pamela miles

Benefits of Reiki


Benefits of Reiki from Reiki Master Teacher Pamela Miles

I write a lot about the benefits of Reiki, both daily self practice for those who have at least first level Reiki under their belt, and regular Reiki treatments for everyone.

Better sleep, improved ability to focus, improved ability to handle stress, less pain and better ability to handle pain, etc. There is nothing bad about Reiki.

Here is an interview Dr. Sandi Scheinbaum did with Pamela Miles, author of Reiki: A comprehensive Guide, about the benefits of Reiki at the 2012 Integrative Healthcare Symposium.


Daily Self Reiki Practice


Daily self reiki practice is important for all reiki practitioners. Help yourself first so you can better help others!

When I was still living in the Caribbean my husband bought me Pamela Miles' Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide, one of the clearest books on Reiki I have read. Over the years Pamela and I have stayed connected (even though we saw each other more when we lived in different countries, as opposed to the same island), and her Reiki, Medicine, and Self-Care Facebook page and her Reiki Blog are great resources for me.

This weekend Pamela put out a call to action. She asked that all of us who do daily self reiki practice identify as such.

You can see the badge in my sidebar, but in case you missed it:

Daily Self Reiki Badge

I practice mostly in the early morning, before I get out of bed. It keeps me calm, balanced, and sane in an insane city.


Reiki and Consent


Reiki and Consent - Where do we draw the line?

Trauma (medicine)

One of the first things we learn as Reiki I students is to always obtain the consent of the person you are treating. This becomes even more important in Reiki II as we look at sending distance healing, and it should go without saying that no Reiki Master should be passing attunements to people without their knowledge.

A few days ago I read this blog post by a surgeon who is out to debunk reiki, Reiki Invades An Operating Room, and while I wanted to be very upset at his tone and approach, I couldn't be. All other issues aside, the Reiki case in question in this blog post is one where an anesthesiologist who also happens to be a Reiki Master (and yes, many health professionals do Reiki) discusses passing Reiki and attunements to patients who are out on the operating table.

In Lightwork in the O.R.: a Case Study, the author states,

Intraoperative Reiki is a powerful tool. It helps to establish rapport. It helps to address the underlying conditions, both on an energetic level and a deeper soul level, that result in the manifestation of physical disease. It is non-toxic, safe, and does not need to be documented or charted or even discussed with the patient at the time it is given. People come to us for healing, in the hospital. It would be remiss to leave something clearly in need of treatment, untreated, when we have the ability to treat it at the same time that other work is being done.

And therein lies the problem. I have the right to refuse any aspect of medical care that I do not wish to receive, even if that might kill me. I also have the right to choose or refuse any part of my care. My 77 year old mother is dying of liver cancer. Respecting her wishes we have declined all medical treatment other than pain management in hospice care. She has the right to decline the biopsies and treatments that might extend her life, and she also has the right to say no to Reiki, even if it would help her feel better.

Pamela Miles brought this up for discussion on her Reiki, Medicine, and Self-Care Facebook page, and the responses have been interesting, with a large number of Reiki folks bristling at the criticism instead of addressing what I believe is such a crucial issue. I mean, if we cannot even agree that individuals have the right to say yes or no to a Reiki treatment, how are we to go convince the surgeons of the world that we are not completely woo-woo?

Here is my last (but probably not final) comment on that page:

I think Orac is appropriately angry at one of his colleagues, and the fact is that said colleague sneaks reiki in on people who he knows would say no if asked, and even attunes them at times with no basis or discussion. I would think that as a community we should be thinking about what we can learn from this, and part of what I take away is the importance of clear communication and consent regarding any kind of treatment. I have the right to decline medical treatment period, even if it could keep me alive. I should therefore have the right to decline reiki, and Reiki Doc's patients are not given that option. Someone like Orac wouldn't even talk to us unless we could at minimum agree on that.

Reiki Plain and Simple

Before I start, listen to Reiki Master Pamela Miles on how to find a credible Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide. This is important, because I maintain that credible Reiki is simple, silent, and still - no bells, whistles, crystals, or other accoutrements necessary! httpv://

Now, many people associate Reiki with ayurveda, angels, chakras, and all kinds of other healing modalities that are not Reiki. Reiki is actually quiet, simple, and profound. You sit down or lay down on a table fully clothed. I tend to lay my hands on people, but when I work on people in hospitals with MRSA and other contagious pathogens I keep my hands off and hovering. For 45 minutes the person receiving the Reiki gets to relax, be silent, and notice how they feel as the treatment progresses. This is important as Reiki works in that relaxation, that noticing, that moment of rest where my client just lets the Reiki do its work.

