No Guarantees

Twisting staircase, no guaranteesLet’s get straight to the punch line for this post: With Reiki, as with life, there are no guarantees. I wish there were, but there are not.

I’m writing this because as a Reiki Master I often have the following exchange with potential clients.

Client: “Will Reiki help with my . . . [fill in any physical or mental health ailment]?”

Janice: “Reiki will provide a state of deep relaxation where your body, mind, and spirit can reach their full potential for healing.”

Client: “Is there a guarantee this will heal me?”

Janice: “There are no guarantees. However, it will help you achieve a state of deep relaxation where your highest healing good can be achieved. When we’re relaxed our body heals faster, our minds are clearer and more creative, and we can relate with each other more authentically.”

Client: “What percentage chance is there that Reiki will heal my . . . “

Janice: “Reiki is a healing practice. I don’t have a number to quantify it.”

Client: “I’ll try something else with a guarantee.”

What is the something else with a guarantee? Does the medication you take come with a guarantee that it will heal you? Do you know how it heals you? Is it possible that it is your mind and your body’s natural abilities that are healing you?

Dr. Andrew Weil’s book, “Spontaneous Healing,” addresses this exact phenomena where a patient’s body is healed without conventional medicine’s intervention, even in the case of severe and prolonged illness. He writes:

“I regard the placebo response as a pure example of healing elicited by the mind; far from being a nuisance, it is, potentially, the greatest therapeutic ally doctors can find in their efforts to mitigate disease . . . Unfortunately, this view of placebo medicine is very much out of fashion today. . . . If a drug begins to work in too many different conditions, most doctors lose interest in it, because they think lack of specificity means lack of an underlying mechanism. In other words the drug could be — perish the thought! — merely a placebo.”

So, Reiki . . . maybe it’s a placebo, maybe its effectiveness really is all in your mind, and, definitely, there are no guarantees that it will work. Why, then, should you spend your time and money on a Reiki treatment? Here are a few compelling anecdotes:

  • A seven-year-old girl fractured her humerus and required surgery to insert three pins. The post-surgery recovery time was slated at 6-weeks, minimum. The girl received daily Reiki treatments and recovered in half that time – 3 weeks.
  • A 45-year-old man had knee surgery. He asked his wife, a level 2 Reiki practitioner, for treatments on his knee. At his 6-week follow-up visit the orthopedic surgeon was shocked by the speed of his healing. He called in his colleague to show him the progress of healing and recovery that the man had achieved which was what they normally see at 12 weeks or more post-operatively in people 10-15 years younger than the man.
  • A 60-year-old woman, grieving the death of her husband and living with the side effects of chemotherapy treatment for her breast cancer, received a Reiki session once a week for six weeks. After two treatments she reported an improvement in the quality of her sleep and increased energy. After three treatments she reported that the neuropathy in her hands and feet had stopped. After six treatments, she said, “I have my life back.”

Won’t you give Reiki a try? Yes, there are no guarantees, but there is a good chance you’ll feel great and facilitate your body’s natural healing abilities.

Wishing you abundant wellness!

Even Reiki Masters get the Blues

Image of man, depression, ReikiI wish it were true that Reiki is a cure-all for human suffering, but it’s not. Even practicing Reiki at the Master level, one still experiences the fullness of life with its highs and lows. However, the difference is that one is able to observe, manage, and detach from the experience of one’s emotions in a healthy way by connecting with universal life-force energy.

For instance, there are days when I am gripped by dark emotions and moving forward is difficult. Sometimes I just don’t know what to do to help myself feel better or what has caused me to feel blue. There is one thing that always helps me to ride the wave of the emotion and that is Reiki. By placing my hands on myself and accessing the energy of the universe, I am able to feel calm and connected. Then from there I’m able to do things that help me to feel better. For instance, I may call a friend, go for a walk, write in my journal, or practice yoga. The Reiki and these actions help me to start moving out of the dark tunnel and into the light of the day.

Reiki is a tool in your self-care toolkit. It helps you feel better and heal better. It helps you take on the ebb and flow of emotions and the injustices of the world and still be your best self. Reiki integrates easily into your life and can support all your goals, including your creative, athletic, relationship, financial, emotional, and health goals.

Try a Reiki session today or learn to practice Reiki by taking a class! Wishing you the love and light of the universe!

The Art of Reiki: The Art of Wu Wei

Master Oogway courtesy of
Master Oogway, image from

When I studied Reiki at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, my teachers, Libby and Maggie, offered a class called, “The Art of Reiki,” which followed my Reiki 2 class. It did not include any additional Reiki attunements or initiations, but was a class about how we live our lives from a place of love and light.  It delved into how we care for ourselves and bring our best selves to the art of helping others.  During the class, Libby and Maggie expertly guided and reminded us of the teachings of Reiki 1 and 2 — including, that we offer Reiki and it is not a manipulation of another person’s energy.

To work from a place of offering takes a certain management of the ego.  It reminds me of the art of wu wei, which was described in a 2014 New York Times article. The article refers to some ancient texts that state, “If you try to be filial, this not true filiality; if you try to be obedient, this is not true obedience. You cannot try, but you also cannot not try.”

