Sarah Collins

Reiki Energy, Holistic Massage & Beauty in Haworth, West Yorkshire

Learn Reiki

Simply Healing, Simply Reiki

Why learn with me?

I am an Usui Reiki Master Teacher and a Karuna Master Teacher and I have been offering Reiki courses regularly since 2007. I have practised as a Reiki healer since 2004. This means that I have a lot of experience with many different students, and I have been working as a therapist for many years. I have insights to share with my Reiki learners and my course notes and materials reflect years of teaching as well as my own learning and development as a Reiki Master Teacher. I produce my own learning materials and plan the day carefully to give students a rich experience to enable them to leave feeling confident that they can ‘do Reiki’.

Shoden – Starting Reiki – for self-development, and to share with loved ones

As society adjusts to living with Covid, many people feel the need for a daily practice that calms, centres and soothes them so that they can deal with the new challenges that face them. Everyone is coping with the economic issues, with changed working practices and the stress on their families and children.

Reiki 1 or Shoden is a life skill and it is a simple self-help therapy you can share with your family and people you care for. You learn the Reiki Principles which were written by the founder Dr Usui as a simple underlying philosophy, mindfulness techniques and a straightforward inner connection and self-healing routine you can use anywhere and in a variety of ways to bring you tranquillity and focus so that you deal better with whatever life is offering you.

You can use the healing techniques you learn at this level to bring peace, inner calm and a sense of deep connection to others. They can either lie down on a couch or sit in a comfortable chair, and you can offer gentle touch or hover your hands over them.

After their one-day Reiki 1 course, I encourage my students will keep on a steady path in Reiki, and I suggest they keep going with their daily self-healing or meditation practice. It often helps if students come with their partner or a friend they can work with afterwards as this keeps the momentum and people encourage one another to keep going. They can offer each other healing, form a little meditation and Reiki sharing group with other friends and share the benefits.

It takes 21 days to form a new habit, according to psychologists so put your Reiki session with yourself in your diary if that helps clear the time you need. Find a space where you can practise Reiki regularly, for yourself and for others if that’s what you want to do. Introduce variety into your Reiki sessions – choose a meditation or visualisation, do your self-healing routine, share healing with someone who would like to experience Reiki, or simply remember the Reiki Principles we covered on your course and think about them quietly.

If you want to learn more and bring Reiki into your life then come on one of my regular Reiki 1 Shoden courses. The next ones are on July 19th /September 28th / November 17th

Okuden – learn the symbols, develop your practice, choose to be a practitioner

Some students learn the first level of Reiki and it brings them just what they wanted, others decide to learn more after a few months or years. A lot of people who already practise other therapies decide to learn Shoden and Okuden, the first and second levels, in one weekend. It’s a lot to do at once, but their commitment enables them to do it and start introducing Reiki into their work.

Okuden introduces you to ways of focusing your healing to suit different people, different circumstances, different needs. You learn the Japanese symbols to help you bring the right emphasis into your treatments both for yourself and others. Meditating with the symbols helps you understand your own inner self, and brings you a deep sense of connection and a heightened awareness that helps your own healing process.

From achieving self-awareness and healing our own issues we become more confident in our Reiki. This helps us to help others, whether they are close to us or clients in our therapy practise. This is the real step forward at Reiki 2 or Okuden level and it is worth taking whether Reiki is simply a personal journey or a therapy you intend to use professionally.

What is a Reiki Treatment like?

My own experience of Reiki is deep relaxation, expansion of the breath and calm. Other people experience a range of feelings such as seeing colours, feeling physical sensations including pleasant tingling, pain relief or release of tension. You experience what you are ready to feel and what will be helpful for you at the time.

You can give Reiki either lying down or sitting comfortably in a chair. Reiki is most often offered to others when they are lying down because this enables the receiver to relax deeply. The Reiki giver normally offers the receiver a blanket to keep them warm, pillows and something to support the knees. No clothing needs to be removed although I don’t like people to keep their shoes on when they lie on my couch.

The Reiki giver will lay their hands on the series of positions they learned in their Reiki 1 course and if they have Reiki 2 they may use the symbols and perhaps the chants that go with them. The treatment normally lasts around an hour and my own students are taught to treat both the front and the back of the person.

