I bet virtually every one of you has asked yourself that question at some point. I know I have.

Within a span of two days, two students stopped by my office. The first one had been treating her nephew. She  could see he was coping and feeling better while she was giving him distant treatments, but neither he nor his parents attributed any change

to Reiki. She was feeling discouraged and doubting her observations and doubting Reiki.

The other student was telling me that she sometimes questions whether her self-treatment has any benefit. About the time she’s ready to quit daily treatment, she’ll treat somebody else, see the effect the treatment has, and her own doubts are dispelled.

Frequently the trigger is self-doubt and lack of confidence. You know you see a change, however subtle, but if others doubt, you start to question your own perception. This can often be a stopping point for people in their practice.

What has helped me most is doing more Reiki. This has always been true, but particularly at the beginning of my practice when I was most vulnerable to discouragement. In my First Degree class, I heard Mrs. Takata’s Reiki stories and I saw her ability to heal people. But I couldn’t imagine that this would be possible for me. It was so easy to discount my experience. Treating myself every day, treating friends, hearing and sharing stories every week with my Reiki Circle pals helped wake up my ability to see change happening, to recognize Reiki at work.

I couldn’t see it then, but I was building my relationship with Reiki. Not unlike a new friendship, I was learning what this energy is like, how it feels, how it works. I was getting to know Reiki. Like any deep friendship, greater confidence and trust came over time.

And yet I had an experience recently where I found myself thinking, “What’s happening? Why isn’t Reiki working?” When I stopped and looked closely, I noticed that I was expecting some kind of observable shift, however subtle. Not feeling it aroused my doubt. And yet, when I looked at the treatment experience, felt the activity in my hands, I had no question that the person had a strong and positive response to the treatment.

The more I practice Reiki, the more I see that any time we engage with life energy, we are always effected. In that context, what you, or I, or the person we treat experiences in a particular session is simply one of the details. The heart of what is happening can sometimes remain unseen.