There are over 140 different styles of Reiki out there and so appreciably it is difficult for anyone looking for a Reiki practitioner or teacher to know what sort of criteria they need to be looking out for.
A Reiki practitioner or teacher should ultimately take responsibility for giving their clients the best treatment they can offer, whilst under their care, with due regard to the client's medical condition and implications of any medications the client is taking for their condition. A good Reiki practitioner or teacher should also have honesty, integrity and underpinning knowledge of their subject. Don't be afraid when you ring up for a treatment or Reiki course to ask plenty of questions about how the practitioner or teacher works with Reiki. If the answers they give you seem ambiguous and forced, then look elsewhere.
The main thing is to trust your intuition, it does not matter how knowledgeable someone may seem, if you feel that something is not quite right then trust your instincts. It is irrelevant if someone says they have practiced Reiki for 20 years if they don't understand what they are doing!
Below you will find some criteria to look out for when deciding where to go for Reiki.
Make sure the practitioner or Reiki teacher belongs to an accredited Reiki association and teaches an accredited course. Also be aware that different associations follow different codes of practice and their members teach in different ways.
Speak to the Reiki practitioner first by telephone to be sure that you feel comfortable with the practitioner. Make sure that they are empathetic, candid and can readily answer any of your questions. If a Reiki healer cannot make you understand what they are talking about they don't understand it themselves.
Ask the practitioner lots of questions about how they work with Reiki to make sure it suits you. Many practitioners are not willing to work on specific conditions which is fine if all you want is a treatment purely for relaxation, but if you have anything that needs treating make sure you go to a practitioner who works actively with Reiki and will work directly on your condition(s).
If you are going for a Reiki treatment and you are female it is probably safer to either go and see a female practitioner or take a friend with you for the first treatment.
Some Reiki websites offer distant treatments or attunements. This can be extremely misleading. The qualifications will not be recognised and you don't know what sort of treatment or course you will be getting.
It is much better to see a practitioner directly and if you are learning Reiki it is important to learn from a qualified teacher who will offer you the support you need during and after the course. Distant attunements can be at the very least completely ineffectual and at the worse very dangerous. Remember that you are letting someone you have never met before make changes to your energy field, so make sure you feel safe with them.
If you are undertaking a Reiki course make sure that the course is certified and that manual and post course support are included. Some Reiki teachers do not provide you with a manual and it will be hard for you to remember everything you have learned and practice Reiki effectively after you have completed your course.
Be very wary of Reiki teachers that offer bargain' deals such as learning Reiki I, II and III all in one weekend. You cannot become a good Reiki Master in one weekend. It is a huge responsibility to teach Reiki and to practice Reiki on others. Learning all the Reiki levels in one weekend will leave you deflated, frustrated, lacking in a good foundation of knowledge and most probably completely unable to use Reiki effectively.
Reiki Level I if it is traditional Usui Reiki should have 4 attunements, Level II should have 1 attunement and Master level should have 1 attunement. These are the number of attunements the founder of Reiki Mikao Usui used.
Some Reiki teachers say it doesn't matter how many attunements you have, you will still be able to use Reiki but this is nonsense. The attunement process connects you to the source of the energy and raises your frequency as well as placing the Reiki symbols into various parts of your body to enable you to be an effective channel for the energy. They are a vital part of a Reiki course and it is imperative that you are attuned properly if you want to be an effective Reiki practitioner yourself.
Reiki attunements should not involve singing bowels, Tibetan bells, gongs or any other unnecessary paraphernalia unrelated to Reiki. You are not receiving a traditional Usui attunement if any of the former is involved in the attunement process. It might be best to ask the Reiki teacher before you sign up for a course what is involved when they give you attunements.
Be very wary of Reiki teachers that offer Reiju or empowerments instead of attunements. Reiju or empowerments are what Mikao Usui used to give to the students he saw daily or weekly and they raise your frequency in tiny steps, enabling you after years of practice to use Reiki for healing purposes. Usui gave attunements to the students he only saw once or twice to dramatically raise their frequency in one go because he wouldn't be seeing them on a regular basis. This enabled Usui's students to use Reiki instantly to heal.
If you have Reiju/empowerments you will feel dis-empowered because you will not be able to give effective healings to yourself or others unless you spend hours a day doing specific meditations taught by Mikao Usui such as Hatsu rei ho.
If a Reiki teacher tells you that there needs to be a gap between Reiki Level I and II you would be better off looking elsewhere. It is in fact much better to learn Reiki I and II together. The reason for this is that Reiki Level I only enables you to heal on a spiritual level and everybody has physical and emotional traumas that need healing. By learning level II straight after you will be able to heal yourself on every level so if during your cleansing period anything physical or emotional surfaces you will be able to heal it effectively. You will also be able to heal others on a physical and emotional level, working on conditions directly. With level I you can only heal spiritually so you may be left feeling frustrated that you cannot heal more effectively.
Be sure to check that the Reiki teacher or practitioner has a lineage which extends all the way back to the founder of Reiki, Mikao Usui.
Ask the Reiki practitioner if they have ongoing treatments or would only treat a client for a certain period of time. A good ethical Reiki practitioner should not see a client for more than around 6 - 12 treatments (unless the client has a serious or terminal condition that requires ongoing treatment). Some Reiki healers will treat someone for years but a good healer should help you to empower and take responsibility for yourself and get you back to good health in as few treatments as possible, rather than taking your money for years on end.
Beware of Reiki practitioners or teachers with big egos! Reiki is a gift from God or the Universe (whichever label you prefer) and a wise healer is humble and accepts that the energy of Reiki is infinite and limitless in its potential. A Reiki practitioner should accept responsibility for their client and treat whatever their client comes to them for.
A good Reiki practitioner/ teacher should accept that Reiki has contraindications and be willing to discuss these with their client or students. Reiki cannot be given in certain circumstances, for instance someone with a pacemaker should NOT have Reiki because the pacemaker is electromagnetic and so is Reiki, therefore the Reiki may potentially alter the speed of the pacemaker.
If a Reiki practitioner/ teacher claims that Reiki has no contraindications they may be putting your health at risk if you suffer from certain conditions or take certain medications.
These guidelines are by no means exhaustive but they should give you an idea of what to look for in a Reiki practitioner or Reiki teacher.
© Copyright Dawn Mellowship 2005.