Q. Can you please tell us a little about yourself and how you started on your Reiki journey?
My journey with Reiki began when Reiki “found” me in 1992. I had studied Healing Touch and loved the experience of working with energy. A good friend then told me about Reiki and I said, “If it’s anything like this…show me the way!” I was able to find a Reiki teacher through the nurse that had been taking care of my mother who had Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). Anne had been bringing Reiki into my home and giving it to my mom every chance she got! I like to think that Reiki found me in my darkest hour. I was able to take my first class in May of 1992; three weeks after my mother had made her transition. I began to treat myself every day and I believe that Reiki helped me heal after losing my mom and best friend.
Not sure of what to do with this new healing energy, I was guided to enroll in massage school to help me continue to develop my healing skills. When I started my private practice, “Healing from the Heart©,” I found that combining Reiki with massage therapy was a way to give skeptics a comfortable way to experience energy healing.
I continued to study Reiki and became a Reiki Master Teacher in 1994. I then met Laurelle Gaia, a teacher with the International Center for Reiki Training, and was so impressed that I began studying with Laurelle and entered the Center’s Licensed Teacher Program. This included the studying of Karuna Reiki in August 1995 with William Rand, the founder of the International Center for Reiki Training. I then began teaching Reiki full-time and found myself traveling to different states as people contacted me to learn about this wonderful healing energy.
Since then, I have taught Reiki to more than 3000 people. This includes children, young adults, seniors, doctors and nurses, dentists, massage therapists, and athletic trainers. One of my personal goals is to help health care practitioners incorporate Reiki into their professional practices and to help them learn to nourish and replenish themselves through the use of Reiki’s restorative energies (see my articles “Reiki and Nursing,” “Reiki and the Health Care Professional” Part I and II, on my website www.reikihypnosis.com
One of the highlights of my teaching career has been teaching Reiki to the staff at the Northport Veterans Medical Center here on Long Island; showing the staff how to take care of themselves with Reiki and thus helping the vets they work with. Another highlight was teaching Reiki at Stony Brook Nursing School and the College of New Rochelle, in Westchester, New York. Both were for the Nurse Practitioner track and included Reiki I and II as well as Reiki Master. Both programs received college credits! I have also taught Reiki to the Operating Room staff at Mid-Hudson hospital, Queens borough Community College, and various massage schools. I have also been keynote speaker at Reiki Rays of Hope annual convention, the ICRT annual Reiki Retreat, NYIT Nursing School symposium, various support groups, holistic events, Stony Brook School of physical therapy, as well as many health fairs.
I am a regular contributing author for Reiki News Magazine. I also wrote the chapter on Reiki in “Conversations in Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Insights and Perspectives from Leading Practitioners,” Norma Cuellar, Jones and Bartlett publishers, March 2006.
Guided to enhance my training, I completed my Hypnosis training in 2003 through the National Guild of Hypnotists. I have also studied Past Life Regression with Brian Weiss, author of “Many Lives, Many Masters.”
My private practice is an integration of all my studies and skills. I offer my clients and students a wholistic view of healing. My goal is to empower my clients and my students to become all that they can be and to heal and balance their lives.
Q. How has Reiki affected your life?
I could write on and on about how Reiki has affected my life. In the twenty one years that I have been working with Reiki, I have found that Reiki always puts me in the right place at the right time. It guides me to where I need to be and what I need to do. Reiki helps me to manage everyday life and challenging situations. It allows me to help my clients return to balance so that their body can remember how to heal. It helps me to stay focused and come from a place of compassion. It has helped me remember the joy of being alive.
Reiki has helped me to understand the true nature of spirituality: honoring the divine within myself and others. It has guided my life and directed me to where and how I can best serve.
Q. Who did you train with, and how long have you been teaching yourself?
I studied Reiki I and II with Karen Patton beginning in May 1992. I gave myself Reiki every day and practiced on as many people as I could. There were only a few books on Reiki then so practice was my best and only teacher. I then met Laurelle Gaia from the International Center for Reiki Training and took the Advanced Reiki Training and Master Teacher with her in December of 1994. I began teaching Reiki I in January 1995, continuing to learn as I taught. In August of 1995, I took Karuna Reiki® Master with William Lee Rand and have continued to use Reiki as part of my self- care and personal growth. I continue to study and learn about Reiki by reading as much info as is out there. To expand my knowledge of Reiki, and interested in learning how it was originally taught in Japan, I also studied Kyomo Reiki Kai with Hyakuten Inamoto in October of 2011.
Q. How would you explain Reiki – is it a spiritual practice, energy healing or something else?
I believe that Reiki is all that and more. It is different things to different people. It is “user friendly” so to speak and it meets you where you are at in your life. It seems to find you when you are most in need or ready for the next step on your spiritual path.
Reiki for many is a simple hands on or off technique that brings deep relaxation, strengthening of the body’s innate ability to heal itself and a deep sense of peace. Reiki is a meditation that we do with someone else. It brings balance to body, mind and spirit.
Reiki is a spiritual practice and spiritual path. The Reiki Ideals are guides for living a compassionate life. Focusing on one Ideal at a time and reflecting on it daily helps you to heal issues or challenges in your life. The way of Reiki is about learning to detach from outcome and being fully present in the moment. It is about honoring the sacred in every person and every part of life.
