Virtual Conference 2022: Martin Thirlwell

An Introduction with Martin R Thirlwell

I am Mr Martin R Thirlwell, a 10th Generation Reiki Master solely specialising in the Usui Shiki Ryoho system of natural healing. My Reiki journey began over 38 years ago whilst I was out in India. At this point in time, Reiki was rippling from Japan- the country of its origin- to the Western world. It rippled through India first before reaching the UK. The healing energy that I witnessed and the superb results that I saw from people receiving reiki had me hooked. It seems quite a strange thing to say but even at this first initial stage I knew that I would be a Reiki Master and not only this, but that I would be teaching Reiki to others. Of course, I had to discover what the healing energy Reiki was, and it wasn’t until my return to the UK sometime later that this journey truly began in earnest. Reiki began to be introduced in the UK so I began to attend many Reiki meetings and gatherings- these are what we now call ‘Reiki Shares’.  These gatherings where a great opportunity to find out all about Reiki energy; to meet like-minded people and a chance to network. My occupation at the time of discovering Reiki in India and up to the time of returning to the UK was as a cabinet maker. I left school at the age of 15 and started to work an apprenticeship with a Manchester company called Raper and Sons, a billiard table manufacturer. After I had finalised my apprenticeship, the Company was bought by a Liverpool Company and everyone was made redundant, so I decided to become self employed at the age of 18.  During the early 1990s, Reiki continued to ripple and be used all over the UK.

Currently, I work with all major hospitals and hospices in the Oldham and Tameside areas, bringing reiki healing to those that are in need. I work with the Oldham NHS hospital treating patients in the amputee chronic pain unit and Manchester Age UK with dementia patients. I support several hospitals from Sheffield to North Wales. An exciting development has been with midwives as I am leading the way with reiki in midwifery at the Safe Active Birth unit in Kendal. I support the Sam Buxton charity which aims to provide a reiki practitioner at the bedside of every cancer patient.

As a Reiki Practitioner, I would say that Reiki is continually evolving as it’s an energy and this energy is becoming stronger. This growth in energy has brought some challenges as we adapt and get used to working in new level of energies. Having said that, this increase in energy has brought many wonderful results when working with clients; I have witnessed great results with clients whilst working in this ever-increasing rise in energy. In my own practice, I work 24/7, 365 days per year. This brings with it the challenges of being called to attend hospitals and hospices in early hours of the morning to assist end of life palliative care clients. Although I have said this is a challenge, I feel that it’s fundamentally wrong for me to treat these as challenges it’s more needed work which is a privilege to be called to do. However, sometimes it is difficult when you are asked to attend several at the same time, it’s difficult to prioritise, so this is where the challenge truly lies. I am extremely proud to be able to do this work.

Outside of work, I am an Assistant Qualified Kite Surfing Instructor, registered with the International Kitesurfing Organisation (IKO). Kitesurfing brings me a feeling of great gratitude and respect- becoming that much closer to Mother Earth, working with the elements of water, sea, and wind. I also enjoy restoring antique clocks and watches. Working on time pieces deepens my respect and acknowledgement of the time we have here living as a soul divine being. There are so many similarities between the moving mechanisms of a clock and our own physical body wellbeing.

Image of Reiki Therapists at Helme Chase Maternity Unit

My Seminar is about Healing Animals at home and in a professional environment. Animals have a soul divine body just like humans do; they suffer from illness and pain just like we do. One thing that differs is that animals cannot speak and let us know what they are feeling and experiencing with pain and illness- unless it’s physical apparent we can’t see it. Working with animals is very enlightening as animals respond intuitively to the energy of Reiki. Animals see and know where Reiki energy needs to enter their body and will move to enable it to happen smoothly. They instinctively know how long they need to receive Reiki for and will know when they have received enough energy. Through watching my seminar, participants will have a great insight and understanding in how to correctly perform animal Reiki and where to address the chakras on an animal. This will be demonstrated in both a home environment and professional environment.

Animal Healing appeals to me for the simple fact that working with animals is a totally different experience than working with Reiki on humans. When giving animals Reiki healing, we are guided to more specific areas of illness and pain, and we feel this direction with a much stronger sense than with humans. Animals can and often do fall asleep and even if the animal is known to generally be agitated or of a nervous disposition, we will still see this settling and sleeping during Reiki; aggressive animals suddenly become calm. Animals give a special kind of love- it’s almost like we can hear what they are saying.

Overall, the intended benefits of Reiki are for physical healing, psychological treatment, and general wellbeing. Reiki may relieve tension or alleviate fears giving a dog a sense of peace, pain relief, and rapid recovery all a result from the Reiki treatment aiding the body’s natural healing process. Reiki is never harmful or painful, the shift in energy created by animal Reiki may at first startle some pets due to the close proximity especially if they are anxious or in pain, if this is the case the pet may prefer you to step away and share the experience from a distance. Reiki for pets can be a wonderful way to support their health and wellbeing, however it is important to remember that it isn’t a substitute for professional veterinary care.  

My Advice for Therapist wanting to grow and develop their own Reiki therapy practice would be to study the original Reiki Usui Shiki Ryoho system, it has a Lineage attached to its source. It’s a mark of gratitude and respect that we adhere to this lineage. My students from 1st degree and especially 2nd degree who want to venture and create their own practices, working from home and even purchasing lease agreements to work more professional from a little business premises etc, are taught and given the knowledge of being respectful and to work with gratitude. Tidiness and cleanliness and the feeling of a wow factor is needed. I have always passed the knowledge to my students as I was passed the knowledge from my Master hence the ‘Lineage’.  Never speak from scripts try and speak from the heart for in doing so you reach the soul of the recipient. Never wear perfumes or strong-smelling scents, never wear dangling jewellery, and always use a fresh clean uniform and make sure all linen is clean and fresh.

The most important traits that a Reiki Therapist should have are many. You need a thorough understanding of people’s needs; highly evolved listening skills and good powers of observation help a Reiki therapist to ascertain the needs of a client. As a practitioner, you should be approachable and easy to talk to with a sense of calmness in any situation. People rely on you in their time of need so as a therapist you must be congruent, reliable, punctual, and create a healthy environment by acting within appropriate ethical boundaries, using evidence-based practice.

As a Reiki therapist you should be genuinely empathetic, trustworthy, knowledgeable, adaptable, non-judgmental, focused on the client, courageous, creative, logical, encouraging, confident, humble, skilled, and resilient. We must also remember that as a Reiki therapist, whilst is important to be collaborative it is equally important to remain self-aware so that you can reach out and accept support for oneself. Above all, as a Reiki Therapist and practitioner you must have an authentic love for helping others.

Image of Reiki treatments taking place by Reiki Tradition

In The Moment feels out reiki

in the moment issue 7 jan 18Have you always wanted to try reiki, but didn’t know what to expect? You can learn all about this wonderful therapy in our latest contribution to In The Moment magazine.

In The Moment is a beautiful, practical lifestyle magazine for the modern-thinking creative woman. Enjoy practical creative projects, positive features and stories to inspire, adventures near and far for a healthy body and mind, and ideas embracing every aspect of women’s lives: friends, family, self, work, rest and play!

And in their seventh issue, readers will find an introduction to reiki. Our own Karen Young, editor of International Therapist magazine, and Julie McFadden, the FHT’s resident reiki master, discuss what you can expect from a reiki treatment, as well as things to avoid.

Reiki is one of the therapies on our Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register. Find out more about our Accredited Register here, and read our reiki feature here.