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What Happens During a Reiki Session?

By Amanda Barnhart
Updated May 17, 2024
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Reiki is a Japanese stress-reduction and alternative healing method that uses energy and chakra manipulation to heal and relax the recipient. During a reiki session, the practitioner places her hands on or just above the recipient's body in varying positions to encourage the flow of energy through the body. Reiki treatment can also be done over long distances through the telephone or a computer messaging service. During this type of reiki session, the practitioner concentrates to send the energy through the distance to the recipient, and may use a doll or imagine the recipient is in the room to encourage the transmission of energy.

Most reiki sessions take place in person. Practitioners usually have a massage table set up for the client to lie down. Clients remain fully clothed during the treatment since there is no physical manipulation involved in the process. The practitioner may ask the client to remove his shoes to open access to the chakra in the feet. Practitioners may use relaxation items during sessions including soft music, candles, or aromatherapy.

A typical reiki session lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. The practitioner positions her hands above or just barely touching the client's body at specific points where energy is thought to be at its highest. These include the chakras located in the lower body, the center of the stomach, the solar plexus, the middle of the chest, the throat, the center of the forehead, and the top of the head. The practitioner usually holds each hand position for three to five minutes.

Clients report feeling different sensations during the treatment. Some feel nothing, while others say the reiki session relaxes them and sometimes causes them to fall asleep. Others report feeling disassociated from their bodies, a change in temperature, or a tingling sensation. There is no certain sensation a person should feel during a session, and most practitioners encourage their clients to simply relax and embrace whatever feelings and sensations come to them.

After a reiki session, some clients experience fatigue, tingling, heat, chills, or slight aches that travel through the body. Since reiki does not involve physical manipulation or any medical procedure, there is no potential for harm other than for people who are advised not to lie down for long periods due to a medical condition. Reiki practitioners believe the side effects some people experience are due to releasing energy blockages in the body and the body ridding itself of toxins.

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