The 4 Essential Techniques For An Optimal Reiki Practice

10:00 min read

There are many types of Reiki out there, but most people start with Usui Reiki Ryoho. This system takes you from the very basic principles and techniques all the way to being a teacher. Thus, it’s very efficient and covers a large area of expertise.

Usui Reiki is split into 2 levels plus the master level, depending on the school/teacher you go to. We’re not going to go deep into each Reiki level here because it’s too much information and not necessary at this stage.

Level 2 and 3 provide access to certain Reiki symbols. These are used to enhance the Reiki practice. They can help the practitioner access deeper information and focus on specific issues.

What’s important to know is that you do need the first level to practice Reiki, and you access it through the attunement process. This is enough not only to get started but also to practice on yourself for a lifetime.

Table Of Contents

Explaining The Attunement’s Role

Anyone can practice Reiki, but to do so, you have to go through an attunement process. This is the first step.

Reiki is not taught per se but rather passed on from teacher to student. This is best done in person by an experienced practitioner who has the right knowledge and training.

Through the Reiki attunement process you gain the ability to properly channel the universal life force energy through you and your life. Thus, you gain access to any method, technique, or symbol from the respective Reiki system.

For now, don’t worry if you don’t have the attunement. It shouldn’t stop you from learning more about Reiki. This piece of content is designed to offer clarity whether you’re just curious, getting started with Reiki, or looking to refresh your knowledge.

NOTE: One way or another, we are all connected to the universal life force energy. So, you can practice the first degree of Reiki to some extent, even without an attunement. The main drawback is that it takes considerably longer to channel the energy at its optimum level. Eventually, you should seek a Reiki Master and learn the basics if you choose to pursue this art form.

The techniques mentioned below involve no Reiki symbols, so they require minimal knowledge. Just keep in mind that even so, they are compelling. You can use them exclusively for a long time without the need to add more.

Many people get confused when it comes to practicing Reiki. We are all bombarded with loads of content, and as a novice, it’s hard to choose the right path.

Unfortunately, this leads to information overload, and some even quit because they lack guidance.

After 15 years of experience, I can say that there is no right or wrong way to practice Reiki on yourself. The universal energy flows whether you think about it or not.

It is there to help and guide you.

The best way to enjoy its benefits is to learn how to appropriately channel it for your own good and the well being of others.

How To Do Reiki In 4 Steps

Practicing Reiki on yourself is called self-treatment, and it’s the best way to get started. I believe that splitting the process into 4 main stages makes it easier to understand and implement.

Therefore, let’s go through each step, learn about its role, and how to do it.

Step #1 – There Is More To Setting The Scene Than Meets The Eye

Remember that there is no right or wrong way to practice Reiki. You can choose to do it in a crowded, noisy place as well as on the beach at sunset. 

That’s the reason why, as a beginner, it’s recommended to start practicing Reiki in a quiet and comfortable setting. An environment with lots of distractions is very challenging. It takes a lot of practice and experience to be able to detach and focus.

So, the first step is to find time for yourself, play some relaxing music, and light a candle or an incense stick. Open a window if that feels appropriate and try to set the right mood, get comfortable, and relax.

Creating a pleasant environment is not the sole purpose. The brain reacts to stimuli, and in this case, it will know that you are transitioning into a downtime. This plays an essential role in being more open to receiving the universal life force energy.

It’s even more important to consider going through this preparation phase if you are a beginner. That’s because it’s easier to practice Reiki in these conditions. Having a process before starting eliminates confusion and clears your mind while providing focus.

Step #2 – Intention Is Key

Regardless of the method, always stay aware and try to feel what needs to be healed. That’s why intention matters so much in Reiki.

This is one of two necessary tools you need before starting self-treatment, the other being your activated palms (next topic).

Declare your intention before treatment and be very clear of what needs to be healed. Even though the result might be different than what you expect, the universal light will act in your best interest.

Step #3 – Doing Reiki Self-treatment With The “Hands-on” Technique

This is probably the most common way of approaching self-treatment.

It’s how Reiki “looks like” 90% of the time.

To start this technique, you need to activate your hands by rubbing your palms together for a few seconds.

With your hands activated, you can start channeling the universal energy to certain areas of your body. This will help place them in a state of healing.

Besides the known Reiki positions, these areas can be anything from organs, muscles, and even joints. In time organs should become healthier, tissues regenerate faster, and joints regain their flexibility.

This process will not only energetically cleanse and activate those body parts, but it will also raise your vibration. Your consciousness will grow, and you’ll gain a new level of awareness towards yourself and the world around you.

