Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Reiki?

Reiki, pronounced RAY-key, is a non-manipulative, deeply relaxing, self-healing technique. It is based upon the principle that your own natural healing process can be directed or energized, by means of the Reiki practitioners’ light hand placement on specific areas of the body. This light touch helps to facilitate the body’s own “relaxation response” to help enhance your physical and emotional well-being. Healing happens from within us all, and Reiki can indeed help to activate this self-healing process.

Mindful Presence Reiki can be used to help improve your overall sense of well being.  Many people find it can be helpful with processing grief, loss, trauma, mild to moderate anxiety, mild to moderate depression, short term physical or chronic pain, recovery from alcohol or substance use disorders, recovery from in patient and out patient surgery, pre-surgical jitters, chronic illness, tension, stress, lack of focus/direction, seasonal blues and much more! Mindful Presence Reiki is not a cure all, nor is it in any way a substitute for therapy or medical care. In fact, for those people who are experiencing PTSD or trauma of any kind, it might be best to work therapeutically with someone who specializes in trauma therapy first, and use Mindful Presences Reiki as an add on to treatment. Many people also use Reiki along side their traditional medical care or wellness plan. As a matter of fact, I was first introduced to Reiki in a Breast Cancer Support group I was a member of after my mastectomy many years ago. Today, Reiki is widely offered at many major hospitals as a way to help patients relax, feel more at ease and provide a greater sense of well being.

As your certified Master Reiki provider, I will place my hands either above or when given permission, directly on particular areas of the body: head, shoulders, upper chest just below hollow at base of throat, abdomen, hands, knees and feet. When chosen, direct hand placement is done ever so gently, with no movement. Please keep in mind, this is not a massage. You are fully clothed and can choose to lie down comfortably and well supported on a massage table, or remain seated in a chair. Your comfort is key!

Reiki is currently offered at many hospitals all across the country, but more locally at Brigham and Women's, Mass General, Dana Farber,  and at Southern NH Hospital, just to name a few.

What should I expect during a typical Mindful Presence Reiki session?

Please try to arrive about 5 to 10 minutes ahead of scheduled session time as it gives you time to settle in, use the rest room and be ready to start on time. Check in at reception when you arrive if I am not there to greet you directly.

You are fully clothed during the session, removing only your shoes, eye glasses, and any jewelry/watches that you choose to remove. You have a pillow to support your head, and a bolster under your knees to support your legs.

You can choose to have some soft instrumental background music playing or not, or have the room gently infused with essential oils to help you unwind during your session. I have an array of wonderful scents to choose from, but please keep in mind, if you are pregnant or epileptic, please avoid all essential oils or scents during your session as they can be potential triggers. I only use an essential oil diffuser during Reiki sessions, and clean it after each use, which is important for anyone who is scent sensitive. Please notify/text me directly if you are sensitive to scents, after booking your appointment, as I can also air out the room prior to your arrival, especially if a client has used the diffuser in the room before your session.

After settling you in, making sure you are comfortable and answering any questions you might have, there is little talking during a Mindful Presence Reiki session, unless you choose to include some gently guided meditation. (See the SERVICES tab for further details) However, should you need anything, please ask as your comfort is key. The restroom is located right next to the Reiki room and you are welcome to use it before, during, or after your session.

As your certified Master Reiki provider, I will place my hands either above or when given permission, directly on particular areas of the body, such as the head, shoulders, upper chest just below hollow at base of throat, abdomen, hands, knees and feet. When chosen, direct hand placement is done ever so gently, with no movement. Please keep in mind, this is not a massage, there is no manipulation of muscle or body parts, just gentle hand placement.

When your session has ended you take your time getting up, and some water will be waiting for you to drink. Use the rest room if needed and take time for you! I always allow an added 30 minutes between bookings so you never feel rushed and giving us time to talk both before and after your session starts. That is most important to me, as it is important for you. This is YOUR time!

Is there any difference in the amount of time I schedule for Reiki?

I find that both 60 or 90 minute sessions tend to help people relax and unwind equally well, although 90 is such a personal favorite of mine as that extra 30 minutes is just wonderful and allows you to deeply connect to the process. So when you have the time, splurge on yourself for the 90 Minute Session.

Note: I tend to find it uncomfortable when lying down on a massage table for more then 90 minutes at a time for sessions, as it tends to make my back and neck become stiff/sore despite knee bolsters and neck pillows. So, I don't typically suggest Reiki sessions last longer then 90 minutes.

How do I book my appointment?

CLICK LINK BELOW to schedule appointments up to a month in advance:

You can also text or call me at 603-801-8945 or email me at
Why are your session prices SO low?
I believe that reaching out to the greatest number of people with Mindful Presence Reiki in an affordable way is MOST important! People are SO touched by the level of service, comfort and attention to detail I provide. This is MOST important to me: you won't pay a high rate, in fact, several times a year I offer special value rates that make it even more affordable.
What you will always get is my extensive experience, full attention and deep integrity that is simply present in each and every session.

