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Reiki Attunements - A Personal Journey

by Stanley Giles(more info)

listed in reiki, originally published in issue 54 - July 2000

I had been studying Kinesiology for nearly a year when I started to think about learning Reiki. I suppose that the main reason for doing it was that it is very easy to give healing Reiki to yourself, and if you are healing other people it is important to look after yourself. Around that time I read an article in Positive Health magazine (Issue 22, Sept/Oct 1997) by a Reiki Master in England and was impressed by its overall tone. After sending off for more information I decided that I would go down to the Rainbow Centre in Sutton on Sea (north of Skegness) to do the Reiki 1 course. This meant a great deal of additional expense in terms of travel and accommodation, but I believed then, and even more so now, that it is important to choose your Reiki master with care. In addition, getting away from Glasgow and having a mini holiday would make the whole experience more special. The Rainbow Centre is run by Amber and Keith Welstand, who are both Reiki masters. Amber also has studied and works with South American Toltec warrior healing, whilst Keith is a talented Psychic artist.


The author giving a Reiki healing treatment

The author giving a Reiki healing treatment

Reiki 1

The week before the course started in December 1997 I received an information pack and started a detoxification plan – physical, emotional, nutritional and spiritual. All the suggestions are optional. I avoided meat, fish, poultry, coffee and alcohol and fasted for 24 hours. I also avoided TV and spent regular time outdoors – mostly walking in the park. I meditated daily. Three or four days before I left I started to feel very calm and peaceful. It was a wonderful feeling which was to stay with me not just for the duration of the course but for about four weeks. Some cultures would call it a state of Bliss. Everything seemed right in my world. I was in a state of calm euphoria – feeling connected to everything that was around me.

I had decided to make it a mini holiday, so I left very early on the Thursday morning, drove down to the Lake District in bright sunshine, and climbed The Cape, a 2500 ft hill near Patterdale. It was a superb day, bright and sunny with snow on the hills. I spent the night in a B&B in Kendal and left the next day to drive to Sutton on Sea. Everything seemed right in my world – the weather, the wildlife, the driving, the people that I met, the organic farm cafe that appeared just at the right moment to provide me with a warming bowl of soup and some prize-winning cheeses from the shop. And finally I arrived at my destination and met Amber and Keith, who really looked just like ordinary people! Amber and Keith also provide board and lodging which adds to the completeness of the experience. I was the first to arrive. During the evening three other course participants arrived. We were a diverse group but gelled immediately. Indeed, mealtimes (vegetarian) were hugely enjoyable, as the conversation ranged from the space-time continuum to the relative merits of different brands of Corn Flakes.

Two other non-resident participants arrived early on Saturday and the course began. The course itself took place on Saturday and Sunday in the teaching room. During the weekend we learned the history of the Usui Reiki system. We learned about grounding and protection, the hand positions, we meditated, received our attunements, and had lots of practice. The four attunements took place following meditation, while we sat quietly with eyes closed. Amber went round each novice making the attunement symbols for each person. Some people have a quite dramatic experience with visual, auditory or emotional effects. My own experience was simply a feeling of peace and calm accompanied by some visual images and colours (the colours are often the vivid hues of the Chakras).

The two days passed quickly and pleasantly, learning, practising, meditating, walking on the excellent beach (optional), eating, talking, and laughing and becoming friends with the other participants. My state of bliss continued. I discovered that it was not unusual to start to receive the benefits of Reiki before actually taking the course – the intention to do the course can, in fact, start the process of attunement. The course ended at tea-time on Sunday. After exchanging names addresses and phone numbers and getting Amber's nut roast recipe we dispersed on Sunday evening. In fact I stayed overnight before driving back to Glasgow and so enjoyed an extra evening of good food and conversation with my two congenial hosts.

This was a very complete and full experience of the Reiki attunement. The feeling of calm peace and connectedness lasted another three weeks before life returned to 'normal'. I know that I benefited a great deal from this experience. I gave myself Reiki regularly and continued to detox for three weeks after the attunements. I even drank water at the staff Christmas night out – and still had a great time!

Reiki 2

I made some attempts to take Reiki 2 in Scotland, but it never actually happened. I got the message. In August 1999 I returned to the Rainbow Centre to take Reiki 2 – a very different experience. The format was much the same. We learned the various symbols – the Power, Mental/Emotional, and Absent/Distant Healing symbols – to enable us to give Reiki at this level. However, this time I developed headaches which persisted for about ten weeks. I suspected that I might need new glasses, but when I had my eyes tested there was no change from two years' earlier. I think my optician was a bit puzzled when I suggested to him that the headaches were probably a result of my Reiki experience!! I believe the headaches were related to development of the third eye or 6th Chakra. I phoned Amber and discussed it with her, and she agreed with me. These 'clearings' usually last three to six weeks, but can continue up to three months while your body gets used to the new Reiki energy. The headaches gradually subsided.

In order to receive my Reiki 2 certificate I had to give 30 treatments – some on others, some on myself, and some absent/distant healings. It took several months to do this, but having completed these requirements I feel that the certificate is both meaningful and deserved. I know that some Reiki Masters will give both attunements in one weekend or even in one day. It is my personal belief that this is not best practice since your body needs time to adjust to each attunement. My two very different experiences suggest that we undergo profound physical, emotional and spiritual changes when we receive Reiki, and proper respect should be given to each attunement. More recently I received my advanced attunement with interesting results – I had diarrhoea for five days. It seems that physical, emotional, mental and spiritual detoxification is a lifetime's journey. As TS Elliot says in Little Gidding:

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time

If you are thinking of doing Reiki make sure you choose the right Master for you. In due course I expect to take Reiki at Master level, probably in Scotland with someone, like Amber, for whom Reiki is an integral part of her daily life. In the meantime I am sure that what I have done to date helps me in my own personal growth and in my work as a Kinesiologist. I use Reiki on myself regularly and I am sure I feel better for it, both physically and mentally. Recently I gave myself a Reiki treatment before driving from Birmingham to Scotland and had an immensely pleasant journey despite foul weather conditions. It really works!

Further Information

Amber Welstand can be contacted at the Rainbow Centre – 01507 441230 or 01507 442020.


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About Stanley Giles

Stanley Giles has been a nurse for 25 years. He is a Kinesiologist and Touch for Health Instructor. He is a founder member of the Scottish Holistic Health Association which teaches nurses, carers, and others, how they can improve their health using a wide range of techniques and lifestyle changes. The SHHA promotes an integrated approach to health-care. If you would like to know more about Reiki, Kinesiology, or the Scottish Holistic Health Association please phone me, Stanley Giles, on 0141-577 7220; email


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