Finding a Reiki master or practitioner
A Reiki practitioner at any level of practice—First Degree, Second Degree or Reiki master—can give hands-on treatment. A Second Degree practitioner or Reiki master can also offer distant (or remote) treatment. Only a qualified Reiki master can initiate and train a student to practice Reiki. When looking for a Reiki professional or teacher, keep in mind there are no standards for Reiki education or practice, so you need to look into each person’s approach.
The Reiki Alliance is an international professional organization of Reiki masters who stay close to the teachings of Hawayo Takato, the Reiki master who brought Reiki practice from Japan to the United States in the 1930s. If the Alliance doesn’t list a Reiki master in your immediate area, contact the nearest Reiki master and ask if he/she has a student near you who offers Reiki treatment.
Many compassionate, responsible Reiki masters are not affiliated with the Reiki Alliance and do not adhere to Takata’s teachings, but might still be a good fit for you. Ask around. Reputable practitioners of traditional healing modalities such as acupuncture or massage might know a credible Reiki professional. Look in businesses that are health-related, such as yoga centers or health food stores. After you have identified possible practitioners, interview them to find one with whom you would like to work. It’s worth the effort to find someone you are comfortable with who meets your standards.
If you don’t find a local teacher who is a comfortable fit, I bring 30+ years of teaching experience to offer Reiki Self Care training in small group, live, interactive videoconference series.
Choosing a Reiki Master or Practitioner
People often ask how to choose when there are several masters or practitioners available. First of all, be clear what your needs are. If you want to learn to practice Reiki, you need a Reiki master to teach you. However, you can receive treatment from any level practitioner, either a friend or a professional.
If you wish to learn Reiki, the choice of teacher matters at every level, even First Degree. Reiki masters have different perspectives, experience, training, and personalities. The Reiki master creates the context in which you start your practice. Choose someone qualified with whom you feel an affinity.
Who is qualified? Look for a Reiki master who has spent considerable time being trained and who either has extensive experience or who is being mentored by a Reiki master with years of experience. Ask if the Reiki master practices daily self-treatment and how many initiations she gives in the First degree class (Takata gave four). How does the Reiki master describe his/her approach? If the Reiki master does not have a website or brochure, these questions can be addressed in a brief phone conversation. If the Reiki master is not available to address your questions in any format—website, brochure, email or phone—you might want to look elsewhere.
Although the Reiki Alliance is a good place to look for a Reiki master, the Alliance does not guarantee that members honor the commitments they made when joining the Alliance, such as commitments to give adequate time in training students, with long pauses between training at the various levels during which students practice consistently. It’s important to look carefully into each master you’re considering. And remember many non-Alliance Reiki masters have thoughtful, disciplined approaches to practice.