Reiki, Reflexology & Hypnosis Blog

Learning Reiki: A Student’s Perspective on Reiki I

Posted on April 21, 2017

Learning Reiki: A Student's Perspective on Reiki I

 

Caroline Gomez is a yoga teacher, mom of three, and one of my most energetic Reiki students. She’s in the process of completing Reiki III.  Here’s her experience taking Reiki I.

The Power of Taking Care of Yourself with Reiki

I learned from the Reiki Self-Care Protocol that I matter. I learned how the power of intention and self-care can change your outlook and energy. The effects of the Reiki self-care protocol are cumulative and become stronger and last longer the more you practice.

I also learned that we all possess the power to self-heal. And before we practice Reiki on others, we must first practice on ourselves.

Receiving Reiki: Getting a Reiki Session

I learned that surrendering and being open to accepting energy healing from someone else is an intimate exchange. There is a level of trust that occurs between you and the practitioner, and not everyone will practice the same protocol that I learned.

When I received Reiki by getting a Reiki session, it was different from practicing the Reiki self-care protocol, not better or worse, but the energy was different. I did feel that I could block or receive from the Reiki practitioner. I felt that I was in control of the process, even though I was receiving Reiki.

I also learned that I have some way to go as a Reiki practitioner, regarding being intuitive and able to sense what is going on with another person. I was amazed at how much information the practitioner was able to learn from me just from one session.

Giving a Reiki Session: Less is More

I learned that less is more when it comes to giving Reiki. I think I was trying too hard to squeeze the energy from myself to another person. I was trying to make something happen, instead of trusting the process. When I experienced this shift, I changed my view of how the Reiki energy flows through me.

I felt so much joy in sharing, and in the exchange of giving and receiving. I was being so careful and I wanted to nurture the person receiving Reiki. I was honored that someone would trust me to give them a Reiki session.

Reiki, Reflexology & Hypnosis Blog

Tips for Your Reiki Practice

Posted on February 8, 2017

Tips for your Reiki Practice

Happy year of the rooster!

Hope you are doing well this cozy time of year in New York. It’s lightly snowing as I write this, with the sun setting as night falls: the quietness of the snow so beautiful and peaceful. Similar to the way Reiki self care feels to me when I place my hands on my body: my mind centers and I feel calm. How about you?

I’m in the middle of teaching Reiki I and it’s such a good group of students—asking deep questions and moving outside their comfort zone as they think about energy, meditation, and self care in new ways.

Read on for simple tips for your Reiki practice.

Learning Reiki online?
I recently wrote a blog post about the pros and cons of learning Reiki online. Technology definitely has a place in learning, but is it the right place to learn Reiki?

A Simple Grounding Technique:
This made me laugh. Reflexology teacher Sue Ricks gives her clients a super quick grounding technique.
Ready, for this? Squeeze your butt for one minute.
It definitely moves your energy from your head down into your lower torso, helping you feel more centered. Try it!

Forest Bathing
In Japan, shinrin-yoku is the practice of “forest bathing” — immersing yourself in the environment of the forest for relaxation. The Washington Post declared forest bathing the latest stress-reducing trend in the U.S.

A friend and fellow Reiki teacher from Japan told me people in Japan will go to a place in nature like a forest or a park and say, “Oh, there’s so much Reiki here.” They aren’t referring to the Reiki System of  Natural Healing, rather they are referring to the meaning of Reiki—spiritual life force energy.

So many of my clients and students who deal with anxiety or depression notice how much better they feel when they spend time in nature. If you live in New York City, you get extra credit because nature is a little harder to find.

A Native American client once told me she connects to nature in the midst of the concrete of the city by looking up at the sky. Isn’t that expansive? How can you incorporate being in nature into your life more?

Year of the Rooster
One of my long-time teachers, Gary Strauss, (who I also interview in my book, Building a Powerful Practice), wrote an article about how to live in these polarized times, figure out what we need to do, and honor the energy of the year of the rooster. Interesting stuff!

Remember it only takes a moment to place your hands on yourself, breathe deeply and get back to your Reiki practice.

