Wondering What the Heck Goes on During a Reiki Session?

Some tips on what to expect and what to look for when choosing Reiki practitioners.

What is Reiki exactly?

Reiki is a Japanese healing technique that entails placing your hands on or above a person’s body. This allows universal energy or qi to flow and release any blockages. It’s similar to the technique used in acupuncture and acupressure. The idea is that patients who are ill have blocked energy and by releasing it, the patient can relax, feel less pain, and speed healing.

Where Should I Go For a Reiki Session?

You can Google Reiki clinics or wellness centers in your area. You’ll want to be sure the practitioner is a certified Reiki master with several years of experience. You’ll also need to decide if you prefer a clinic or someone’s home. Try to find someone who has a website with reviews or testimonials. Sometimes local yoga studios or acupuncturists will be able to refer you to a Reiki practitioner as well.

What Goes on During a Reiki Session?

I’ve had Reiki performed on me by different people but always at the same Reiki donation clinic at the local Japanese Cultural Institute. Sometimes there will be two practitioners and other times, I’ve seen as many as four or five. You can have two practitioners working on you at the same time or you may just get one. The benefits are the same in my experience.

The donation clinic is in a very casual, classroom setting. The donations usually average about $20 per practitioner. So if two practitioners work on me, I’ll donate $40. I’ve been told that the average Reiki session is $60–90 an hour. If you can find a local donation clinic, I suggest you try this first.

Each session lasts about twenty minutes. First they ask you if you have any particular areas of pain. You may also mention you’ve been feeling stressed or especially anxious. If you don’t have a specific ailment, then that’s fine. They’ll focus on overall relaxation.

You can lie down on a massage table or sit up. I like to lie down on my back. Sometimes there is soft music but not always. There used to be a Reiki practitioner who talked loudly during sessions and I’d hear him from across the room, but this is unusual.

The Reiki practitioner will gently place their hands on various areas of your body. Sometimes their hands will be above you. Usually the hand placement lasts about five minutes or until the practitioner no longer feels the energy. There are twenty different areas of the body but the practitioner may not go to all areas. They may touch your face, your neck, anywhere on your torso, your arms, your legs, your hands and feet. They may ask you to turn over so they can place their hands on your back and shoulders if you are lying down.

depositphotos / karelnoppe

Usually I’ll have two people working on me at once. One person will start at my head and the other at my feet until they meet in the middle. Or sometimes one person has their hands directly on me while the other has their hands above me to clear energy out of my aura. Another time a practitioner placed crystals in my palms while she performed Reiki on me.

Sometimes I feel heat but I figure that’s from people touching me. Once I felt slight tingling. But I always leave feeling more relaxed and calmer than when I arrived.

depositphotos / healing63

The one exception was when I was suffering from grief as my dog had just died a few days earlier. The practitioner asked me to talk about my favorite memories of her, but the wounds were too fresh. I couldn’t speak and instead, started crying. Although it’s good to release that emotion, I was looking for a way to relax and feel more at peace, not cry. (This was actually the same practitioner who talked too loud and I recently found out he’s no longer with the clinic.) So it’s important to choose a Reiki practitioner that you feel comfortable with and trust.

Long Distance Reiki

You can also have someone send you Reiki long distance. For me, it’s much more difficult to feel the energy than if you are at a clinic. As a Reiki II student, I’m able to send Reiki long distance, but I’m not entirely convinced that the other person is feeling anything or if I am for that matter. I much prefer hands-on.

depositphotos / healing63


Do I feel any benefits from a Reiki session? I don’t experience much change physically. I’ve sought Reiki if I have a migraine or hip pain and can’t honestly say it’s made any difference. However, I do leave the clinic more relaxed and feeling positive overall. Gentle human touch can be a very pleasant, calming sensation so I believe that’s what I’m responding to.

As I said, this is my own personal experience. Everyone is different. I have Reiki classmates who seem more in tune with the energy than I am. It affects them on a stronger level, although it’s never harmful or to the point where they want it to stop. It seems to be very cleansing for them.

Reiki is becoming more accepted as an alternative healing technique. My local hospital now offers Reiki services with trained practitioners. Of course, doctors won’t advise Reiki to be the only form of treatment, especially if it’s something serious like cancer or heart disease. But as an additional therapy, it can be a valuable form of relief.

If you’d like more information about Reiki or living mindfully with chronic migraines, visit my blog Socal Sarah Writes.

Freelance writer. Migraine slayer. Traveler. https://socalsarahwrites.com. Published crime fiction author. https://sarahmchen.com.

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