In true Taoist cryptic fashion, the texts implore one to the act of non-doing.  This contradictory direction can seem very puzzling, but it also has an incredible power.  During my first yoga workshop, Todd Norian encouraged us to achieve a state of effortless effort, which for me is similar (though not the same) as wu wei. When we’re in this state we are in flow (or in unison) with ourselves and the universe.  It requires one to be able to quiet the mind and fully experience the moment as it is with as much non-judgmental awareness as possible.

As Reiki practitioners how do we practice the art of Reiki and wu wei?  The first important step is to remember our role of offering Reiki.  We are not the healers.  The Reiki and the recipient do the healing.  We are only facilitators, who are here to witness the present moment with our clients.  For many practitioners, this leaves them with a feeling of not doing something and leads to questions such as, “What am I doing during Reiki?” and “How do I know I’ve offered it?” and “What if I don’t . . . feel the energy/see rainbows/envision chakras/speak with angels?”

None of that is necessary. What is necessary is the offering. What is necessary is a wu wei approach to allow healing to happen at the highest level.

How do you cultivate the art of Reiki and wu wei in your practice?  Please share your experience in the comments below.

Helping to create wholeness with Reiki

My family received so many wonderful cards this holiday season that I enjoyed reading and re-reading. There was one card, however, that really stood out for me personally. It was from the Wellness House in Hinsdale, Illinois, where I offer Reiki sessions to cancer patients and their families.  Here is the story that was inside the card:

“It was November 22, 2013 when the snowstorm hit . . . CANCER

It stopped me hard and fast along my journey.

I was blinded by the frosty winds of this unprejudiced disease.

But, YOU gave me a compass that guided me to find a new path, albeit untrodden.

The heavy snowy blanket of pain and fright suffocated me.

YOU lifted it; helped me breathe and embraced me with a warm coat lined with comfort and peace.

My boot, no longer fitting me, left me motionless and frozen.

YOU gave me new ones, providing me with strength and purpose once more.

My hands were frostbitten, as the gloves I once wore were now tattered from anxiety and bewilderment.

YOU mended them and with your healing touch, you restored my hands so that I may heal again.


YOU are Wellness House.

But what is Wellness? WEllness is having a healthy life encompassing physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

What a perfect name for such a special place; and it is because of this special place that I was able to be truly present with my children and family during this snapshot of my journey. Those of us entering the Wellness House may have had cancer, but it does NOT have us. We enter through these healing doors fragmented and we leave whole once again.”  by Gaile Sabaliauskas

With my offerings of Reiki, it is an honor and a privilege to be part of helping each person who I encounter at the Wellness House feel whole once again.

Wishing you all love, light, peace, and wholeness!

Can Reiki Save the World?

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead

If Reiki is widely practiced throughout the world, can it save us from the suffering that is so common to our human existence? I thiReiki Save Worldnk the answer is, “yes,” in some important ways. Reiki can be a catalyst for change in our personal lives which can lead to significant change in how we interact with others. When we experience the healing that Reiki can bring about in our minds, bodies, and spirit, we are able to move forward with positive action. Bringing these positive acts into the world helps to create a world filled with love and light rather than darkness and pain.

When we experience Reiki, we often feel very empowered because we have connected with Source (aka, the Universe, the Spiritual realm, etc.).  Connecting with Source, helps us to feel grounded and supported. When we feel safe, connected, relaxed, and healthy, we are able to bring our personal gifts to the world which makes the world a better place.

Some people might say that Reiki cannot save the world because it is too mysterious and superficial.  In part they are correct because it is not Reiki alone that will save the world but the collective positive actions of individuals working to make the world a better place.  Reiki is here to support each of us in saving the world.

This simple, calming, and supportive practice can make the world a better place. Imagine a world where people are calm, centered, connected, healthy, and supported.  Isn’t this a world where we can eradicate poverty, hunger, and hatred?

What do you think? Can Reiki save the world?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Reiki: You, Gwyneth, and Demi

MeditatingAh, to be at peace, to be centered, calm, and focused.  Reiki is like the moment during meditation where you are completely at peace, balanced, and free. Though, most people find Reiki to be much easier than meditation.  Perhaps that is why it’s receiving so much attention recently.

Reiki is in the news a lot lately. It’s really wonderful that so many famous people are sharing their experiences.  As I read these articles, I think about what a great opportunity this is for you, as a Reiki Practitioner, to talk with others about our practice and its healing benefits.

As someone interested in the practice or healthfulness in general, this is a great opportunity to delve further into your Reiki journey.  Perhaps now is the time to learn Reiki by taking a class so you can start a self-Reiki practice. Or maybe what resonates more with you is receiving Reiki on a regular basis.  A series of sessions might be just the ticket that guides you in this stage of your life’s journey. (Click on the “Book Now” button below and sign up for a Reiki Power Package of 5 sessions or a Reiki SuperPower Package of 10 sessions.)


