On Reiki: "Is it working?"

I pulled this excerpt from an e-mailed reply to a student of mine. Her inquiry followed what she considered to be a "true" experience of Reiki, provided by a new and awesome practitioner.  She wondered if her previous trials in receiving Reiki actually "worked."  Here's my reply:

I am so glad that you had a new experience of Reiki!  My response to your question of "it working" before you felt it so powerfully, is that Reiki is always working within our bodies, our planet and the universe.  It's the unifying life force energy of all things.  It's never absent, and thus is always contributing to the pulse of life in some way, shape or form.  A Reiki practitioner simply magnifies and helps direct the energy.  Some practitioners do this more effectively than others, and some people have a more visceral experience of it than others.

My experience in practicing reiki daily is that sometimes I don't feel much from it.  We're working with subtle energy so, by it's nature, it's not always obvious to the senses.  On other days, perhaps when I'm in greater need of it, or my senses are heightened by yogic practice or other variables, I actually feel energy moving in unexpected ways.  Whether or not I experience the characteristic tingling, warming, or pulling effects of Reiki on a given day, I feel qualitatively better for it.  Undoubtedly, part of that feeling is from the simple, yet profound reward of taking time for relaxation, and turning my attention inward.

By practicing yoga, we tend to be more sensitive to things.  Our self-awareness is heightened by the practice of going within and feeling the effects of different postures and ways of breathing.  Many people aren't so sensitive as to feel what we feel through yogic practice. A more stagnant lifestyle and externally-rooted awareness promotes less movement of energy and connection to one's body, which can make subtle energy less easy to detect.

Regardless, if this energy weren't working through us, our ecosystem and the cosmos, we would cease to be.

So, if you've been practicing more yoga and introspection than usual, perhaps you felt your latest treatment more powerfully because you're better able to feel it.  Or perhaps your system had different needs on this day.  Perhaps the Reiki practitioner was better connected to his or her own practice, and was thus able to direct a greater flow of energy through you.

We'll never know.  And I think that's ok!  But if you've found a Reiki practitioner who's work really works for you, then by all means, keep seeing her!

Here is a fabulous article I use in my Reiki classes to explain the science behind reiki.

Thanks for the opportunity to lend my "expertise" here.  It's such a humbling field to work in.  Reiki itself is the true healer!

Much love, and ease to you,

Susana