A question for you about Hands-on Healing

Bronwen and Frans StieneArticles, English 30 Comments

treatothers13 2 Today we have a question for your about hands-on healing.

Hands-on healing is one of the five main elements of the system of Reiki. Below is an excerpt from The Japanese Art of Reiki.

Here is our question – you can answer it in the comments below.

Can you practice hands-on healing while watching the TV, talking or being other wise engaged? 

Comments 30

  1. Avatar of Louise
  2. Avatar of Rebecca Holton

    I think it may depend on the person doing the healing.

    Most of us are completely distracted pretty much all the time, so adding a few more distractions probably won’t make it very much worse.

    For someone who, over time, is moving into a mindstate that is less distracted, then adding distractions seems like a stupid thing to do, it’s going the wrong direction.

    For someone whose mindstate has been clarified to such an extent that it is completely clear, then adding TV etc… to the mix won’t be a distraction, it passes straight through, unimpeded, like water through water.

  3. Avatar of Mary Murray

    Yes one can do hands on healing but it is less effective, it does not allow the person recieving to get in touch with their sprirt / soul for the deep healing one gets when the practitioner is in that clear mind and focused on the treatment and does not honour either person.
    I have many times done this to show people what Reiki is at our local cancer council support meetings and when I meet a new person who is interested in what reiki is, they are amazed that they can feel some thing just by touching them.

  4. Avatar of Katherine W.

    I feel that once we strengthen our inner practice, our hands on healing can be a focused thought or intention away. I volunteered for a time in a busy low cost spay neuter clinic helping animals recover after surgery. I couldn’t do all the formalities one normally goes through with Reiki. I simply asked permission to help in healing with the dog or cat and discreetly offered reiki while the vet techs were bustling about. I had many hibiki reactions mostly heat while offering with animals.
    I have also been in situations where I had some sort of pain in my body such as an upset stomach while sitting in a meeting or group of people. I stayed with the group and again discreetly lay a hand on my stomach while calling upon an inner focus. Within minutes I begin to feel relief from my symptoms.
    From my experiences, yes you can practice Reiki while being engaged.
    Finally, we can only imagine the devastation of Tokyo in 1923 from Japan’s most recent earthquake for us to get an idea. Usui was in Tokyo at the time of the 1923 earthquake. From his memorial stone: “…there was a great earthquake and a conflagration (fire) broke out. Everywhere there were groans and pains from the wounded. …This is just a broad outline of his relief activities during such an emergency.” I would have to think that one would have a great inner strength to go out and help people surrounded in such an emergency of devastation, fire and ruin to remain calm to offer “first aid healing.” Reiki is where one puts there mind with focus, intent and concentration – that is the inner being of engagement.

  5. Avatar of Allison Chun

    Yes, I also agree that it is possible…I’ve also practiced “first aid” Reiki on myself in less than ideal situations (rushing/driving to work late after being kicked in the groin by the horse and worrying like crazy that I will actually be *able* to work).  However, if able to choose being distracted or not, why not choose to minimize distractions?  I agree that it seems more respectful, to yourself as well as anyone else involved.  Then again, I am rarely in a situation where there isn’t some kind of distraction or other, so training myself to work through them has been an on-going goal.  I like how Katherine put it, “Reiki is where one puts their mind with focus, intent and concentration”.

  6. Avatar of Katherine W

    Pondering further on this topic:
    “If we put limits to our possibilities with our mind, we limit our infinite greatness to the world”

  7. Avatar of Sister Mary Mebane

    I do believe that you can do Reiki while talking, watching TV, etc, but I prefer not to-with one exception.  I am a Retired Hospice Chaplain (retired end of Dec this year) and I am now a Hospice Volunteer. if my patient wants to talk or ask a question while I am doing Reiki, I respond-out of love and compassion and concern for this person.

  8. Avatar of Allison Riley

    Is Reiki not a side effect of enlightenment?
    A personnel practice of balancing and harmony.
    The path to enlightenment, for me, is a long and on going process
    Does it matter where or when
    Just as long as I practice?

