I'm interested in the similarities between reiki and shamanic healing. My general question is just some information on where there diverge and interconnect.
Reiki channels specific energies, or bands of energy which can have, at times, an astounding effect on human energy in terms of healing. With the addition of human intent on the part of thousands of practitioners it has grown to be very effective for those who are capable of handling it well. The difficulty with it from a shamanic perspective is the lack of specificity in the way it treats or doesn't treat some things which are the intent of the practitioner. Reiki tends to be a shotgun blast at healing, while the shamanic, in the hands of a capable shaman, can work much like a surgeons scalpel. They converge at the level of intent both in terms of the energy "pushed" by the practitioner, but the shamanic tends to move much more quickly and work in much more specific ways. Hence reiki works well for most anyone who is attuned properly, but the shamanic takes much more time to hone as a healing skill.
Using intent in very narrow terms seems to help focus the reiki energy. I have to say that at some point it will become difficult to tell whether you are still dealing with Reiki or moving into the realm of the shamanic. It depends on the personal predilections of the individual. Some people are just naturally gifted healers, others have to learn to move that way. Shamanic healing, as opposed to reiki, almost always involves some sort of "journey" to or into the person being worked on to see their energy in specific detail as well as a whole. It also involves an energetic push in the sense that the shaman is directly affecting a person's energy in order to change the status of their health. I don't want to give the impression that reiki is a bastard stepchild or anything; it is a very powerful healing technique in its own right. Shamanic healers work directly with the person's energy in order to make changes which hopefully will create the desired effect in healing. But there are dangers in the shamanic healing method you don't really face with reiki, which in a way is as it should be. Sometimes things happen you don't expect and sometimes things don't happen that you expect. The risk to your own energy is always omnipresent.