Overcoming the “Woo” Factor – Talking About Reiki in the Everyday World

“So what is Reiki?” It’s a question I’m asked often in business networking events, wellness fairs, and the other places where All Relations Reiki meets the public. Who’d have thought the textbook answer (“It’s an energy-healing modality tapping Universal Life Energy, guided by Spirit, and administered by light touch”)….would yield blank looks and equally blank smiles? It’s obvious that while the listener understands the words, the meaning has flown right past.

It’s a problem with “woo”….as in “woo-woo.”  A technical term defined in the ordinary world as “concerned with emotions, mysticism, or spiritualism; other than rational or scientific; mysterious; new agey.”

Energy healing tends to fall into the land of Woo, right along with crystals and chakras and angels and communication with animals and plants and….you get the idea. Lots of concepts, tools, and practices that have been honored through the millennia by ancient and/or indigenous traditions, that are now labeled as fairytales and fakery because they are not backed up with hard, reproducible, tangible proof.

But this begs the question of the mind-body-spirit connection…the intertwining of Spirit with matter…the myriad ways in which the energy of our culture and social or professional or spiritual circles, the energy generated by our prayers and the prayers of others, and the divine energy of the Great Mystery – interacts with the spinning atoms, the ecosystems of cells and organs and systems within our bodies.

That is where Reiki lies – in the Mystery. Right along with meditation, shamanic healing traditions, medical intuition, and oh-so-many other nonconventional skills and practices that have nevertheless been proven effective through millennia into the present day. Practices recognized by a growing number of forward-thinking physicians and researchers as valid and indeed, even effective in some cases where mainstream medicine fails. Practices built on the understanding that we live in a cosmos far bigger than anything we can comprehend or control….but with which we may, with humility and love, cooperate.

So how am I demonstrating in my community what Reiki is, and what it does – that mysterious transmission of energy, hands-on or hands-off, that can yield such startling results? Right now I’m offering 15-minute sample sessions at networking events, expos, co-op skill-shares, and soon, cancer support groups (have chair, will travel!). Recipients sit down, curious, and stand up with a dazed smile: “I feel different, calm, relaxed,” one young woman said.

I recently attended Pamela Miles’ Reiki and Medicine Intensive…a training that is shifting and deepening the approach and offerings of All Relations Reiki substantially, and allowing me to reduce the “woo” factor while expressing the truth of Reiki’s effectiveness to a wider audience. Stay tuned for more thoughts on this topic!



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