I was asked recently by someone on my Facebook Reiki group about whether or not I felt symbols were a necessary part of Reiki and got some interesting responses from others in the group. There again, are two camps around this subject. Those who adhere to the KISS (keep it simple sister) rule and those who feel that using symbols, crystals, oils, Reiki sticks (and now I have heard about something with wristbands) is all part and parcel of doing Reiki.
I absolutely use and recommend using Reiki symbols and that is what works for me. I am not pooh poohing those who choose to go the simpler route, that is their choice and their preference and it works for them.
I use the Reiki symbols a lot and can definitely really feel the difference. I am a "feeler" some people are not. I can feel all kinds of things going on in my hands and under my hands when I am channeling Reiki and can definitely "feel" the change in the energy when I use a symbol/s. Reiki symbols can be used to clear the energy in a room for the purpose of setting sacred space before you begin doing a session or a class (or anywhere you feel the need to do that). I place the three traditional Reiki symbols (power symbol, harmony symbol and connection symbol) in the energy field above the torso of my clients in the beginning of a Reiki session. I use them to clear and charge crystals and program them or to Reiki my food, drink with them and on and on.
I also use them to open, clear and balance chakras or to help to alleviate pain in a particular area of the body where my client is reporting pain issues. To me they are tools, and if I have been given these tools, then I am going to use them in as many ways as I can to help my clients and myself.
One of the things I love to do is to read new (new to me) Reiki books to find out even more ways to use them. A pperfect example of this is the book I am reading now, "Reiki for Life" by Penelope Quest which I highly recommend. She uses them in a completely different way to balance and clear the chakras using then I have ever heard of before and I can't wait to try it!
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Reiki symbols are powerful tools provided to us to use for healing ourselves and others. As I said, I can feel the shift in the energy when I use them.
We all must do what feels right to us: to use symbols or not, to pass on intuitive information when channeling Reiki for others or no , to bring crystals and essential oils into your practice or wristbands or whatever - it is a personal choice. There is no right or wrong only a choice which is pretty much about everything in life. You are either for abortion or against it or for one political party or the other, or a cat lover or a dog lover, etc. You get to choose so maybe experiment with using them and not using them and then decide what feels right to you.