  9. Avatar of Lorinda

    YES, of course you can practice reiki while watching tv and such. After all the Universe/Source only needs your hands, eyes and breath so that it can do the work.
    Great question.

  10. Avatar of Andy

    I think there’s a real difference between talking about self-treatment, or even casual treatment to a partner, and treating a client or stranger. While I think of course some energy might come through in a distracted situation, it’s not ideal.

    If I’m in a concert, or as a passenger in a car, I might give myself self-treatment, even if there’s a lot going on around me, or even place my hands on a friend or partner. I think some energy will come through… but the more still one can be, the better.

  11. Avatar of Miriam Benda

    Yes it is. Here a few possible explanations:
    First there is a Request for Reiki, from yourself or others,  coming along with an Intention, creating Solution.
    Up to this point everything flows.. everything is possible. Even the solution has already been realized by the person who requested.
    If you now give into the flow, regardless of anything surrounding it,  “What”  could possiby stop the flow from realizing the solution ?
    Do interruptions like the TV or any other engagements really play a role in that point in time , in fact, do your doubts whether Reiki could work in an environment of disruptions or not , really play a role, if is meant to happen ?
    If the person and/or yourself wouldn’t feel that Reiki, in this very moment, Right Here and Right Now, could make a difference, the thought of it wouldn’t exist in the first place.
    Maybe it is on us to give it a go and trust.

    Regarding Respect, I understand the concern, of course it is preferred to create a suitable environment for Reiki, however it might possibly be more disrespectful to refuse what is asked for if you can give and you don’t try. Therefore I suppose we respect the other person’s need / wish more, if we try to overcome hindering beliefs.
    Where there’s a Will, there’s a Way.
    ..and since energy travels through time & space it would surely not be hindered by Television 🙂

  12. Avatar of Elizabeth King

    I’ve done successful Reiki healing on myself and even on others when there was a lot of confusion around. When I first began to practice Reiki back in 1998 I was having huge problems with yo-yoing blood sugars (type II diabetes), I did Reiki all the time—when I was reading, watching TV, even reading other things, and within 3 months my sugars were under control and stable.  As a practicing SGI Buddhist, I begin Reiki flowing to those animals and people for whom I’ve been asked to send Reiki, and intend it to flow as I do Gongyo and chanting in the morning and evening.  I don’t think Reiki means unless we are ‘meditative’ only.  Life doesn’t always afford us the ‘peace and quiet’ we may ‘need’, so unless we can do Reiki during times of lots of distraction, we may be denying ourselves or others the healing energy in the mistaken idea that we must follow certain ‘ceremony’, be in a certain state of mind, etc. instead of “intending” Reiki to flow and do what we need to do whilst the Energy flows!

    Dr. Elizabeth King, MA, DCH Gendai Reiki Shihan/ Usui M/T

  13. Avatar of Joy Vernon

    Yes, it’s definitely possible to do Reiki while watching TV (rather, streaming Netflix on the computer; I don’t have a TV). However, I find that sometimes my focus and attention is not as complete as I might like—and I end up missing important developments on whatever show I’m watching! 😉

    I have noticed that when going to the movies, often the Reiki will start flowing very strongly. I have mentioned this to my students and colleagues and they suggested that someone in the theatre needed the energy. I have a background in dramatic writing, so perhaps the healing is around my own creativity. I don’t know, but it’s an interesting phenomenon.

    Likewise, simply walking through the neighborhood I’ve experienced a strong influx of energy as the plants and flowers joyfully connect with me in the flow of Spirit.

    Certainly our opportunities to work towards our own healing and spiritual connection and that of those around us should not be impeded by anything. Experiencing the on-going flow of energy consistently throughout our work and our play reminds us that every thing we do and every moment we live is sacred.

    That said, I heartily agree with the person who said, as long as we can control our distractions, why not choose to minimize them?

    Great answers, everyone! Thank you for sharing your insights.