Reiki, Reflexology & Hypnosis Blog

Learning Reiki Online: The Pros and Pitfalls

Posted on February 3, 2017

Learning Reiki Online: The Pros and Pitfalls

Let me start by saying technology can be a wonderful thing. I am a big fan of the ways it allows us to connect across continents, time zones, and cultures, and it definitely has its place for learning—more on this below. However, I think there are huge benefits to learning Reiki at an in-person training, and I discuss the powerful ways this differs from Reiki training online so you can decide for yourself where to learn Reiki.

How does Reiki training in person differ from Reiki training online?
Having the support of a Reiki teacher in person provides more immediacy as the teacher can give you feedback from what she is seeing, hearing, and sensing as you work with energy.

Having the support of a Reiki teacher in person provides more immediacy as the teacher can give… Click To Tweet

The benefits of experiencing Reiki energy in person through the sessions, meditations, and attunements in class with the supervision and guidance of a teacher really can’t be compared to the disassociation of an online experience. Not to mention, you can’t practice giving someone a full Reiki treatment on a massage table over the internet.

Practicing in person with your fellow students also provides immediate feedback. In my Reiki workshops, I always have students practice with each other more than once and with different students, so you get a sense of working with different people’s energy. Our individual energy is an imprint unique and distinct to each of us (and it’s one of the things I love about my work, noticing the beautiful differences from client to client, student to student.)

Here are more details on the benefits of learning Reiki in person:

  • Physical touch: Practicing giving Reiki in a mini-session or full treatment on a massage table within the context of a classroom setting helps you trust the energy is flowing. Trusting that the Reiki you’re sharing with your partner is “working” is something that often takes time and practice for many students.
  • Personalization: Reiki classes can be personalized based on the individual needs of the students. We all learn in different ways—people are more or less visual, auditory, or kinesthetic in their learning styles, and having a skilled teacher modify her teaching depending on how you learn can be incredibly helpful.
  • Practice: It’s nice to be able to practice doing a mini Reiki session in a chair, or a full session on a massage table, with the supervision and feedback of a teacher and the peer support of fellow students to practice with.
  • Receiving attunements/reiju: Students are more or less sensitive to energy, especially as a beginner Reiki student, and will often feel and notice physical, mental, and emotional sensations during the attunement more easily with their Reiki teacher right in front of them performing the attunement. (It also helps their linear mind to trust that something is happening!)
  • Learning the Reiki symbols/mantras: In Reiki II and Reiki III (Reiki Master), students learn 4 symbols and mantras to help them work with different kinds of energy. Learning Reiki in person can be helpful in a couple key ways:
    1)  Accuracy–Having the teacher review your drawings of the symbols to ensure you’re  writing them correctly is important.
    2)  Group dynamic–Chanting the mantra with a group is a more intense experience than chanting it by yourself, as it amplifies and magnifies the energy through sound (this is often a highlight of the class).
  • Preparing for professional practice: If you’re considering offering Reiki as a professional practitioner, it’s important to have lots of practice giving Reiki sessions (one of my former teachers said you should give at minimum 100 sessions before you even think about charging and working professionally!). (Want more info on professional practice? I wrote a book, Building a Powerful Practice: Successful Strategies for Your Wellness Business, that can help you.)

 

Being able to ask your teacher questions as things come up during sessions, as well as get feedback from fellow students who understand Reiki in a way that a friend or family member who hasn’t studied Reiki won’t, offers a solid foundation of support from which to learn.

The Process of Reiki Certification
Reiki certification online (and to be honest, some in-person Reiki classes) often just offer a certificate of completion of the course.

In my Reiki workshops, there are optional Reiki certification requirements at the end of the course including: practicing self care, giving and receiving a certain number of chair and table sessions, and completing a brief written assignment.

The purpose of this outside practicum is to anchor and support students’ learning by practicing. It also gives students time to integrate what they’ve learned and to learn from Reiki through daily practice (hint: it’s your best teacher).

 

Does Reiki training online have a place in Reiki study?
I find that online training can be ideal for more advanced Reiki students. Once you have a solid foundation and direct experience in place from in-person classes, additional Reiki training online can be a nice supplement and way to connect (and a wonderful use of technology).

For example, you can receive an attunement (otherwise known as reiju) without the teacher physically being present with you. For students new to Reiki and meditation, this can be hard to wrap your mind around.

Being in a state of oneness with someone is something explored through the Distance Reiki technique (otherwise known as the Absentee Healing technique) in Reiki II. Once a student has had the direct experience of working with energy on themselves, their classmates, and friends and family, as well as learning and practicing this technique, they will be better able to understand and experience online attunements.