As Miles says,

Reiki practice is enough in that it is holistic and complete, engaging the receiver in self-healing at every level. Since Reiki treatment is balancing and gentle, and allows the receiver’s system to respond as it is able, Reiki practice on its own is inherently safe.

Adding healing modalities to make a Reiki treatment stronger doesn’t make sense, because the receiver’s system is already doing all that it can. Practicing Reiki only in any given healing session enables the system to find its center and heal at its own pace, strengthening itself organically from within.

Why gild the lily?

Now, this does NOT mean that we do not go to the doctor, the acupuncturist, or the chakra healer. I simply mean that when you are giving Reiki, keep it clear and simple so that one, you do not impose your belief system and intentions on your clients; two, you allow your clients to know what benefits they are receiving from a Reiki treatment; and three, you allow the other treatments to do their jobs in their own way.

Hand Placements for Reiki Self Treatment

Today at Sarvodaya's Early Morning meditation
Image via Wikipedia

Regular readers of this blog may notice that I am a big proponent, along with my friend Pamela Miles, of daily Reiki self treatment for all Reiki attuned people, whether you work on others or not. Reiki is a gift that we have to easily and comprehensively relax, meditate, and focus on our own well being for 20 minutes a day.

Some people are confused about the Hand placements for Reiki Treatment generally, and especially for self treatment. I was taught the following in my Reiki I training:

crown of head eyes ears throat chest diaphragm navel lower pelvis

and this is the "protocol" I generally follow in a self treatment, ending again at the crown. I set my little BB timer for 2 minutes per position and am up and done in 18 minutes.

If you only put your hands on yourself as you fall asleep, that’s better than nothing. Mrs. Takata often said, any Reiki [practice] is better than no Reiki [practice]. Simply placing your hands anywhere on your body can be enough to stimulate a systemic balancing response from deep within you.

However–you knew there would be a “however”–if you want to receive the greatest benefits as fast as possible (yes, I am a New Yorker!), give yourself a full Reiki treatment every day, moving your hands leisurely along whatever sequence you were taught.

If you use a protocol–a sequence that you repeat every time–you don’t have to pay attention to what you are doing, and your mind can drop spontaneously into a meditative state. This adds another level of healing to the session.

  • Reiki Self Care (
  • Do Your Reiki Training with Lynda In 2011 (

Pamela Miles On Reiki Credibility

I recently published a guest post by Alexis Bonari on Reiki Healing for Chronic Illness: Pain and Fatigue Management. A few days later author, Reiki Master, and Medical Reiki expert Pamela Miles contacted me with some concerns she had over some claims Alexis makes in this article.

"Alexis, while I share your enthusiasm for Reiki treatment and its integration into conventional health care, a word of caution is in order. Saying Reiki treatment has won "the spotlight of the medical world" is a gross overstatement of the health care industry's utilization of Reiki treatment.

NIH research into the benefits of Reiki treatment have so far been inconclusive at best."

In fact, much of the medical world does not know about or utilize Reiki as any form of treatment.

"Contrary to your assertion, the specific origins of Reiki practice are not unclear; there is documentation that the practice was founded by Mikao Usui in the early 20th century. If you have found historians who can document otherwise, please share the source of your information."

While some Reiki Masters such as Diane Stein have claimed that they received channeled information that Reiki dates back to Atlantis, we do know that Usui REiki as we practice it started with Mikao Usui at a specific time and place.

"Furthermore, although there is documentation of the existence of biomagnetic fields (which the NIH refers to as veritable fields), there is no scientific evidence to support the existence of biofields (which is why the NIH refers to them as putative)."

So what does this have to do with Reiki credibility? Why is it a concern if someone plays fast and loose with what we do know to be true about Reiki?

"The moment we make undocumented claims such as "Historians agree," there's no credibility. What historians? Where do they say that? Critical thinkers read this and their suspicions about Reiki are confirmed. Non-critical thinking Reiki enthusiasts read this and it further inflames them and perpetuates the misinformation."

For those of us who are trying to keep Reiki practice traditional (and Usui Reiki is NOT a "new age" practice), claims that are non-specific at best and patently false at worst simply make the medical scientific community move further away. Having something that works where the mechanism is unknown is not always a bad thing. In fact, if you read the PDR section about aspirin it says "mode of activity unknown" and look how often and for how long we have considered aspirin to be effective.

For more information on how to approach Reiki in the Medical World check out Pamela's Introduction to Medical Reiki webinar for Reiki practitioners.