Beware of “Know-it-all” Reiki people

A Reiki practitioner contacted me the other day to ask my advice about something. They had treated a new Reiki client, who had been to see other Reiki practitioners in the past, and the client wanted to know what the practitioner had picked up, meaning that the client wanted the Reiki practitioner to tell her about physical problems she had: to diagnose what was wrong with the client.

The client commented that previous Reiki practitioners they had seen had told them that they had a problem with a particular part of their body (maybe an organ). This made the practitioner feel very uncomfortable because she did not feel qualified to do something like that, to diagnose.

And that is the sensible response.

Because for Reiki practitioners to try and diagnose is outrageous behaviour:

  • Reiki practitioners cannot diagnose.
  • Reiki practitioners are not qualified to diagnose.
  • Reiki is not a system that is set up to diagnose.

Doctors diagnose. We don’t.

The fact that there might be a lot of energy going into a particular part of the body does not mean that there is a physical problem with the bit of the body your hand is resting on, because Reiki works on lots of levels: it deals with unhelpful thoughts, it helps with unbalanced or repressed emotions and it deals with the physical level too.

Reiki will flow into a person to deal with historical stuff that has still left a trace on some level and which needs to be restored or balanced in some way, and it will also deal with new stuff that’s ‘on the boil’ and may never manifest itself as an actual physical problem. Reiki will work on the spiritual level too, giving the client what they need on many levels.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) thoughts and emotions are believed to reside in particular organs, for example the liver energy relates to the emotion of anger, the kidney relates to fear and the lung relates to grief. Problems with mental states like planning and decision-making, organising your thoughts, bringing plans to fruition, and the like, reside in different organs of the body.

So do you really know what they energy is dealing with when it flows into your client?

We don’t diagnose.

And how arrogant to believe that we can.

Some Reiki practitioners will tell a client that they have ‘dark energy’ in their liver. I have heard of people doing that! Dark energy?? How is that even a helpful concept to have? Saying such a thing imposes the practitioner’s worldview on their client and will seriously freak them out. If you have dark energy in your body, you will want to know how to get rid of it, and get rid of it now!

Presumably only the all-knowing, all-powerful Reiki practitioner, trained in the esoteric arts, can sort it out for them.

What can I safely say?

So, what we can say that is useful and honouring when a client asks what we noticed or ‘picked up on’?

We can say something like this: “I noticed quite a lot of energy going into this area of the body.

Often a client will say, “oh, that’s because of…” and the client will be reassured that you ‘picked up on’ some condition or problem or injury that they knew about and you didn’t. It reassures them that Reiki is actually going where it is needed.

Let’s add some Clairvoyance, shall we?

It is clear that learning Reiki, and practising Reiki, does seem to enhance the psychic or clairvoyant ability in some people.

But should we start blurting out every image and impression that comes into our heads when we treat someone? No, we should not. Your client came for a Reiki treatment, not a clairvoyant consultation. Making such comments unsolicited is intrusive and may well be unhelpful and unwelcome.

Especially to begin with, are you really sure what you are imagining is not just a random thought, as your mind wanders?

I advise caution.

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17 thoughts on “Beware of “Know-it-all” Reiki people

  1. On my courses, I like to use the example of the pie!! if you feel energy going to your clients stomach for example, it might just be their digestive system working on the pie they ate before they came to see you!! 😛

    1. I think that’s an excellent way of describing it, Zoe: just because energy is going there does not mean that there is some dread disease that you’ve picked up that they know nothing about. 🙂

  2. This is even more relevant when working with animals. To “diagnose” in animal practice is to break the law (The Veterinary Surgeons Act).
    To practice Reiki is to be humble, useful to remember!

  3. I would hate to say I could diagnose and certainly not heal …a family member didn’t want a treatment off me as she said she had spoken to someone who does Karuna Reiki (????) who has said that this form of reiki can heal her migraines ????? ??
    I prefer to stick to good old Japanese reiki from Taggart, the way I was taught and qualified and would never want to mix it with something else ….

    1. I agree…besides the obvious danger of becoming egotistic and dangerous to recipients, such practice seems to me to depart from the core premise of Usui’s original method. I have also been concerned when encountering people who offer a long list of different disciplines or therapies, with Reiki as an add on…maybe it can work to be eclectic, but my personal feeling is that Reiki does what is needed. That’s it.

      1. 🙄 Reiki is never an “add on” it is a part of who you are, so whatever you do, whether it is a multi skilled Complemenatary Therapist or a “Reiki only” therapist the Reiki energy goes where it’s needed and everyone benefits. There is no need to be concerned about therapists who learn lots of skills to enhance the health and wellbeing of others.

