“What Should You Look for in a Reiki Training?” – If you’re interested in learning energy healing, it can be pretty daunting to try and find an appropriate training. There are so many routes to go – in person, online, group, 1:1, self-paced, workshop style, different lineages, different costs, etc. In this blog post, I am going to go over a lot of different options so you can feel confident in your decision about what type of training is right for you.
What Should You Look for in a Reiki Training? An Overview
When it comes to choosing a reiki training course or a general energy healing course, it can feel incredibly overwhelming. There are a LOT of options, and if you’re just getting into this realm of work, it can be very difficult to even know what different things mean and what is right for you!
If I had to give one piece of advice, it would be to find a teacher that resonates with you – regardless of the type of energy healing they teach, or the way they structure their classes. Ultimately, you want to find a mentor that can guide you along your journey and inspire you. Use your intuition about if a particular teacher/guide/mentor feels good to you or aligned with you and your interests.
If I had to give one piece of advice, it would be to find a teacher that resonates with you.
That being said, I would like you to leave this article feeling like you have a greater understanding of your options and what to keep an eye out for. Below, I will dive more into explaining the different options you have, what different things mean, and what you can expect from different class offerings.
Reiki Trainings – In-Person, Online, Self-Paced, Group, and 1:1
In Person Classes
In-person classes will be exactly like they sound – facilitated in-person by a teacher. In most major cities, you can typically find a reiki training being hosted in-person. This may be done in a small or large group, or you may find instructors who only teach 1:1. You may find that the class is a several hour single day workshop, or meets for several hours over the course of a weekend, or meets for a couple of hours once a week for several weeks. Occasionally, you may also find instructors. who prefer a mentor approach and will want to work with you over the course of several months.
If you like a more hands-on approach, want to meet other local peers, or like the environment/setting of working in-person with someone else (or a small group), an in-person training may be best for you.
If you are struggling to find a local training, try Googling, “Reiki Training Near Me” or “Reiki Training in (your city)” – this will usually bring up some local options. You can also see if there are any stores, boutiques, or studios in your area that host events. My greatest advice, if you are set on doing an in-person training, would be to search online to find local practitioners. Book a session with them and see how you like their energy, their practice, and their personality. Get to know them and ask them questions – this can give you a good idea about whether or not they are aligned with you and you’d like to learn from them. If not, they may know someone else they can refer you to.
Online courses will be facilitated online by a teacher. You may come across self-paced online courses (instructional videos and pre recorded/written content you watch and read on your own time), or live classes taught over video chat (like Zoom.) You may find teachers who teach over several weeks or months, or some who teach workshop-style courses that take place over one to two days.
Online classes are great if you live in an area where you don’t have access to in-person courses. They’re also great for people who prefer an online environment, struggle with social anxiety, need the flexibility due to a moving schedule/travel, or for those who find a teacher they really resonate with online, but don’t live close to.
My advice for finding a teacher online is very similar – search for energy healers and teachers online, give them a follow on social media, look at their website, book a session or consultation, and see how you like their energy, their healing techniques, and how you align with their views and what they share.
Self Paced Online Reiki Trainings vs Live Online Reiki Trainings
My personal recommendation is to search for live online reiki trainings instead of self-paced if you are new to energy work. With a live class (either as a group or 1:1), you have the opportunity to ask questions directly to your instructor in real time, and receive answers. As you practice, you also have the opportunity to connect with your instructor/mentor directly to get feedback. I have also found that live trainings tend to be a little more thorough. If you take a group class, you have the opportunity to learn from other students and the questions they ask, and feel a sense of community. If you take a 1:1 class, there is typically a lot of individualized attention, care, and flexibility that can be extremely valuable.
If you have taken other energy healing courses before, and you are familiar with energy work and working intuitively, a self-paced course can be perfectly fine for learning new techniques. These are also okay for people who are self-starters. If you are the type of person who needs more structure, guidance, or a “push” – you’re probably going to want a live class.
Group Reiki Trainings vs. 1:1 Reiki Trainings
Should you look for a group training or a 1:1 training? In this scenario, I would consider your schedule, and the way you typically learn best. Are you someone with a flexible schedule who would have no problem attending a group training? Or are you someone with a very busy/inflexible/or difficult schedule who needs flexibility with their classes/meetings? Do you enjoy learning from others/learning in a group? Or do you get easily distracted? Do you need more individualized attention or a “push” from your instructor? Do you have a lot of questions and desire more feedback? Do you have special learning needs which might prevent you from fully taking in information in a group setting? Are finances a factor? These are all things you should consider when deciding whether to explore 1:1 reiki training or group reiki trainings.
