13 Traditional Reiki Hand Positions Explained For Full Body Healing

In this article, we are going to cover a few classic hand positions passed on from Chujiro Hayashi to Hawayo Takata and then to the world.

Focusing the energy in one area using your hands is very powerful.

Compared to more modern approaches, these positions cover a large part of your body. Therefore, you can count on them for many uses.

If you’re looking to widen your Reiki knowledge then these techniques should definitely be in your portfolio.


As Reiki practitioners, we are all aware of the importance of self-treatment.

We all know that feeling when the universal life force energy flows through our physical, mental, and spiritual bodies.

It is as if this energy has a consciousness of its own. It knows when and where to heal while recalibrating our structures.

Having said that, there are a few classic hand positions from Chujiro Hayashi’s time. He passed them on to Hawayo Takata who then introduced them to other Reiki practitioners around the world.

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If you’re interested, here is an article with a more modern approach to Reiki hand positions. These are mainly for the primary and secondary chakras. They help keep all organs and energetic structures healthy.

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The concept is pretty simple yet quite powerful. Either approach works just as well. The key is to be aware of the techniques, try them, and stick with what makes sense for you.

Why Are Hand Positions Important

Placing your hands on your body has the purpose of focusing the energy. That area receives an increased amount of light which enhances the healing potential.

Even though the universal life force energy generally flows where it’s needed, we can still guide it if we wish.

By placing our palms activated in the Reiki self-treatment positions we enable the universal life force energy to guide us towards a deep healing state that takes place on all levels.

We will not only activate our energy centers. There are other physical, mental, and emotional aspects that we’ll heal according to the position we use.

By following a pattern we create discipline. In return, certain parts of our body are placed in a state of healing. This will flush out the negative and residual energy while allowing the clean one to enter.

The process gradually increases our awareness of our inner-self and the world around us. Spiritual growth is a concept that we become more familiar with as we progress in our physical, mental and emotional healing.

Hands-On Top Of Your Head

At the physical level, you energize the brain and its hemispheres. You develop a physical balance and a general focus on daily life.

By energizing the brain hemispheres you also enhance your cognitive and intellectual functions.

What’s important to know is that at this level you provide energy to the pineal gland. This small organ is responsible for producing melatonin which leads to healthy sleep patterns.

On a subtle level, you open the crown chakra. This enhances the flow of universal energy. The more it flows the potential of enhancing your intuition, awareness, and higher-self consciousness increases.

By keeping your hands on top of your head you allow the universal energy to flood the main energy channel, Sushumna. This, in turn, increases your energy levels and keeps your energetic system in good health.

Palms On Your Eyes And Forehead

Sending energy using this position helps remove imbalances at the eye, sinuses, pineal, and pituitary glands level.

As mentioned before, the pineal gland keeps a balance in creating the hormone responsible for melatonin. This leads to a healthy sleep pattern.

The pituitary gland controls the endocrine system, the production of various hormones connected to the reproductive system, the thyroid, and adrenal glands.

This hand position is recommended for stress relief and relaxation.

From a spiritual perspective, this position helps energize important meridians such as the bladder, stomach and even the Ren Mai – Du Mai connection. These are the two most important meridians in our body.

Also, this position helps us better understand our inner-self.

It cleanses the mind and enhances intuition.

Palms On Your Head Temples And/Or Head Hemispheres

This helps you energize the optic and ear nerves thus improving eyesight and hearing. It also helps stimulate the function of the pineal and pituitary glands.

The “palms-on head” position energizes the brain hemispheres. This way it helps keep your physical and mental balance healthy.

Placing your hands for 10 minutes each day in this position you considerably reduce the risk of cerebral health problems. These can vary from Parkinson’s disease to multiple sclerosis.

At a more subtle level, we stimulate the Kami Tanden energy center (superior Tanden) as well as the Bai Hui energy point. The Bai Hui is where all the Yang meridians of the body intersect.

This position helps enhance intuition and remove negative emotions such as depression or fear.

In the temple area, you can find the “tip” of the bladder meridian.
By sending energy here you stimulate it and therefore improve the health of your kidneys.