    Joy Vernon, URR Teacher, Komyo Reiki Kai Shihan

  14. Avatar of Paula Michal-Johnson

    If we trust in non-duality and oneness and our abilities to move into that state, then theoretically we can do TV Reiki.  However, the caveat for me is the ability to focus.  If I can simultaneously focus on the TV and myself or another at the same time then we can offer full-tilt Reiki.  However, if my attention goes from one to another to another, then back to the TV, then I can imagine that it might be diluted.  I must admit, I do enkaku chiryo ho while driving. Don’t tell the officers—is this distracted driving?  I use my right thigh as the target to focus on the other imagining them like a gingerbread person.  I do feel hibiki in the process.  But I am aware of shifting focus again and again. My sight however, is on the road. So true confessions.  People seem to receive something from my little thigh Reiki.

  15. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi All,
    Great comments everybody.

    Here is a little question: If we set our intent to use Reiki (spiritual energy) then that intent is in our mind isn’t it? So would you say that energy follows the mind?

  16. Avatar of Joy Vernon

    In my experience it’s not so much that energy follows the mind and its intentions, but that energy follows our attention. If we are focused on our thoughts (such as an affirmation or intention) then it will follow that. We can shift our attention to our physical body, such as feeling for hibiki; we can be attentive to our energetic body, such as feeling the energy grow in our hara; we can turn our attention to our breath, such as in the practice of Joshin Kokyu Ho; we can let the energy follow our gaze, etc. etc.

    Combining focuses is a great way to increase our connection to the energy—jumon chanting is one of my favorite examples, because it covers most of the bases. We have a mantra for the mind to attend, we can visualize or look at a representation of the symbol if we want something for our gaze, we can feel the energetic properties of the associated symbol, and place those energies at the corresponding location in the body, feeling the sensations there. More experienced practitioners can easily combine all these focuses, whereas newer practitioners can pick the focus that is easiest for them or that they wish to develop.

    I think the idea of attention asks us to reconsider what the mind is—to me our attention or awareness is part of the mind, but not the part of our mind that is always thinking; it’s the part that can be aware that we are thinking—I’ve heard it called the Observer.

    I think Reiki is more likely to follow the big Mind and that the little mind is more likely to impede its flow.

    What do you think?


  17. Avatar of Dave Bause

    In a sentence:  “Where thought goes, Energy flows.”  I prefer to NOT talk, and allow the Reiki energy to provide the highest healing benefit for each individual.
    Of course, if anyone has a question or concern, I’m always available and happy to respond.

  18. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi All,
    As the energy follows the mind then we have to make sure we do not get distracted during a hands on healing session, isn’t it?

    Say I do a hands on healing session on someone, set my intent (mind) and the energy starts to flow, but now my mind gets distracted, starts to think of a chai latte and a chocolate brownie at Starbucks. Where is my mind? In Starbucks. Where is my energy? Well energy follows my mind, so my energy is also in Starbucks and not with my client. This doesn’t necessarily mean that my client suddenly doesn’t feel any energy flowing but it means that I am not focused and that in reality my energy is not with the treatment. Therefore if I do keep my focus on the treatment and not on Starbucks there is a possibility that my client gets more out of the treatment.

    This is also why in Japan the characteristics of the first symbol and mantra taught in Okuden level II is: Focus. These tools help us to focus our mind so we do not get distracted by TV, Starbucks or whatever.

    As Rebecca said: For someone whose mindstate has been clarified to such an extent that it is completely clear, then adding TV etc… to the mix won’t be a distraction, it passes straight through, unimpeded, like water through water.

    This is the why it is so important to realize that the system of Reiki is a spiritual practice, it helps us to clear our mind of attachments, fear, anger, worry, distractions, you name it. Then we are in a state of mind of performing a clear hands on healing session.

    Last week a Chinese student at our Okuden course was asked by another if she knew what the kanji meant of the 3rd symbol and mantra of this level. She said that it read: I am mind.

    Therefore our state of mind during self healing and hands on healing on others is very important.

  19. Avatar of Joy Vernon

    Lovely interpretation of the third symbol!

    I think the question of whether one can do Reiki while watching TV is entirely different from what are our best practices for working with clients. I can do Reiki on myself or enter a light meditation while there are distractions of all natures. However, I would never intentionally bring distractions into a session with another person. I discourage talking in our Reiki shares, and participants had to practically beg me to allow music; personally I prefer silence. But as Dave says, it’s really important to be present for relevant questions from the client.

