What Is A Reiki Treatment And How to Treat Family, Friends Or Clients?

Although the major emphasis of Reiki First Degree is self-healing, most people want to try out their Reiki on other people too. It would be inadvisable to set up as a professional Reiki Practitioner right from the word go because obviously you will need plenty of practice in order to develop your knowledge and confidence. I always recommend that anyone wishing to practice professionally should take Reiki Second Degree to add to their capabilities, but to begin with let’s explore what you can do with your Reiki First Degree skills.

Having the desire to help other people is very natural and being able to treat people with Reiki is a very pleasurable experience. However, there can be a problem, and that is the label of “healer” which some people will attach to you. The word implies a certain status and ability and it is very easy to get caught up in the illusion of it all and to enjoy the sense of esteem it can give you. But even if people do call us “healers” it is not a factual description.

The body does all its own healing, and because we are channels for Reiki that means we are able to act as catalysts, helping to get the healing process kick-started by delivering, through our hands, some healing energy. Actually, the more we push our own ego out of the way, the more we are able to go with the energy and let it direct us and the stronger the flow of energy becomes. But it is important to remember that we don’t do any healing. Reiki does—or at least, it is the Reiki that helps the person to heal themself.

For many people, their first contact with Reiki is through receiving a Reiki treatment from a friend, a member of their family or a professional Reiki Practitioner. Normally a Reiki treatment takes about an hour and is carried out with the client remaining fully clothed (except for shoes) and tucked up comfortably with a blanket and pillows, usually on a therapy couch. (I am using the words “client” and “Practitioner” for simplification, but I mean anyone receiving and giving Reiki. Other terms like “patient” and “healer” are more emotive, and therefore I prefer not to use them.)

The treatment starts with the client lying on his or her back and the Practitioner’s hands are placed gently on the body in specific places and will normally be kept still for a few minutes—there is no pressure, massage or manipulation unless the Reiki is being combined with another therapy. The responses during the treatment vary considerably. Some clients experience feelings of heat or tingling as the Reiki flows through them, or certain parts of their body might feel cold, especially after the Practitioner’s hands have moved away. Usually the client feels very relaxed and peaceful as the energy flows through their body, and many clients drift off to sleep and have to be gently roused when it is time to turn over to lie on their front for the rest of the treatment.

However, clients can sometimes become quite emotional as the Reiki begins to break down old patterns and blockages and bring them to the surface. They may laugh out loud or even shed some tears, or their legs or arms may suddenly jerk even while they are asleep. It is important to tell the client before the treatment that these reactions are possible and to reassure them that they are perfectly normal—they are just blocked or stagnant energy being released in different ways from the body.

Sometimes after the treatment has ended clients may experience a shift in consciousness, a realization of the underlying causes of any problems they have been having, whether those problems have to do with their physical health, their relationships, or their job, etc.

This is an important part of healing, and if the client wants to talk about it with you, that is fine, but this is where the boundaries can become blurred between being a friend or family member and being a healer or counsellor. Whatever issues are raised it is important to remain non judgmental, and to be as comforting and supportive as possible.

If talking with clients in this way is something you don’t feel very comfortable with, you might find it useful to take a short counselling course or read some books about the counselling process. If you believe the person needs much more support, you could gently and tactfully suggest that they talk things over with a friend, a counsellor or a family therapist.

Please remember, though, that if you are treating someone, even if it is a close friend or a member of your family, they may regard you differently—as a health professional—so your client is entitled to expect your complete confidentiality. It is essential never to talk to other people about any clients or their treatments, unless you need advice on how to handle a particular situation. In that case you could contact your Reiki Master and discuss the case, while preserving your client’s anonymity by not revealing their name, or any personal details that might identify them.

Occasionally in the days immediately following a treatment some people experience something called a “healing crisis,” which is usually just a short period when they have temporary physical symptoms such as a sudden cold as the Reiki energy works through the blockages and the body does its best to get rid of them. I always tell clients about this possibility and encourage them to drink plenty of water during the next few days after a treatment, as this helps to flush any toxins out of the body in a natural way.

Receiving a Reiki treatment is great for anybody whatever their age. Babies and small children usually love Reiki, although they don’t often want to stay still long enough for a full treatment, and since they are so much smaller than an adult they don’t need as much Reiki anyway. It is far easier to treat them casually, just allowing the Reiki to flow while you hold them or when they sit on your knee.

Pregnant women usually find Reiki very soothing for themselves and their unborn child, and it can be really beneficial to both mother and baby to give Reiki during the birth process. Otherwise, adults of any age will find a Reiki treatment very helpful with any health or stress-related problems and, of course, people don’t have to be ill to benefit from a Reiki treatment. It is lovely just to relax and be nurtured for a while.

