By now you may have seen advertising for learning Reiki online - an online course promising to have you energy healing in no time! But you may have wondered does it actually work by distance? Heres my take as a Reiki Master Teacher and William Lee Rand's from www.reiki.org;
Reiki via distance is specifically for those who just want to give themselves and family simple treatments.
No matter what the course promises you, you will not be able to work as a Reiki practitioner even if you complete your master as all Reiki & Complementary Health associations and insurances do not recognise those who have studied reiki online. In fact the criteria specifically requires you to prove you spent at least 1 day for each level with a face to face teacher. You can google your local Reiki association and see their criteria as well.
Now that should not discourage - at the end of the day William Lee Rand found that distance attunements do work. He found that the person attuned via distance could not channel reiki energy as powerfully as those aattunedface to face, but none the less they could. So distance reiki is perfect if you don't want to work as a practitioner and if you want to know the basics.
A face to face Reiki teacher will help you find blocks in energetic systems which is basically impossible via distance and you will have interactive face time with the teacher. Very often during attunements or working with energy personal things and issues come up and having a teacher there allows you to be guided to resolve them. You also meet other students and often enter into the community!
Basically they are not of equal value to recieiving them in person however they can be great in an emergency!
To read more visit Williams article; http://www.reiki.org/reikinews/distantattunement.html