I’ve been practising Reiki for the past 11 years. Initially I did the course to support my Shiatsu practice after a client during a treatment commented on how hot my hands were and asked if I did Reiki. So I thought ‘Why not do a course. It might help my Shiatsu practice and I can also offer it as a separate treatment if I want to’.


So I completed a Reiki 1 course and then went on to completing the Reiki 2 and 3 levels. Now you have to remember that I come from a Western Medicine background and even though I had studied Shiatsu and Chinese Medicine, I found the whole Reiki thing a bit Woo Woo!

So that was me trained up to Reiki 3 (AKA Reiki Teacher level). My husband suggested that I should teach Reiki. I panicked! I couldn’t teach it! I can’t explain how it works really as there is no scientific evidence behind it! I also felt embarrassed telling people that I did Reiki too. Especially Medical Practitioners who would (and still do) look at me as if I’ve lost it.


For the next 7 years or so I continued to use Reiki mainly during shiatsu treatments and seeing the occasional Reiki client. I would do self-treatments if I couldn’t sleep or felt a bit stressed, but I have to admit I didn’t practice this on a regular basis.

It wasn’t until I started to have major problems with anxiety a few years ago that I started to do daily Reiki self-treatments. This self-practice gave me the space and quiet time I needed. It also continued to develop my Reiki skills and sensitivity to the Qi in my body and my client’s bodies. The side effect of this was that I was actually helping balance out my chakras and in turn my anxiety started to feel more under control.

Since giving up nursing a year ago, I have continued to work on energy connection during both Reiki and Shiatsu treatments. And I am happy to say that I’m much more comfortable with being a Reiki practitioner and I now totally get it!

Here is my explanation of what Reiki is and how it works

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a non-invasive therapy, which is believed to promote healing and to improve well-being in all living things.

The practitioner acts as a channel for universal life force (Qi), which is believed to flow through the practitioner’s hands to the recipient, using gentle physical touch or off the body using intention

 What is life force/Qi/Chi?

It’s basically the energy that creates us. We start of as one cell and multiply and we eventually become a human being. We have energy whizzing round our bodies. For instance making our blood move and our heart beat. This Bio-electromagnetic energy is thought to be what energy workers and Chinese Medicine Practitioners call Qi.

Lets talk about Chakras!

Chakra is a Sanskrit word for a series of energy centres in the body. They are sometimes described as vortexes that draw energy and information into us. They are thought to be linked to the Endocrine System in our bodies that regulate our hormones. There are 7 main chakras running up the midline of the body and some on the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet. These chakras are connected to different aspects of our life.

How does Reiki help with stress and anxiety

First of all having a Reiki treatment gives the opportunity to talk about what is bothering you and to be listened to in a non-judgemental way. During the treatment it gives your body a chance to relax and switch off. You may remember that I mentioned that the chakras are linked to the Endocrine System. Well, the Adrenal Gland is part of this system. If the Adrenal gland is not working properly then you may have problems with stress and anxiety. Having a Reiki treatment calms the nervous system.

Can Reiki cure illnesses?

Be careful about seeing Reiki Practitioners that claim to ‘cure’ all your illnesses. Reiki does support the body in the healing process and there is enough scientific evidence showing that Reiki is effective in reducing anxiety and pain, inducing relaxation, improving fatigue, depressive symptoms and overall wellbeing. However, practitioners should not be saying they can cure your cancer!

Reiki in the healthcare system

In the UK Reiki has been used mainly within Palliative Care. However, in the US it seems to be much more accepted and is being offered more frequently in hospitals and clinics in conjunction with conventional medical care. In fact it is a regular part of patient services in 15% of the hospitals in the United States! Which is amazing really. The US hospitals are mainly using Reiki for patient relaxation and to reduce recovery time from injury, illness or surgery. Also, it is being offered to reduce stress and manage pain for the chronically ill patients and for emotional support and healing in many hospices.

What to expect during a Reiki treatment

Reiki practitioners all work in a slightly different way depending on who trained them and how they have developed their practice. Some work on the body and others completely off.

If you came to see me for a Reiki treatment, I would ask you some questions about why you have come and take a medical history. I would then ask you to lie on your back (if you are able) on a massage couch fully clothed. I work mainly by placing my hands on the body but sometimes it is appropriate to work off the body, for instance when treating the throat or when a client can’t tolerate hands on work.

I would then start by placing my hands on your head and then work my way down the body, finishing at your feet. If you’re able to lie on your side or front I would then treat your back in the same way.

What you feel during the treatment again varies form person to person. You may feel deeply relaxed or even fall asleep. Some clients say they see vivid colours, feel warmth, coolness or tingling in the area I’m treating or feel something happening energetically in a completely different part of the body. You may have a different type of experience completely.

The treatment itself will last approximately 1 hour.

What happens after the treatment?

 I will offer you a glass of water and advice that you drink lots of caffeine free fluid for the rest of the day, as the treatment can have a detoxing effect. If you feel tired after the treatment then I recommend that you rest if you can. Some people will feel very energised after a treatment. There is no way of knowing how you are going to react. The positive effects of a treatment can last hours, days or even weeks. Some people will go home and feel the need to cry or have a big poo. This is a good sign in my opinion as it means that something is clearing from your body.

Are there any negative side-effects of having a treatment?

 Not usually as this is a really gentle treatment. But in rare instances a client with a long-standing problem may find that their symptoms will worsen for a couple of days. This is thought to be a healing reaction. In these situations it is best to rest where possible and drink lots of fluids and contact me for reassurance. If you have a medical condition and are concerned that Reiki will interact with it, then I would recommend seeking medical advice prior to the treatment.

How often should I come for a treatment?

If you have a long-standing problem and money was no option I would recommend that you come for a few weekly sessions and then monthly treatments. If you are attending just for relaxation then a one off or monthly treatments are fine.

If you have any questions or would like to book a treatment then please get in touch.

Reiki is love. Love is wholeness. Wholeness is balance. Balance is wellbeing. Wellbeing is freedom from disease – Dr Mikao Usui