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Reiki Myths + Misconceptions

Reiki Myths + Misconceptions by Timmie Wanechko, Edmonton Reiki Master Teacher

Think you know about Reiki?

Think again.

Having taught Reiki virtually full-time over the past year, I’ve run into a few common myths and misconceptions about Reiki.


None of these misconceptions is harmful per se, however, it can be very damaging for you as a Practitioner (or would-be Reiki Practitioner) to buy into these false beliefs because:

  1. They can prevent you from practicing Reiki on yourself (least of all family, friends, and clients)
  2. They can cause you to over-complicate things, leading to analysis paralysis (a common symptom of perfectionism)
  3. They may cause you to believe that Reiki is harmful, which it absolutely is NOT, which only takes away from your healing potential

Most of these myths and misconceptions are rooted in the ego, which for our purposes, we’ll define as the “lower self” or the selfish, small-minded bully that tends to infiltrate our thoughts and kibosh our attempts at fulfilling our highest potential.

Here are my 3 biggest pet peeves – ahem – myths and misconceptions when it comes to Reiki.

Reiki Practitioners direct Reiki (Universal Life Force Energy) to where it’s needed in their clients or themselves.

This one sounds legit, right?


Here’s the thing that makes the Reiki system unique: Reiki, as Universal Life Force Energy, is it’s own intelligent and Divine energy. Therefore, when you, as a Practitioner, are doing a Reiki Healing, you are acting as a channel for Reiki, which is Divinely guided.

Reiki goes where it needs to go. The intuitive urges that you receive that prompt you to place your hands in certain positions, or to stay in a particular spot for however long a time, are all part of the Divine guidance that we receive as channels of Reiki.

In a way, you could look at Reiki as a more passive energy healing practice. Certainly, there are other healing techniques which are much more manipulative (in the positive sense), such as Chakra Balancing, Psychic Surgery, Crystal Healing etc., but these techniques are not part of the original Usui Reiki System.

I do, however, teach all the aforementioned techniques (Chakra Balancing, Psychic Surgery, and Crystal Healing) at my Level 3 Master Teacher workshops, because at this point my students understand how Reiki works on a deep level, and are ready for more advanced healing practices.

But when it comes to the Usui Shiki Ryoho, the Usui System of Natural Healing, it’s important to remember that the Practitioner is the channel, no more and no less.

Reiki goes where it needs to go, and you or your client will always receive what they need in the allotted amount of time.

If you don’t feel anything, nothing’s happening

Ugh. Okay, so here’s the thing: when students first become attuned to the power of Reiki, there’s usually lots of excitement over the immediate sensations that commonly occur.

These include the very palpable sensation of Reiki emanating from the hands, resulting in the Reiki “hot hands” phenomenon; their increased sensitivity to the state of one’s chakras (theirs and others’); and the feeling of energy moving through their bodies.

And let’s not forget the amazing energetic sensations which people often feel during a professional Reiki healing session.

Don’t get me wrong – I love these sensations too! But that’s NOT what Reiki is about.

Reiki as an energy healing system works on the subtle body, i.e., your spiritual body, your aura, and your energetic body.

As such, it’s effects are at the energetic level, and depending on one’s current state, the physical and emotional manifestations of the Reiki healing may come immediately, or very shortly after Reiki has been channeled.

Whether or not anyone feels these physical or emotional sensations at any given time depends on so many factors, depending on their current mental state, physical wellness, energy levels, mood, and whether they’re feeling particularly blocked.

Either way, Reiki works. Whether you feel the effects immediately or not, Reiki works.

In fact, it’s important to remember that Reiki’s effects are far-reaching and work with you in the long-term; therefore, just because you felt an immediate effect or sensation, doesn’t mean that it ends there. Reiki continues to work with you for as long as you need it.

Another thing worth mentioning is that most people find that they feel the least amount of visceral sensation when they are performing Reiki on themselves. There are many, many explanations for this, but the one that rings most true for me is the fact that we tend to hold such high expectations of ourselves and our results that we mentally block ourselves from receiving. Over time, as you learn to relax and surrender to the experience, you’ll be more sensitive to the healing sensations during your self-Reiki practice.

Final note: forcing Reiki to flow will have the opposite effect that you want it to. If you don’t feel anything at first, and then continue to mentally force Reiki, you’re going to create the biggest mental and energetic block ever, and will end up frustrating yourself. Don’t worry – the Reiki was flowing, and you’ll still get the healing on a subtle level, but you won’t get anywhere by forcing Divine energy.

Reiki Healing can be harmful if the Reiki Practitioner is sick or feeling bad

Ah, the all-pervasive myth of myths.

When you understand how Reiki works to heal, this will become a total moot point.

As a Reiki Practitioner, you are a channel for Divine energy. That means you neither direct Reiki to where you think it needs to go, nor do you use any of your own personal energy to heal another person.

In fact, if you’re not feeling well, it’s in your best interest to channel Reiki and perform self-healing because the Reiki will cleanse you as it passes through your body.

If you’re finding yourself feeling particularly angry or depressed, there’s no need to cancel a healing session as long as you can continue to act professionally and with integrity. As you channel Reiki to your client, Reiki will pass through you, lifting your vibration and ultimately leaving you in a much better place.

EXCEPTION: If you’re physically contagious, i.e., have a cold, flu, viral infection, etc., then OBVIOUSLY you’ll want to notify your clients and reschedule them for another day. The Reiki Healing itself won’t be harmful, but you don’t want to risk passing germs off to your client. Plus, it’s just so unprofessional and totally uncool, whether your client is paying you or not!

As you can see, the root of these myths is the egocentric need to control and be the star of the show.

Becoming a Reiki Practitioner / Energy Healer is a humbling, life-changing process, that is absolutely worth the effort. Reiki cannot do any harm, as it is a Divinely guided energy that provides the highest benefit for the good of all involved.

Once you learn to get out of your own way, you’ll be free to fulfill your mission as a Lightworker by practicing Reiki, raising your vibration, and being a source of love and support to others.

I hope you found this article helpful! If you have any questions, let me know in the comments 🙂

Timmie Wanechko Edmonton Reiki

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