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"Trust Signals" for Reiki Practitioners

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Are you interested in booking a session with a local Reiki Practitioner, but struggling to find where to look, or what trust signals to look for?

A woman holding out her hands
Healing Hands

Well, I was in the same position as you, when I first started to look into Reiki! So many different organisations, types of "certification"- I had no idea as to which qualifications or titles were legitimate or officially ratified. In the United Kingdom, Reiki doesn't have just one main Professional Body - there are several - and multiple international ones as well! And having worked in the Public Sector, in a Regulatory area myself, I tend to want to get to the bottom of who's ultimately in charge, what guidelines and Professional Standards exist, and make sure I'm going to someone reputable, credible, and who takes their Professional Development seriously. So I wasn't just taking people's word anything!

I even found that descriptions of what a Reiki session is or should be like, and what Reiki even is/ how it works were wildly different. I knew I would be in for the long haul - but doing a bit of cyber-sleuthing and getting to the truth of things, is something I'm well versed in - and this would be no different! So I've included links to the official information, so that you can see for yourself, and benefit from my research, as well as the wealth of information I've gleaned, during my time as a student, Practitioner and now CNHC-registered (the UK's Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council, set up on the back of a Charity founded by King Charles, no less (Prince Charles at the time)) Reiki Professional Practitioner. So sit back, get your pen & paper out (if you like to do these things old-school) and benefit from my hindsight!

Membership of one of the 8 UK Reiki Professional Bodies

The Reiki Council is "the lead advisory body for professional Reiki practitioners in the UK". It is a not-for-profit organisation in the UK, whose member associations are the following 8 organisations:

The Reiki Council cannot be joined by individual Reiki Practitioners - but the above organisations are open to Reiki Practitioners, and membership in one of them is dependent on meeting their requirements - which can include things like:

  • Proof of Professional Insurance;

  • Proof of face to face Reiki training, and lineage verification;

  • Signing up to the association's Professional Code of Ethics;

  • Character references;

  • Continuous Professional Development;

The organisations above have a searchable register of Practitioner members, which members of the public can access, in order to find a qualified member Practitioner. This is not the only, nor the highest signal of trust out there for Reiki Practitioners, but it's certainly a great place to start!

Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) accreditation

As mentioned previously, the CNHC provides a register of accredited Complementary Therapists, and in fact the Reiki Profession was one of the very first participants. The CNHC was set up by the UK Government, to protect the public, by keeping an independent register of UK practitioners. As their website states:

"All CNHC Registrants have agreed to be bound by the highest standards of conduct and have registered voluntarily. All of them are professionally trained and fully insured to practise."

The CNHC's register of practitioners is available online - simply click the "Find a Practitioner" button towards the left in the website header, and you can search for an accredited therapist by name, profession and location, as well as specifying a radius.

CNHC Reiki Joining Requirements - overview

Joining the CNHC requires Reiki practitioners to have been in practice for 2 years, and to complete several case studies, an assessed treatment and a lengthy questionnaire examination, or to complete an accredited diploma course, which includes a minimum number of supervised learning hours, 100 hours of received treatments, at least 75 hours of treatments given, including 10 x multiple-treatment case studies, assessed treatments, and a questionnaire examination.

Qualification to join the register is a lengthy process, requiring dedication, the highest standards of professionalism, and knowledge/practical know-how, around client wellbeing, safety, empowerment, and ensuring the practitioner is giving the right advice, information and suggesting the best treatment plan to the client.

When a Reiki Practitioner has been accredited and joined the CNHC register, they are then able to work within NHS settings, and the CNHC provides letters and information to GP surgeries about Reiki, as well as information posters, around the importance of going to a trusted Professional Complementary Therapist, for GP surgeries and to promote awareness.

So if you are lucky enough to find a CNHC-accredited Reiki Professional, you can rest assured that they are bound by the highest professional standards and a Code of Conduct, Ethics and Performance.

And you also know that they have gone the extra mile to up-skill themselves with knowledge and training, as well as the fact that their Continuous Professional Development is a priority to them. That is definitely a top marker of trust, in my opinion!

A little background context

When it comes to Reiki Professionalism, there are those who walk the talk around respect, empowerment and integrity. Many of these people will belong to the above category of Regulated or accredited Professional Membership - some will not.

Because Reiki doesn't (at the time of writing this article) have compulsory Regulation (as many other Holistic therapy modalities do) in the UK, it is possible for anyone with a Reiki 2 certificate and lineage to Mikao Usui, to legally offer Reiki to the public for money, as long as they are Professionally insured to do so. The fact that Reiki 2 courses can be delivered by Reiki Master Teachers who have no experience of teaching, no training in teaching, and may not have received the most accurate, thorough or current guidance on giving Reiki treatments from their Reiki Master Teacher. This is especially the case with some people who have a Western Reiki lineage, as one of Hawayo Takata's students, Marianne Streich wrote:

"She did not allow the taking of notes during her classes; her teaching was in the oral tradition, and she expected her students to store her words in memory"

This is part of the colourful (and frankly fascinating) history of Usui Reiki in the West, and some of the reasons it's actually in existence are the reasons for inconsistency, confusion and blockers to professionalism - in ways of working, at least.

Suffice it to say that there is a wide variation in approach, methodology and culture, in the Western Reiki tradition. Looking at a person's approach to Reiki, the way they talk about it to others and on their website, and their attitude or focus, can be a useful measure of Trust, in those who have not joined a Professional Association, as well as for those who have.