Q. What makes Reiki different from other forms of energy healing (like Qi Kung / TT / Pranic Healing)?
What makes Reiki different from other forms of energy healing is that Reiki is a complete “system” that provides us with everything we need. The Reiki Ideals are guidelines for living a compassionate and mindful life. One can think of the Reiki Ideals as a personal GPS—Guiding Principles for Success. They are there to help us live in a more compassionate and empowered way. The Reiki attunements open our energy centers and channels and enhance our ability to work with energy. The hand positions provide guidelines or a framework for giving Reiki. Daily self-Reiki keeps us balanced and healthy. The Reiki symbols enhance and help focus the energy. Other techniques give us additional tools that we can use for various circumstances or needs.
Another difference is that when working with Reiki, we allow the energy to flow through us to the recipient and it does not need to be directed.
Q. What is the most misunderstood thing about Reiki in your opinion?
I believe that what most people misunderstand about Reiki is the nature of healing. Being a nurse I understand both the physical and the energetic perspective of healing. Some people believe that Reiki can instantly cure disease or take away all health concerns or personal problems. Some people get upset and don’t understand why the health problem or issue doesn’t go away simply by using Reiki. Lifestyle changes and stress management are a major piece of the puzzle. Healing one’s thoughts and emotions are also important. Reiki is a powerful tool which can help with all levels of healing.
It is also important to understand that traditional medicine has its place in healing. Medication or surgery may be needed. Reiki is a complementary practice than can be used in conjunction with allopathic medicine. There is no shame if a Reiki practitioner cannot heal themselves or others or fix a problem.
Many don’t understand that the physical dis-ease or health issue may have taken years to manifest. Physical problems are the end point or the manifestation of the imbalance. Treating the symptom is temporary. Reiki addresses and helps one to get to the source or origin of the problem. Reiki gives the person what they need in that moment and balances the body, mind and spirit of the person, thus promoting healing.
Balance does not necessarily mean healing or curing. A person may have an illness as part of their spiritual journey. Some work on themselves and then can share what they learned with others. Dis-ease may also be about that individual’s karma or soul path. We don’t always understand the why or the how of illness. Reiki is a tool that can guide us on our road to recovery.
Reiki is about balancing body, mind and spirit. That then allows the body do what do it does naturally which is heal.
Q. What really happens in an attunement?
After passing thousands of attunements over many years, I would say that the Reiki attunement is a “remembering” or an empowerment, of what we are already capable of. The Reiki attunement is one way to activate or “turn on” the ability to connect with life force energy. Like a light bulb, the ability is already there but the attunement activates it or turns it on.
I believe that we are all born with the ability to bring healing energy to ourselves and others. The Reiki attunement is the most powerful way I know to activate this ability.
Q. As a Reiki Master, what was the most challenging question posed to you by your student, and how did you answer it?
The question that first comes to mind is “How can you prove that Reiki works and not something else I might be doing?” My answer was that no one can ever be 100% sure of anything. It is hard to rule out all the variables. But if it produces results that you have never experienced before, or, it happens quicker than expected, I would have to say that it is most probably Reiki. Reiki speeds up or enhances the body’s natural ability to heal itself. You could also not try any other treatment or modality but Reiki to see if it is the Reiki or something else.
I also shared that there are many ways to know if Reiki is helping you. If you received Reiki to prepare for surgery, you might find that your recovery time was decreased, you needed minimal pain medication, or you were up and walking about that same night. Or, your doctor might tell you that you lost less blood than people often do during that particular operation. Your doctor might tell you that you are healing quicker than expected. If you are taking pain medication, you might find you need less. You might find that pain is gone. You might feel energized and peaceful. You might feel that your life is flowing better. If you feel generally more relaxed, peaceful or calm, then it is working. When the outcome is better or easier than expected, it is often Reiki.
Q. Can you share with us your most unforgettable experience concerning Reiki?
There are so many for so many different reasons. The one that stands out is when I was asked to see a 9 day old new born in the hospital because of fevers of unknown origin. I went to the hospital and was able to take him out of the incubator and hold him. He was so sick that I was able to give him 30 minutes of Reiki. Just before I was done, I had a feeling that there was some area that I missed. I asked him “where would you like more Reiki” and he turned his neck so that it was completely open and accessible to me. I then gave him Reiki there for another 10 minutes.
Several days later, his mother told me that after giving him Reiki, the fevers were gone and he did not have to have any invasive testing procedures (like a spinal tap, etc.) done!
About six months later, his mother and sisters came to learn Reiki. They brought him along and when it came time for the attunement, he started crying and wouldn’t stop until I attuned him as well. It may seem strange attuning a six month old baby, but my intention was to attune him as a boost for his health and well- being.
Several months later, his godmother told me that she had a stomach ache recently when she was visiting them. She held him and he positioned himself around her so that he was lying across her stomach where it hurt. She could feel the heat coming from his body as he looked up at her and smiled!! That story has always warmed my heart.
Q. What do you hope to see change for Reiki in the next five to ten years?
I would like to see Reiki in every hospital and health care facility, being offered to patients, their families and staff. I would love to see Reiki as part of the curriculum in Medical School and Nursing Schools. I would love for Health Insurance companies to include coverage for Reiki. I would hope that people begin to understand Reiki more and it become more acceptable as a way to take care of ourselves. I have always believed in PREVENTION in health care, and I believe Reiki would help us stay balanced and healthy.
Q. Is there anything we have not asked that you would like to share with us?
Please let the readers know that they can download, print and share my articles from Reiki News Magazine. They do not need to contact me for permission.
Also, there is a free guided meditation for beginning relaxation on my web site. Click on the “Services” tab and scroll down to the middle of the page. The link to the MP3 is there. That is also for anyone to download and share
Kathie Lipinski RN, MSN, CH