whether through mainstream or ‘complementary’ methods, many of us feel called to heal our fellow humans, driven by the suffering we see in the world. Reiki is one modality that is helping to heal millions of people and is becoming increasingly popular.
As a result, more attention is being placed on ensuring that the recipient gets the most out of each session by making improvements to the equipment and environment in which the treatment takes place.
And some of these can also be of benefit to the practitioner as well, such as Reiki panels.
What are Reiki panels?
In traditional massage, the patient lies on a comfortable, cushioned table while the massage therapist manipulates their muscles. Most tables are fairly basic, being sturdily built to allow for the weight of the patient as well as the extra pressure from the massage.
In some cases, the therapist will need to place some or all of their own weight on the table to deliver a particular treatment. Usually, though, the therapist will usually remain standing, moving around the table when necessary.
While some massage tables may be more complex, perhaps with adjustable backs to enable it to be raised to a sitting position, or with head and face rests, many are simple in design.
When it comes to Reiki, although it’s possible to use similar tables to those described above, you might find that Reiki panels are a much better option.
The word ‘panel’ might be misleading here; these are specially designed ends that allow you to sit with your legs comfortably under the table.
Generally, tables (or couches) are designed with structural strength in mind, meaning that cross-pieces are incorporated to join the legs at either end, which makes it difficult, or even uncomfortable, to reach the patient. You will find that many massage tables are built this way.
What are the benefits?
As a healer, your number-one priority is the person you are treating. You want them to be as comfortable and as relaxed as possible while you administer the healing.
But what about your comfort? Reiki sessions can be a lengthy process, and if you are spending between 30 to 90 minutes with your back bent and strained, then for all the good you are doing your client, you may be damaging your own health.
It may not be apparent straight away, but muscle strain and back problems can build over time. And that’s the last thing you want. As well as being painful, it could interfere with your Reiki practice.
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Simply by choosing to use a table with Reiki panels, you immediately have better access to the patient. Using a comfortable stool or chair, you can slide your knees under either end of the table and still keep your back straight.
You are more comfortable, and probably more focused. You’re happy, the client is happy, and a better result can be achieved all around.
What about stability?
Concerns about stability are a good point, especially for Reiki practitioners who are mobile, taking a portable table to the home of the client. You need the table to be as sturdy as possible.
Cross pieces (or cross braces) provide strength. A table without these might wobble, which would be alarming for the patient – not to mention being potentially unsafe.
A properly designed Reiki table will account for this in its design. The legs will be thicker, with an arch that gives stability to the whole structure. There may also be cables that link the legs, just for extra peace of mind.
The key here is to always invest in the very best quality table you can afford. It is surely better to do this than to risk your client feeling insecure or, worse, being injured.
Remember, massage involves physical pressure exerted onto the patient, which transfers extra weight through the table. Also, the massage therapist is supported by their contact with the patient.
In Reiki, any physical pressure will be light, if used at all. The practitioner, therefore, has little or no physical support and must maintain poses for a fair length of time, which can be tiring.
A table with Reiki panels essentially only needs to bear the weight of the patient, and a good quality table will provide that strength, reducing the risk of tired muscles by allowing the practitioner to be seated comfortably.
Do I have to choose one or the other?
There’s a chance that some people out there provide massage therapy as well as Reiki. It’s quite common for someone with a passion for healing to learn a few methods and modalities.
But which table do you go for? A traditional massage table? One with specially designed ends for Reiki? Or do you need both?
Firstly, if you are managing with a basic table, don’t panic! The ‘Reiki Police’ won’t be knocking on your door and demanding you buy a better model. It all comes down to whether you and your clients are happy.
If you are a massage therapist and a Reiki practitioner, it would be a good idea to invest in a table that works for you and your clients equally. Do you practice one more than the other?
Then perhaps consider buying a table which suits that method best. Otherwise, the sensible thing to do would be to find a table with Reiki panels that is well-built, and which comes with detachable accessories such as face cradles, headrests, side armrests, and hanging armrests.
Of course, much of this will depend on whether you practice Reiki at a commercial level or ‘casually’, helping to heal friends and family. Getting the best possible table for business purposes makes good sense.
Not only will it inspire confidence in your clients that you are running a professional and effective operation, but it will also provide them with a comfortable platform while you administer the healing.
And you will benefit from the special design, with a reduced risk of aches and pains. Which could well boost the effectiveness of your Reiki sessions.