COMMON Q & A’s about hands-on REIKI healing energy


… sometimes by softening our thoughts, relaxing our focus, and melting our hearts, we create an inner warmth and flow that gives us the elasticity and internal strength to overcome our challenges ~ Merrie Bakker

FAQs from Reiki students - Pacific Holistic in VANCOUVER BC
Reiki questions

I’m often asked how much time a Reiki class should take – why are some classes merely 5 hours and others 16 hours or more.

The simplest explanation I have is that there is a lot to cover. The history is important. There are many important events and people that have shaped the Reiki we now practice in the West today. There is some misinformation, too, and all of this needs to be addressed. More knowledge means more clarity and more respect for the healing work.
Back in the 1920’s when Reiki got it’s start in Japan, the students were completely conversant with how our meridians and chakras work and here we are not. So this little parcel of knowledge needs to be incorporated into a Reiki energy class. Over time we have learned that there are some quick and unique methods of learning how to “run energy” that are completely aligned with the ability to pass on energy, as Master Usui encouraged his students to do and which took him a long period of time to transfer to his students – sometimes years. So standing around and talking about it is wishful thinking.
A thorough class needs a certain amount of time to be taught correctly. Other aspects, such as centering, special focussing, learning how to scan with your hands, entrainment and protecting oneself from taking on the client’s issues, strange unwanted energies and / or unwanted thought-forms and further challenges can be learned through trial and error by students but are much better when taught by a seasoned teacher so that it can be practiced so that there is no “by the seat of the pants” type experiences due to rushed learning.

Some people have asked me whether I suggest taking Level One and Two at the same time and if not, then how much time should be spaced in between each level.

Historically, Master Usui and his teachers did not have weekend courses but students came one evening per week to the group sessions of combined meditation and Reiki or one day to gather occassionally on the weekend. It would not be unusual to be at a certain level group for many years. One progressed over the course of one’s dedicated life’s practice. So, when I’m asked if I teach the classic Usui system, I have to wonder if that potential student has eight years to spare!

In present Western Reiki we know that some classes of Level One are all a student really needs. A good foundation in hands-on-healing – a thorough Level One – for working with friends and pets and plants and family is a fine set of tools to have – and enough. If working with clients in a healing setting is your goal, then Level Two is important to add, in time. Mrs. Takata, who was the main teacher who brought Reiki to the West, was known to have students return for Level Two after a year or more but also to offer it to students who were keen, from out of town and for whom she had a really good intuitive feeling that they could do their Level Two after a few weeks of time in-between and with lots of practice during that time.
She showed us that there were no hard and fast rules.
Each student and teacher uses their inner guidance for the right answer. Some Reiki organisations have rules. This facilitates keeping things on an even keel but is not in the original spirit.

One head’s up that I learned the hard way. I was so concerned with getting it right and helping others that I neglected to work on myself initially – and that’s also a bit of avoidance that needs thought. Working on oneself often is a valuable component of learning and improving and gaining confident hands before moving to Level Two Reiki.

all levels of Reiki classes at Pacific Holistic in Vancouver BC
questions about taking all Reiki classes at once

Does Reiki heal the body, the mind, the soul or the spirit?

yes, yes, yes and yes.
We have to keep our bodies healthy. If our soul, mind and spirit isn’t healthy that will eventually impinge on our physical body! Often when the soul, mind and spirit are comforted and healed, our body will become healthy naturally as a result, on it’s own, complements of mother nature.

What’s the difference between channelling, seeking enlightenment, spiritual practice and Reiki

The distinction between channelling, seeking enlightenment, spiritual practice and energy medicine (which includes Reiki) is often blurred, as if these are interchangeable, or even similar. They are both valuable, but they are not the same.

The most obvious difference, for starters, is that a spiritual practice is that which we do on our own – even though we can discuss it and read about it, seek advice about it, we still have only ourselves to work with – no one else can do it for us. Spiritual practice is fundamentally a self-practice.