    What if there is an unanticipated interruption to our session? Such as a wind gust blowing open a window with a bang, or noise from the street. Or not having the luxury of choosing an ideal environment, such as the person who works with animals under busy conditions. Do we throw up our hands and exclaim, I can’t work under these conditions? I hope not!

    The first symbol is certainly about focus, but it’s also about earth energy and grounding our spiritual practice into the unpredictable world of reality. It’s about bringing our attention into our body, at the hara, and the practice of shifting our focus to the physical body can, with practice, still the mind.

    I think one of the most important reasons to engage in a personal, private, quiet daily spiritual and meditative practice is to remind ourselves of what the energy feels like under ideal circumstances. Then, no matter what the circumstances under which our session takes place, we have that memory in our heart/mind/spirit when we connect with others. Our daily practice is the process of creating that clarified mindstate so that the distractions wash over us and, through the unity of our connection, our client.

    P.S. Frans, you should come to Colorado and try a Bhakti Chai! Spicy and gingery, not syrupy sweet like Starbucks. 🙂

  20. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Joy,

    I know the Starbucks Chai is not the best, maybe I need to come to Colorado one day and try the Bhakti Chia! 🙂 The best Chai we had was when we lived in India, can’t beat those!

    We do not talk during the hands on healing sessions at our practice evenings either as this will disperse the energy, our minds are then too busy focusing on what to say or what the other persona is talking about.

    As you say there can be many distractions during a hands on healing session or our own personal meditation practice. We can’t stop a lot of these distractions but what we can learn is stopping our mind following these distractions, or labelling these distractions. So when a widow bangs because of the wind, accept it, don’t follow it. As soon as we start to label it negative then we create worry in our mind and we are not a clear vehicle anymore, we are distracted by the worry of the window banging.

    I agree that we need to engage in a personal practice so that we can know what it means when our mind is clear and calm, then we can remember it again and again, and maybe one day we can be in this clear calm state of mind 24 hours a day!

    We can see how distracted our mind is most of the day when we look at the precepts. I might set my intent not to worry or not to be angry for the day but that definitely doesn’t mean I will succeed. 🙂 If I am honest to myself then I can see that just setting my intent will not make this happen for the whole day, yes my intent is the first step, but I need to work hard not to get distracted by my worries, fears and anger.
    This is the same in a hands in healing session, say we watch TV while performing a session on someone else, and suddenly there is a news flash about something, we might get worried or angry about what we see, isn’t it? This anger and worry will of course affect the hands on healing session. So to make sure that we do not get worried or angry during a session the best thing would be to pick a space which is quiet and serene, this way we create a space were as much as possible we are not distracted by outer influences. (in reality we also need to look at our inner distractions, but that might be another blog :-))

    It is an interesting journey!

  21. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi All,

    Just read this from Padmasambhava about the chanting of a mantra and thought how suitable this quote is for this blog.

    Recite with undistracted concentration.
    Should you become distracted elsewhere,
    Even reciting for an eon will bring no result.

    Of course he is not talking about hands on healing but about reciting a mantra, yet many people recite one of the Okuden level II mantras during a hands on healing session. So if you use one of the mantras during a hands on healing session then we also need to make sure we recite it undistracted.
    If we recite the mantra and we think about the movie we are going to watch tonight then the energy is already at the movie theater and not with our client.

  22. Avatar of Joy Vernon

    Great quote Frans!

    I also came across this one this morning on one of my Facebook groups:
    Goethe said that he who wants to complete something of worth
    and of skill, “der sammle still und unerschlafft, im kleinsten Punkt die grosste
    Kraft”, i.e. that “quietly and unceasingly he directs the greatest force upon the
    smallest point”

    Not that Goethe has anything at all to do with hands-on healing, but it is along the similar lines to what we’ve been talking about.

    Thanks for the great conversation! I’ve really enjoyed it.

