Many people ask when they can become a Reiki Master. My thoughts on this subject are a bit different from the majority of instructors in the U.S.
As a Reiki Instructor, I encourage my students to practice, practice, practice. Practicing and understanding energy is so much more important than taking a class and receiving a certificate for the next level.
In the U.S., many if not most instructors teach Reiki I and then Reiki II 21 days later and the Master level 21 days after that. In my mind, to be a Reiki Master, the student should be an expert and ready to teach. I don't know about you, but I have never "mastered" anything in 42 days; therefore, I will not teach the master/instructor level unless the student has an excellent understanding of energy and how to use it.
The fundamentals of Reiki are being able to scan a person's energy and understand which areas feel different and how they feel different and being able to send and move energy to help the person move toxins that are "stuck" in the body in order to feel better.
In addition to understanding energy, I would expect that a person interested in becoming a "master" have performed at least a hundred sessions, attended and assisted in level I and II several times (and possibly with several instructors) and gone to as many Reiki shares as possible. Reiki shares are really the key to understanding Reiki and improving your skills. You gain so much knowledge and confidence from practicing with others who learned from different instructors and have different ways of performing Reiki.
It is also important to read as much as possible about Reiki and to be familiar with the teaching and opinions of the leaders in the field. Frank Arjava Petter, William Rand and Tadao Yamaguchi have all written wonderful books. From what I understand, Reiki in Japan was taught in 6 levels when Mr. Yamaguchi's mother studied with Dr. Hayashi. She took the final 2 levels which allowed her to teach more than 4 years after she began her Reiki studies. Even Mrs. Takata (the woman who brought Reiki to the U.S.) waited quite a while before becoming and instructor. Other time frames I have seen for people following the traditional Reiki path have been as long as 7 years.
When Westerners first contacted Mr. Yamaguchi's mother to learn about the Japanese Reiki tradition in Japan (from Light on the Origins of Reiki), she asked the Westerners what diseases they had cured as Reiki Instructors and was surprised to learn that they hadn't cured any. This is largely because we avoid treating medical conditions in the U.S. and we never try to cure any illness but say that Reiki is self-intelligent and will travel where it feels it is most needed. That being said, every experienced Reiki Instructor has received feedback from clients who had medical tests before Reiki and after Reiki and have had documented improvements even though the only intention of the session is to relax and enjoy. Receiving this feedback is one of the indications that you may be ready to become a Reiki Master.
When you take a Reiki class, the first class may seem foreign to you, but when you repeat level I several times, you gain new understanding each time and the strength of your energy increases with the attunements you receive in each class. Repeating level I and II is free of charge when you study with me and attending Reiki shares is MUCH more important than advancing to level II before you are ready.
There's no question that weight reduction is tricky. Virtually every person who has a concern about their weight has lost and gained many times. As I prepare for the January weight reduction sessions, I am excited and thinking about people's journeys with weight reduction. We have seen seen excellent results with hypnosis, but transpersonal hypnotherapy is not just about shedding the pounds, it's about improving body, mind and spirit.
Through hypnotherapy, we go to the root cause and work through the cause(s) of our excess eating. Our subconsious minds know everything about us from the day we were born. Our current habits began long before we were even aware that something unusual was going on. When we work through our past issues, we can create lasting change and in turn, gain better control over our habits and our lives.
I will share my own story. I must say that I have had many hypnosis sessions - I often volunteer for students to "practice" on me - but I work on different topics in each session.
What I like best is that once I've made a change, it's been permanent. When I became a hypnotherapist, I was gaining approximately 2 pounds per month. While I wanted to lose weight, my first goal was to stop gaining weight. Through hypnosis, I stopped gaining almost immediately. For me, other changes came step by step.
Very early in the process, I gave up any and all desire for soda and fast food. I never set goals for these things or made a conscious change, but I no longer wanted these things. While I've always enjoyed walking and have done aerobics since college, I began waking up early and exercising at least 4 days a week and often 6 or 7 days a week. I have excercised regularly for several years now.
Over time, I added meditation and various energy exercises to my routine and as I did, I stopped eating most frozen and prepared foods. I prefer to eat freshly prepared foods, fruits and vegetables.
The first result was that I stopped gaining weight every month. The second visible result was that I lost about 20-25 inches from my body even though the actual weight loss was just 8-10 pounds. In addition to the life-style changes that I've made, I also stopped needing anxiety medication.
Working through hypnosis allows us to make permanent and lasting changes. Our subconscious minds know what we need and help us to make beneficial changes.
Kids are some of my favorite clients! The have great imaginations and hypnosis is all about imagination and being able to imagine different ways of doing things, responding or reacting. Children generally respond well and the appointments are a lot of fun. Kids giggle and wiggle during the sessions and still have great results.
Children can learn to calm themselves down through deep breathing and can learn to do exercises such as changing the channel in their minds with a remote control. For example, whenever a certain thought comes into their head, they change the channel on their (imaginary) remote and think about something else. In the office, we help them to create the new channel that is full of things that are fun or that they love.