Energy medicine, however, is something positive done to us via an outside source (including energy from without that is pulled in and passed on by the healer, often called the circulating life force). Energy medicine goes by many names and descriptions and is usually invisible, subtle and varied. Just as an example, some terms are often included in descriptions that include: vibration, intention, life force, chakras.

Channelling usually means taking information from a ‘source’ and passing that on – be it speaking to loved ones who have passed on; receiving informative bits and bobs from one’s angles, unique ascended masters, guides that work with our higher selves or entities, etc.

When we feel vibrant, at ease and uplifted, we are usually more–connected to source. When we are imbalanced, disgruntled, losing energy, at a loss in general, then we usually contend that we are not feeling connected. This applies to all of the invisible categories of various types of channelling, seeking enlightenment, spiritual practice and providing or receiving energy medicine. That is the one item they all have in common – the connectedness – and that certainly does not make them the same.

Reiki – an energy medicine involves deliberate concentrated time periods that uplift the subtle vibrational field  / the biofield / the etheric fields (or sometimes separated out as the physical, emotional, mental, etheric and Gaia fields) that run through and surround any living body. Energy medicine techniques usual work to upgrade, clear-up, improve vibration, energetic flow and functioning mechanics. In these sort of modalities we hear of qi, chi, prana and life force. This then gradually reminds, or re-connects, us with our original nature.

Is it psychic energy that is used in a Reiki session?

No. Other than that when our energies intertwine – healer and healer – especially when one is quiet, focussed and balanced, then information flows. Chi or life force energy, is fluid and wise. But you could say Reiki is mainly a physical method of introducing a higher vibration of energy – raising the vibration of one’s cells / tissue higher – to allow natural healing.
Reiki was never intended to be a way of channelling past life information or talking to the departed on behalf of a client or psychic medical intuitive’s work. Those are very seperate stand-alone modalities and talents.
After all, think of someone such as James van Praag who took many years to hone that skill of seeing beyond the veil, and speaking with departed loved ones, even though he was already born and gifted with great talent to do this! A Reiki Master friend of mine once was very proud that her students were channelling by noon on the first day… and the class actually started at 10am! Now that’s past my understanding! Similarily, channelling stories about past lives during a Reiki healing session is amusing and entertaining and has nothing to do with passing along Reiki life force energy and improving the physical vibration and easier flow of energy..

A chronic disease or a long-standing conflict may take longer to resolve and help along, than an acute accident. But a person receiving Reiki will feel improvement at the first treatment. Insights by the healer or healee can happen or not – just like in normal life… but certainly psychic channelling was not how Reiki was initiallly conceived or used. Today we tend to see this happen amongst people dabbling aroound… without a true knowledge of Reiki – just having a good time.

Do I have to believe in Reiki Healing to get results from a session?

No. It doesn’t matter if YOU, the receiver doubt, reject or deny the way Chi, energy, ki or qi works. However many tests have shown that the healer MUST believe or no improvement will occur – nor will energy flow. It’s NOT at all like a psychological method of treatment or hypnosis. There may be one out of three of my clients who believe in Reiki, before the results of sessions change their minds later and yet they have experienced benefits from the outset; but feeling is believing.

Can any illness be cured by Reiki?

Yes. Any illness – either organic or psychological can be lessened, supported or alleviated – grief, timidity, bad habits as well as the whole spectrum of possible physical ailments. Even help with cancer is achieved when the underlying issue(s) that formed a tumor or for what caused the initial cancer diagnosis is properly addressed. Cancer doesn’t just happen spontaneously – like a boogey-man sitting in a tree across the road and picking on a hapless individual…

How do we know that healing is appropriate for Christians to do?

In I Corinthians 14:1 Paul tell us to eagerly desire spiritual gifts.
In I Corinthians 12: 28 Paul says that healing is one of these gifts. Paul also says that each of the gifts is best expressed with love.
Jesus is quoted in John 14:12 as saying, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father.” We know that Jesus practiced laying on hands type healing, therefore, would it not be appropriate for Christians to practice healing by laying on hands, too?