The Reiki giver might offer to burn essential oils and although this is not part of Reiki it is helpful and pleasant if the giver understands these products. A Reiki session may include crystals if the giver is a crystal therapist and this can also enhance the experience if the giver is expert in their use. It is certainly interesting to learn other skills to use but it isn’t essential as Reiki a complete holistic therapy.

If you want to learn more and become a Reiki practitioner then come on one of my regular Reiki 2 Okuden courses. The next ones are on July 20th / September 29th / November 18th

Do you want to teach Reiki? I offer Shinpiden Level 3 Reiki by arrangement

Think about how you already practise Reiki

Why do we treat the back in a Reiki session?

Some Reiki Masters are teaching students to treat the front of the client only, and don’t teach the back positions for self-healing either. They argue that the Reiki energy will go where it needs to and so there is no point in asking the client to turn over or to treat our own backs.

I teach my own students both the front and the back positions we have from Dr Hayashi, one of the founders of Reiki who was a medical doctor as well as a Reiki healer who trained with Dr Usui in his healing system. Dr Hayashi developed the positions for treating oneself and for treating others in his dedicated Reiki clinic, and many people passed through this centre with successful outcomes so I choose to teach his methods to my students.

I have thought deeply about how I teach and researched why Dr Hayashi developed his healing methods the way he did. Reiki is a Japanese therapy and it is based on boosting and directing the flow of ki or vital energy. Ki flows through the meridians and these run up and down the back and the front of the person. The conception meridian flows down the front, and so that explains the treatment positions for this aspect nicely. Its partner, the governing meridian, runs up the back. This is flanked by the bladder meridian.

The governing and conception vessels are two branches of the same source and represent In and Yo (or Yin-and-Yang in Chinese), reflected in the front-and-back pathways they follow.  When we treat the front of the person we are healing the feminine energies of the person, and the treating the back brings healing to the masculine aspect.  Exploring this meridian is helpful for Reiki students as it is the main Ki pathway, and those who go on to Master level will be working with it closely.

The bladder meridian runs either side of the spinal column and controls the water element within the body, and humans are mainly made up of water (approximately 60% of our body is water). Water controls the supply and flow of everything the cells of the body need to function. In Chinese/Japanese medicine, the bladder meridian acts as a water reservoir and also removes stored waste.

As well as dealing with the physical aspect of water in the body, the bladder meridian is responsible for its energetic aspect. Water imbalance has a serious effect on the mind and spirit if they are either deprived of water or flooded by it. The person will feel they have no reserves to deal with issues and challenges, and life will simply be too much for them. They live in a fearful state of high anxiety. The other side of the coin is a total denial or lack of fear which means that we don’t perceive real danger and so fail to take action to take care of ourselves.  In working on the back of the client or ourselves, we are balancing this water element, and this is reflected in the Reiki Principles taught at Reiki 1 also. ‘Just for today do not be afraid, don’t worry’.

Mrs Takata was the Reiki teacher who first brought the practice to westerners, having studied in Japan with Dr Hayashi in his Reiki clinic. She told her students to spend half of their treatment time on the front of the body and half of it on the back. (Reiki News, Spring 2007).  Her treatment methods did have variations, but she emphasised the importance of carrying out a whole-body treatment saying that the body is a complete unit and so all parts should be treated.  She also taught that we should always keep our hands on the client, even when they are turning over and that we should avoid coming onto the spine directly but should work at an angle.  This suggests that treatment of the back was important to Mrs Takata.

Finally, chakras have become part of Reiki healing and so it is useful to think about their front and back aspects.  The chakras are embedded in Shushumna nadi, which follows the line of the spine. Each one of the chakras is located at the point of an endocrine gland. The front of the chakras works with the manifest world, so in ‘opening the heart chakra’ by doing a flowing Tree asana, we are opening ourselves up to love and compassion and releasing love to the Earth.  The back of the chakras represents the un-manifest, that is to say our potential, as well as our past.  Our past may have made us defensive, and this will make opening the front aspect of the chakras difficult – by opening the back aspect we may be able to deal with issues which will ease the process of moving forward and dealing with life as it manifests itself. This is the aim of healing.


©2022 Sarah Collins

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