambridgeshire, April 2014


“I have to say that I spent one of the most enjoyable days ever at Cathy’s house.  She could not have made me more welcome.  The day ran extremely smoothly and both taught and treated the subject of Reiki with patience and a gentle humour which was lovely.

The other lady Chrissy was fantastic, it was good to have two people to speak with and to be able to learn from.

I have to confess that I did read some of the book (but not as much as I should of, sorry had a bit of a manic time at work just before the course).  I really enjoy the CD’s and do my exercises every day to the CD.  You have a very soothing voice.

I don’t think there is anything I could say I would change. I had a beautiful Reiki learning experience thanks to a very professional teacher.”

Laura Shaw, Bedfordshire, September 2014


“The course content was brilliant, very easy to follow and understand.  It made even more sense once I had completed the day course and put everything into practice.

I did find the course day mind blowing!!   I am so glad I chose to do the live training and not the home study training as I learnt so much from being hands on and being able to ask questions on the day to help me understood everything (using symbols in particular) that we were being taught on the day.

I was also glad to be able to receive my empowerments in person as the visions and feelings I had whilst receiving them were amazing and will stay with me forever.

Catherine Birkenhead is a beautiful person inside and out.  She makes you feel really welcome and relaxed.  She is very easy to talk to and get along with. She is a greay teacher and explains everything in detail.  When I met Catherine for the first time, it was like meeting up with a long lost friend.  I really connected with her.

As already mentioned, the course work is very self explanatory and easy to understand.  The CD’s are brilliant as I downloaded them onto my ipod so I can now listen to them whenever and wherever I need to.  I particularly like to listen them when I am on long walks with my dogs.

I have enjoyed the Reiki course so much that I have now booked myself onto the Foundation Animal reiki course and Animal Reiki Advanced Practitioner Course.  I then hope to go on and do the Equine Reiki courses.

I personally can’t see how you can improve on the course work as everything you need to know and learn is already there.”

Cathy Klar, Buckinghamshire, March 2015

“I thought my course was wonderful last Sunday.  It was a lot to take in during the day and I may have seemed a little tired at the end, but it was a wonderful experience.Catherine was a wonderful teacher and it was lovely meeting her in her home.  She made me feel very settled, put me at ease and answered all my questions.
It was a fabulous experience being welcomed to Shoden Reiki.
The course content was great.  I loved the pre-reading, but learnt mostly from the CD, which I could play on my journey to and from work.  It suited my learning style better.
I like the fact that this method is closer to the original Japanese version of Reiki.  That appealed to me a lot.
With Catherine’s guidance I was walked through sitting and table top treatments and the self treatment and meditations.  This was good to practice what I learnt in the manual.
It would be good to have a greater chance to practice, but that is what the shares are about, so I look forward to joining them.
The content was great and I don’t know how I could improve upon the course.  It more than met my expectations.
Christine Cary, Hertfordshire, November 2015

“My course with Catherine was amazing. She is very thorough and explains everything very well.  I found het warm and welcoming and came away very empowered with a lot mote knowledge I would certainly recommend her.”

Bernadette Hogan, Bedfordshire, November 2015

What did you think of the course content? Excellent
Did the course meet your expectations? Surpassed them
What did you think of the course materials (manual and CDs)? very well written and informative
What are your comments about the live training, and your teacher? it was such a brilliant. Cathy was knowledgeable and friendly. The group was fantastic and I learned a lot that day.
How do you think the course could be improved? Can’t think of anything.”
Kathryn White, Hertfordshire, December 2015
“The course content was excellent, and met my expectations as I have followed Taggart for quite some time, having the course manual and Cd’s prior to the live training gave me the confidence to go on the training, as I felt quite knowledgable about what I had learned, I found the manual very informative and been able to listen to the cds at my own pace ‘What an excellent way for me to let all the information sink in’
My live training with Cathy Birkinhead was a wonderful informative experience, her knowledge and her wonderful teaching was truly inspirational.
The amount she covered was excellent. I found her a very caring and knowledgable teacher, there was no such thing as a silly question, I learnt so much from her . What an amazing teacher!!!
I can’t really imagine the course could be improved as I found the whole experience wonderful. Having trained through a different lineage, I felt that I was missing something!! And having the opportunity to study this course through Taggart and then my live training with Cathy Birkinhead, I learned a whole new perspective on Reiki, I throughly enjoyed the way each chapter flowed beautifully into the next, having the manual and cd’s prior was excellent, I feel we all absorb information at a different pace and this way was perfect for me.
When I went on the live training I felt a lot more confident as I had learned so much through the manual and cd’s, I could just relax and enjoy the live training, I felt privileged to have been a part of the whole experience, I couldn’t fault any part of it! Cathy Birkinhead is a wonderful teacher, I couldn’t sing her praises enough!! Thank you all so much.”
Michelle Jackman, Bedfordshire, November 2017


“The course content was great it fully met my expectations. The course manual and CD really suited my style of learning and had all the information (and more) I needed for my live training.