How does Reiki work from a scientific point of view?

A look into this is at – third article down.
Dr James Oschman has an entire book on this.
Scholars, healers, philosophers and scientists alike, have been studying this phenomenon but modern science can’t solve it as long as the thinking is inside the box (of rigourous science) where we never find the wondrous stuff!

Does Reiki have any negative side effects?

Never. What you may have read about – broken bones and pregnancy – is science fiction.

Do I need to have knowledge of anatomy, physiology or medicine?

No. I remember a major set-to with a nurse who had administered the US Healing Touch Association, years ago… She felt that energy work should only be allowed to be used by nurses because they had the ‘required’ knowledge of the human body / anatomy and the rest of us were dangerous amateurs…
That defeats the entire understanding of the beauty of this magical healinf energy that we all use! If tissue / an organ / tissue / an area is needing energy, then the Reiki energy flows to that area, much like water, to the lowest vibrating tissue cells that needs it most.
Hands-on-energy-healing, for example, on a head that is having serious dental issues, will have the Reiki energy flow to the most desperate areas. Hands-on-energy on a head to someone with high blood pressure will not increase the blood pressure one iota! Ever!
Rather, the kidneys, when they receive more healing energy, will be able to heal better / faster and add to the lowering of the blood pressure as the blood flows through more smoothly (through the parenchema and collecting tubules) of that individual. This is where there can be a bottle-neck and therefore the source of blood pressure issues. (As there is no way anyone can have arteries and veins so hardened that it can increase blood-pressure, we do not have to avoid that condition.)
Most of Master Usui’s students were well-educated people and had only advanced knowledge of meditation, meridians and chakras and were not health professionals. Master Hyashi was a doctor, and he healed and taught Reiki to ALL people of ALL walks of life.

What do famous medical scientists think of this method?

Western medical doctors often scoff at energy work as well as Reiki as it is hard for them to see value from something so subtle… even though they may not have experienced any Reiki. Medical scientists, however, seem to have an open mind and receive Reiki first before slandering it and have written some interesting insights to bolster the Reiki work in general.
Modern medical, mainstream, Western medicine does not know how to take notice of the shocks, psychological issues and unresolved conflicts that affect us on the cellular level. Hence, doctors try to repel, belittle or exclude energy healers who do not have their particular training as therefore having no value and are not likely to step up to the plate and collaborate, but at best they tolerate. It’s difficult to solve / treat with just chemicals. I have taught Reiki to over three hundred people so far and almost no one has failed to be able to work with this energy.

If I can heal others, can I heal myself?

You bet. If you are really ill or challenged, then use a buddy system. Setting up a buddy system while healthy is the best route to follow. Call your Reiki teacher and ask for someone to exchange with.

How can I see this energy?

This can be a journey and for some of us it is easier than others. Try the TREE exercise.
Try this – if you haven’t already given it a try. Go out to a treed area at dusk and pick out a large robust tree with lots of foliage. Put yourself into a relaxed state and place your attention and then concentration at the top of the tree – we’ll call that 12 o’clock. Then, look to the right at the sky where one o’clock would be while keeping your concentration at the top of the tree. Can you see the tree’s Life Force Energy moving about – maybe wisps or gray / blue movements of vibrant energy? Does the tree have an identity? Do you feel closer to the tree? Try at dawn if you feel it your ‘seeing’ could be improved… everything takes practice, positivity and commitment…

What’s this Master Level III and IV or IIIa and IIIb all about? Are there different kinds of Masters?

In keeping with the past teachings, there is a need to charge a bit more for the Master Level. And also in keeping with past practices, the process included that only the very dedicated would be teaching Reiki in the first place. Over time some Reiki teachers were smart and sought to capture a possibly interested market and created a marketing approach to the Master Level – divying it up into two parts – to whet the appetite. Master Usui, Mrs Takata and her next level of teachers never did that. There is no benefit. You are either ready to teach or you aren’t!

