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Henry's post reminded me of a situation I have encountered. I had a patient ask me if I could perform massage without Reiki once. I informed her that I could, but was curious as to why she asked me such a question. She explained to me that Reiki is against her religion.

I have come to realize there are a lot of misconceptions regarding Reiki and energy work and a good deal of misinformation being spread around that Reiki works with demon energy, is of the devil, is dark magic, etc, etc. I had an opportunity to discuss the issues with my patient who had misgivings about Reiki and clarified some of the misconceptions she had accepted as fact. Still, I have not seen her return so I have to conclude she is holding onto the belief that Reiki is indeed against her religion.

I feel situations like this requires patience and understanding, attempts to place ourselves in the shoes of our clients. No matter how misled some people are, they are going to cling to their belief systems. All we can do is bless them with loving light as they travel their path and not let negative beliefs and criticisms cause us to hide the gifts we have to offer. I myself did spend some years hiding. Now, even though I do not overtly advertise that I perform Reiki, I do not try to hide it. I may lose some business over it, but it provides the potential of me being able to help those that are accepting of it.

How many have had similar experiences of being called a witch or accused of working with demons? How did you handle the situation? Would you handle it the same way now that you have an opportunity to look back on it? What would you do differently?

Peace and Light

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Replies to This Discussion

hi, you can give reiki distantly and without touching a person. reiki is a nice accompaniment to bodywork - but is not a healing requirement. be confident in your abilities and direction as a healer and your clients won't question whatever your methods are. if you are unsure on any level, they will pick up on it. reiki was originally part of buddhism. dr. ushi wanted to know why the monks had stopped the healing work (reiki) the buddha use to to and meditated and fasted until it was given to him. reiki is universal divine energy with it's own intelligence. jesus did hands on healing also (reiki). god is god is god is. god. is. only we split hairs. all healing comes from god and we are all just the doers. we are the servants and vessels whatever form we use. keep that in mind and all will be well for you, your clients, and your practice. it is not necesary to get in to a religious discussion with your clients. they either want the work or they don't. people who don't never seem to find their way to me. be confident. peace, sudevi linda kramer
I once taught a workshop and had a young man in it. He was a gifted healer, but of a very conservative Christian faith. He received the first degree reiki attunement on Saturday. On Sunday, he went to Church and on Monday he called me asking if I could 'take the attunement back"! Apparently, his minister does not see "god as God" but everything outside as Satan, including reiki. This elder was also against reflexology, as I found out later. I did the best I could with 'undoing an attunement" (can you image!) but to this day I am still puzzled by people who live in such a tightly armored box.
It's their problem, not yours or mine. We do the best we can.
And I also love giving reiki in my massages. Good thing this young man never came to me for a massage, eh?
WOW! Well, I can relate to this lady as I grew up in a very harsh religion for many years. It is like being brain washed in a sense, being told that everything is sin. I had to undo all the rules of the religion once I found my own way. I know God is up there laughing at this one in His rocking chair. I can't wait to learn Reiki.
Gerry,

Long ago, I learned to separate myself from this sort of thing. As you say, everyone is entitled to their belief system and I wholeheartedly honor that, but I do demand (silently, through my energy) that people be respectful of my gifts and my experience. This expectation alone seems to have separated this sort of thing from my experience, and for that I am very grateful because when I was exposed to this sort of thing, it absolutely zapped me of my energy and drained my spirit for days. It was horrible and sometimes quite painful.

Thankfully, I’ve never been accused of being a witch or any such thing, except, ironically, by my ex-husband (who I was married to at the time). I was mid-way through massage school, only Reiki I, and I was also taking a clinic round in Barbara Brennan work at school. The ex was the person I'd most frequently practice on and he liked receiving massage. He was not religious at all, but definitely left-brained, very skeptical of energy work and thought it was something of a big joke. I was assessing his chakras with a pendulum one day after that clinic round and made a comment about certain chakra spins, and apparently I hit a nerve. He jumped off the table, ran out of the room and quite passionately called me a "voodoo witch" as he ran down the hall, carrying on that he didn’t want me to use "my voodoo witch ‘stuff’ (fill in the expletive) on him ever again." Within 6 months, we were initiating divorce proceedings.

At the time it was very confusing and upsetting. Now, years later, I honestly laugh (even as I type this). The experience began my education in the value of being in Truth, and knowing that I don’t need to defend what I do to anyone. As I said, it was just the beginning of that education… there was more practice to be had, but this was definitely the high point of my experience.

