Reiki and Healing Touch — How are they different?

A lot of people want to know the difference between Healing Touch and Reiki. From my perspective, they are very similar in that they offer holistic and complimentary approaches to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual conditions. They work with the understanding that we are energy and are affected by subtle energy. When our energy is not flowing, we can feel the effects of congested energetic patterning much like a stream that has been dammed up and the natural rhythm has been disrupted.

In both Healing Touch and Reiki, sacred space and a centering or grounding practice are essential to being a conduit for energies to move through the body like a “hollow bone” for the benefit of the person receiving. A light hands touch is generally used–touching the body or just near the body. In both modalities, there can be no harm done as there is no manipulation. People might experience a warmth, tingling, or perhaps they do not feel or sense anything, but one thing is pretty consistent; it is an hour to lay on a table and receive a loving touch and that is healing!

The biggest difference is that Reiki, developed by Dr. Usui, has a strong spiritual component to it. The founder’s story is shared in Level l as well as establishing a connection with the elements of Earth, Fire, Water, and Air. Attunements are passed from teacher to student and one feels the long line of Master Teachers who have come before and who stand behind in support of the work. Sacred symbols are shared too. The trainings are less structured and can often be completed in a weekend workshop or two or three. There is a wide variation of what the levels actually teach and Reiki Master Teachers create their own manuals that must include core principles but the rest is up to the individual teacher. Most of the Reiki classes have a self awareness teaching more than book learning. Reiki works to awaken the energy that we all know to be available to us. For me, it has been a wonderful beginning to trust my own inner knowing, to identify how, where, when, I sense energies around me and how to work with that so that I can not only teach and share the beauty and grace of these teachings, but to serve people who are in pain and or just need regular self-care nourishing.

Reiki hands are usually still and holding a spot until there is inner guidance or a sensation to move to a different area. Once Reiki attuned, you have that for life even if you chose not to practice it on anyone.

In Healing Touch (healingtouchprogram.com) sessions there is more formality around the trainings. It was developed by Janet Mentgen, RN, BSN, in Colorado throughout 1980s. Since HT is twice accredited, there are a lot more protocols. There are five levels, manuals and a year long mentorship with 100 documented sessions, readings, continued educational work, and reflections in order maintain certification.

Clients come in with a concern or issue. The completed intake form guides the practitioner to deeply listen and utilize one of 33+ sequences to assist the client to connect, open, balance chakras and/or to provide another technique that would benefit the condition stated upon entering the treatment room. A homework or plan is co-created to engage the client in their own healing process.

Reiki was my first introduction to energy work and I love the simplicity and ease of having a tool for my own self help as well as for helping others manage pain or stress. Having a family of active boys, I knew that learning Reiki would help me always with my anxiety and to open the door to the amazingly complex and fascinating world of energy and self awareness and personal growth.

Healing Touch is taking that foundational experience to the next level for me. I am interested in having a professional practice that helps me to work with a strong understanding of the chakra systems and to understand the ethics and the business of assisting others in health and in times of healing crises with grace, beauty and ease.

Reiki and Healing Touch are stand alone, but are most effective when working with conventional medicine and other complementary practices.

I have found that these modalities are hard for me to describe and yet they have been deeply reassuring and comforting to me to both give and receive. Come see for yourself if I could become a part of your healing team of doctors, acupuncturists, herbalists, psychics, and psychotherapists… because however you want to see it, when you schedule time for yourself–no matter how big or little that might be going on in your life– that is a huge self-care YES!

Interested in booking a Healing Touch or Reiki session with me in Boulder, CO? Contact me to get started or schedule a session directly on Genbook. I look forward to it!

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