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What The F Is Reiki?!

Ask the Expert: Reiki with Tanya Schroeder

I was excited, nervous and still feeling anxious about so many other things going on in my life as I drove to the location where my last minute Reiki session would take place.  I had no idea what to expect from the Reiki healing session I was about to partake in. I had no idea that even though it was a shortened session, that I would reap the benefits of it for well over a week.

When I arrived, I began to feel resistance popping up.  “It won’t work, it might not be a real thing. What if nothing happens? What if I can’t tell if it’s working for me?  What if she gets nothing when there is so much going on with me right now”. These are just some of the things I thought to myself as I walked from my car to my appointment.

Before beginning the session she placed some crystals around and on me as I lay down. While crystals are not reiki they do provide energy to the session and can help guide the healing during the session.  

Next, she sprayed some rosemary essential oil mist in the air over my body and guided me through three deep breaths.  Then the session began.

Photo Credit: Inspired by Tanya

As I lay face up on the table, Tanya moved around my body.  Her hands hovered over some parts and others she would lightly touch for a few moments before moving on.  The biggest surprise for me was first, how much emotional stuff and memories started to bubble to the surface of my mind, and second, how hot her hands were during the whole process.  They were unnaturally hot, and radiating heat from wherever she placed her hands directly to sore spots on my body and areas that had been bothering me for a while. The sensation of pulsing waves of energy flowing from the top of my head down to my toes and back was unlike any I have ever experienced before.  It was both exhilarating and strange at the same time. When she placed her hands over my ears the amount of internal chatter I had been dealing with slowed and I was able to fully sink into relaxation before the end of the session.

The cool down portion of the appointment was a unique experience.  Any time I’ve ever had energy healing done in the past, there usually is no time after where I would talk with the practitioner about feelings, memories, and circumstances came to mind during the session.  Tanya’s perceptiveness during the cooldown was scary accurate and I’ll be the first to admit that I was surprised to hear what she had to say because it was so spot on regarding what I had been dealing with. As we talked I felt energized, more energized than I had been in a long time.  After I arrived home after the session, that energy gave way to a deep tiredness. I slept deeply that night, and since then the awareness that she helped me to gain has helped catapult me forward into new opportunities and adventures.

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Photo Credit: Tanya Schroeder

If you have never experienced Reiki for yourself and have some questions, that’s totally normal.  My experience with Reiki was so positive and cleansing that I wanted to share what I’ve learned with everyone.  So, I sat down for coffee with the badass boss lady & Reiki practitioner, Tanya Schroeder, of Inspired by Tanya, to talk about all things Reiki and energy healing.

In our interview, we covered everything from the bare-bones basics to client stories and experiences with Reiki as an energy healing modality and what Tanya hopes to see next for the industry.

1. For those that don’t know, what is Reiki? And who can it help?

Reiki, (pronounced ray-key), in essence, is split into two words “Rei” and “ki” that can loosely translate to mean spiritually guided life force energy. It is a Japanese healing technique that originated in the early 1900’s.  I am trained in the Usui lineage of Reiki.  You can trace me, and my teacher all the way back to the founder Mikao Usui!

We all have this energy inside of us and in doing a lot of energy work I know that each of us have this inside of us and are capable of dialing into our intuition. Reiki is simply a method or modality to fine tune it.

Reiki is a hands-on healing technique where energy is released through the hands and felt either through direct contact or at a distance.

When I’m working on someone, it feels like waves of energy coming down through the top of the head and out of my hands. There is a sensation of heat in my hands as well my body temperature!

2. How did you get into Reiki & decide it was what you wanted to do? Did you ever question if it was what you wanted to do?

I did my yoga certification in 2009 and I’ve always been sensitive to other energies and people. I hate using the word psychic but it’s the easiest word for people to understand what I’m talking about. You could also use the term intuitive but these days, it feels highly overused. We need a better word! But I do say Reiki intuitive because that’s part of my work and my unique gift.

When I did my yoga training I was very connected in that sense to that community of other practitioners and well-being warriors – and I had a strong spiritual practice.