Today I find that people with challenging beliefs just don’t make their way to my office. I don’t seek any certain type of client, but the right ones seem to find me.

For me, so much of it came from that place of finding my power, connecting with that silent place inside with which you make peace and from where you derive strength. It’s taken some time, but I know this sort of challenge is over for me now.

I wish I could explain it better than that, give people better coordinates to help them avoid such draining and unfortunate experiences. But I really do think it’s a case of setting intention, being clear on your thoughts, knowing who you are, and always standing firm in your power (not just when challenged, but at all times). And of course being tolerant and compassionate when you are confronted. I say compassionate, because I have to think it must be utter hell to live with such limits on consciousness. But I believe everyone’s journey is the journey they have chosen and are meant to have. And so I send them a silent blessing and move out of the way. I never indulge them in debate. My time and energy are too precious.

I do think much of my inner power has also been fostered by the techniques I practice. I think being so focused in Asian technique and embracing TCM principles has helped me deepen this mindset/awareness. That said, I am certainly human and there is always constant correction to be made. The mind/spirit will wander; we have to always bring it back to center. Being aware of our thoughts is perhaps the most important step.


Maria Troia, MSEd, LMT, NCTMB, CH
www.KIRAHolistic.com
Thanks Maria for sharing this powerful story.

Maria Troia said:
Gerry,

Long ago, I learned to separate myself from this sort of thing. As you say, everyone is entitled to their belief system and I wholeheartedly honor that, but I do demand (silently, through my energy) that people be respectful of my gifts and my experience. This expectation alone seems to have separated this sort of thing from my experience, and for that I am very grateful because when I was exposed to this sort of thing, it absolutely zapped me of my energy and drained my spirit for days. It was horrible and sometimes quite painful.

Thankfully, I’ve never been accused of being a witch or any such thing, except, ironically, by my ex-husband (who I was married to at the time). I was mid-way through massage school, only Reiki I, and I was also taking a clinic round in Barbara Brennan work at school. The ex was the person I'd most frequently practice on and he liked receiving massage. He was not religious at all, but definitely left-brained, very skeptical of energy work and thought it was something of a big joke. I was assessing his chakras with a pendulum one day after that clinic round and made a comment about certain chakra spins, and apparently I hit a nerve. He jumped off the table, ran out of the room and quite passionately called me a "voodoo witch" as he ran down the hall, carrying on that he didn’t want me to use "my voodoo witch ‘stuff’ (fill in the expletive) on him ever again." Within 6 months, we were initiating divorce proceedings.

At the time it was very confusing and upsetting. Now, years later, I honestly laugh (even as I type this). The experience began my education in the value of being in Truth, and knowing that I don’t need to defend what I do to anyone. As I said, it was just the beginning of that education… there was more practice to be had, but this was definitely the high point of my experience.

Today I find that people with challenging beliefs just don’t make their way to my office. I don’t seek any certain type of client, but the right ones seem to find me.

For me, so much of it came from that place of finding my power, connecting with that silent place inside with which you make peace and from where you derive strength. It’s taken some time, but I know this sort of challenge is over for me now.

I wish I could explain it better than that, give people better coordinates to help them avoid such draining and unfortunate experiences. But I really do think it’s a case of setting intention, being clear on your thoughts, knowing who you are, and always standing firm in your power (not just when challenged, but at all times). And of course being tolerant and compassionate when you are confronted. I say compassionate, because I have to think it must be utter hell to live with such limits on consciousness. But I believe everyone’s journey is the journey they have chosen and are meant to have. And so I send them a silent blessing and move out of the way. I never indulge them in debate. My time and energy are too precious.

I do think much of my inner power has also been fostered by the techniques I practice. I think being so focused in Asian technique and embracing TCM principles has helped me deepen this mindset/awareness. That said, I am certainly human and there is always constant correction to be made. The mind/spirit will wander; we have to always bring it back to center. Being aware of our thoughts is perhaps the most important step.


Maria Troia, MSEd, LMT, NCTMB, CH
www.KIRAHolistic.com
Maria,

This is beautifully stated, and exactly what I was hoping for when I put my question out there. It really boils down to living in truth and I am grateful you are able to put into words what I was not able to do!

