Sunday, 30 September 2012

CNHC Registered: a Milestone!

I was recently accepted as a registrant of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare (CNHC) Reiki register.

To be honest I don’t know if I would have sought registration if it wasn’t a condition of being on the CNHC Reiki profession specific board (PSB).  I want to continue on the PSB to help make it possible for Reiki practitioners to offer treatments widely, including in the NHS.  Now that I’m a registrant I can see that it’s something of a milestone and the culmination of many years’ work, so I’m pleased Reiki has brought me to this achievement.

Many years ago my Reiki master Martha Sylvester asked me to start keeping a list of Reiki practitioners so that people in different parts of the country could find someone to give them Reiki.  Not long after this The Reiki Association was born and soon began to make referrals of Reiki practitioners.

We soon found we needed a way to ensure that the person we were referring would be a trustworthy practitioner who would give a good Reiki treatment.  So we began to discuss what qualities a Reiki practitioner needs and how to evaluate this.

These early discussions and some conferences about the public practice of Reiki with Phyllis Furumoto led to a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Reiki practitioner working with the public, rather than just offering Reiki to family and friends as many people do. 

I found what I learned during this exploration useful when I contributed to setting the National Occupational Standards (NOS) and creating core curriculum for Reiki practitioners in subsequent years.  These are the standards that CNHC Reiki registrants now need to meet

I have therefore seen Reiki move from being a very little known personal practice that was occasionally offered more widely to a well known healing option that now has a place in hospitals and hospices.  As a result it now has the support of an independent organisation that is happy to hold a register of practitioners.  This is recognition from outside the Reiki community that Reiki practitioners are responsible people who offer something of value.  One of the characteristics of professional practice we identified at the conferences over 10 years ago is recognition from wider society, so it’s gratifying to see this come true in the UK.

I am very keen to see more people offering Reiki as professional practitioners.  Working with Reiki is very satisfying and offers people an option that is not like anything else.  Reiki helps people deal with the difficulties of life in a gentle yet powerful non-invasive way, especially good for people who want to lessen the side effects of medication or other invasive treatment.

I’ve seen a wonderful transformation recently is several clients who were suffering physical and emotional pain.  They came to Reiki in states of fear, pain and gloom, feeling that life was very difficult.  Now, after regular treatment,  their pain and suffering is noticeably reduced and they express positive feelings of being able to cope better and having more resilience to deal with life’s challenges.

My hope is that the CNHC Reiki register means that more people will trust and have access to this wonderful healing and that Reiki practitioners will find it easier to make a living doing this much needed work.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Letting People Know about Reiki

Reiki students are advised not to advertise, but to let people come through word of mouth.  However this can be backed up by having a business card or leaflet to give to people you meet.

I have recently been involved in re-writing a leaflet about Reiki for The Reiki Association, which members will be able to buy to give to potential clients. 
Students who have attended my introduction to public practice workshop will remember that one of the characteristics of public/professional practice is a greater need to take note of the expectations of society.   This has become relevant in the re-writing of this leaflet, due to recent adjudications of the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA)

There is much greater awareness now about Reiki and complementary therapies in general than when the leaflet was first written years ago.  Some people hold the view that these therapies are just fooling the public into parting with their hard earned money!  As a result complaints about some Reiki advertising were made to the ASA recently and were upheld.   In revising the leaflet it was therefore felt to be wise to pay more attention to the wording so that it would not cause problems for those who might use it.

The complaints the ASA upheld were about statements concerning what Reiki could be beneficial for.  The role of the ASA is to ensure any advertising is ‘legal, descent, honest or truthful’.  There is a concern that people with a medical condition might choose to go to a complementary therapist instead of their doctor and so become more ill.  They therefore do not accept any mention of medical conditions that Reiki might help without “robust evidence” in the form of clinical trials.  They have been made aware of some of the positive research in to the benefits of Reiki, but dismissed them because they did not involve a large enough number of participants in the trials.

The Reiki Association consulted the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) which gives guidance about what advertising content is likely to be acceptable to the ASA.  What was interesting in their suggested revisions was that, while they removed any reference to physical conditions, they inserted the words ‘emotional’ and ‘spiritual’ where we had not thought to include them. 

Hawayo Takata, who brought Reiki from Japan to the West, taught that the underlying cause of physical problems lies on the levels of mind, emotions and spirit and that this is where Reiki is really beneficial.  I have seen this to be true from my own treatment practice. 

So while it is frustrating not to be able to say that Reiki can help problems like period pain, healing from surgery or arthritis (to name but a few) because people are often first drawn to seek help due to physical conditions, it is indeed perhaps more truthful to say that what Reiki helps with is the emotional and mental aspects of these problems, which may in time result in improvement of the physical. 

I have one student who has indeed found that Reiki has not improved the physical condition she hoped it would cure.  However she says it has changed her life and she wouldn’t be without it because it has helped her feel so much better.

What are your thoughts about how to let people know about the benefits of Reiki?