I started meeting with a women’s meditation group on a weekly basis due to some personal things I had happening. And it was very powerful for me. It was there I realized that I was an empath and not alone! in feeling this way.

All these things kept coming up more and more for me and through this chain of people I started to work with a spiritual mentor.

She was wonderful at that time in my life. She was very strong in business so she started to help me gain a business backbone and to take my yoga teaching to the next level and to put myself out there in a rising saturated and (sometimes) inauthentic market.

It was through my mentor that Reiki came about. I was never seeking it out. I was just learning about it.

When it came up and I was like “great! that’s cool. It sounds like it’s for me” and I took action on it. I went for it.

I got my Advanced practitioner certification in 2011 and I worked with her (my mentor). She hosted public events in the Los Angeles county area where we had the opportunity to work with the general public and share Reiki healing with them.

I would get to work on individuals but within a group environment. In that year, between the events and my own clients, I worked on over a hundred people.

When I was sharing Reiki energy with people, I was not only giving them the Reiki energy but I was having these “messages” come up that were messages for them.

For a young 20-something on this path, the intuitive part was still being understood by me and how it could be beneficial to the people I worked with. I was often not prepared to take on these “messages”  and communicate them in a way that would be the most beneficial to people.

I had some pretty serious things come up… One thing that kind of sticks out for me I was working on a female and I felt some energy in her womb area I got the vision that she had been raped. Having that conversation with her was just so heavy. She burst into tears and it was nothing she had ever told me before & it really scared me.

It made me know that:

  • this energy is very powerful and

  • this gift that I have is not to be misused or misguided and

  • needed to be formed in a way that was going to be helpful and my communications of the messages not detrimental to people

Not that that experience was detrimental to her. But, it made me realize that I need to be 100% in the right place to use it or I’m not going to be doing any good for anybody or I may be even doing the opposite.

So I quit.

I went back to it in the last few years because I knew it was a lost part of myself.

I knew I had this gift hanging out here in the background and I just wasn’t using it and I didn’t want to deny it.

I shut off my intuition just like NOPE

I always used to joke that that’s why I drink wine because it shuts me off and I didn’t have to know or hear or feel other people’s stuff because I didn’t know how to deal with it. Well, I still drink wine, but for different reasons now 

But then I knew that I was denying this huge part of me and it started to eat away at me and it just kept knocking on the door like hey this is your gift it was like popping-up in places all the time.

You’re ready when you’re ready though right? I shut my gift off for a reason and I turned it back on for a reason.

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Photo Credit: Meg Marie Photography

3. What happens during one of your sessions?

When I start my session it’s like when I start my meditation practice.

I’m connecting to the moment. I’m with my client. I’m with this person, and that space and time are for you. I’m already in the energy and the energy lives throughout the session. There is an energetic opening and closing and it’s a very ceremonial process. During that session, I can also do emotional coding/clearing or with my pendulum, I can do my chakra work. Reiki energy helps me tune into where there are blockages or emotional/physical traumas.

I’ve never put my negative thoughts on someone else during a session, but I do still get distracted by thoughts. It’s a lot like in meditation. I also get so much information from someone’s body/energy sometimes I have to stop and take notes or I won’t remember everything to discuss with them at the end.

When I get distracted, I have tools to bring myself back to mentally focusing on my client but the flow of Reiki energy was not stopped.

I kind of have four energy work points that all combined into this one session.

  • Reiki

  • Emotional coding

  • Chakra work

  • Intuitive messages

Now I fully embrace the intuitive messages I get during sessions and I let people know (about the messages part) so it doesn’t freak them out. Because I don’t want to be in your head.

The messages, yes they can be funny, unique, weird, and most importantly, personal, but I’m not pulling these things out of thin air – that’s why I know that I’m not making them up! They’re not phrases that I would typically use or they’re not suggestions that I would typically give. They’re different for every single person.

Besides the basics of like telling someone to get a massage or something but it will be for a specific body point relevant only to this person. I get interesting things such as, “you need to go see a chiropractor because your left hip is out of alignment which is causing this pain. You need an adjustment.”

It’s that intricate and it’s that physical. But deeply soul connected.

