I am very happy that Reiki is gaining visibility and popularity. However, there is some quackery masquerading as Reiki, especially on the internet. While I am fully aware that most of my fellow skeptics disagree and think that all Reiki is quackery, I have found that there is a rather wide range of “Reiki practicing” going on out there. While there are always exceptions and I am not claiming that there is only one way to be a “legitimate” reiki practitioner, I encourage you to ask questions before you plunk down your money.
Here are some suggestions. Most reputable practitioners will have ready answers to these questions. If they seem unfamiliar or jarring, you should look elsewhere. Each question below is followed by additional warning signs that should make you want to at least dig a little more deeply.
What level are you?
Good signs: Level II/Second Degree practitioners, Reiki Master, or Reiki Master Teacher.
Where did you do your training? With whom?
Good signs: The question is comfortable and familiar, and the practitioner has an easy answer, complete with a first and last names, and perhaps an organization.
Less-good signs: “Online.” Or the person does not remember… or says, “Oh, a friend just attuned me.”
In what tradition?
Good signs: A clear, correctly-pronounced answer. Possibilities include: Usui (pronounced Ooh-sue-ee), Gendai, Jikiden, Tibetan, Tummo, Karuna, Komyo. If the practitioner offers the lineage of her training in these traditions, that is an even better sign.
Less good signs: Confusion. Or something like, “It was, um, just regular reiki.” Incorrect pronunciation would concern me also; it implies that the training was either not in-person, not comprehensive or the person has forgotten the training.
What does your self-reiki process involve?
Good signs: All the time! Every morning for xx minutes and every night for xx minutes. I also… (other ways in which she engages in reiki practice regularly).
Less-good signs: It is very important for reiki practitioners to practice self-reiki every day. Many of us commit at least 30 minutes daily, some of us more. Anything that sounds like a lack of a commitment (“Oh, I try, but not as much as I should!”) to this practice would concern me. The more a part of the person’s life it seems that reiki is, the better.
Are you a member of a reiki organization?
[Reiki is not federally regulated, licensed or accredited, and states have different requirements. There are several professional organizations through which practitioners that lend credibility and support to one another, and share resources. A reiki practitioner can be perfectly legitimate and excellent without membership in an organization, but it can help to know whether one is involved in the broader community, especially in light of answers to other questions. (Please bear in mind that membership costs money; a new practitioner may not yet be able to afford dues.) Some possibilities include: International Association of Reiki Professionals (IARP), The International Center for Reiki Training (ICRT Membership Association), The Reiki Alliance and The Canadian Reiki Association.]
Is there a reiki share or healing circle in (your area)?
Reiki shares are places where practitioners get together to practice exchanging Reiki. If your practitioner is a massage therapist who also does Reiki as an addition, this is probably of little consequence. But a Reiki practitioner who doesn’t know about this is one who might not be very invested in the quality of her energy work.
Good signs: S/he knows of at least one, or knows for certain that there is not one.
Less-good signs: The practitioner doesn’t know what that is.