If you’d like to read more about what Gwyneth and Demi have experienced and have encouraged others to experience, please read the following articles:

  • Gwyneth regularly receives Reiki and inspired this article in Elle.
  • Demi’s Reiki experience.
  • For a full round-up of famous people involved  in Reiki, scroll down on this page.

Wishing you many wonderful connections with the universe’s love and light!


How does Reiki work?

There is a certain amount of mystery around how Reiki works.  As Reiki Practitioners and Masters, we believe in universal life-force energy — the energy that is in us and all around us.  The energy that is universal and infinite. We believe that this energy is channeled through us and offered from our hands to another being who takes that energy and uses it for his/her highest healing good on a physical/mental/emotional or spiritual level.  However, for many people, that might be too much to wrap their minds around.  It may be too abstract and esoteric.  We can still have a discussion about Reiki and still reach area of agreement about how Reiki works.

Here are some possible areas of common ground:

  1. Reiki brings on the relaxation response. When the body is relaxed, it enters a place where healing can occur.  When the mind relaxes, it sees possibilities and ways of being that it can’t see when it is experiencing stress.  Relaxation heals.  Reiki heals.
  2. Touch heals.  Just the act of being touched in a kind and selfless way is healing.  At the very least, Reiki works through the power of touch.
  3. Reiki is a placebo.  It brings on the placebo effect in the same way that many medications do. We believe that it is going to work and therefore it does.  (See, for instance, the work of Ted J. Kaptchuk.)
  4. Through the experience of Reiki, one “knows” how it works. To know Reiki, is to have experienced it.  It is difficult to explain at times, however, the experience of it is unmistakable.

How do you think Reiki works?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Wishing you abundant health!

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Reiki is Enough . . . for me

Image Reiki Japanese characters on stoneReiki is enough for me.  I don’t need to practice any other healing modalities.  I am not drawn to learn a variety of other techniques.

However, for others I know their experience is different.  As bodyworkers and healers, they integrate multiple modalities to provide the best experience for their clients.  However, for me, it’s Reiki, Reiki, Reiki.

I’m not sure I can explain this singular focus.  I LOVE other modalities and luxuriate in the healing that comes from them.  Unending gratitude comes from me to those who can provide a healing massage, a skillful acupuncture session, or an uplifting CranioSacral treatment.

When I think about whether or not I want to learn another healing modality, my answer is always a shrug of the shoulders.  For me, Reiki is complete.  I love its simplicity and the ability to provide self-care in any setting.  This love of Reiki does not mean I love the others less, it just means this is my focus, this is . . . my path.

I hope you’ll join me on this path by attending one of my upcoming Reiki Classes or Clinics.  By becoming attuned you can treat yourself and others and offer universal life force energy for the highest healing good.

Wishing you profound healing.

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Is Reiki Magic?

Photo by Christopher J. Hopper
Photo by Christopher J. Hopper

Recently, this question has come up in a variety of settings: Is Reiki magic? When I first heard the question I was startled. To me, Reiki seems so natural, innate, and pure. Calling it “magic” seemed to have a negative connotation for me. When I use the Reiki symbols, in an attunement or for a session, am I calling on something otherworldly? At Mass this past weekend, Father John said in his homily, “Baptism is not magic.” To call upon the Holy Spirit is not magic. To welcome a baby, or adult, to our community of believers is not magic. It is life and it is love. I am not equating Reiki and Baptism, because they are certainly different. However, I am noticing how when we are faced with something we cannot see, like universal life force energy or Spirit, we question it. Sometimes we may even fear it. I can’t touch it, but that doesn’t make it magic.

There is an energy inside us and all around us that can’t be seen or touched. However, it is felt. It is Reiki. It is universal life force energy. My teacher, Libby Barnett, says that prior to attunement in a Reiki Class we sometimes tap into universal life force energy but that we do so in an inconsistent way. After attunement we are able to consistently pick up that radio station. Hands on, Reiki’s on. So simple and so instinctive.

Sometimes though Reiki’s simplicity seems to be one of its shortcomings. Our minds want to know how it works. Our minds seek evidence — proof that we’ve been healed and changed. However, Reiki is an offering. As a Reiki practitioner you are a conduit. You offer and allow the healing to happen as it will — outside of your control, outside of your will, outside of your mind and ego.

Perhaps it is exactly this “unknown” aspect of Reiki that makes it seem so magical and mysterious. As we release our need to know, as we open to the unknown and a place of innate knowledge, we experience Reiki and all its goodness. This opening can be scary and certainly are minds protest not being at the forefront of our experience. However, as we allow Reiki into our lives we allow healing and experience fully the universe’s love and light.

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5 Signs You’re a Real Reiki Master

From a place of fun and lightheartedness, here are 5 signs that indicate you’re a real Reiki Master:

  1. You’ve said about Reiki: “Maybe this will work.  Maybe it won’t.”
  2. You believe the body heals itself.
  3. You’ve sent Absent Reiki by just intending to.
  4. You practice self-Reiki as frequently as possible.
  5. You know that you do not heal others, Reiki does.

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