This article is about how to ask for what you want in Reiki (or any energy work or bodywork, or anywhere in life, for that matter) — even if you’re not given a Reiki intake form. We will discuss why making requests is so important, what blocks us, and methods for asking for what will bring us the most benefit.
To open, let me share a real story from my Boston Reiki practice. I had just finished a wonderful one-hour session of couples Reiki with two best friends. As the women were leaving, they thanked me profusely for the experience — then one dropped the bombshell…
“I was really cold the whole session,” she shared.
“Oh no!” I exclaimed, “I REALLY wish you’d said something earlier! I have so many ways I could have fixed that: turning up the heat, offering a clean sheet, bringing you your sweater… I would have solved it in ten second if I’d known! It’s one thing to experience shaking during Reiki due to energy movement, and a whole other thing to just be frozen. If I may ask… why are you only sharing it now?”
“I don’t know,” the woman replied. “I didn’t want to disturb your flow.”
“The thing is,” I mused, “It’s much more disturbing to learn that I could have easily made your experience better, but didn’t get the chance, simply because I didn’t know. Communication is so important to yielding the optimal session results.”
Before they left, I gave the two friends the following homework: Elsewhere in their lives, look and see what other places they’re not speaking up. Find simple, small things that could make a big difference… then be brave and actually ask for them! They agreed, seeing the point with clarity. What is true in Reiki is true in life.
It’s OK to Make Requests During Reiki!
This episode has really stuck with me, because it pinpoints just how hesitant so many of us are to speak up and ask for something simple that would make our experience in better — even if we’re literally paying money for the experience (Reiki session costs can be high), and even if the practitioner invites it.
Now of course, I’m talking about making requests within reason during bodywork: Temperature, pressure, or location adjustments. I am not talking about requests for inappropriate actions in the context of a professional session.
As a Reiki practitioner, I strive to create a welcoming and safe environment for energy work clients to ask for what they need, but there are only so many times I can ask, “How are you doing? Is the temperature ok? Is the music level working for you? Please don’t hesitate to speak up if you need anything.”
It is therefore vital that clients take that extra brave step and say what they need. As I explained in my article about a green aura meaning, this self-advocacy is particularly important — and at times difficult — for those who are always used to taking care of others, but not themselves.
Hand Placement Requests
Here is another example of making requests during Reiki that comes from an experience I had as a recipient during a formal session. As the practitioner was doing her hand placements, I was successfully seeing visions, but I kept feeling that she was gravitating towards the “wrong” areas — legs, hands, head… but not my heart, where I could tell that the main energy was blocked.
Now, I am a strong, independent woman, and yet even I had trouble speaking up! One of the 5 Reiki Principles is “Just for today, I will not worry… but I was worried to say anything.” It wasn’t until the last ten minutes that I finally mustered the courage.
“Excuse me,” I piped up shyly, “but would you be able to focus a bit more on my heart chakra?” The practitioner immediately and happily obliged (there was no need for me to be nervous!), and the moment her hands touched my fourth chakra, I began weeping in a positive energy release. Crying during meditation or Reiki is extremely beneficial, and I left the session feeling so much better. Yet I never would have gotten that full benefit if I hadn’t spoken up to advocate for what I needed!
The 13th century Persian poet, Rumi, has a beautiful poem which encompasses the broader picture of what I’m trying to say here. The text of his beautiful piece is as follows:
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Do not go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you truly want.
Do not go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Do not go back to sleep.
What Rumi is saying here is that we miss out on a world of opportunity when we “sleep” on making requests for what we need and desire. As the poet writes, “You must ask for what you truly want!” We may think our requests will disturb the recipient, but in fact it is far more disturbing to hold them in, having them come out when it’s too late for anyone to grant them. As I explain in my Couples Reiki article, energy work can help you find the courage to make requests long after the session is over.
VIDEO: Requests During BodyWork
Making Requests in Reiki and Beyond
So what are your thoughts on making requests — in Reiki or in life — after reading these examples, and Rumi’s powerful poem? Do share!
Want more? Check out “Getting a Headache After Reiki: Why it Happens and How to Avoid or Fix It,” and “How to Stop Drinking Alcohol by Energy Work.” You can also see my article about using Reiki as a life coach.
If you’re an energy work professional, yourself, do browse my article about Reiki practitioner cleansing: tips on how to clean your space (physically and energetically) to provide a good experience to clients.
The creator of this site, Lillie Marshall, is a Reiki practitioner who is certified in three different kind of energy work, including Usui and Kundalini Reiki. She began her formal training in 2018, and now runs Healing Touch “L” Reiki in Boston, where she has become one of the top-rated practitioners in Massachusetts, conducting hundreds of sessions with clients. Having been a public school teacher for many years, Lillie is passionate about writing articles to educate people far and wide about the wonderful, natural benefits of Reiki for wellbeing and balance. Find her on social media at @HealingTouchL.