Experiencing Disturbing Things


I think that most Reiki people will know about the main sensations or experiences that you can have when treating someone. If we were going to describe the ‘standard’ sensations then we’d be talking about heat in your hands, or fizzing, tingling and buzzing, maybe pulsing or throbbing, heaviness, a ‘magnetic’ sensation… or perhaps coolness, or a feeling of ‘insects’ crawling over your skin, or perhaps pinpricks.

And in terms of colours, we’d be experiencing bright lights, usually white, lilac and violet, or rainbow light-shows, or a particular colour predominating for a while or for the whole treatment.

But those are not the only experiences we can have, and what I wanted to talk about today are perhaps the more ‘extreme’ or unusual or surprising experinecs that you might come across. These don’t happen very often, and perhaps won’t all happen to everyone, but they are frequent enough to be noteworthy.

Feeling queasy

It’s not unusual for a Reiki person to feel queasy sometimes when treating a person. This usually happens in two different situations, and the explanation for both situations is the same.

You can feel queasy when you’re new to Reiki and you’re treating someone for the first time, or the first few times; maybe it’s happening on the day of your First Degree course. What is happening here is that the recipient is drawing a lot of energy through you, you aren’t used to things like this happening yet – after all, you’ve only just been initiated – and it’s all rather ‘taking your breath away’. You’re not used to all this energy rushing through you and it’s making you feel queasy.

Don’t worry: this is not going to be your routine experience of working with Reiki! It is a one-off, or certainly one of a small number of one-offs! With a bit of practice, once you are more used to channelling the energy, doing your Hatsurei ho and self-treating, you will become accustomed to strong energy movement within you and it will all be old-hat, unremarkable and something that you can deal with effortlessly.

The other situation where you might experience some queasiness later on in your Reiki journey is when you are treating someone’s heart and solar plexus, say, and the person is experiencing quite an emotional shift, or is having an emotional ‘release’, or certainly the energy is facilitating some powerful and positive changes on the emotional level. As this happens, and you are the conduit through which all this is happening, your body can experience some queasiness, again because of the strength of the energy that is coming through.

If such a thing occurs, just move your hands away from that position to a different part of their body for a while and return to the heart/solar plexus (or wherever your hands were when you felt queasy) and you may find that the sensation has now gone. Or you might have to work on that area in small doses: moving there, moving away and so on, until the flow of energy dissipates, as it usually does.

[See also: Talking to clients about strong reactions for further insights]

Expiring through heat

You may find, very occasionally, that when you treat someone you feel like you are going to expire from heat exhaustion! You feel boiling hot and you may even start to sweat, visibly, maybe even really profusely. This is not such a common occurrence as queasiness but it has the same cause: a situation where the recipient is drawing huge, really *huge* amounts of energy and you’re not quite equipped to accommodate this comfortably just yet.

And just like the example of queasiness, as you contnue to work with the energy regularly you will develop your ability to accommodate such big flows of energy comfortably. The occasional person may still quite take your breath away, though, and you may wish to move your hands to a less intense area for a while, just to let things settle down, before perhaps returning to that intense spot.

A sense of Ickyness

Less common, still, would be the situation where you start to treat someone and you begin to experience perhaps an overwhelming sense of disgust and revulsion, that their energy just seems so revolting, unpleasant, icky.

We don’t analyse or try to rationalise our experiences: we just accept what occurs as a necessary part of channelling the energy, but I need to remind you that Reiki is *protective*. Reiki is a protective energy. Reiki practitioners do not ‘pick up’ things from the people they’re working on and the energy seems to create a ‘healing space’ that the recipient uses to bring things more into a state of balance, as far as that is possible for them at that time.

Remember that there are many complementary therapists, often hands-on therapists, who learn Reiki specifically because of its protective effects. So it may be rather unpleasant to be treating someone whose energy just seems awful, but you are allowing Reiki do do something beneficial for that person, and you are safe. Of course it is then up to you whether you see that client for another treatment or not; you may decide that they would be better served by choosing a different therapy or therapist.

[See also: Reiki is not all fluffy bunnies for further insights]

“Picking things up”

While it is true that Reiki is a protective force, some practitioners do seem to find that during a treatment they seem to experience some of the physical symptoms or emotional or mental states of the person that they are working on, and it is natural to be concerned that you are ‘picking up’ the client’s problems.

But that is not what is happening here. The practitioner’s body is just ‘resonating’ with the energy of the client, temporarily: the practitioner is echoing in an intuitive way, not adopting, the clients problems. So this is really an example of a sort of ‘body intuition’, not where you have your hands drift with the energy to the right places to treat, as is the usual way that intuition comes through for Reiki people, but in terms of a deep knowing about the experience of the recipient.

