This article is from the Alternative Medicine Therapies guide.
Receiving Reiki is a gentle, soothing experience (some people even fall asleep during a treatment). Because it is a spiritual tradition, before beginning a session, the practitioner may spend time in quiet contemplation or meditation, thinking about the universal life force that will be channeled into you. The treatment process is considered a healing experience for both the practitioner and the client, and the practitioner often feels recharged and refreshed after a session as well.
During a Reiki treatment, you typically lie fully clothed on a padded massage table in a warm, comfortable room. The practitioner may first "scan" your body for energy blockages by moving his hands a few inches above it. A good practitioner, it is said, can readily find blockages because his hands feel hot or tingly as he encounters them. Any areas where there are blockages will then be a focus of the treatment.
Whether or not there are blockages, the practitioner typically begins by placing his hands lightly and systematically at various places along the body, including the abdomen, legs, back, and feet. This gentle touch is maintained for three to five minutes at each place (and up to 20 minutes if there is a problem), as the healing energy is channeled.
A thorough Reiki session usually lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. For stress reduction, one or two Reiki sessions are usually enough. As an adjunct therapy for chronic conditions, long-term treatment may be recommended.