I get a lot of physical visualizations and self-care related things in an equal balance with emotional blockages and traumas.I hear a plethora of positive messages as well. It’s not all scary things. There are messages so beautiful that make ME cry!

When I’m doing the post-session wrap up THAT’S when I tell everyone their messages.

People need to receive information very differently. That is the most difficult part I would say because I don’t just put someone on my table and maybe touch them maybe not and then they go…I have to communicate!

Some people I can be more blunt with and say hey this is your message, you have to go fucking do this thing. This is not me. I don’t care what you do but this is your message!

And then there are other people who need a very soft and gentle approach like this is what I’m hearing and this is what you may want to consider to do.

I only pick up on only things that people are willing to let me receive. I’ve seen a lot of people over the years resist, and at that moment in spiritual connection with them, I see this brick wall. When I see that Isay okay, you don’t want to let me in and I don’t want to push it so I’m going to move on to something else. Reiki energy is still being received during this process!

 Photo Credit:  Meg Marie Photography

Photo Credit: Meg Marie Photography

In my experience, as with any type of energy work, sometimes when you get it done it can kind of hit you like BOOM! You’re exhausted.

It’s like you received this letter full of information and then it integrates over the days and weeks. Your spiritual and physical body need time to do that. It’s like airing out and cleaning a room that has been closed up for several months.  It takes a while to get everything looking and feeling better again. Especially when things are out of fucking whack and imbalanced…

It’s always what that person needs at that moment. And it can shift with time.

When I did my last retreat, I did a Reiki session pre-retreat and post-retreat for the participants. Everybody’s readings were completely different two months apart! That’s because you’re changing every day. You’re forever changing.

If you got information last week that says that you’re diabetic and you have this health issue but 2 months from now you’ve reconciled that and your blood sugar levels are normal again then you mentally and physically are in a new place and your energy is going to reflect that.

And so that’s how your energy can be so different. Something that you need right now is not what you need next time.

4.  Should it ever be used in replacement of traditional Western medicine?

For serious ailments or mental disease, no. Call your medical practitioner. Reiki practitioners are not doctors. That’s actually one thing that’s in my client informed consent form. I’m not a physician. Nor a psychologist.

To give an extreme example: If someone came to me and said “I have kidney cancer. I’m just going to come to you for Reiki,” I would let them know I’m not a physician. I’m not a licensed medical practitioner. There is no guarantee that the healing I share with will cure or alleviate them.  On another hand, who am I to tell you no? That is not really my place.

There are some studies about people doing Reiki at the hospital. Reiki supports traditional therapies. When you do several sessions, it’s shown to improve and complement Western medicine.

5. What is one thing you wish people knew about Reiki before they come to a session?

If I only have one… hmmm.

I think people get so much into their head about what’s going to come out of it. So my advice would be to just go in and to be of the experience. Feel it. Rest. Sleep even. Enjoy me showering light onto your being!

6. How do you prepare for a Reiki session so you get the most out of it?

On a basic level pre-session:

Make sure that you’re not exhausted. Most people lack sleep so use it as an excuse to get a good night’s sleep do yourself a favor and wake up refreshed that day.

If you’re getting a distance session, you don’t have to force yourself to do nothing, it’s cool if you bumble around your house. You don’t have to lay down and close your eyes but you’re not out raging at the bar and you’re not out doing the Tough Mudder.

You know what I mean?. Because you’re not going to be in a mentally, physically, spiritually receiving place if you’re in those extreme situations.

Also, you need to hydrate.

Any type of energy work does all kinds of things to your physical body so you need to stay hydrated. Don’t drink alcohol before your session if possible.

And then post-session the same advice applies.

Hydrate up, try to get a good rest, and for most people that is going to be fine. Try not to dampen your physical body with excessive toxins. Even a greasy/heavy meal should be avoided. If you are craving grounding foods after your session, stick with something like a mashed sweet potato with grass-fed butter or ghee. (That covers some Ayurvedic basis!)

7. What should people look for in a good Reiki practitioner? Some people out there are charging a lot for only a short Reiki session.  How do you make sure you’re not getting scammed?