Sometimes the desire to teach can just BE there – an inspired calling! Sometimes it’s because a Reiki practitioner has worked with so many people, has had such a valuable time practicing Reiki, that it is the next most natural step. The right time is usually very obvious to both the teacher and the student.

Does one need inherited talent or is anyone capable – right away or after decades of practice?

Reiki, once learned, cannot be forgotten or lost. However, it  is a practice that requires discipline to attain true mastery (all subtle energy work does in my opinion). Master Usui’s work in the rediscovery of energetic manipulation has been sliced and diced and demeaned via courses claiming Reiki mastership in a weekend (or less). The Americanization of Reiki has resulted in a band-wagon approach to learning and accompanying exploitation. (Reiki is NOT channelling messages – or reading the Alashic records or looking into the future (crystal ball gazing).
Reiki mastership involves dedication, focus, a keen desire and personal nature to want to reach out to people.
Energetic transference has been proven and measured, in a clinical setting, by organizations such as Holos University and the Heartmeath Institute.
The initial levels of Reiki mastership precede a path that will gradually result in the death of ego, deepening of life lessons and increased inner awareness. In short, Reiki is a discipline leading to esoteric, subjective and highly personal results.

Reiki - flowing energy
flowing life force energy

What are the differences between Western Reiki and Traditional Japanese Reiki as taught by Master Usui?

Traditional Reiki usually refers to the methods and teachings of Master Usui and his amazing, pioneering work and classes back in the early 1920’s in Japan. The “closed” Japanese Reiki societies that had formed during Master Usui’s time and that remained active after Master Usui’s passing in 1926, kept to the techniques and the spirit of his intentions and teachings. Therefore Traditional Japanese Reiki healing, even to this day, not only emphasizes hands-on-healing, but also focusses on meditation and the life-long pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. After all, it was the meditation groups from which Master Usui’s later Reiki groups evolved. The sense that was maintained was one of solemnity, life-time dedication and deep respect for one and other and for the teacher.

Western Reiki has a more simplified and practical sense to it. Western Reiki education is more hurried. Here we have more of an emphasis on short periods of commitment to classes (a day or two at a time) and to the learning in general. In Western Reiki some practitioners use Reiki on themselves daily when possible and share Reiki often with others, while some may just take all the classes and have very little practical “hands-on” experience but motor through the three or four levels that are offered, much like we did in regular school – after grade one comes grade two, etc, and off you go!

With Traditional Reiki one stays at a certain level for a long time until one has evolved one’s way to the next level. This dedication would include the contemplating and practicing of the Five Reiki Principles as well as daily self-Reiki and the balancing of one’s chakras. The emperors poems were an important adjunct in Master Usui’s time in each of his classes. Privately, the study of the Haiku continues as part of a Reiki student’s evolvement, including the emperor’s.

In Japan one continues to return to class often and regularly. In North America most Reiki Exchanges are ad hoc and often poorly attended, as we are busy people taking ever more courses and expanding our knowledge – “continuing education”. Keeping up one’s spiritual training is re-enforced at the Traditional Reiki classes in Japan for “continuing evolvement”, as great respect for the light, love and healing of this higher dimension energy is re-enforced.

Western Reiki has somehow evolved the Reiki get-together / Exchange into a covert client recruitment tool! There really are better ways to acquire new students or clients! Never in Master Usui’s time would non-Reiki people, who may have shown a sincere curiosity, be invited to a Reiki class/evening and be told to just stand there and pretend and that the Reiki would “flow” in spite of NOT having spent the time, dedication or even having been taught at all. These well meaning people who dropped-in were given a “quickie” attunement – good enough to last just for that evening – like an enteric coated pill! Go figure.

