There are two discrepancies in Reiki which often concerned me, and I had many clients from other therapists who said they felt really poorly after Reiki and decided not to continue, which was a shame. Naturally, I asked them what happened, they explained they felt worse after a session of Reiki, and it never seemed to improve, and one or two said the odd feeling seemed to get worse, so they stopped having Reiki and told others not to as well, as it felt wrong. And that’s a shame because it gave Reiki such a bad name.


I had a dozen or so come to me to ask if I could “fix them” with psychotherapy or hypnotherapy. A few Reiki students wanted me to take Reiki away entirely as they felt so poorly, and one believed she was cursed. She wasn’t, but the feelings were so horrid she had regretted ever having Reiki at all. I explained the most likely thing to have happened would be the therapist used symbols on them while doing therapy because that’s how they were taught, whereas I was never taught that way. I was informed that:

  • Symbols are used in attunements only
  • They are NEVER applied in therapy PERIOD!

My lineage is extremely short, and so there has been no room for Chinese whispers where information gets distorted, and it does. What they’d experienced was a healing crisis. However, to prove to these disappointed people that Reiki could be lovely and relaxing, I gave them a free fifteen- minute session, and they were staggered at the difference. So much so they decided to come to the introduction course to learn more and many of them did Reiki and Seichem, which to me balanced the dynamics.


I also gave them a pocket-sized free book. A gift from a publisher at a cost price of fifty-pence, (that was amazing synchronicity) which enabled me to give them away to my students. But also to people who had enough knowledge and needed more information. When I was doing my Reiki and Seichem degrees in 1996/7, we had no free books, and symbols were on rice paper which we had to remember then eat them.


These were only given at the student’s attunements, starting at degree two. Using symbols on clients was why many recipients suffered a healing crisis and never went back, or spoke derogatorily of Reiki.

In effect, the client had an attunement into whatever symbols the therapist used and without any preparation at all. If familiar with Reiki, you will know how powerful the Master Symbol can be and how much training is needed to accept this symbol? So giving a raw recruit this any symbol when they’re probably unwell and wanted Reiki to feel better, would be far too forceful, and the Master symbol I consider would be unethical. I refrain from using the adjective powerful as powerful it would never be.


Instead, it would be a forced activity and one I deplore. It’s tantamount to giving someone a tattoo, and don’t want one. Dramatic? Hell no, it’s absolutely wrong to wave symbols over someone totally unaware that’s what the therapist is doing. The mind boggles. I have no idea where the concept came from that symbols were part of therapy; they never were. I have never taught this way and never would.


Students were always told of the possibility of a healing crisis and depending on their spiritual progress, their existing health, emotional feelings and mental attitudes, this could be mild, moderate to severe. I found many who were taught elsewhere had never been told about the possibility of a healing crisis so were annoyed, worried and decided to go no further.

Sometimes this happens, and why I introduced a foundation/intro course. Plus I always wanted to see the certificates from other tutors, plus I would have them to fill in a questionnaire with these questions.

  • Were they given a book on the subject?
  • Did they have a working manual and if so to bring?
  • Were they offered support afterwards?
  • Did they have a healing crisis?
  • What degree/level they were?
  • Why they wanted to do the next level?
  • What they expected from my teachings?
  • Did they know they had to ground themselves?
  • Did they know about Protection techniques?
  • A short assignment on their understanding of the subject,
  • What they had done in the past, and what brought them to me?