I live and practice in a rural community. Social activities here all revolve around whatever church people belong to. When you get directions on how to get somewhere, it's the churches that are used as landmarks. Religion is a very strong part of life in my community, and in many ways that is a very good thing.

I describe myself as a very spiritual person, NOT a religious person. Being spiritual and living in truth are very synonomous to me. Part of living in truth is offering clients and patients the necessity of informed consent. If I perform any active, conscious energy work, I believe I need active, conscious permission from my client. In this way I respect their belief system, no matter how I may disagree with it. In this way I can, and do get respect from them for my beliefs.

I believe this one exchange with my patient was a gift from spirit. It was during a time that I found some very negative misinformation regarding Reiki and I grew concerned about performing massage and how natural occurances of energy exchange would impact the beliefs of my patients. It allowed me to clarify in my own mind what my ethical boundaries are regarding energy work.

Shoshana - I agree, I do not need to give reiki with massage. I rarely do. This is a situation I know others have and will encounter. I am hoping to pave the road so to speak and offer road map so they will not have to go through the process of figuring it out like I did.

Sudevi - Yes, god is god is god. "I am that I am" is a very powerful statement. To know one's self is to know that one is a part of god and we are all connected and related through source. The challenge is working with people who live in fear and do not know they are a part of that connection. As I said, I believe that particular patient came to me for a reason, several I think. Consider the possibility that my exchange with her not only opened my eyes. It may have allowed her to open up her own universal view and consider what is truth. I hope so.

Kelly - Is ignorance truely bliss? I feel in my heart for that young man. Some religions can be extremely controling. It is our gift and purpose to shine our light in all areas of darkness. However, it is good to remember that without darkness we would have no perception of light.

Thank you all for your input on this matter. YOu have reminded me to live in truth and not respond to fear. Simply share unconditional love and bless those along their paths who do not recognize it.



Peace and Light

Maria Troia said:
Gerry,

Long ago, I learned to separate myself from this sort of thing. As you say, everyone is entitled to their belief system and I wholeheartedly honor that, but I do demand (silently, through my energy) that people be respectful of my gifts and my experience. This expectation alone seems to have separated this sort of thing from my experience, and for that I am very grateful because when I was exposed to this sort of thing, it absolutely zapped me of my energy and drained my spirit for days. It was horrible and sometimes quite painful.

Thankfully, I’ve never been accused of being a witch or any such thing, except, ironically, by my ex-husband (who I was married to at the time). I was mid-way through massage school, only Reiki I, and I was also taking a clinic round in Barbara Brennan work at school. The ex was the person I'd most frequently practice on and he liked receiving massage. He was not religious at all, but definitely left-brained, very skeptical of energy work and thought it was something of a big joke. I was assessing his chakras with a pendulum one day after that clinic round and made a comment about certain chakra spins, and apparently I hit a nerve. He jumped off the table, ran out of the room and quite passionately called me a "voodoo witch" as he ran down the hall, carrying on that he didn’t want me to use "my voodoo witch ‘stuff’ (fill in the expletive) on him ever again." Within 6 months, we were initiating divorce proceedings.

At the time it was very confusing and upsetting. Now, years later, I honestly laugh (even as I type this). The experience began my education in the value of being in Truth, and knowing that I don’t need to defend what I do to anyone. As I said, it was just the beginning of that education… there was more practice to be had, but this was definitely the high point of my experience.

Today I find that people with challenging beliefs just don’t make their way to my office. I don’t seek any certain type of client, but the right ones seem to find me.

For me, so much of it came from that place of finding my power, connecting with that silent place inside with which you make peace and from where you derive strength. It’s taken some time, but I know this sort of challenge is over for me now.

I wish I could explain it better than that, give people better coordinates to help them avoid such draining and unfortunate experiences. But I really do think it’s a case of setting intention, being clear on your thoughts, knowing who you are, and always standing firm in your power (not just when challenged, but at all times). And of course being tolerant and compassionate when you are confronted. I say compassionate, because I have to think it must be utter hell to live with such limits on consciousness. But I believe everyone’s journey is the journey they have chosen and are meant to have. And so I send them a silent blessing and move out of the way. I never indulge them in debate. My time and energy are too precious.

I do think much of my inner power has also been fostered by the techniques I practice. I think being so focused in Asian technique and embracing TCM principles has helped me deepen this mindset/awareness. That said, I am certainly human and there is always constant correction to be made. The mind/spirit will wander; we have to always bring it back to center. Being aware of our thoughts is perhaps the most important step.


