Regular readers will know my opinion of Reiki or “energy healing.” No need to rehash it here, at least not at the moment. But if you’re a believer and looking for a Reiki practitioner, Reiki Blogger has some suggestions for you of things that “are NOT OK” in a first Reiki session:

I recently read what I can only say was a very disturbing account of a persons first ever reiki session. The person went along to a “friends” husband who was, as well as a reiki person, a medical doctor.

Now, you would expect to be reasonably confident to follow this persons instructions. Well, think again. He asked this poor lady to undress, completely, and then proceeded to give her hands on reiki, everywhere.

Yeah, I’m guessing that would be a red flag that something’s wrong. Reiki Blogger elaborates:

Nudity: Reiki does not require you to remove your clothing. Even during a massage your body is covered except for the area being worked on. If someone asks you to undress, leave. Immediately.

Inappropriate contact: Reiki can be given 1-2cm above the body. There is no need to make contact with areas of sensitivity. Genitals for one.

I’ve always had a question about Reiki. Why wouldn’t clothing interfere with the “energy” field that the Reiki master is supposedly manipulating? But that’s just me. I guess my aura needs some manipulation to cleanse me of those skeptical thoughts.

Of course, Reiki Blogger warns you to stay away as well if you hear your new Reiki master saying things like (among several others):

  • You have the aura of Jesus (do not laugh, someone has said this to me)
  • They are Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu (whoever) re-incarnated, or a close disciple of them re-incarnated
  • Anything about Aliens. That they help them give you reiki. They are coming to save them. They can save you.

Good warning signs, all. Of course, the most truthful and applicable warning I’ve ever heard about Reiki is to leave if you hear a Reiki practitioner say:

Reiki is going to fix you, make you all better again. (especially if you have a serious illness)

Indeed. If you hear a Reiki master say this, he or she is full of…well, you know.


  1. #1 Skeptico
    March 24, 2007

    I’d have thought that someone telling you they’re a Reiki practitioner would be enough of a warning.

  2. #2 vika
    March 24, 2007

    Funny, I’ve talked to half a dozen reiki practitioners in my life (not treatment; social interaction), and none of them said any of the above quackery.

    I’ve experienced Reiki once, and honestly can’t say what I got from it and what – from other environmental sources. But it was nifty, and duckless.

  3. #3 Guillermo Alcántara
    March 24, 2007

    There’s a reiki thing, called Human Universal Energy, that claims to open your shakras (improve your life), but they to do it from behind o.O Then the guy invokes “the master” and ask for permission to do as he has done to him!! I’m not kidding, those reiki guys have a strange cosmology.

  4. #4 Kristjan Wager
    March 24, 2007

    Guillermo, I’m sorry but I didn’t get that at all. Don’t feel bad about it, I’m reasonably sure it’s because I don’t get the “logic” behind it, not because of your description.

  5. #5 EoR
    March 25, 2007

    What if you’re the reincarnation of Aliens? Is that allowed?

    Apparently, artificial fibres are strong enough to block the magic woo waves. Natural fibres, naturally, don’t.

    No nudity? Why are the alties taking all the fun out of this stuff? They act so serious about it, people might think it’s real

  6. #6 DrDork
    March 25, 2007

    “He asked this poor lady to undress, completely, and then proceeded to give her hands on reiki, everywhere.”

    Hello –

    1. Medical deregistration
    2. Gaol

  7. #7 DrDork
    March 25, 2007

    Or Jail, for North Americans….Ha!

  8. #8 Ubu Walker
    March 25, 2007

    I get a massage, once a month. There is nothing unusual about being asked to get undressed during a massage. The masseuse shouldn’t watch you undress; you should be given privacy to undress and they should give you a sheet to wrap yourself in. It almost goes without saying that the masseuse should not touch your genitals under any circumstances;however, the masseuse should ask before massaging the breast area, if female. If you feel uncomfortable undressing or with any of the touching, say so immediately.

  9. #9 tim gueguen
    March 25, 2007

    I would imagine modern reiki, like other woos, is often combined with things “traditional” reiki followers would not believe in. Just like Madonna and Guy Ritchie were supposedly going to try ayurvedic products to help her get pregnant even though they’re into that watered down version of Kaballah. I have no doubt the Kaballah Center folks would have no objections, especially since objecting could cut into their profits by losing celeb customers.

  10. #10 J. J. Ramsey
    March 25, 2007

    “Why wouldn’t clothing interfere with the ‘energy’ field that the Reiki master is supposedly manipulating?”

    Maybe they think of it as similar to a magnetic field, which, IIRC, is usually not affected by nonconducting items. It’s not like magnetism hasn’t been exploited by woos before.

  11. #11 Alan Kellogg
    March 26, 2007

    The only time I have problems with sexual massage is when it’s done badly. Can deflate a fella faster than an unexpected phone call.

  12. #12 Jonathan Dobres
    March 27, 2007

    I’ve gone for Reiki only once. No particular medical reason, but I was taking a class where the experience of it was recommended. There were a lot of clients there who believed in some serious woo, along with a few clients who, and I mean this in all seriousness, were not in their right minds.

    That said, the reiki practitioners themselves were all very reasonable, level-headed people. No one did anything inappropriate, and no one made any unrealistic claims about what reiki could do for you. Who knows? Reiki provides a bit of social contact and some conscious relaxation. At worst, it does nothing. As long as people keep their expectations realistic, I don’t see how it does much harm.

    The Hoxsey treatment, now that’s another story…

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