Understanding Reiki: From Self-Care to Energy Medicine (Honey, C., 2014)
To give you a little background, I received my first Reiki attunement about 12 years ago. As someone who didn’t previously feel they had any particular healing gifts, perhaps like many attuned to Reiki, I was amazed at how well it worked and how much it helped me. I have a background as a Clinical Psychologist and have sometimes struggled with the ‘airy fairy-ness’ that can be associated with Reiki and some of what is written about it. After some time using Reiki just for myself, my friends and my family I decided to take the plunge and start using it professionally so I joined the UK Reiki Federation and will celebrate my healing practice’s ten year anniversary this year!
I decided to start teaching Reiki a little while later because I wanted to offer my clients something they could do to care for themselves when they no longer needed frequent treatments with me or to support themselves between the treatments. Receiving a Reiki treatment from someone else is a fantastic experience and a great thing to do but it can never replace the ability to let Reiki energy flow from your own hands into your own body whenever you need it: in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep; when you wake with a headache; or maybe when you are sitting on a train at the end of a stressful day. I have attuned some 150 students, since I first experienced Reiki energy in my own hands, and the book that I always wanted to be able to refer to in my teaching and recommend to my students has finally been published.
I welcome all that this book has already brought to my practice of this wonderful energy we call Reiki. In the short time I have owned it, it has had some effect on my personal use of Reiki, including making me want to use it more often! It has also brought subtle changes to how I use it in my healing practice and it has prompted me to make changes to the way I will teach Reiki in future. I mention the personal benefits first most deliberately for this book takes Reiki out of the ‘meditation’ and ‘spiritual’ camps in which it is often found, (although, as the author states, it can undoubtedly benefit these practices), and puts it firmly into the land of ‘self-care’ and ‘energy medicine’. I have always passionately felt that Reiki is something that is and should be about self-practice first. This has always been my primary focus for level one Attunements and I always encourage my students to be engaging in regular self-practice with Reiki before embarking on a level two course as this is by far the best way to get the most benefit, however many training courses you have done. This book provides such wonderful information and explanations about the important role that Reiki can take in caring for ourselves, which I think many students and practitioners of Reiki will find invaluable.
Perhaps one of the most useful things I have found about this book is the clear explanation it offers as to why Reiki can be so effective with some problems and do little for others, why it sometimes has amazing benefits for one person with a particular problem and makes no real difference to someone else with almost identical symptoms. We have probably all met people who have become disillusioned with Reiki because it didn’t have the benefits they had hoped for or practitioners who are frustrated when their Reiki isn’t leading to greater improvement for some of their clients despite them and their client strongly valuing its healing benefits. Not understanding why these situations might occur can lead people to blame the practitioner or the Reiki energy itself when it may simply be that what was expected was something that was outside the scope of what Reiki energy can offer.
Many Reiki books are aimed at the established practitioner or include lots of information about hand positions and symbols, which can make them unsuitable for the uninitiated or confusing for someone undertaking their first attunement. “Understanding Reiki” does not fall into these categories. It is an easy read that offers a lot to those who have yet to experience the wonders of Reiki but want to know more but it is also very dense with information and some really helpful explanations, so has much to offer people who have been using Reiki for many years personally or professionally. I am sure it will demand repeated readings for anyone committed to truly incorporating the magic that is Reiki into their life and who would like to get better at caring for themselves. It is at times thought provoking as it gently invites us to view Reiki in a slightly different light from many existing books on the subject and some Reiki practitioners may well not agree with all that is in its pages. I believe, however, that this book is a gift to the Reiki community and perhaps even the potential to be a gift to humanity and it does all this with a simplicity that wonderfully mirrors the simplicity of Reiki itself.