Career Focus - The World of Complementary Medicine and Alternative Therapies


Reiki (pronounced 'Ray-key') means 'universal life energy'. Reiki is a system of natural hands-on healing originating in Japan. This healing tradition was founded by Dr Mikao Usui in the early 20th century and evolved as a result of his research, experience and dedication. One of his pupils, Dr.Chujiro Hayashi, passed on this knowledge to Mrs. Hawayo Takata, who introduced Reiki to the West in the 1970s.

There are many variations of Reiki, but in essence it is a healing process that works at bringing us into balance and reinforces the body's natural ability to heal itself at all levels, whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. It is a tradition that is open to any belief system.

Mamta Nanda

Reiki practitioner - Mamta Nanda

Mamta learnt Reiki in 2001. Her personal experience of Reiki with her own children, her friends and family inspired her to set up a Reiki Clinic for Pregnant Women and Mothers with Babies - you can find out more about it at her website -



The Interview

Name - Mamta Nanda

Location - Highbury, London, N5

Family - A wonderful husband and two lovely children, Shreya age 12 and Neel age 8


How did you become a Reiki practitioner? What is your background?

I trained as a computer software engineer. I gave up office work after my daughter was born in 1994. I have been a full time mother since then.

I learnt Reiki in 2001. It was sheer chance that brought me to Reiki. I did not know much about it at the time. I saw a poster advertising Reiki classes. It said that these classes will enable you to give Reiki to yourself (there are not many complementary therapies that one can practice on oneself), to your children (I thought how wonderful it would be to be able to help my children feel better), to your family and friends (again I felt I could use this to help my husband who works long hours). I had always been interested in natural way of doing things. I do not like taking allopathic medicines if I can avoid them. I have grown up with Ayurveda and Homoeopathy and kitchen provides most of my beauty treatments.

I am a mother with two children. Like a lot of other mothers, I used to feel quite low, tired, stressed... With Reiki I started feeling a whole lot better, calmer, more relaxed, with higher energy levels. I started giving Reiki to my children as often as I could, especially when they were unwell, or they had hurt themselves, or when they were feeling tired or annoyed or anxious and it always helped. My younger one had fallen over a couple of times when he was little, banged his head, and I could see a lump forming. I gave him Reiki right away and the lump almost disappeared.

Gradually I found that we, as a family, were falling ill less often. If we were unwell we would recover more quickly. I suffer from mild asthma. With Reiki and homoeopathy, I find that I hardly ever need to use my inhaler now. Over the years I gave Reiki to my family and friends. I found it very effective and beneficial. Some of them went on to learn Reiki themselves. Working with friends and family gave me a wonderfully gentle way of learning more about Reiki. I gained more confidence as I learnt more about Reiki.

As I discovered more about Reiki and how beneficial it can be, I often wished that I had learnt Reiki before I had my children. My two pregnancies would have been much easier – I had nausea throughout most of both pregnancies, a lot of anxiety, two ventouse deliveries, extreme discomfort with stitches afterwards.

My younger child had reflux, was very unsettled as a baby and a poor sleeper. I remember many occasions when I ended up in tears as he would not stop crying no matter what I tried. It would have been so much easier if I could have used my Reiki hands on him and myself then.

With time, my wish to share the gift of Reiki with other mothers became stronger. I wish that someone had told me earlier about how beneficial Reiki can be for mothers and babies. I felt that at least I can do it for other mothers. Instead of setting up a general Reiki practice, I felt inspired to set up a Reiki Clinic for Pregnant Women and Mothers with Babies. I did this to help focus attention on how much more Reiki can help at this special time in our lives when we ought to enjoy being with our babies instead of struggling to cope with the demands of a new baby.

What exactly does Reiki involve?

During a Reiki session, the practitioner places their hands on the client's body and the energy flows through the practitioner's hands into the client. Reiki works on all levels of a person: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual, to restore balance, health and wellbeing. A Reiki session usually lasts for about an hour.

What sort of problems/issues do clients normally have when they come to you for help/therapy?

As Reiki helps on all levels - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, Reiki can help with any problem. Sometimes clients come because they are suffering physically - with a migraine or recovery may not be going as expected after surgery, or there may have been complications. Sometimes it is a mother suffering from Post natal depression, or a mother struggling with a new baby, or a baby that may be unsettled with colic/reflux. I have also had clients suffering from stress and/or anxiety during pregnancy. Reiki also helps with miscarriage.

What/Where was your training? How long did it take overall?

To be able to learn Reiki, one needs to go to a Reiki Master. Reiki is an oral tradition; one cannot learn Reiki through reading books. The Reiki class usually consists of 4 sessions about 3 hours each. These sessions can be spread over 2-4 days. The Reiki class is the starting point. One simply learns how to give Reiki treatments, and a little about Reiki. Then one learns by practising Reiki on oneself, friends and family.

