REIKI LEVEL I: BASICS OF PRACTICE
If you have had the opportunity to experience a Reiki treatment, you know that it is quite relaxing and soothing. Your perception of receiving a Reiki treatment may also be much more precise and detailed. You may have felt a comforting warmth under the practitioner’s hands or extending outward in all directions from the practitioner’s hands; you may have been aware of tingling or waves or a soft flow of the current of healing energy. You may also have felt intense heat or a sense of mild pressure or movement, even though the practitioner assured you he was not doing massage and his hands were still. This may have been accompanied by the simple recognition that your breathing had become easier, your pulse steadier and stronger, your digestion faster.
As a newly attuned Reiki practitioner, you will now experience such sensations as the energy flows through your attuned hands. With each attunement you receive, however, your hands are going to become stronger, steadier channels for the flow of healing energy. You will register this flow of energy in familiar ways, and in some new ways that are natural extensions of the ways you already know.
For example, you may be used to thinking of your hands as presenting a small range of surface temperatures: most of the time they are warm, but when you are in a room with the thermostat turned down in the winter, your hands become quite cold. Now, with each attunement, the range of surface temperatures is going to become greater. Your hands will usually be noticeably warmer or cooler when you are providing a treatment. At times your hands may feel so hot that even the air above them seems hot, as if they are surrounded by a cloud of radiant heat. On other occasions the heat may seem so concentrated under your palm that you feel as if you were holding your hands near a match flame. When you experience such sensations, you may also find that your palms are actually perspiring.
Such temperature differences will help you to recognize the sensations you are experiencing as an expression of the flow of healing energy. At times the sensation of warmth or heat is not limited to the hands but seems to travel all the way to the shoulders and the torso. This is indicative of a strong need on the part of the person receiving the energy.
Perhaps surprisingly, the sensation of cold or coolness can also indicate the flow of healing energy. At times this is pleasant and refreshing to the practitioner; at other times it is simply something to accept in the spirit of service. The sensations experienced are not of the practitioner’s choice; they are expressions of the healing energy flowing through the practitioner’s hands to meet the needs of the client. When the energy is needed in a different way, it modulates itself in answer to that need, and the practitioner notices a subtle or a marked shift.
Another familiar sensation that you may experience is tingling or “pins and needles.” When this is how the healing energy expresses itself, the sensation will be sustained for some timeas long as the area of the client’s body under your hands is calling for the energybut it will not be uncomfortable to you. You will often be able to isolate the locus of the tingling precisely. You may say to the client, “I feel a tingling under the knuckle of my right index finger” or “The base of my palm up to my wrist seems prickly.” This is an accurate description of your perception of the energy. In time you will learn that such specific sensations are informative about the client’s condition.
Some sensations will seem new to the practitioner. For example, after a short time most practitioners experience the sensation of energy being pulled or drawn down into the client’s body. Another common sensation is that of a vortex or whirlpool of energy, often under a fingertip or a finger joint. Sometimes practitioners also feel a wave of energy moving gently back and forth between their hands.
As you learn Reiki, you learn to listen to your hands, which will speak now with a greater expressiveness than you have ever experienced before. In time, you will learn not only to listen to your hands but also to “read the body” under your hands like the blind read brailleas a language that makes a whole world of understanding possible in new and meaningful ways.
THE BASIC HAND POSITIONS
Once you have learned the twelve standard hand positions, you can take the time in each position to listen to your hands and feel the flow of Reiki’s healing energy come on, increase to a steady level of activity, and then gradually or suddenly decrease, signaling you to move to the next position. This allows the body to receive the amount of energy it naturally calls for to provide an energetic foundation for healing to occur, to stabilize, and to begin to build. Do not make it a goal to “get through” all the positions. It is better to treat even one position with deep Reiki healing than to race through a treatment without paying attention to the energy’s gentle, soothing flow.
Basic I, Position 1
The first position used on the body’s torso covers most of the lower rib cage and some of the organs most sensitive to stress. Your Reiki touch here will benefit the bones of the lower rib cage, the diaphragm, the lungs, the liver, the stomach, the pancreas (behind the stomach), and the spleen. Behind these organs the adrenal glands and the kidneys will receive the energy’s healing effects. The blood supplied to these organs from the heart through the abdominal aorta and other major arteries will be washed in the energy’s healing flow, before it circulates throughout the body and back to the heart.