A serious Reiki Exchange would allow time for Reiki for each practitioner, and a guided meditation(s) to start things off, as well as time for serious questions and answers and feedback – and these could be about how to better feel the energy in ones hands; how to better accommodate clients’ needs; how to improve living by the five precepts; etc.
If you have the feeling of being a bit rusty (not really possible), then join us – we’ll remove some rust!
If you are a Reiki student and have taken Level One, as a minimum, why not come and join us at our next Reiki practitioner Exchange.

have a lovely read …

sessions and classes with Merrie Bakker, Reiki Master and teacher at Pacific Holistic in Vancouver BC
Reiki classes – all levels

The main Reiki page: takes you to more Reiki articles; information about our Reiki healing sessions; our Reiki weekend certification classes; what we are offering, including Reiki practitioner exchanges, special discounts, continuing Reiki education, our newsletter and more information such as REIKI gift certificates and what Reiki certification actually REALLY means. 
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Receiving Reiki healing allows you to speed up healing and repair; reduce troublesome thoughts, worries and set stress aside.
Please look through the Reiki article pages here and join me in one or more of the Reiki seminars / classes offered.
Or allow yourself to experience the deep, delicious benefits of the power of Reiki / hands-on-healing…  and I look forward to seeing you.

Merrie Bakker, Reiki Master Teacher
flexible hours – Monday – Saturday
604-261-7742, by appointment only
We’re still in Kerrisdale, Vancouver, BC


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ARE YOU A ‘LAPSED’ REIKI PRACTITIONER? Come and Participate with other Reiki Practitioners of diverse Reiki backgrounds.
Feeling a bit rusty? No worries! That’s why we have Reiki Exchanges.
Group treatments allows everyone to give and receive Reiki and allows an opportunity to increase your Reiki session experience; to meet Reiki like-minded friends; and to abandon any thoughts of being “rusty”.
When we gather we share insights with one another, deepen our practice and increase harmony.
If you are a practitioner and would like to join our REIKI EXCHANGES – REIKI SHARES, then click over to sessions for Practitioner Reiki Share / Exchanges details. 
Come and Join Us!

Reiki healing can be useful when someone is using standard Western medical protocols and this is often integrated with other alternative treatments. If, like some of my clients, you have chosen orthodox medical treatments, then Reiki will obviously do no healing, but Reiki can be extremely useful, nonetheless. One of my clients received several different kinds of chemo at once and a number of radiation treatments, per day – an intensively heavy dose of toxicity. This was a heavy burden for his body to bear!
Reiki reduced his nausea; reduced intense inflammation and the extent of internal scarring; Reiki helped revive his bodily functions which often went south on the most intensive treatment days; Reiki fortified his inner strength and inner resolve to continue; Reiki diminished some of the fear of the treatments and together we renewed his healing visualisations to take to each future orthodox medical session – like armament and fortifcation. Reiki gave him back a good night’s sleep, too, inspite of the intense debilitation of the chemo and radiation.

Reiki, properly passed on, makes detoxification and rebuilding after strenuous therapy much easier. Even though we have an inner physician, after a heavy course of chemical treatments, our bodies will welcome and thrive from the benefits of extra energy that has been so mercilessly zapped.

When you have been on a ‘cocktail’ of meds, for example, for depression, then energetic healing with Reiki can decrease the negative side effects that specific organs are effected. Reiki sessions can lift your vibration as a whole and specific organs and functions in particular. Reiki energy feels nurturing. Hurts, fears and withheld emotions can be released. When the issues, shocks and conflicts are known, then Reiki healing can take place more quickly and be specific.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.
Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow.
Let reality be reality.
Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” 

… Lao Tzu 

#the original Aramaic Lord’s prayer #Reiki – at what price? #human energy fields / the earthpulse #1928 Reiki article #differences – past traditional / present-day
#certification #the five Tibetan rites #Japanese Reiki words / phrases
#Reiki Level One class #Reiki Level Two class #classes calendar #q & a’s – Reiki
#Reiki distance healing #Reiki meditation #practitioner’s exchange #the science behind Reiki #origins of Reiki #what is Reiki #rebuttal to the bishops