I had never heard of reiki until I was in massage school. I learned about it when some fellow students did a presentation on it at the end of the first 100 hour class. I have to say, I was not favorably impressed by what they said. There I was with a degree in biology, working as a chemist, and they expected me to believe that they could “heal me” without ever touching me. Yeah, right.
And don’t even get me started on the “secret” symbols. The minute someone starts telling me that part of their system is secret, all sorts of red flags go up for me. This was especially true of reiki because, according to my classmates, you couldn’t use the symbols if you hadn’t taken a reiki class and been attuned to them. So, if you couldn’t use them unless you had taken a reiki class, why did they have to be secret? Let’s just say, I was more than a bit skeptical. Frankly, I thought reiki was a load of… well… to be polite… excrement.
Flash forward to the 6th and final 100 hour class called subtle therapies. The class mostly consisted of introductions to many lighter massage and bodywork techniques but also included some energy work. One night, in the middle of the night, I had a bout of horrible, debilitating back pain and had to take one of the pain pills that I had been prescribed for this. I called the school and told them that I’d be late.
I arrived the next morning to find a guest lecturer. Her topic: Reiki. Ugh! I was still feeling a bit groggy and my back was still bothering me. The last thing I wanted to do was sit through a lecture on a bunch of woo woo BS. I fidgeted in the hard plastic chair and fought to look like I was paying attention.
Then came the part I was dreading the most; she was going to demonstrate reiki on one of us. I suppressed an eye roll. The school had obviously told her that a student (me) was going to be late. They had also told her why, because she asked if I wanted to be the demo body and have her reiki my back. I was on the verge of saying no, when it occurred to me that I’d be face down on a massage table and therefore wouldn’t have to pretend to be paying attention anymore. I might even get a short nap out of the deal. I agreed.
What happened next still boggles my mind: Without her ever touching me, I felt the vertebrae in my back slowly moving back into position. It felt like a slow motion version of the chiropractic adjustments I’d been receiving for years. As the vertebrae adjusted themselves, I felt more and more relaxed. When I got up at the end of the demonstration, I was pain free.
I was also gobsmacked. I couldn’t believe it. I mean I had believe it because I was experiencing it, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. Some have suggested that it was placebo effect, but that makes no sense to me. I’ve never heard of a placebo effect when the client had absolutely zero faith in the the treatment.
Being the stubborn German, Irish, Scottish person that I am, it took me a couple years, and several additional positive reiki experiences, before I finally decided to take my first reiki class. The rest, as they say, is history. I took the entire series of reiki classes and am now what they call a reiki master. I don’t like the moniker of master, but that’s the terminology that’s used, so I reluctantly use it since I don’t have an easily recognizable alternative.