If you’re someone who already is very comfortable working with energy, then having less guidance and practice opportunities through an online experience might be just fine. Especially if you already have other types of energy or bodywork experience under your belt, or are interested in using Reiki with friends/family and yourself versus starting a professional Reiki practice.

So while learning Reiki at in-person Reiki I, II, and III classes is ideal for all of the reasons I listed above, having access to Reiki training online as you continue your studies can offer a good option for additional support.

Want more information on how to find a qualified Reiki teacher and a comprehensive beginner’s guide to Reiki training?

 

Reiki, Reflexology & Hypnosis Blog

Powerful Tools for the New Year

Posted on January 13, 2017

Powerful Tools for the New Year

Happy new year! How’s your year going so far?

I’m seeing more clients these past couple of weeks wanting to reset  and refocus—letting go of the past year and thinking about how they want to open up to the new year.

While of course I absolutely love seeing clients transform throughout the year, there’s something special about the energy at the beginning and ending of the year, and these are some of my favorite times to work with clients.

For Reflection & Planning

Some of you have told me you started filling out Leonie’s fabulous Create Your Shining Year workbooks and/or using the 5-Minute Journal to change negative thinking.

I recently finished Susannah Conway’s free 5-day e-course: Find Your Word of the Year (my word is SPACE and I had fun creating a Pinterest board for my word to inspire me and help me embody this energy throughout the year.

And I’m in the process of filling out Susannah’s Unraveling the Year Ahead e-book (this is shorter and less detailed than Leonie’s workbooks, but it’s free.

One of the questions in the e-book is:

What are you looking forward to in 2017?

Close your eyes and take a deep breath to settle into yourself and then spend a few minutes answering this question.

Here’s a glimpse of what I’m looking forward to:

Working and learning with clients and Reiki students; hanging out and laughing with my husband; exploring the Hudson Valley (hello Pam!); finding a new place to live; celebrating my parents’ 50th anniversary; traveling (maybe to the outer Hebrides—hello Nicola! or Iceland); going to Jacob’s Pillow and seeing dance with my in-laws; starting new creative projects—learning to paint, taking photos; reading The Artist’s Way; writing poems and sending them to journals; learning more from the immensely lovable Master Sha; deepening my meditation practice; getting together with friends more often; going to Block Island (hello Katie!) and trying janzu aqua therapy again; continuing to study and get sessions with Frans Stiene, Gary Strauss, and my beloved Pingo; reading novels; sitting on the deck; cooking more; seeing how my practice evolves; taking yoga and bar classes; AND having more fun

Making Progress

Any goals or projects included in what you’re looking forward to in 2017? Perhaps you think about making progress in your daily Reiki or meditation practice?

Here’s an inspiring quote:

After you have practiced for a while, you will realize that it is not possible to make rapid, extraordinary progress.

Even though you try very hard, the progress you make is always little by little. It is not like going out in a shower in which you know when you get wet. In a fog, you do not know you are getting wet. But as you keep walking, you get wet little by little.

If your mind has ideas of progress, you may say, “Oh, this pace is terrible!” But actually, it is not. When you get wet in a fog, it is very difficult to dry yourself. So there is no need to worry about progress. It is like studying a foreign language. You cannot do it all of a sudden, but by repeating it over and over, you will master it.
–Shunryu Suzuki

It’s such a good reminder for our daily Reiki or meditation practice, though it also applies to other goals or projects. Reiki teacher Frans Stiene shared this quote and it puts the idea of “progress” in perspective, doesn’t it?

Sometimes I see clients or students and they want to make dramatic, immediate changes all at once in their life (believe me, I can relate to this desire!). But often, this isn’t sustainable. Practice and repetition are essential to sustaining a shift over time.

Click to tweet: “Practice and repetition are essential to sustaining a shift over time.”

And this is where the importance of daily Reiki self care/meditation comes in. Three minutes of practice every day will be so much more powerful over the course of a year than an intensive hour once every six months.

How can you apply this to your life? What’s the next smallest step you can take to make a sustainable change in the new year?

Here’s to connecting with you in 2017—whether it’s through a class, a session, or online. Can’t wait to hear what you’re looking forward to in the year ahead and I’m honored to support you through the process.

 

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