I attended a level I class in June 2001, then a level II class in November.

Working with Reiki involves ongoing learning. The more treatments you give the more you learn about Reiki. Another way of learning more about Reiki is through attending Reiki workshops. I have been self treating regularly over the years. I have also been giving and receiving Reiki treatments. I have attended several Reiki workshops over the years.

Before I set up my Reiki practice I went on a 3 day Residential Practitioner Support Programme organised by the Reiki Association UK. I found this very helpful and would recommend it highly to people wanting to set up a public practice.

How many hours a week was your training?

As well as the training described above, working with Reiki involves looking after oneself too. One very important aspect of the Reiki practice is to give oneself Reiki everyday for about ½ - 1 hour. It sounds difficult but it is quite easy to find this time. I wake up half an hour earlier than my usual time and give myself Reiki in bed before getting up. It is also possible to combine Reiki with other activities in one's life. I give myself Reiki while travelling on the bus/train or while watching television.

Another aspect of learning Reiki is to give and receive Reiki treatments. Currently there is a Regulatory process going on in the UK for setting up standards to register Reiki Practitioners. Their recommendation is that a Reiki practitioner should give 100 treatments before being able to register as a public practitioner. I feel that one should also receive at least 30 treatments before setting up a public practice.

All these treatments do not have to be paid treatments. I was very fortunate that my Reiki teacher organised share evenings where her students get together to exchange Reiki treatments with each other. I found the shares very useful for my personal development. It was great to be able to interact with other people going through similar path on their Reiki Journey. We all supported each other. When I found it difficult to go out in the evenings because of the children, I offered to host the share evenings in my house.

How did the training fit round your children?

The Class was over a weekend. I felt that my husband could look after the children – they were 2 and 6 at the time.

Part of my training was to give Reiki to my children. So this part was easy. When I give Reiki treatments to other people I do them either in the evening when the children are in bed, or while they are at school.

Roughly, how much did your training cost?

The basic training cost £150 for the level I class. I felt that it wasn’t too expensive and that I could afford to try it. I am so...glad that I did. For the price of about 4 treatments, I have learnt one of the most useful things in life. Reiki helps and supports me in everything I do (including moving house!). This is the best value for money I have ever had.

The level II class cost £330.

Where do you carry out your work?

I mainly work from home and in clinics. I also go to hospitals and give Reiki there if required. Sometimes I go to office/schools to give taster treatment sessions. These are short sessions of about 15 minutes each to give people a taste of what Reiki feels like


Do you need lots of specialist equipment?

None at all. I simply need my hands to be able to give a Reiki session. It is nice to have a treatment table if I am giving lots of Reiki sessions.

How many hours do you work a week?

I try to work mainly while the children are at school, but it does occasionally spill over.

How does the job fit round your family life?

I try to do the work while the children are at school. At other times when I have to work in the evenings or the weekends, it helps tremendously to have a very supportive husband.

How do you find clients - do you advertise?

With Reiki I find that it happens mostly through word of mouth. Someone who benefits from Reiki, tells their friends and family about it.

I also do informed advertising where I can inform people about what Reiki is and how it can help. I write articles about my work, I do taster treatment sessions, or give talks about my work. I try and spread word about my work through writing to the local midwives, GPs, or other organisations like the NCT that work with mothers and babies.

What is the earning potential?

Like anything else, the earning potential depends on how much time you can give to your work, how much you can charge for each treatment, which would depend on the area where you live. If you are a Reiki teacher and practitioner, you can earn more by teaching people Reiki.

Is the job rewarding?

Tremendously. It is a fantastic feeling to know that I have been instrumental in helping someone feel better. It is a wonderful feeling to introduce someone to Reiki and empower them to help themselves.

Do you think it is a job that fits in well with being a Mum?

Absolutely. I learn to help others through helping myself and my family. I can utilise the skills that I have developed over the years while being a mother. All the knowledge that I have acquired over the years about healthy living and nutrition helps me as a practitioner. Best of all I can work the hours that I can fit around looking after the family.

Do you think you have to have any special qualities (in terms of personality) to become a Reiki practitioner?

No. Another nice thing about Reiki is that anyone can learn Reiki.

Any advice for a Mum or Dad wanting to start training?

If you have not had Reiki before go and have a Reiki treatment. If you like it and feel that it is the right thing for you go and learn it. Make sure you find a good teacher. If you live in or around London, you can contact me - I can recommend my teacher very highly. Otherwise you can contact The Reiki Association - or The Reiki Alliance - to help you find a teacher near where you live.

Even if you do not go on to set up public Reiki practice, Reiki will still help support you with whatever else you do in life. Most of all it gives you the ability to look after yourself and your family. If your child is unwell in the middle of the night, you can simply put your hands on them and Reiki will help.

If you would like to find out more about Reiki, please feel free to get in touch. I would love to hear from you and help in any way that I can -

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