The Reiki Thing

November 30, 2011 at 6:43 pm (Spiritual) (, , , , )

I get this question all the time, so I’d like to address it now and then use this as a reference for when I am asked.

I do not react to Reiki the way most people do. This has not always been the case. I have tried Reiki with several different people, from Reiki I to Master, in different schools of Reiki. So this is not a case of one bad apple not “doing it right”.

Of course, I don’t have definitive proof of why I react differently to Reiki, but I have a very strong (UPG) suspicion about it, that has been echoed by other neoclassical shamans who have similar reactions to Reiki. So it’s also not just a “me” thing; I know of at least three other neoclassical shamans who have adverse reactions to Reiki.

First, let me explain my physical reaction to Reiki. I find that this also applies to any sort of energy work that is “creative” (as opposed to “destructive”, not “unimaginative”) in nature, and I’ll explain that later. When someone applies Reiki to me, I feel:

  • extremely nauseous, sometimes vomiting
  • a sense of being penetrated against my will, even when I ‘allow’ the energy exchange
  • dizzy and disoriented
  • my pain levels increase
  • a strong sense that it is hastening my death (UPG, of course, but it’s how I feel)
  • whatever the Reiki is being used to alleviate (like a headache) usually triples in intensity
  • my energy feels “out of whack” for days afterward; a sense that something is wrong and I must fix it
  • it lowers my already-low immune response

I hope from reading that you’ll understand why I just say I’m “allergic” to Reiki. I have had these reactions observed by other people, especially at pagan events where people unintentionally (and intentionally, sigh) push energy onto me, such as when they hug me, or interact with me when I see I feel ill; usually this is without discussion first. (See this essay about energy work and consent in the pagan community written by another neoclassical shaman who has the same issues with Reiki).

Now as to the question of why. Here we wander into some very personal territory for me, stuff that I am not entirely comfortable talking about, so I ask that you just read this and accept it as being true for me. I am constantly inspecting and re-evaluating these thoughts and feelings, so this may change over time.

Sometime in May of 2011, something irreversibly changed in my energetic composition. At the same time, I was Informed that although I am still a madness shaman, that I will now also take on the sacred role of the Dying Man. The way it was explained to me is that some death shamans get to die and come back to life, and although they carry with them the stench of death, they can still live for many years (decades, even) carrying this connection with them. I am not like that. My death shaman journey is to die; slowly, publicly, over time, in a way that honors the journey towards death as being a sacred transition. This is part of the reason I titled the blog “Dying for a Diagnosis” – not because I really want to know what’s happening, to me, although I do, but that I am pretty damn sure I am going to die before they figure it out.

(I really, really want to point out that making all of this public was NOT MY CHOICE. I was Told, by Baphomet, that I had to make all of this shite public. Everything – the trips to the doctors, the spiritual observations, the good days and the bad days, until I can no longer interact with a computer – and even then, others may do it for me. I really didn’t want to do this. I hate sharing my medical stuff with strangers, and REALLY don’t like sharing my shamanic stuff with strangers. But I signed on the dotted line, and here I fucking am.)

The way this new energetic make-up manifests has been described as “lots of little black worms that are slowly eating away at me”. This is the manifestation of Rot and Decay that I carry with me all of the time. So you can imagine that when “creative” energy is applied to someone covered in these worms, the worms get all the energy, not me. This actually manifested during a particular acupuncture treatment, where I experienced the worms being “fed” a bunch of energy all at once; I was sick for days and it was an incredibly unpleasant experience.  I feel that this explains why I have an adverse reaction to Reiki; as I understand it (and it used to work on me quite a bit, before this remodel) the Reiki feeds the worms, and the worms eat more of me faster than planned. Thus the feeling of impending doom that I get; thus the nausea and the increased pain.

The “up” side of the worms is that they serve a very useful purpose. I can “pick one off” of me and place it on someone else (with their informed consent, of course) and it will eat away at things that are hurting them, like infections, cancer, etc. I wouldn’t call it the “anti-Reiki”, but I do see it as healing-destruction, rather than healing-creation. Part of being the Dying Man is that I can make other things die, too. (So don’t piss me off! 🙂 )

I hate this, because so many of my friends have dedicated themselves to the path of the Healer, and want nothing more than to bombard me with Universal Energy in hopes that it will ease my suffering. It actually makes me feel sad when I have to say no. I know it’s frustrating, like the whole “don’t diagnose me” thing, because people inherently want to help, and Reiki is a great way to be of service from a distance to the people that you love. So don’t get me wrong – I don’t hate Reiki – I have a deep abding respect of it and what it can do for people – just not me.

So please, respect my wishes and do not engage in any energy exchange with me without my express permission. I have found ways to filter and access certain energetic healing, but it has to be done on my terms and with my active (rather than passive) consent. That is, I have to work to accept healing energy, to get it to bypass the worms and get to my body.

In exchange, I won’t kill you. Unless you ask, nicely. 😀



  1. Kelly Mac said,

    I have to say this is the first time I’ve heard of such a reaction. I find it very interesting and actually not all that difficult to understand. As you have explained it, it makes quite a lot of sense to me. I will do my best to abide by your wishes. That is to say I will never deliberately do this to you. If it ever seems like I am doing inadvertently so please say something.

  2. Eric S said,

    Well, fear not. I don’t do that. However, I am fine with whatever limits you need. So, what do I wish you then? Good luck?

  3. Kate said,

    Thank you for sharing this journey. I know it’s not a choice, but your eloquence makes it accessible to the rest of us. It’s a strange combination of “gifts,” but please know that your words are valuable, and valued.

  4. Lee Harrington said,

    As someone who is also “allergic” to Reiki, I appreciate you posting about this. My energetic body has had “gills” added to it, for lack of a better word, over my lungs, to help me breathe on both sides of the veil. When folks do Reiki on me, it “heals” what is “wrong” (ie what my original pattern did not have in it), and thus takes me back to when I was sick as a kid- the same extreme asthma, the same regular nausea, and more.

    Reiki and other creative healing modalities are fantastic for those trying to find return or full shape to their birth-made or birth-intended shapes both astrally and physically. But for those of us who are not, well, you feed stuff other than what is desired.

  5. Moira Parham said,

    Huh. I think I must be either your polar opposite, or just “energy dead”, or something. I’ve tried Reiki, and honestly felt almost nothing. A slight warm feeling, that’s about it. Afterwards I felt absolutely no change physically.

  6. Leo Mason said,

    I’d love to talk more about Reiki and it’s effects with you in private, if you give consent for it. I don’t wish to change this reaction, but I have a few thoughts on why this happens.

    One I’d publically like to note is this: I am a Reiki II myself. I am surprised to hear, though i could be wrong, that nobody who used Reiki on you asked their Reiki guides (which is like a guardian angel) for help on this. Why I say this is because I always tell my angels to direct energy to where it can help, and ONLY if a person’s own guides/spirits/angels also consent to the exchange. I see myself as more of an antenna of energy, and not a doctor. The spirits are more like a doctor, and can judge better than I can if Reiki is even appropriate to the situation. The road to hell is paved in good intentions, and powers greater than me know where that energy is welcomed, not me. If I try to direct energy where I want it instead, I am trying to control something beyond my control.

    I’ve only felt rejection once, and that came from a dying animal.

  7. Remote Support for the Surgery, Part 1 « Dying for a Diagnosis said,

    […] a word about Reiki. I’ve written before that I do not react well to Reiki. However, I know it is a healing modality that many of my friends […]

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