And this is temporary. It’s a temporary echo. It will dissipate as you do a little “I’m disconnecting” ritual and later take your attention away from the client.


So, there you have four more unusual experiences when treating someone. You may not experience any of these things or you may experience all of them at some stage. Just be reassured that everything is fine and you can take them in your stride.


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10 thoughts on “Experiencing Disturbing Things

  1. Hi Taggart,
    I would like to ask about coughing – more than once I have started coughing when treating people – and I know it’s not ‘my’ cough..!

    1. You’re probably just echoing a shift in energy on their part, probably to do with communication or expressing themselves openly, speaking their truth etc.

  2. A case of Halitosis!

    That is all very interesting and helpful, I do from time to time, get so very hot whilst reiking some clients or students, amongst other interesting and not always pleasant experiences. Sometimes my hands go icy cold just by being near someone who is very unwell … Another experience I had was when ‘Attuning/Empowering’ a group of Reiki practitioners, and I share this as I have never heard it mentioned before, but a lady who suffers from halitosis was at the far end of the room, but whilst completing Hatsurei I picked this up from across the room and it really felt like I had the worst case of Halitosis ever! I knew at once who and what it was, poor love, but it was very difficult to not gag … I experienced it again at another Share group, same lady, and struggled to be near her, and complete an Empowerment, as it was now in me, it was now my breathe … I wondered how I could say something without offending her, as I honestly didn’t know how I could continue working with her, if this was to happen each time she joined us, especially as the more I practice Reiki, the more I experience other people whilst sharing the space. I decided I would have to be subtle but something needed to be said. So at the end, I spoke to the group as a whole, and laughed a little, and then explained to them, that I was able to pick up everything from them, and this included bad breathe, so I suggested everyone make sure they clean their teeth before attending. Of course a few of the ladies said that they always clean their teeth (I know it is not to do with that, but it’s the only way I could think to say without offending the lady in question), … Next time she came, the halitosis was not evident, and I was able to enjoy the space we shared … phew!

  3. Great instructive blog. I recently had all the queasy, sick sensations after giving Reiki to a cancer sufferer.
    We were having a cup of tea afterwards and I felt very nauseous and ill. I knew what it was and just rolled with it. It wasn’t until about a half hour later on the way home with my wife (we run a mobile Reiki service)
    that I felt better.
    I’ve had most of the other sensations described in the blog, too, but the best is the feeling of TOTAL BLISS that I get after giving Reiki.

    Thanks for the work you do, Taggart, and the instruction and guidance. I’m a Usui Reiki Master and work intuitively. I don’t use traditional hand positions and work hands off, unless I feel I need to do otherwise. I usually start off at the head over the brow chakra/eyes position and am usually ‘guided’ from there.

    I had one session where I became aware of a gentleman standing beside me. Very smartly dressed but I had no idea who he was. When I was chatting to my client afterwards I told her and described the person I saw…..she said, ‘you’ve just described my father (who was deceased) to a tee’!! I was quite blown away by this!

    Thanks again for what you do!

    1. Thank you for those positive coments, which are very much appreciated, and I am glad that you find my blogs helpful.

  4. I once had very disturbing reaction – my arms actually hurt really badly when on someone’s lower back. I had to remove my hands and shake them . It was really painful. After I had finished the treatment I asked the lady if she experienced any back problems (the feeling was when touching her lower back). She said no. I was puzzled but accepted her answer. I didn’t see her for a year and when she saw me she was very excited and couldn’t wait to tell me she had had kidney cancer! I never doubt any feelings now.

    1. That sounds a very powerful reaction. When things like that have happened to me, I have usually moved away from that area to another location to treat, and then come back to it later where, often, it hasn’t seemed so intense. It’s surprising how strong the feelings can be sometimes.

  5. Absutely amazing! I experienced all of these sensations except the ickyness doing my first ever treatment on the day of the live course. I actually felt that I had to sit down or I might faint. Margaret finished my treatment on the other student and I went downstairs and had a drink of water. At the time I wasn’t sure if it was the energy or I was just too hot or claustrophobic although Margaret said it was the energy. But you have just described what I felt to a t. I still experience some of these sensations but to a lesser degree. Reading about it was actually very reassuring. Thank you Taggart

    1. Dear Michelle, I am pleased to hear that what I wrote was helpful to you. Things like this can happen on the day of a course but they are not too common. You didn’t do anything wrong, but sometimes the strength of the energy coming through can be a bit of a shock to your system, especially to begin with. It is likely that these sensations will diminish for you over time – they are already starting to do that – and then may only happen once in a blue moon. If you are in a particular hand position and start to feel queasy like that again, it often works to move elsewhere and keep on treating the person, and then return to that area later, or treat that area only for a couple of minutes at a time, alternating with other hand positions.

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