A few things:

  • Anyone who is charging extremely large sums of money for any sort of Miracle or any energy Exchange in your life is more than likely not someone you want to go to. Someone should not be charging you $3k for a 10-minute session.

Make sure to check going rates in your area.

I charge between $88 & $138.  $88 which is a distance session is just over an hour of my time.

But say if you go for a nice massage you pay about a $125. My in-person appointment rates are $138 and take about an hour and 45 minutes with travel. I travel anywhere in San Diego. So the value to what I’m delivering is very comparable to the industry rate of say, going to get a nice massage.

  • If you’re finding someone just make sure you research them and that you connect with them as a person. That’s going to be really important. I’ve worked with a lot of people in a wide variety of ages and everybody that I’ve worked with has been really rad. I think it’s because there’s a natural connection between us and we have an understanding between us. You just feel that level of comfort.

If you don’t feel comfortable for whatever reason - if you don’t like that I cuss or that I’m not a Catholic, or whatever it may be, then you shouldn’t work with me because it’s not going to make you feel good about the session. And that’s okay if you’re not comfortable with someone! I don’t think everyone is my client. There are other practitioners for other people and I know it’s the right people come to me.

  • In terms of ethics, I have a specific code of ethics. It’s very important to me that my own energy is in a healthy and positive place.  It’s important that I’m not rushing around. I mentally and physically prepare for the session. I don’t enjoy alcohol near a client’s session time.

I also take client’s privacy seriously. I don’t discuss what has come up in a session unless they’ve allowed me to disclose that information. Similar to a physician/patient relationship. Everything that is said in your session is yours. It’s privately recorded. I don’t share it with anyone else.

I have an informed consent that’s on my website as well – take a look at it. It lets you know my background, the training I’ve had, that I’m not a physician.

8. Do you have any client stories you can share with us?

I had this woman recently, she had won my giveaway which was a free distance session and I sent her a recording for it, and initially, she said thank you so much and that was it. A week and a half later she to me while I was traveling in Peru, a page-long document about everything that I said in her session that was to the T that was going on that matched in her life. I’ve never seen her face (none of her Instagram photos showed it). I really didn’t know anything about her. I had no connection to her that I could use “to get information.”  I don’t know her birthday or anything like that it’s not astrologically related.

It was a reaffirming moment for me. The work that I do is a gift. Once we tap into OUR Universal selves, that and we’re truly connected into the people that were working with this is what we can deliver. This is the value that we can give and it’s life-changing for them.

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Photo Credit: Meg Marie Photography

I have have done Reiki on myself for physical things and it has provided relief. It doesn’t cure me at the moment but it does provide relief so I can personally attest to that. And with other people that I’ve worked with as well, so much to go on about in this section! Earlier this year I got to share Reiki with animals on a rescue farm near the border. They absolutely respond to the energy exchange.

I’ve had people who’ve said things like “oh that really hit home I was crying but not in a negative way and I can’t believe you knew that”. Note: No, I don’t go around being in people’s head and know what’s going on with them. While I am naturally tuned in to other humans emotions (an empath if you may, sometimes I just know things,) I don’t want to be using my ‘sixth sense’ for normal day to day interactions that can be resolved with conversations.

9. What would you like to see happen in the future for Reiki and other energy healing modalities?

I want to see the scientific side of Reiki explored. I want an MRI showing me my brain before Reiki, during Reiki, and after Reiki. I feel all that stuff during the session. I get a migraine in my third eye chakra during the entire session. I would like to see some studies on that to see what happens.  There aren’t many studies out there because people don’t think it’s real. And, because, financial backing for a study like this would be tremendous.

When you’re doing energy work, changes are happening in your body. Your heart rate decreases, your breathing slows…so if someone is receiving this energy and they are in a state of relaxation, how is that not physically changing?  

I want to do studies on all these things but as a small business owner right now this is all I can do is get testimonials and know from my own experiences that it works.

To book a Reiki session with Tanya click here. She can also be found on Instagram giving energy healing, business and travel tips @inspiredbytanya.