You don’t really need any expensive equipment in order to give Reiki to someone—all you need is your hands. However, if you intend to carry out any Reiki treatments, it is sensible to have something suitable for people to lie on. The best option, if you can afford it, is a therapy couch, and there are several different types on the market. Costs vary depending upon which country you live in. Hydraulically operated static couches can go up to several thousand dollars. You may find one second-hand, which will be cheaper, but the best source of information about suitable therapy couches is the Yellow Pages, or advertisements in a health magazine.

One thing to watch for is that many therapy couches are made for the massage market, so they are low enough to allow the therapist to bend over a client and exert some pressure. When doing Reiki you need a couch that allows you to stand beside your client with your hands held at a comfortable height, which is usually somewhere around the middle of your chest, but no lower than your waist. Of course, your hands will be supported on your client’s body, but nevertheless it can be uncomfortable to hold your hands still for about five minutes if you have to bend your back to reach. However, you will not need to invest in an expensive couch unless you intend to become a Practitioner, so in the meantime there are other inexpensive alternatives.

First of all, you could use your dining table. These are usually about the right height. If it is sturdy and long enough, you could place some thick foam on top and cover it with a sheet. Another alternative could be a heavy-duty decorating table with foam on top. The heavy-duty models are made of stronger materials, and have wooden braces that can be screwed into place to make the whole thing solid.

If you are reasonably agile, you could do treatments with a person lying on a cot or chaise lounge with you sitting on the floor with your legs under the bed. It is also possible to do treatments with people lying on the floor or on a conventional divan bed, but while these might be reasonably relaxing for the person you are treating, they can be very uncomfortable for you unless you are used to sitting cross-legged on the floor. It is also possible to give someone a Reiki treatment while they are sitting in a chair.

In each of the above cases, you will also need several pillows, pillowcases, fitted sheets (stretch towelling is best) to fit over the therapy couch or over the foam layer if you are using that, and a soft blanket to cover the client.

If you are going to give someone a full Reiki treatment, I would recommend that you wait until you have completed your own 21-day clearing and cleansing process, and have done plenty of self treatments. Once you are ready to begin, remember that it is important that anyone you treat should come into a comfortable, safe and supportive environment, and they also need you to behave in a professional manner, even if they know you really well. Before you give anyone a Reiki treatment it is important that you should prepare yourself and the space in which the treatment is to take place.

There are two priorities for your self-preparation—energetic protection and cleansing. Over the years I have come to realize that some further preparation is necessary, there was considerable emphasis on self-cleansing in the Japanese tradition.

The first priority for your own sake, and especially for the comfort of your client, is to pay particular attention to personal hygiene. So in addition to washing your hands (and probably brushing your teeth) before treating anybody, you need to ensure that you—and your clothes—are clean and fresh. There is nothing worse than having someone leaning over you with garlic breath or smelling of sweat or stale tobacco. You should also remove your watch and any metal jewellery (except for a wedding ring), or anything else that might catch on a client’s clothing, or jangle distractingly.

It is just as important to be energetically cleansed, and there are various methods, which I would recommend that you try, such as the Hatsurei-ho technique. As you become more sensitive and intuitive, which often happens after taking a Reiki attunement, it can be a good idea to start protecting yourself energetically and psychically.

The simplest method is to create an energetic barrier by imagining your aura filled with Reiki, and if you wish, you can see its outer edge like a translucent eggshell made of energy. Imagine the Reiki flowing out of your hands, filling the eggshell with healing white light, and intend that the Reiki protect you from any negativity or harm, so any negative or harmful energies within your aura will be cleansed and released by the Reiki, and the outer edge of your aura will only permit love, light and Reiki to enter.

During a treatment your client will be inside your auric field, so doing this will mean that both you and your client will be surrounded by protective Reiki, and any negative energies released by the client during the treatment will not stick to your energy field, but will be healed and transformed by the Reiki. Of course you can set up a protective energy field around yourself any time, not just when doing a Reiki treatment: before going shopping in a city centre or if you are visiting a hospital, or anywhere else that could hold negative energies.

Whatever kind of space you use should be clean and tidy, and you can further prepare it by cleansing it with Reiki. Just sit quietly for a few moments, resting your hands on your thighs, palms facing upward, and then allow Reiki to flow through your hands and out into the room, intending that the Reiki should cleanse it of any negative energies. Visualize the Reiki flowing like a soft white mist all over the room, especially into all the corners.

Set up the therapy couch if you have one, and place clean pillows and a soft blanket ready, perhaps burning some incense or essential oils to fill the room with a pleasant smell. (Some people are sensitive to certain smells, so don’t do this until you have checked with the client.) If you plan to play some relaxing music and test it for volume before you start. Also ensure that the room is at an appropriate temperature and that there will be no interruptions from telephones, children, pets or other distractions.

"Please protect your own energy at all times, follow all my instructions at all times", happy healing.