I really enjoyed my live training with Cathy.

Her home has such relaxing energy and she is so inspirational. She has a great teaching style. Cathy has lots of knowledge which she easily shared.”

Alison Harbron, Bedfordshire, June 2018

“Re my first degree course I wanted to say that the course content  definitely met my expectations.

I asked you for the manual & CDs to be sent to me due to a problem with my laptop. They are not only a lovely physical reminder of my course but a wonderful reference for me to use when I want to look something up or re the meditation cd that is so soothing. There was just enough content sent to me to prepare for the live training

The live training was exceptional. Cathy was everything I wanted her to be. I was a bit nervous on the way there but I went home feeling so relaxed & all evening went over the days events. The first empowerment I received affected me deeply. I felt so sick & tears poured down my face! I think this was supposed to happen because from that point onwards I just felt so good. Cathy is a truly lovely person & I feel privileged to have had her as my teacher.

I believe the live training & home study pack complemented each other beautifully. Bearing in mind a lot of us have other jobs the course content was just about right. I actually wouldn’t change a thing.”

Shirley Pettit, Bedfordshire, October 2018

“I thoroughly enjoyed my Level 2 course with Catherine! She is so welcoming and meeting with her on a 1:1 basis at her home felt very personal to me, I was honoured.

Catherine took the time to go through the course material with me and explained everything in detail, she answered all questions that I had throughout the say in a very non-judgemental way, which helped put certain questions I had into perspective. Putting everything I had learnt into practise at the end of the day was awesome! Catherine has a very calm demeanour and this helps you to feel more confident and relaxed. She’s was accepting and patient. I wouldn’t have wanted to do my Level 2 with anyone else!”

Deborah MacInnes, Hertfordshire, February 2019

“I have just attended Catherine Birkinhead’s Reiki 1 course. It was amazing!! I really like the way we had the materials sent to us so far in advance of the hands- on training day. Was useful to have time to think and absorb which left the day freer to actually experience and practise reiki.

The venue was beautiful and very relaxing. It was in a converted barn with underfloor heating, gorgeous gardens and good facilities ie kitchen, loo, parking etc.

Catherine was a really excellent teacher. We had plenty of time to relax, chat, ask questions and plenty of ” doing”. I was actually concerned before the course that I would not be able to experience or channel the reiki energy ( I am a sceptical person) but I was astonished. I could feel energy through my fingers and also when I was being practised on. My forehead was felt like it was vibrating at one pint in the treatment.

When I got home I felt the same effects as when I have had a long aromatherapy deep tissue massage and I had the best and deepest sleep . I am looking forward to completing my meditation and distance empowerment later today.”

Gill Salver, Buckinghamshire, April 2019

What did you think of the course content?
“Brilliant! I really resonate with the intuitive approach to the energies and it makes sense to me. I now understand why I felt a bit blocked with my previous more methodical Reiki course . Reiji-Ho is revelation!

Did the course meet your expectations?
Yes it did. It answered questions and cleared up confusions I had from the first Reiki course I attended under a different lineage. It was a breath of fresh air. 
What has been lovely, is the amount of support that is  available to me both from my teacher and Reiki Evolution – this aspect is important to me and one of the reasons I chose the course. I was fortunate to attend a Reiki share organised by my teacher two weeks after the live course, which has really helped with confidence as I got great feedback from others when giving them Reiki! It’s been so nice to meet other like-minded souls too.
What did you think of the course materials (manual and CDs)?
Very comprehensive and succinctly put together. The case studies and feedback from previous students were really helpful. I liked the ‘no-nonsense’ style and honesty, which made the manual feel like it was personally talking to me – rather than just a ‘dry’ text book.  
The narration and meditation audios are an indispensable tool. 

What are your comments about the live training, and your teacher?
Cathy was a fantastic teacher, really approachable, kind and supportive. I had a great day of Okuden training and appreciated the opportunities she gave for meditations and practical work. She was good at keeping to time and making sure we got through everything – the day flew by. 
 How do you think the course could be improved?  
At the moment I can’t think of anything. It has filled the gaps lacking in my previous course and offered much more 🙂  “
Bansree McCallin, Buckinghamshire, November 2019

What did you think of the course content?

“It was practical, which is important to me and supported the learning material.

Did the course meet your expectations?

Yes, I really enjoyed the pace and experience.

What did you think of the course materials (manual and CDs)?

Really helpful and easy to follow, I use the short audios daily.

What are your comments about the live training, and your teacher?

I always prefer live training and really enjoyed Cathy’s training, a beautiful soul, the home study pack was very helpful and a great refresher (as well as some new information from my original training).

How do you think the course could be improved?

Unfortunately I don’t have any comments, I was happy with it as it was.”

Pam Lidford, Hertfordshire, June 2023