How to know if the person providing Reiki is qualified?

Good question and one that may involve a bit of investigation on your part. Make sure your Reiki practitioner is certified and that their lineage of teacher training is well established. Usui, Hayashi, Takata is considered the "gold standard" of traditional teachers of the Usui Reiki method. Important to note: I typically feel if someone is willing to take that extra costly step to join a professional organization, it helps my decision. However, there are many outstanding teachers who have been practicing for many years who are not affiliated with professional groups but their work is well known and subject to a level of integrity. In short, I would trust your inner sense and pick someone that you connect with, perhaps even speaking with the person on the phone or emailing them with questions. Check their responsiveness to questions. I am not, in general, a fan of Reiki in beauty salons and spas, it just seems to be more of a profit maker add on, and less of a healing arts setting. But that's just my opinion! You may feel differently.


The above seal is the International Association of Reiki Professionals.

I choose to be a member of this organization because the information they provide to people interested in learning more about Reiki is truly exceptional and professionally done. You can take a look at their website anytime:

Please Note: Mindful Presence Reiki and/or One to One Mindfulness Coaching is conducted in a highly professional place of business, by someone who treats all clients with respect, honor, and consideration. The same is expected in return from each client. I reserve the right to discontinue or refuse to provide services at any time if I feel professional boundaries are not being respected.

How often should I book a Reiki session?

If you are new to Reiki, working through a difficult period in your life, 60 to 90 minute Reiki sessions can be a wonderful add on to your wellness intentions or traditional healthcare. You may want more frequent sessions scheduled during this time. Typically clients prefer to come back every two weeks or monthly for 60 or 90 minute "all over" body sessions.

You are truly the best person to decide how often you need to check back in for a session. Many people report feeling very relaxed and able to sleep better after a session or two. However, everyone is different, no two people respond to Reiki in exactly the same way so leaving it up to you to know when to seek Reiki is my personal aim. However, if you would like me to give more structured guidance with this based upon your individual needs/wellness intention, I am happy to help!

What forms of payment do you accept? Can I purchase Gift Certificates? 

I accept cash, checks and credit cards. Checks can be made payable to Mindful Presence Reiki or Cecilia Howard.

I also provide gift certificates year round for your convenience. They make wonderful gifts for parents, loved ones, work colleagues and friends. Many people also use them as teacher appreciation gifts and for anyone they know who is facing some personal health challenges that might just need this time to feel a greater sense of ease in their life.

Where are you located?

I am located conveniently in Milford, NH at the Back Stop Chiropractic Health Center  536 Nashua Street, in between Valvoline/White Duck Car Wash and Giorgios Restaurant. This is less then a mile from the Route 101 Exit for Milford. The Mindful Presence Reiki session room is located on the main floor and is wheelchair accessible. Check in at reception desk.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness means awareness of the present moment. It means knowing what is happening, as it is happening, without judging things as positive/negative/neutral. Meditation, which is the formal practice of mindfulness, helps to create new neural pathways in the brain that literally change your response to the stressful events in your life, enabling you to respond, not react. There are also many informal ways you can practice mindfulness that help you daily to keep focused and feel more in control of your personal well being.

Is Mindful Presence Reiki or Mindfulness a Religion or does it require me to alter my religious beliefs?

I cannot speak on behalf of all Reiki or Mindfulness/Meditation providers, but I teach/train/guide and offer Reiki to all clients in a non-dogmatic, secular  way that is not espousing any particular religious or spiritual direction. This is most important to me, as I want you to feel comfortable, at ease and relax into the process by knowing you are not being asked to do anything that suspends, alters or changes your religious or spiritual convictions or belief system.

Mindful Presence Reiki along with mindfulness meditation instruction can, however, deepen your own personal faith and religious beliefs with your renewed sense of awareness.

It is important to note: Meditation/Reiki/Mindfulness is not a cure-all for all life's ills, it is not a substitute for current psychological or medical treatment. I am not a healer. I am, however,  someone who has seen profound shifts in the direction and focus of people's lives when they learn to more deeply relax,  enhance mindfulness skills and/or experience Mindful Presence Reiki.

You are never too old to learn these techniques! Research studies show the many benefits of mindfulness and meditation. Many schools, universities and colleges are offering it to their students and several colleges/universities are offering Graduate degrees in Mindfulness. Reiki is catching up and hopefully some major research studies will be underway soon, especially given all the many hospitals that are offering this service to its patients and all those patients who are finding the calming results to be of great benefit.

Can I learn to do Reiki for myself and others?

Absolutely! In fact, learning to do so is not difficult and can be done in a private or small group session. I, as well as many Reiki Master Teacher (RMT) professionals can do this "attunement" process for you. If you are interested, please contact me directly for more information and the cost of this training.