Ultimately, this is a very personalized decision, and I wouldn’t recommend one over the other. There are a number of benefits to learning in a group setting, and a number of benefits to working 1:1. Carefully consider your personal needs in making this decision.
Weekend Reiki Workshops vs. Longer Reiki Trainings
Is one better than another?
You’ll find as you search for reiki trainings that the length of time/hours of instruction varies greatly. You may find a self paced online class with 10 hours of pre-recorded content. You may find a day-long workshop that’s about 6 hours. You may find teachers who facilitate 6 month containers where you meet for a few hours each month.
When you are choosing a course and looking at the length of time/commitment, I encourage you to primarily think about what is going to work best for your style of learning. Are you the type of person who likes to get all of the information at once, sift through it, and practice on your own and integrate at your own pace? Or are you someone who needs to learn and take in information in bite sized pieces, and integrate along the way? Will you forget everything if it is jammed into one weekend? Or is that the best way for you to stay focused?
Many people look at the length of a course and simply think about their schedule or commitment level. Meeting two days in a row for a workshop might feel a lot more feasible than meeting over the course of 6 weeks or 6 months! However – I implore you to instead think about what is going to serve you best, and where you see yourself going with this practice. If you are already familiar with energy healing, a weekend workshop to learn new skills might be exactly what you need to feel inspired again. But if you’re new to energy healing, you may truly want a longer, more in-depth training.
I would also like to encourage you to consider this: what you’re learning is a non-physical spiritual practice. It’s not concrete. It’s intuitive. It takes time to learn, to practice, and to integrate. You are developing a relationship to energy healing and just like any other relationship in your life, it takes time to cultivate trust, love, understanding, and stability. A weekend fling with someone might be great fun, intense, powerful, and create long lasting memories even. But it does not have the same stability and security and trust as a relationship cultivated over weeks, months, or years that you return to and tend to on a regular basis. If you are new to energy healing practices like reiki, I highly recommend seeking out a training that takes place over several weeks or months. This will give you time to – under a mentor’s guidance – develop your skills, develop your trust, and develop your own practice.
Additionally, if we look at the way people have shared spiritual practices over the history of humanity, they were often not done in a weekend workshop. Traditionally, you would spend months and years working under a teacher/guide/guru/mentor/spiritual leader as you slowly integrated the teachings and wisdom, developed your way of relating to the information, and evolved in your spiritual practice. As humanity has come into this capitalistic and face-paced way of living, we have been encouraged to do more in less time. To take in more information more quickly. We’ve lost that slow growth and development and nourishment that is so desperately needed when it comes to spiritual practices.
My personal take? I suggest seeking out trainings that take weeks, months, or even years. These might be more expensive, and more of a commitment, but it is going to be much more nourishing in the long run – especially for folks who desire to practice energy healing on others or be mentors themselves one day.
My personal take? I suggest seeking out trainings that take weeks, months, or even years.
Different Reiki Lineages and Types of Energy Healing – What Do I Choose?
Lineages of Reiki
Something else you’ll come across when searching for reiki trainings, is that there are many different types of reiki healing, or “lineages” (we’ll talk more about lineages as it pertains to teachers later).
When it comes down to it, these are all just different ways of working with energy. Typically, the type of reiki or lineage of reiki describes something about the teacher it came from, or the specific frequency of the energy you are attuned to. Many people will argue that different types of reiki are better or “stronger” than others – but I personally find that to be subjective.
The most common type of reiki you will come across is Usui Reiki. (To learn more about Usui Reiki vs Kundalini Reiki, click here.) Usui Reiki just means it is one version of traditional Japanese Reiki, descended from Mikao Usui. You will also see Holy Fire or Karuna Reiki, which were created several years ago (and then legally registered) by William Lee Rand who runs the International Center for Reiki Training. You may also find Kundalini Reiki, Tibetan. Reiki, Shamanic Reiki, Elemental Reiki, Gold Reiki, etc. etc. Essentially, in each of these, they are using some kind of traditional Japanese Palm Healing concepts, and then adjusting the frequency or methods slightly. As I said before, when it comes down to it, these are all just different methods of working with energy. You may also find other energy healing methods that talk about quantum healing or multidimensional healing.