Maria Troia, MSEd, LMT, NCTMB, CH
www.KIRAHolistic.com
However, it is good to remember that without darkness we would have no perception of light.>>

Thank you, Gerry. These words provided me with a reminder I could really use myself right now.

Working in a rural community with a strong religious influence certainly can pose a challenge to an energy worker (and I agree, these are also things that make such communities quite special). The challenge is figuring out how we fit into the picture.

If life has taught me anything, it's taught me this: we are given exactly what we need when we need it. Things are moving much faster on this planet these days. You're where you are for a reason, whether to foster someone else's growth, to foster your own, or more likely both. What challenges us the most is what ends up shaping us in ways we can't even imagine when we're caught in the struggle. Just keep being you (being in Truth). Let go of the thoughts rattling in your head about "what 'they' might think or say." Trust that it's all in divine order. As I've said here before, just keep beaming out so you don't get to soak up any of their fear. Know who you are at all times and why you are here. The rest is just details. And you know what they say: God/source is in the details.
I meant to post this reply here, not on the Wall- sorry. Still learning how to use this site!

For most therapists, I have found, when you first become a massage therapist and/or a bodyworker, you are focused on the physical. But to become really good at your craft you learn to feel more deeply and to feel more deeply you have to let go of the physical and move into the realm of the intuitive. Once that shift occurs, the client's energy body is experienced. In the therapist's body, the energy body is experienced because to be intuitive requires a sense of relaxation, of letting go, of flow, while working. Remember, the physical reflects the energetic, so it is just a matter of sinking deeper into the healing process.

At this point, the ethical dilemma is whether consent to do energy work has been obtained from the client. Has consent been given when the client agrees to massage or bodywork? If the physical reflects the energetic, then how can we, as therapists, be expected to separate energy work from hands-on work? If we do, we shut off a part of ourselves that could be available for helping the client become healthier. If we don't we are on the edge of infringing on the client's rights.

One solution is to educate our clients about how we work and what we do. To take the "voo doo" out of energy work. This is one gripe I have always had with Reiki- initiation, special secret symbols, paying big bucks to be "ordained" as a Master- it reeks of religion parading as a healing art. On the one hand, Reiki has given energy work a bad name. On the other hand, Reiki has made energy work boom! For those that don’t want to get involved with Reiki, there are many non-religious schools of energy work, such as Therapeutic Touch, Dynamic Energy Balancing, Barbara Brenan, and more.

Another solution is to include energy work on your intake form as one of the modalities you use.

Yet another solution is to tell your client when you are doing energy work, to ask their permission, and to accept their response.
I think it is interesting in these times that people still have a negative connotation with energy work. Main stream medical science couldn't function without energy diagnostic tools. X rays, MRI's Ultrasounds, etc. all are a form of energy work.

I am a very strong Christian and have been a Reiki Master for twelve years and a Body Talk Instructor for five years. Most of the time when people have an issue with it usually boils down to three things: 1. We are nervous when you present the technique or talk about it. It is easy for people to pick up on our insecurities and if you feel like you have to "sell" them on it, you may scare them off. 2. We don't have a professional appearance or don't present yourself as an educated trustworthy professional. 3. We don't have the educational background to explain scientifically what we are doing.

The research is out there. James Oshman's books are great resources. I have Catholic priests and non-denominational pastors as clients and they love it. I have even taught missionaries the basics of BodyTalk so that they can help more people. The problemwe have had until now was not enough research to back up what we are doing. That's why I love BodyTalk because it is so much more effective than reiki and it is a system that can be explained and taught easily. I love reiki but it is hard to explain exactly what you are doing and some people don;t feel subtle energies so they may not feel many shifts during a session.

Ego's are a terrible plague in energy work as well. Only God and the person are doing the healing and we are merely observing it. A lot of people say things like "Im going to balance your energies" or "I am doing a healing", which is very far from the actual truth. I know its easy for all of us to get caught up in this when we get good results but, we get better results when we stay detached from the outcome and witness the miracles. That goes for all of our massage modalities as well, we are merely putting information into the body and it is doing the healing.

I think its actually a great time to be in energy work. There are a lot of great modalities out there and that is obviusly where the future is headed. There's not much new to create or discover as far as massage goes. There will always be people that shy away from energy work but that is true with just about everything.