    As to chai 🙂 I’ve never been to India, sadly, so I’ve missed out. I did have a Pakistani make me tea once, if that counts for anything 😉


  23. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Joy,
    Yes great conversation. I think that all the great teachers talk about the same, no matter what we do, hands on healing, writing, art, etc…

    Well better make myself a cup of green tea tonight. 🙂

  24. Avatar of kathi richards

    Personally I know that if the tv were on I would not be able to focus. I have been able to be surrounded by barking dogs and been able to remain focused. I guess not always understanding them helps. So, I will offer when asked and see what happens whether it is quiet or a construction crew is outside my window. Though I do find it easier if it is quiet or soft, meditative music is playing (especially good if Bronwen’s voice is added).

  25. Avatar of Griselda

    Having trained in Western and then Jikiden Reiki, I know you can practice Reiki at any place and at any time. It can be as loving and easy as stroking the hair of a child on your lap. The energy is there waiting in your hands all the time. You and the recipient can be in any position – sitting, standing, lying down. Western Reiki seems to me to be more tied up with details of practice, whereas the original (Jikiden) Japanese Reiki was and is used as a normal, everyday domestic resource for healing anything from minor aches and pains right through to serious illness and burns. I love to give Reiki in this way. It is much easier to bring it into everyday life, to be able to give it at a moment’s notice. Talking and laughing, even reading or doing something else would not stop the Reiki. I guess the TV might become less of a distraction after the treatment started.

  26. Avatar of David

    I can do it to myself, while I’m doing something else, i.e. watching tv, listening to music, etc… anytime that I’m relaxed and nothing can disturb me… but I wouldn’t do it to anybody else…

  27. Avatar of Margaret Elson

    You do not have to concentrate when giving a Reiki treatment, set your intent and let Reiki do the rest, it really is that simple!
    I have been told numerous times we have to go into trance, totally untrue!  It is the Divine Source channelling the healing through you so why would we have to go into trance?
    As I have already stated set your intent for what you would like the healing to be and allow Divine Source Reiki to do the rest!
    Why people have to try and complicate this beautiful energy healing is beyond rhyme or reason.
    Treating Reiki with the respect it deserves and remembering you are only the channel will allow you to fulfill your dream of becoming a Reiki practitioner.

  28. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi All,
    Interesting to see the difference and similarities of ideas about this subject.

    I personally think that just setting my intent is not enough, as I get distracted.

    For me Reiki means spiritual energy, it is the energy of the universe, and is synonymous with the precepts, as it is only in perfect harmony with the universe that we have no more anger, worry, are humble and honest and are compassionate to ourselves and others. We can easily check for ourselves, that just setting our intent at the beginning of the day doesn’t make us not have anger or feel worried for the whole day! If I look honesty at my own life this is very hard to do and just setting my intent does not make me not having any anger or worry for the whole day. Therefore for me just setting my intent doesn’t connect me to Reiki (spiritual energy) as a whole for a long period of time.

    In reality there are very simple techniques which you can do with a partner to see how focused their energy is and how quick their energy gets distracted, fun to do in a class as students get suddenly a feeling that it is hard to keep their focus and that the mind follow the energy. So if we are distracted by something, TV, sounds etc… than our energy follows this distraction and we need to bring it back to what we were doing. This doesn’t mean going into a trance. For me a trance is where we blank out this is why grounding is so important, that way we can connect but stay clear, alert and focused.

  29. Avatar of seema
  30. Avatar of seema

    Going in trance doesn’t do anything . It has happened to me so many times by itself and I feel so lost . And setting a intent and forgetting about it for the whole treatment is funny 🙂 . It will be like opening the tap and just letting the bucket filled with water , but then you really have to see if the water is still coming from tap or not , or is it over flowing or may be the bucket just fell and its not filling any more. In reality things are not that “easy” , without effort nothing comes and if one is talking about spiritual healing/energy then one must remember that it comes from within yourself and your connection to the universe if you are not clear inside /outside then you wont be able to set the intention , in reality intention I think needs to be sharp/ clear , no zig/zags , no confution , no worries/ fears/anger and have that compassion and trust that one deserves it. May be one day I can have the direct experience to feel that in full force , until then I practice 🙂

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