What I appreciate most is that the parents are looking for alternatives for their children. I offer reduced rates for all children's appointments because I know that parents have already given a lot of time and money to the situation before they discover hypnosis and I want parents to spread the news about the benefits of hypnosis.
When parents ask about follow up visits, I always ask them to make sure the child wants to come back. Some of these kids have seen so many different people for their concerns that I am careful not to make visits to me feel like a chore. I want the visits to be fun. I also hope that children who don't want to come right now, may remember hypnosis as an option when they are old enough to make their own decisions.
Medical and mental health concerns require a referral from a physician. In my opinion, we are living in the perfect world when the medical community and the alternative practitioners can work together.
I attended a weight loss seminar with Andy Austin a few weeks ago. Andy is bold and brave and pushes the limits - he is known for offending people, but getting great results. At lunch time, Andy asked us to cut our lunch in half and throw the rest in the trash. Most of the class members were outraged. They were angry and disgusted and had VERY strong feelings about the assignment. Since the class, I have told people about the assignment and those people became extrememly angry without even doing it. The point of the exercise was to realize how emotionally tied we are to food. Most people are not eating to fuel their bodies. They are eating for other reasons, but they also have strong beliefs that finishing that candy bar, that icecream or that bag of chips rather than throwing it in the trash will save a starving person somewhere or save the money that they already spent on the item.
I've read that the rate of lasting weight loss from traditional weight loss centers is approximately 7%. After witnessing the strong emotional ties that we have to food, I am surprised the % is so high. Lasting weight loss is difficult to achieve without going to the root cause and working through the connections and perceptions that we developed as very young children. The words our parents said remain alive and well in our subconscious minds. Hypnosis can address our subconscious beliefs and associations and we can change these beliefs to more mature ones that fit our adult lifestyles. These changes lead to lasting results.
I went to a seminar about hypnosis and pediatric IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Robert Hughes did a FABULOUS job of training us. There are studies comparing traditional therapy and calming music to hypnosis for children who have had IBS for some time with little to no relief.
Traditional therapy had approximately a 50% rate of improvement with the majority of the 50% improving somewhat. Hypnosis had a 90%+ success rate with the majority of the 90% improving to a level of virtually gone rather than somewhat improved.
This is my summary of what Robert showed us, but the studies showed beyond a statistical doubt that hypnosis can provide significant relief to pediatric IBS.
Robert is doing wonderful work! We know how effective hypnosis is. It's time to let the world know!
Recently, I've had the opportunity to go to hospitals and to homes of people who are going through sudden or "extreme" situations. I have done Reiki and energy work with these people. The reward is the wonderful results we've seen. One patient was not expected to live and she not only lived, but has shown incredible progress.
Doctors had told the family not to hope for anything. The family didn't give up hope and had several people do energy work while they continued to pray and see the patient coming through the situation.
The message here is that there is always hope and that energy work and hypnosis have defied scientific predictions again and again.
As I sat through a conference at my son's school, I thought about how much better the learning experience could be if the teachers and staff understood the subconscious mind. The guidance counselor said in front of my son that if he didn't do well in pre-algebra, he would NEVER do well in math. When we met with the counselor without my son, I told him that as an authority figure, a comment like that could stay in a child's subconscious mind and the child would grow up believing that because of a rough start to middle school, he could never do well in math. I told him that my son could achieve anything he sets his mind on and that there are no limits (unless we create them).
On the same day, there was talk about sleepy kids in 1st bell. If the teachers encouraged the children to thump in the middle of their chests like Tarzan, they would be more alert. Children could also do figure eights to balance energy and get the right and left sides of the brain going. There are so many simple exercises that teachers could have children do for 10 seconds to have them be more alert and ready to learn. There is so much potential for children in US schools!
Meeting Virginia, who wrote the article about me for Tidewater Women was so much more than a coincidence. I have only been with her 3 times, but I feel like I've known her forever. Every time we've been together, we've talked about the importance of being grateful for everything. Even the rough stuff helps us to learn and to grow.
Sometimes I start to feel like a victim and to blame others and when I step back, I realize that I am forgetting to be grateful. I am grateful for the good and for my family and clients, but I am also grateful for the people that I have the least patience for because then I realize that I need to practice patience and not to be so judgmental.
Virginia has remained strong and active through several major health challenges and she just keeps on going. We all need that ability to remain strong, remain positive and be grateful on the bad days as well as the good.
To read the article, click here and go to page 14.
We just returned from Daytona Beach where I was certified by Roy Hunter to train Parts Therapy. This is an incredible honor! In 2007, when I attended Roy's class to become a Parts Therapy Facilitator, I asked if he trained trainers and he said that he was the only one. He has written books and travels around the world to teach Parts Therapy, so it was his baby and at that time, he wanted to keep it that way :)
In 2009, I took his course again and he announced that he was having his 1st train the trainer in May 2010 at the IMDHA convention. I told him I would be there and waited anxiously for May to come. Well...May came and there were 4 people in our class. I was from Virginia, one lady was from Connecticut and the others were from Texas and Illinois. It was really nice that the 4 of us are around the US and won't overlap at this point.
The experience was incredible and we thanked Roy again and again for sharing his work and his legacy with us to carry on. This is a week that will go down in history for me!