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Reiki for Trans People

Reiki has been called hands-on healing. I prefer the term “energetic support” because a healing experience is illustrated in many different forms.

Reiki is different from most other forms of energetic support. Reiki practitioners are attuned with symbols to enhance the transmission of Life Force Energy (unconditional love). Without the use of these symbols, it is not Reiki. Reiki practitioners also do not “take on” the symptoms of any illness. Reiki practitioners are conduits— offering unconditional love for everyone’s highest will and best good. It is like a hose bringing water to a garden after a hot day— a nice, soothing, refreshing feeling. I am sure you have hurt your knee at one time or another. I know I have. When I do, I put both hands on the hurt place. That is Reiki. It is that simple. With clear intentions, you cannot do it wrong.

Reiki For Trans PeopleI was taught that before I start a Reiki treatment, I ask the client if it is okay to give that person a loving Reiki treatment. There are two reasons for this. This clearly states that they are open to the healing aspects of a treatment. This also empowers the client to accept their part in their healing. The practitioner is not the healer: the client is. The client accepts the energy and decides where it will go. Reiki cannot be forced on anybody. If the client does not want the energy, Reiki practitioners allow the energy to go into the earth for the best and highest use of the earth. That way, the energy is not wasted.

Reiki is not connected with any religious belief. While there are some practitioners that have their own religious beliefs, I know other practitioners that do not. Unconditional love does not depend on a religious belief. It just is. Reiki is not a replacement for any medical treatment or drug. Reiki complements any form of healing modality, whether it be conventional or alternative therapies. I have worked with psychologists and psychiatrists and seen a marked improvement in my clients.

When I was taught Reiki, the first level had two symbols. These symbols were for emotional and sexual healing. I was taught that all illnesses have either an emotional or sexual base. Some clients may actually see pictures of the original trauma or have a dream about it that night. When this happens, it is usually a release of the trauma— and they may experience a lessening or disappearance of the illness. One thing to remember is that most illnesses do not happen all at once, so they will not “leave” all at once. It is like peeling an onion— you take one step at a time.

Self treatment: When you breathe in, imagine a bright light (unconditional love) flooding your crown chakra— the energy center at the top of your head. This energy travels down the front of your body and up the back of your body and flows through your hands during self treatment.

When you have both of your hands on your body, this energy goes into your body to replace any energies, like anger and fear, that you send down your grounding cord. To experience grounding, imagine that you are a tree with your feet as the roots. Feel your “roots” go all the way down into the center of the earth. Breathe out, letting the unwanted energies go into your grounding cord; breathe in, letting the unconditional love flow in, replacing the energies that left. You can place one hand on your heart and one on your solar plexus. You can place both hands on your thighs, one hand on each wrist, one hand over each eye, both hands on your knees. As long as both hands are on your body this works like an electrical connection— bringing unconditional love to you for your best and highest use. This is great when you have trouble sleeping, as well!

I would also like to address another issue. There have been people selling Reiki attunements over the internet. When you are “attuned,” the Reiki Master places the symbols in you palms and in your crown chakra. This can only be done in person. While we are born with the ability to be a conduit for unconditional love, the symbols themselves must be physically placed to be effective.

I was taught that illness starts in the aura— the energy field around the body— works its way through the aura and finally exits through the physical body. Reiki works on all levels, intensifying the illness (which compacts it into a shorter time frame), and moving it through and down the grounding cord.

Energy work opens and cleanses the chakras and the energetic pathways connected with them. As these pathways are opened, the client can access their own energies and metabolize them more efficiently and effectively. Just like a car runs better when it’s energetic systems are taken care of— if we take care of our energetic systems they will operate more efficiently, as well.

An “average” person has many challenges in life. When you add the extra challenge of gender issues some of the main supporting blocks needed are shaky at best. At first, a major portion of most of trans people’s concerns seem to be centered around their gender issues. Even after transition (if that is what they choose to do), they may still be a major concern.

When I conduct a session, I concentrate the energies to be sent for the best and highest use of the client. While the client may be concerned about gender issues, the cause of the present discomfort may have been a remark made to them years ago: a childhood incident, a chance encounter, an inappropriate family issue. If treatment is sent to that specific time, the feeling of discomfort usually eases and the client can make clearer choices for themselves rather than running from the fear that surrounded the incident.

A lot of trans people have sexual, physical and/or emotional abuse to deal with. These issues are difficult to come to terms with, even without the gender issues. Reiki can offer an easing of the trauma surrounding those experiences. This does not mean the abuse is forgotten— it means the memory and the fear attached to it is not the driving force in their life any more. Reiki allows you to ground the energies— send them into the earth to be recycled into energy everyone can use— and replace them with unconditional love. Who wouldn’t want that?

Trans people also have behaviors to leave behind concerning their birth gender along with behaviors to learn about their chosen gender. There are all sorts of “tricks of the trade”— overt and subtle cues about gender that have to be learned; this also adds to the stress. Reiki relaxes the client— lets the client breathe for a little while— long enough to get a “second wind” and proceed with calmness and determination rather than fear and flight.

You may be able to find other Reiki practitioners in your area by asking at your local metaphysical store, through the internet, or possibly an alternative medicine practitioner in your area. A reliable practitioner will be interested in your best interests— meet with this person. One practitioner may be okay for you, but not for me. It is a personal choice. If you are not comfortable with that practitioner, do not use them. Choosing a Reiki Master is like choosing any other health-care professional: you are paying them, so make sure they are the practitioner you want and are comfortable with.

As far as disclosing your gender stuff, be honest with the practitioner. I have found practitioners in all fields unwilling to work with trans people. I have also found practitioners that open their doors to trans people. The more honest you can be with your health care professional, the better the treatment will be for you. A good, honest Reiki practitioner will open the energies to encompass all of your health issues— no matter what they are. Compassion is a must. Caring is a must. Listening to your client is a must. All of these things should be a part of any practitioner’s equipment. If you are a practitioner and have not worked with a trans person before, when they walk into your office, tell them that. Come from your heart. That will be the deciding factor.

Reiki also enables the client to experience unconditional love— love that wants nothing in return. I have one client that had never felt love— the way love was presented to her was unbearable. I had been working with her about four years and explained that love was the energy coming out of my hands. She is now a Reiki practitioner and can positively say that the unconditional love of Reiki changed her life.

Reverend Leslie M. Bell has been a Reiki practitioner for five years, and a Reiki Master for four. In addition to teaching and practicing Reiki in his private clinic, Reverend Bell is also a practitioner at a donation Reiki clinic. Reverend Bell’s Reiki practice, A Point of Light, is celebrating its first anniversary in September. To make an appointment in the Everett, WA area, email Rev. Bell at

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