Read more about the Reiki hand positions here >>

3 Ways To Use The “hands-on” Technique

  • The Modern Way – follow the order of your energy centers by holding your palms on each one for a few minutes. Split the time so that the full self-treatment lasts anywhere from 20-60 minutes per day. There is no need to do more. Also, keep your palms longer on the areas that you feel absorb more energy. This process works to gradually heal your mental and emotional body. It does this by eliminating negative thoughts and old patterns, detrimental to your health;
  • The Traditional Way – this follows the path set by old Reiki Masters such as Chujiro Hayashi and Hawayo Takata. With this technique, you channel your energy through your palms to certain parts of the body (mainly organs and their meridians). These are areas that need the energy the most and therefore start your treatment with them. You can split the time spent on each area to cover a 20-60 minutes session. Keep in mind that during the process, you might discover other parts that you didn’t consider in the beginning, need healing as well;
  • The Intuitive Way – There isn’t a predefined pattern here. You place your hands where your intuition dictates. This brings us back to having a process to start with. Its role is to eliminate confusion. Using the intuitive way may lead to the opposite and become unclear about what you need to do. Just be aware this may happen. On the other hand, if you do feel the need for healing in one area, that’s where you should start;

Following A Set Order

Again, to eliminate confusion and logically guide the flow of energy, my advice is to start from the top down.

There is no right or wrong way of doing Reiki, that’s true. But sometimes it’s best to gradually send the energy downwards (to the ground), depending on each person’s need for energetic cleansing.

Start self-treatment by placing your activated palms on the superior energy centers and work your way down to the inferior ones.

The reason for this is to send low-vibrational, residual, and negative energies to the ground. This happens through the Root energy center, which is also responsible for physical and energetic detoxification.

Following a set order will considerably lower the risk of these energies, getting stuck in your body.

Step #4 – Be Involved

One common mistake people do when practicing Reiki is not paying attention to what they feel during self-treatment.

You don’t need to focus the energy in Reiki. It flows where it’s needed the most, this is true. However, it’s good practice to be present, feel what you are doing, and always try to look for clues.

The energy flows through you and heals certain parts of your body. With time, you’ll develop your consciousness, so it’s good practice to notice the changes that occur at all levels.

Step #5 – Extra Step (optional)

This is an optional step that you can add when and if it makes sense.

It involves “combing” your aura as if you are cleansing it with each movement. Send all the residual energies to the ground and restore your energy fields.

3 Additional Reiki Techniques To Consider Even If You Are A Beginner

Technique #1 – Self-Treatment For Tight Schedules

There is a faster method of doing self-treatment that’s suited for busier schedules. It involves placing each hand simultaneously on specific energy centers (one hand per energy center). This way, you’ll “cover” as much of your body as possible in less time.

The whole process should last around 10-20 minutes.

Don’t favor this method over a full self-treatment. In the absence of time, though, this could be quite efficient.

Technique #2 – Reiki Meditation

I “borrowed” elements of this technique from several Reiki Masters but perfected and adapted it to suit me. I believe that anyone who decides to use it will benefit a lot from its power.

For this technique, you are going to use Reiki meditation to do self-treatment.

Here you visualize the universal energy flowing through your body and healing whatever needs to be healed.

The intention is still needed, but there are no hands involved. The key element here is your mind and its power to guide the universal life force energy through your body.

The “catch” is that you need to relax for 30-60 minutes each day. You should find yourself in a quiet place where you feel safe and comfortable.

The process is straightforward.

You just need to relax and, through a series of deep breaths, channel the universal life force energy through your body. This becomes a guided exercise that brings a lot of value once you personalize it to your own needs.

It’s a fantastic “switch off” from the outside world that helps you reconnect with your inner and higher self.

Obviously, it takes time and practice. It’s a more advanced technique than the hands-on approach, but one that you should consider.

Technique #3 – Live Reiki

Perhaps the most important thing in learning how to practice Reiki is feeling the universal life force energy flowing through your body.

This comes with time, and you should do it daily.

You will learn how to develop your awareness so that you feel the energy flowing through your body from the moment you get up in the morning and until you go to sleep.

Once you develop this ability, you’ll be able to channel it where you need it the most. It’s an essential step towards true spiritual evolution.

Don’t try to do everything at once, and for sure, this last technique is not one that you should implement right away. Once you become more comfortable with at least one of the above, then this is something you should definitely work on.

Unfortunately, few people are aware of this concept. It’s an important one, and I’m happy that I can share it with you. Even if you’re not using it from the beginning, it’s good practice to gradually implement it once you feel comfortable doing so.


I guess that’s it.

If you’ve come so far, congratulations!

You are now armed with the basic yet fundamental Reiki knowledge. Don’t disregard its power because of its simplicity. It can go a long way.

That being said, let’s have another look at what we’ve learned:

  1. Preparation is important not only to transition from the outside world closer to your inner self but also to eliminate confusion;
  2. Intention is key in Reiki so before you start, be clear of what you plan to achieve during the session;
  3. Activate your palms to use them in self-treatment. Be involved and learn about yourself. Watch out for clues and listen to your inner voice;
  4. 3 additional techniques to consider, even if you are a beginner. These are: fast self-treatment, doing Reiki through visualization, and living Reiki;

The beauty of Reiki lies in its simplicity. It takes a while to get through the noise, but once you do, it’s magic. Reiki is a powerful way of approaching life, and it can help you overcome even the most difficult situations. It’s all in your best interest. So, remember that what you wished for may not always be the outcome you receive.