Reiki is a holistic therapy which may bring about healing on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. The belief is that the energy flows through the practitioner’s hands whenever the hands are placed on, or held near a client. This is directed by a combination of the therapists intention and by being drawn by the clients need to activate or enhance the natural healing processes. Further to this notion, the belief is that the energy is “intelligent”, meaning that the Reiki knows where to heal, even if a practitioner’s hands are not present in the specific area.
In a typical whole-body Reiki treatment, the therapist requests the client to lie down, usually on a massage table, and relax. Loose, comfortable clothing is usually worn during the treatment. The client might take a few moments to enter a calm or meditative state of mind and mentally prepare for the treatment, that is usually carried out without any unnecessary talking.
The treatment proceeds with the practitioner placing the hands on the recipient in various positions. However, practitioners may use a non-touching technique, where the hands are held a few centimeters away from the recipient’s body for some or all of the positions. The hands are usually kept in a position for three to five minutes before moving to the next position. Overall, the hand positions usually give a general coverage of the head, the front and back of the torso, the knees, and feet. Between 12 and 20 positions are used, with the whole treatment lasting 60 minutes.
Many therapists use a common fixed set of 12 hand positions, while others use their intuition muscle testing or dowsing to guide them as to where treatment is needed as is the practise sometimes starting the treatment with a “scan” of the recipient to find such areas. The intuitive approach might also lead to individual positions being treated for much shorter or longer periods.
Clients often feels warmth or tingling in the area being treated, even when a non-touching approach is being used. A state of deep relaxation, combined with a general feeling of well-being, is usually the most noticeable immediate effect of the treatment, although emotional releases can also occur. As the Reiki treatment is said to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes, instantaneous “cures” of specific health problems are not normally observed. A series of three or more treatments, typically at intervals seven to 14 days, is usually recommended if a chronic condition is being addressed, and regular treatments on an on-going basis can be used with the aim of maintaining well-being. The interval between such treatments is typically in the range of one to four weeks, except in the case of self-treatment where daily practice is common.