This is where I firmly believe it comes down to your connection to your teacher/mentor. Ultimately, you are learning how to work with energy – and you should be learning how to work intuitively and trust yourself and your inner guidance. If you are doing that, it will not necessarily matter what “lineage” or frequency you are working with – it will allow you to work directly with source energy and the possibilities are endless.
There are however, a few things I would encourage you to consider. Are you just looking to learn to work with energy healing in general? Or do you have a specific goal in mind? Do you want to work in a medical setting (like at a hospital)? Or have your own practice? Do you want to learn traditional Japanese reiki energy healing?
If you hope to work in a hospital or medical setting, you are going to want to look at the ICRT courses registered by William Lee Rand. His are the only ones that have been approved by a medical “board” of some sort where you can be licensed and work in hospitals.
If you want to learn traditional Japanese Reiki energy healing, I would encourage you to seek out someone who has Japanese heritage, and has spent time discovering, practicing, and working with traditional palm healing techniques.
If neither of those things apply to you, I would urge you to look for an instructor/mentor that you really admire and would like to work with, and work with them regardless of what type of energy healing they teach.
What Should I Look for in a Reiki Teacher?
What Should I Look for in an Instructor?
As I mentioned before, I highly encourage you to seek out an instructor/mentor that you feel drawn to intuitively and who feels aligned to you and what you would like to learn. Listen to your intuition!
Outside of that, I encourage you to book session with them to see what it’s like, and if you like the way that they work and conduct themselves. This can give you a better idea of what their teaching will be like and what their personality is like. You may also wish to explore their website and social media to get a further idea.
There are a number of other things you may like to take into consideration when looking for an instructor:
- Do they have a regular & consistent practice?
- How long have they been working/practicing (either in a professional capacity or personally)?
- Are they organized? On top of things? Responsible? Responsive?
- Are they good at communicating? Are you able to take in information from them easily as you talk with them?
- Are they grounded and realistic? Or does it feel like they have their head in the clouds?
- Are they dedicated to their spiritual practice? Is it a primary part of their lived experience?
- When they speak, does it feel truthful and genuine?
- When you experience their presence (even their online presence) does it feel good to you intuitively, or in your body?
- Are they straightforward about what they teach and what you can expect when working with them?
- Are they dedicated to their own growth and dedicated to continued learning and education?
- Are they available for questions and guidance?
- Are they open minded, compassionate, and non-judgmental?
- What is their teaching experience like?
- Do they think their way is the “best” or “only” way? Or are they dedicated to helping you and supporting you while you develop your own unique practice?
Two things you will notice I did not include on here were: What is their reiki lineage? And what type of energy healing do they teach? We went over the latter in the previous section, but I want to take a moment to discuss lineage.
Your reiki “lineage” is essentially a list of the teachers who came before you to pass down reiki energy healing through attunements. The idea of “lineage” is essentially a way for someone to say “this is how close I am to the original teacher.” In my (not so widely accepted) opinion, it’s often a way for non-Japanese teachers/practitioners to try and state some type of closeness or proximity to Japanese methods of energy healing or Japanese culture. Often, you’ll see people saying that you should only work with a teacher who can give you their lineage, or proclaiming superiority over other instructors because they have a “closer” lineage to the original founder of Usui Reiki (Mikao Usui). While there is something to be said for an instructor who has tried to get closer to the “source” and devoted themselves to deeper exploration of original methods, I truly do not believe lineage is a reliable indicator of how “good” a teacher is – nor do I think it is something you should make the primary factor in seeking out an instructor. Look at everything else I have mentioned first. It also is not an indicator of how dedicated someone is, on a daily consistent basis, to their spiritual growth, their energy healing practice, and to learning more.
Are You Interested in Learning Online with Me?
If, after reading, you’ve decided you’d like to learn online with a teacher like me, definitely check out my courses at the link below! I teach group courses that take place over 6-9 weeks (depending on the training) that meet weekly over Zoom. I also teach 1:1 and in that case, the structure and schedule can be flexible. Although I attune and teach Kundalini Reiki, my primary focus is on helping you develop your intuition so you can do intuitive energy healing – outside of any structure and specific way of working. I firmly believe that working intuitively allows you to be a more efficient healer. My classes are extremely thorough and I offer ongoing support after class.