Introducing the first of three posts from Sarah Cooper, the author of the book “Working with Reiki: The essential guide to running a successful Reiki practice.” (see link below).

When you have someone lying in your care receiving Reiki, most times they will have their eyes closed and there will be no verbal communication between you. Particularly when you are newly trained, it can be difficult not to let your critical inner voice begin to raise doubts about the quality of the treatment they are receiving, for no other reason than you are not getting any feedback.

With experience you’ll realise that even when your ‘client’ (substitute ‘friend’ or ‘family member’ as appropriate) appears to be distracted because they keep rubbing their eye or nose, resting their head in one position and then another, or changing the position of their arms – folded across their abdomen, then along by their sides – it is still not necessarily telling you anything more than that they are moving. Indeed it may even be a sign that a great deal is going on for them. For instance it’s possible that the person is moving their arms about because their fingers are feeling numb or getting pins and needles from the Reiki.

You never really know what is happening for anyone. So do keep positive. This can be made much easier, by focusing on what you are providing (such as the pull of the energy through your hands), rather than what you imagine they might be receiving.

At some point you will begin to know and trust that your treatment is providing all that it can, no matter what the feedback. However in the meantime, it can be helpful to look for a few physical signs that will help you relax and silence the questioning “is it working?”

Likely indicators to show someone is responding to the energy include the following:

SWALLOWING – Swallowing is an unconscious response and so when this increases or becomes noticeable it may show that the client is moving into a less conscious state.

RELAXING THE JAW – A slight parting of the lips will indicate that tension is being released in the client’s jaw, and the energy of their body is changing.

FROWNING – You may notice someone frowning during a treatment, as they try to make sense of the energy changes they are perceiving, or as internal processing is taking place.

BREATHING CHANGES – Notice the breathing pattern of your recipient and how it subtly changes during the session. You may see, hear, or feel the pattern of their breathing slow, or become more measured, as they relax into the treatment.

It can also be very satisfying to recognise a sharper intake (or alternatively a more defined release) of breath – it’s not what would be happening if they were just lying down in a room on their own. Some change has forced that to happen.

Occasionally changes in breath become more obvious. Such as when a client begins to snore. This does not always mean that they are completely asleep, because they may well be drifting in and out of different levels of consciousness. There have been occasions when I thought my client was fully out for the count for the whole duration, only for them to subsequently tell me that they had a particular response when I moved to a certain part of their body. So always continue to work as if they are fully alert.

Instances where they have gone to sleep should be welcomed though, as this will tell you that they felt safe and trusting enough in your company to do so. Additionally it removes the logical mind from the healing, meaning the energy can work without restriction – a point of total surrender has been reached.

Less rare than you would imagine is a state of non-breath. (Don’t worry, I’ve never lost a client yet!) I have had several recipients tell me that they felt they moved into a state beyond the need for breathing.

I was first alerted to this as a possibility on one of my Reiki training courses. My teacher said that he had once witnessed a client who appeared to stop breathing completely. Thankfully the person was perfectly unaffected by experience, and came round at the end of the treatment as if nothing extraordinary had happened. I remember silently praying for no one on my therapy couch to ever go through this. And yet they have, and on more than a few occasions. Fortunately I can now appreciate that this phenomenon is just one of those beautiful mysteries that surround Reiki, or rather altered energy states, as I’ve heard it has also been observed occurring during deep meditation, so isn’t specific to our form of therapy.

I’ll mention some more signs to look out for in my next post. Until then, stay well and be happy.

With love,

Sarah x

Sarah Cooper is the author of the book “Working with Reiki: The essential guide to running a successful Reiki practice.” Available on Amazon at:…/dp/1070357723/ref=sr_1_1…

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