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What to expect from a Reiki treatment

Updated: Mar 1

Reiki is a 20th Century Japanese healing technique based on Buddhist, Shinto and other energy healing approaches.

It aims to support the body's own healing abilities by allowing energy to flow to where it is needed to support relaxation, detoxification, injury repair, emotional stability and whole body harmony.

When attending a Reiki treatment it is recommended you wear comfortable clothes and make sure any electronic devices like phones are switched off or silent.

Give yourself plenty of time to arrive so you can easily settle into the appointment. On arrival the practitioner may ask you to honour the Japanese custom of removing your shoes before entering the treatment room. Think of it as leaving your troubles outside the door and walking into the appointment fresh.

Once inside you will be invited to take a seat. If it is your first appointment, the practitioner may ask you to complete a health questionnaire asking about your occupation (to know what stresses your body may be under), what chronic health conditions you have (to better understand how to support you), current ailments (e.g. a recent injury or cough) and any physical limitations that may prevent you from being able to move about.

The practitioner will then explain what Reiki is, how it works and what you may experience during the treatment. Healing reactions to Reiki can include:

  • Relaxation

  • Feeling warm, cool or a tingling sensation

  • Seeing images or colours

  • Memories

  • Emotional release

  • Sudden jolts, shaking or twitching

  • Falling asleep

  • Feeling like someone else is present

  • Nothing at all.

All these responses are quite normal and a sign the healing is happening. Even if you feel nothing at all the energy will be having a positive impact so it is ok to relax and enjoy the journey.

Before starting, the practitioner will ask if you are happy with them gently placing their hands on or near your body. Typically hands are placed on or near the top of the head, eyes, ears, back of the head, jawline, shoulders, top of the chest, bottom of the chest, belly, back, hips, knees and feet. They may treat just one side of your body or both, depending on how much time you have, what support you need and what is practical and comfortable at the time. Personal body areas are avoided and you are in control of the treatment the whole time.

You and the practitioner will then set an intention for the treatment such pain reduction or less anxiety to help give the treatment a focus.

Reiki couch with pillow and blanket ready for a treatment
Reiki couch with pillow and blanket ready for a treatment

Once the practitioner has collected enough data to be able to treat you effectively and safely, most Reiki treatments take place lying on your back on a padded couch. A pillow will be available for your head and sometimes a bolster to go under your knees. A blanket is available if you would like to be covered or are concerned you will feel cold. This doesn't affect the treatment in any way as the Reiki will simply pass through. If it is not possible for you to lie on a couch then you can be treated whilst sitting in a chair or in a way that works for you.

Once settled and comfortable your job is to relax as the practitioner scans your energy noting where they may want to focus extra attention whilst giving energetic support to different layers of your energetic bodies.

With this data they will then start the treatment by gently placing their hands on or close to your body.

Lady on a Reiki couch covered by a blanket receiving a treatment
The client lies comfortably with a blanket if desired

My preferred approach is to start by connecting at the shoulders before treating the head and moving down the body to the feet. During this time we would usually be silent with the option to have some Reiki music playing in the background.

Treatments can last anywhere between 10 minutes to 1hr hour depending on the issues present and the time constraints of the people involved.

Initial treatments can be either dramatic or uneventful, or anywhere in between. Most people find them deeply relaxing; feeling lighter, clearer and more calm after. This feeling can last a few hours or indefinitely depending on how much stress the person is under and how familiar they are with Reiki.

After the treatment you will be gently roused and given time to come too. You will be offered a glass of water and invited, if you wish, to share your experiences.

It is recommended you have a quiet rest of day if possible and drink plenty of water to get the most out of your treatment. Sleep can be deep and refreshing after a treatment, so let yourself get to bed at a sensible time and be ok with any cleansing dreams that happen!

If it's your first Reiki treatment or visit to a new practitioner then it is usual for the practitioner to check in with you the next day to see how you are doing. They will also make sure you know it is ok to contact them at any time if you have any questions or concerns.

Depending on why you came for Reiki, you may at the end of the treatment want to make plans for another visit. Discuss with your practitioner the best time scale for you both depending on your goals and objectives. Multiple sessions are good for those with ongoing health issues whilst some simply enjoy coming as a way of managing stress levels on a ongoing basis.

I trust this answers your questions about Reiki treatments. They are wonderful to receive and just as lovely to do!

Feel free to reach out if you would like more information.

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