  4. Ha ha, Agree with all of the above.
    I meet this all the time in my practice.. It used to make me feel inadequate because I didn’t have enough savvy to diagnose. No more.
    Will never forget the time when I myself was having a Reflexology treatment. The therapist asked me “how many cigarettes do you smoke” I gleefully replied that I had never smoked. However I spent my entire childhood barefoot which of course led me to have leathery souls on my feet. This led her to think that my lungs were in bad shape.
    The same goes for when alternative therapists of various descriptions Reiki included try to diagnose. Highly inappropriate.
    If a client wants a confirmed diagnosis I refer them to the physician who as access to scientific tests. However as an eclectic Nurse therapist, I may at times suggest that they see their physician in regard to individual symptoms. Or discuss various routes to holistic health, nutrition or supplementation after having taken a full medical/lifestyle history. —-
    I could never diagnose using Reiki. Preferring just to offer the treatment and allow them to take from it that which is needed by the individual. Am often though not always amazed by the feedback they give ‘me’.
    It occurs to me that the most important route to healing is through taking responsibility for ones own health whatever that means for the individual.
    To this end I encourage them to learn Reiki for their own use, for continued refreshing, so to speak. I remember one of my teachers comment. “Give yourself Reiki every day, just like you brush you teeth every day” makes sense to me anyway.

  5. Absolutely agree with all the points in this article. Have practiced Reiki and Spiritual Healing for nearly 30 years now and have come across quite a few Reiki practitioners who like to diagnose and or give messages from the those that have passed.
    As someone whose worked on a ‘Hospice at home team(end of life)’ for 12 years I know how important it is to be so careful with language. And yes we all make mistakes – when I first started at the Hospice I remember saying to a terminally ill client ‘your energy seems so much more vibrant today’ To which they replied ‘do you think I’m getting better then’. I was horrified at the reaction I had caused but it taught me to always be aware of my words.

  6. This is why I follow you, Taggart! Straightforward, reliable info. For the record, Karuna does not claim to heal anything either, it is a deeper way for me to connect to the flow of Reiki & I love it. It is a companion system to Usui, and I personally have received much benefit from learning it, but all healing is healing – what we call it can become an ego boost & that’s not what it’s meant for. I agree with a previous poster that humility is an important quality in a practitioner. Reiki is complementary, not alternative & I struggle with being asked to do something I can’t (“pick up on stuff”). Thanks for the reassurance & wisdom.

  7. Wonderful article! Many thanks,
    Our ryu functions under auspices of the Native American Church, and we have a strong ethical code against offer diagnosis or any intrusive psycho-spiritual behavior. Our challenge is re-training would-be practitioners away from these elements in their previous training.

  8. I agree with the first part of this post . However I disagree with the second part of this post . I pick up lots things during reiki treatments, i see things , I experience things , I never used to share my experiences because I was scared of having the micky taken out of me , but now I don’t care I share my experiences with my client as I believe it is their experience to share.
    I believe your vibe attracts your tribe and your customers pick you . You just need to be natural and open I don’t care much for people telling me how I should conduct a treatment , it is not a clinical procedure and you should always follow your intuition , Reiki has no ego and if your are intimidated by someone’s gifts you are in the wrong field .

  9. So agree with you. I’ve been a reiki master and practitioner for over 25 years, now just doing it for myself, family and friends and I never diagnose anything! I tell folk that the reiki balances and calms the body and mind in order to help them heal, or seek the right support or whatever.
    Lately I’ve been ‘retraining’myself! Going deeper rather than broader, I’m doing the same with my Tai Chi practice. It’s lovely. Going right back to the beginning but being able to perceive everything from a different place of experience. I’m using all of your books, Taggart, and your cds. They are lovely. I’m doing the same thing with my Karuna reiki as well. At 72 discovering still, exploring and expanding. Thank you for your work and insights. Many blessings to you.

    1. Dear Jackie, many thanks for your positive and supportive comments, which are very much appreciated, and I am pleased that you like this article. I agree with you aout going deeper rather than broader: sometimes people end up as course junkies, adding new textbooks or coursebooks to their shelves but never really properly engaging with anything they were taught, not putting it into practice consistently, and still feeling that there’s something missing.

  10. I was treating a male client one day and had my hands over his eyes area (I always treat hands off in all positions unless I feel guided to put my hands on a particular area). I had my eyes open and the vision in my left eye became affected like I had a white sort of opaque piece of plastic over it. I related this to client afterwards and he informed me that when he was much younger he’d had and accident damaging his left eye area and he actually has a white plastic insert above his eye where the bone was repaired. I couldn’t possibly of known this as you couldn’t tell by looking at him, and it was not disclosed at consultation.

    1. It is amazing how intuition can come through to you like this, isn’t it?

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