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Accepted Paper:

What is a “good” reiki session? An auto-ethnographic approach on what reiki does to the practitioner  
Sylvie Beaud (Teikyo University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper questions the notion of validity of the action in reiki as seen by the practitioner. I suggest that ensuring that the session is correctly carried out is fundamental for the practitioner, and that it takes the form of a reflection on his/her own bodily feelings.

Paper long abstract:

The popularity of reiki, a Japanese set of spiritual and healing techniques, is literally booming on the “well-being scene”, mainly because it is simple, easy to learn, appliable to oneself and others equally, and compatible with everyone’s personal beliefs.

In this presentation, I will focus mainly on the practitioner's perspective through different aspects of his/her experience. As a trained practitioner myself, I will proceed in an auto-ethnographic way.

Based on the account of typical reiki sessions as seen by the practitioner (in this case, myself), I would like to propose some ideas on the notion of effectiveness or validity of the action. How can the practitioner evaluate a “good” reiki session? Indeed, I hypothesize that the question of validation, i.e. ensuring that the session has been correctly carried out in order to have effects, is fundamental for the practitioner. What allows this validation and what form does it take?

This validation, in my opinion, takes place during the session itself, independently of the client's verbal feedback, and takes the form of a reflection by the practitioner on his or her own bodily feelings. The analysis of this reflexivity implies the construction of an attention that is (1) diffuse, involving physical sensations, memories, theoretical knowledge acquired during one's training, and (2) shared between the practitioner and the client by means of instructions given before the session, and possibly after as well, and of an exacerbated awareness of the reciprocal attention that both are paying to one another during the session itself.

Panel P071b
Experiencing the sensing body: mind-body techniques, contemporary spiritual practices and the senses II
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -