It’s just not working for me
When you go on a Reiki course and start to practise Reiki, you have a lot of expectations. There are all these sensations that you’ve heard about, that other people, or some other people, experience, and you’re not sure whether you’re feeling them, or notiicing them, or noticing them enough or often enough or strongly enough.
You can doubt yourself and think that although, yes, I know that “Reiki works for everyone”… maybe it actually isn’t working for me.
What should I be feeling?
Is what I’m feeling the right thing?
Am I doing something wrong, and if I was doing it properly I’d feel more?
All these thoughts can whirl round our heads in the early stages. So what I’d like to talk about in this blog are the sort of sensations that people might experience when using Reiki and how people can end up disregarding the Reiki sensations that they actually are feeling, and I’d also like to touch on situations where people can’t really feel much, or anything, happening as the energy flows, what you can do about that and whether you can become more sensitive over time.
Glossing over your Reiki sensations
We’ve all read about the sort of things that people tend to notice when they use Reiki, whether they are self-treating or working on other people. The way people experience the energy is either in terms of some sort of a physical sensation or some sort of image. So we might experience any of the following physical things:
- A magnetic sensation
- A temperature change
In terms of images, we might notice a particular colour – often white, lilac or violet – or some sort of a random, rainbow lightshow, or flashing lights, or a couple, or three, colours, or we might become aware of a particular image that appears in our mind’s eye.
And because there’sa natural tendency to worry about stuff and think we’re not doing it right, we tend to focus not so much on the sensations that we are experiencing, but the sensations that we are *not* experiencing. So let’s think of three imaginary, anxious, Reiki people. Let’s call them “David”, “Frances” and “Helena”.
David is seeing coloured lights as he meditates or self-treats or treats other people and he is worried because he can’t really feel any heat in his hands.
Frances is feeling heat and tingling in her hands as the energy flows but she’s worried because she can’t see any colours at all.
Helena is feeling a variety of things but she is worried because she doesn’t know which sensations are the ‘right’ ones that she should be experiencing and she’s worried whether she’s just imagining it, or making things up, that she is fooling herself.
Am I just making it up?
There are Reiki people out there who don’t see colours as the energy flows. They really wish that they could. If we were just fooling ourselves then all the people who were desperate to see some colors would just see “made up” colours. There are Reiki people out there who don’t have too many physical sensations as the energy flows: if these people could just ‘make it up’, they would feel more, so they wouldn’t need to worry. But they can’t.
So you can trust what you’re feeling, or seeing, or noticing. You’re not making it up.[See also: Do you have to believe in Reiki for it to work? for further insights]
Some people are less sensitive
When people start to use Reiki, it’s the luck of the draw in terms of how sensitive to the flow of energy you will be. It will follow a “Bell curve”, with most people in the middle, experiencing something as the energy flows and with some people experiencing a bit more or a bit less that others.
A few people will sit at the far extremes, either starting off ridiculously sensitive to the energy or conversely not very sensitive at all; some students might start by feeling nothing at all as the energy flows. This will obviously be dismaying for that person.
But for most people, these things aren’t set in stone because there are things that you can do do develop your sensitivity to the energy.
Doing things to build sensitivity
For most people, most of the time, they will not need to do anything in particular for their sensitivity to the energy to increase. You start to work with energy, you have some, perhaps slight, sensations but you are aware of *something*, your attention dwells on the something, and you become more used, or more practised, at directing your attention in such a way that you notice more of that sensation.
What you focus your attention on grows in your experience.
So, for example, if I said to you, “How does your right ear feel?”, you would spend a few moments and become aware of all these sensations that you could potentially have been noticing before, but you weren’t because your mind was filtering them out because they weren’t important to you.
Now with your new-found Reiki connection, you have new sensations available to you and with practice and repetition you can get better at noticing them, and noticing them more strongly. Treat yourself, treat other people, perform your daily energy exercises (for example, Hatsurei ho), tune in to our free weekly distant empowerments: you’re bathing yourself in energy in different ways and giving yourself lots of opportunities to not only experience the energy but get used to and more ‘tuned in’ to those experiences.
If you would like to do something more to develop your sensitivity, then I have two suggestions: (1) Order a copy of the “Your Reiki Workout” Book or eBook, whch was a whole chapter devoted to building your sensitivity to the energy, or (2) Use my special “Nentatsu ho” meditation, to help you become more aware of the energies.
Why continue if you can’t feel energy?
It’s not often admitted in Reiki circles, I don’t think, but there are some people – even Reiki Masters – who, after trying all of the above things, still can’t feel anything happening as the energy flows. And that makes you wonder, doesn’t it, why they continued with their training when clearly “nothing was happening”.
Well, what made the difference in these cases was these Reiki people actually going through the motions and working on themselves and, importantly, treating other people despite their lack of sensation because, when you treat a number of people, you will receive feedback: positive feedback about the sensations they were experiencing (“your hands were burning hot!”) and feedback about how things improved for them in some way.
And a practitioner who self-treats and practises Hatsurei ho, even though they can’t feel anything happening, will still receive the same personal benefits that any other Reiki practitioner will receive.[See also: Why don’t I feel so much when I self-treat? for further insights]
So you can relax, knowing that if you’re experiencing the flow of energy in some way then it doesn’t matter quite how you’re experiencing it, it doesn’t matter how other people are experiencing it, and with time and repetition you’re likely to find that your sensitivity to the flow of energy will build. There are definite things that you can practise to enhance your sensitivity and, if all else fails, Reiki will still work just as well for you and the people you treat, no matter whether you’re having astounding rainbow light-shows, or noticing nothing at all!
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Picture Credit: Agnn Foon