1) Reiki is a religion or "Woo-Woo"!
Wrong! Although Reiki energy is very spiritual in nature, Reiki is not a religion. Practitioners are not asked to change any religious or spiritual beliefs they may have. Reiki is not connected to any religious dogma. Practitioners are free to continue believing anything they choose and are encouraged to make their own decisions concerning the nature of their religious practices. In fact; there are many Reiki Practitioners throughout the world of different beliefs, faiths and backgrounds, although, Reiki can and does enhance their current spiritual beliefs.
Reiki is not "Woo-Woo" at all. In fact, in 2007 The Center for Reiki Research conducted a study that shows why this is not at all true. The study shows significant positive changes in biological measurements following Reiki treatments, such as lowered heart rate & blood pressure, repair of stress related cellular damage, pain relief, alleviation of depression anxiety, better sleep quality, and increased general wellbeing. The peer-reviewed study has found that these changes were long lasting as well. An interesting fact is that Reiki is now offered in over 800 hospitals across the United States as a regular part of patient services.
2) Reiki is "New Age" stuff!
Wrong! There have been many attempts to explain the history of Reiki, but unfortunately, in the past, many of them have been based more on myth and an attempt to validate a particular style of Reiki and for the most part, lacked accurate information. Realizing the need for a factually based history of Reiki, William Lee Rand spent over twenty years researching this information based on written records and interviews with those close to its development. The result is the following history of Reiki, which is derived from evidence-based facts. Many consider that Mikao Usui or Usui Sensei as we reverently refer to him, was the creator of Reiki and that the word Reiki applies only to the healing modality he discovered and developed. Yet, when researching the facts concerning the origin of Reiki as a healing modality, we find that prior to Usui Sensei developing his style of Reiki, there were at least four other styles of Reiki healing that were being practiced in Japan. This information comes from Hiroshi Doi Sensei and from Toshitaka Mochitzuki Sensei, two Japanese Reiki researchers. A more detailed understanding of this subject is explained in the book, An Evidence Based History of Reiki.(1, 2)
And because of circumstances that developed during World War II along with the work of Takata Sensei, the other forms of Reiki fell into disuse or remained relatively unknown while Usui Reiki continued to be practiced and grew in popularity.
In considering what should or should not be called Reiki, we must consider that not only have there been many systems of Reiki healing that are original and do not have a lineage going back to Usui Sensei, but that the Reiki energy has been around at least for thousands of years and in fact some feel it has been around since the beginning of time. Reiki energy is something that anyone can make use of and of course many have, so with this in mind, it appears logical to assume that any system that makes use of Reiki energy can be called Reiki, not just those systems that can be traced back to Usui Sensei.
However, because of conditions in Japan after World War II and the fact that Hawaya Takata had brought Reiki to the west, Usui Reiki became the predominate form of Reiki practiced throughout the world.
3) Since Reiki is Universal Life Force Energy it should be free!
Wrong! The Divine energy source is certainly free, but gaining the skill and ability to use Reiki energy to heal is not. The same goes for setting up a classroom, a healing space, the tools and materials for the treatment sessions, the cost of websites, advertising, as well as for research so that the participants always have access to new knowledge and development trends to get the best possible outcome for their clients' treatment sessions.
People are paying for the time, skills, and expertise that instructors and Reiki masters have developed much the same way you would pay other healthcare providers you still use.