Good luck!

Nancy Toner Weinberger said:
I meant to post this reply here, not on the Wall- sorry. Still learning how to use this site!

For most therapists, I have found, when you first become a massage therapist and/or a bodyworker, you are focused on the physical. But to become really good at your craft you learn to feel more deeply and to feel more deeply you have to let go of the physical and move into the realm of the intuitive. Once that shift occurs, the client's energy body is experienced. In the therapist's body, the energy body is experienced because to be intuitive requires a sense of relaxation, of letting go, of flow, while working. Remember, the physical reflects the energetic, so it is just a matter of sinking deeper into the healing process.

At this point, the ethical dilemma is whether consent to do energy work has been obtained from the client. Has consent been given when the client agrees to massage or bodywork? If the physical reflects the energetic, then how can we, as therapists, be expected to separate energy work from hands-on work? If we do, we shut off a part of ourselves that could be available for helping the client become healthier. If we don't we are on the edge of infringing on the client's rights.

One solution is to educate our clients about how we work and what we do. To take the "voo doo" out of energy work. This is one gripe I have always had with Reiki- initiation, special secret symbols, paying big bucks to be "ordained" as a Master- it reeks of religion parading as a healing art. On the one hand, Reiki has given energy work a bad name. On the other hand, Reiki has made energy work boom! For those that don’t want to get involved with Reiki, there are many non-religious schools of energy work, such as Therapeutic Touch, Dynamic Energy Balancing, Barbara Brenan, and more.

Another solution is to include energy work on your intake form as one of the modalities you use.

Yet another solution is to tell your client when you are doing energy work, to ask their permission, and to accept their response.
I caution you not to be too tough on your clients as generally people are slow to accept "new" ideas. Give them time. I can remember thinking a friend practioner was dabbling in some strange stuff (Healing Touch) - always seemed like the flower child type, but this seemed too edgy. But when the time was right, I tested the waters. I have since become trained in Healing Touch, Jin Shin Jyutsu, and Acupressure and now realize it is almost impossible to give a great massage without energy work. I respect my clients' hesitation and most come around to accepting it through my loving acceptance of them and where they are in their journey.
Reiki has been my experience a great sense of theoretical dilemmas and opinions. Since I began studying massage to incorporated into my business. During the study was well found the opinion of students and other teachers in front of the teacher how to take lessons, because it showed the field asajo as a holistic intertwined with the energy terms included. They charged that the professor had cults in school, she was a witch and even students were against it. But her classes were the most complet I received. Personally, even with my Christian beliefs, I could absorb the Reiki and energy work, and found no conflict. 'Cause I believe God is energy and we are part of that energy that emanates from God. I believe God uses us as tools of healing to help the human being. But then enter the field of the Church where there are people who if they think alike, but others that look like something strange. But let it pass, and in due time I see the task of instructing, most understand, there's always the minority that is more closed to critical thinking but do not let that affect my work. That if I do everything possible to separate the two abilities. If the person does not believe in Reiki, do not use it, although I consider that this person really needs. But I inform them about Reiki and its benefits.

I think the problem is on the bad information found by the media, ist's part of us to give them correct information.

*Sorry for the gramaticals errors, my english isn't good*
Thanks for sharing your experience Arnaldo.

J. Arnaldo Pabon said:
Reiki has been my experience a great sense of theoretical dilemmas and opinions. Since I began studying massage to incorporated into my business. During the study was well found the opinion of students and other teachers in front of the teacher how to take lessons, because it showed the field asajo as a holistic intertwined with the energy terms included. They charged that the professor had cults in school, she was a witch and even students were against it. But her classes were the most complet I received. Personally, even with my Christian beliefs, I could absorb the Reiki and energy work, and found no conflict. 'Cause I believe God is energy and we are part of that energy that emanates from God. I believe God uses us as tools of healing to help the human being. But then enter the field of the Church where there are people who if they think alike, but others that look like something strange. But let it pass, and in due time I see the task of instructing, most understand, there's always the minority that is more closed to critical thinking but do not let that affect my work. That if I do everything possible to separate the two abilities. If the person does not believe in Reiki, do not use it, although I consider that this person really needs. But I inform them about Reiki and its benefits.

I think the problem is on the bad information found by the media, ist's part of us to give them correct information.

*Sorry for the gramaticals errors, my english isn't good*

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