This process also activates the Ajna chakra.

Both Palms On The Back Of The Head

Place both of your palms on the back of your head. One will energize the upper back of the head while the other will stimulate the occipital (lower part).

This position will help energize the cortex which is responsible for eyesight.

It will do the same for the cerebral part of the brain, responsible for the primary functions of the body. Among these are the surviving instinct, coordination of the physical body, managing fear, hunger, and thirst.

At a spiritual level, you’ll stimulate important meridian points such as the “Gate of Winds” located at the junction of the brain with the cerebral. This meridian point plays an important role in our physical health. When it’s not energized enough your immune system weakens and the chances of catching a cold, for example, increase.

This position helps you bring to the surface the potential for creativity, the feeling of inner peace, and overall calm.

It also helps energize the projection of the Ajna Chakra. This makes us more receptive to the subtle energies that flow within and around us.

Palms On The Sides Of The Neck

This position helps with keeping the thyroid, parathyroid, and the whole metabolism in good health.

It also heals the energetic structure of your larynx, trachea, and salivary glands.

From a spiritual perspective, this position enhances your communication skills. It helps you express your emotions harmoniously.

This gradually activates the 5th chakra called Vishuddha which has a crucial role in verbal manifestation. Vishuddha is also a solid contributor to self-confidence. It can also guide us to a joyful state.

As an alternative, you can place one hand on the front of your neck and another on the back (above the shoulder blades).

This variation helps keep your cervical part of the body healthy.

At this level, you also gradually help heal the latent energies and thoughts. These are most likely a result of your inability to express yourself in the past.

When you heal them it will feel as if an emotional “baggage” has been removed from that area.

Hands-On The Left Side Of The Body

Place your palms on the left side of your body so they can cover the stomach, spleen, pancreas, and part of the small intestine.

Hawayo Takata said that the digestive system is one of the main engines of our body. The better the digestion works, the healthier the body will become.

Of course, we know this from basic anatomy. What we also need to understand is that digestion has an energetic system as well. This system corresponds to the physical one and both need our care.

Each organ has at least one energy center that governs it.

Sending energy to the stomach and intestine will help your body have better digestion. This will guide you to eat exactly the necessary amounts and to a better distribution of nutrients. The result is a balanced physical and energetic body.

At a more subtle level two important things happen:

  • you energize the liver’s energy channel (which flows through both left and right sides of the body);
  • you activate the solar plexus energy center;

By stimulating the liver meridian you enhance the energy that flows through it.

By energizing the solar plexus chakra you remove negative emotions from the past and present. These can be feelings of fear, anxiety, or the need to control/manipulate other people. Instead, you’ll be able to promote feelings of acceptance, tolerance, and patience. It also enhances inner strength.

NOTE: The spleen and pancreas can store negative emotions such as fears, sadness, and grief.

Other Ways Of Doing It

There is also a variation to this position.

Place one hand on the front of the body (solar plexus area), and the other on the back projection, slightly above the kidneys.

NOTE: If this feels uncomfortable, you can place the side of your hand on the back projection of a chakra. The Reiki activated hands have no polarity. Therefore, the same amount of energy is passed on the back and front of the hand. If this is still difficult to perform, simply place both palms in the solar plexus area.

Hands-On The Right Side Of The Body

This position is mainly used for healing and energizing the liver, gallbladder, and part of the pancreas.

NOTE: Sensei Takata recommended treating the abdomen first with all its major organs before transitioning to the head and other parts of the body. However, a more modern approach is to treat yourself and/or the patient starting from the head down. The reason for this is to send the residual and negative energies down, from our body to the ground. Doing so will prevent spreading them throughout our bodies.

Like the previous position, this one also helps with digestion. It just places the organs on the right side of the body in a state of healing.

At the energetic level, the liver is a complex, powerful organ. It integrates both residual energies and negative emotions as well as positive ones. The latter is there to help heal the negative ones. We just need to give them “a push”. Consciously guide them to their purpose.

On a subtle level, we energize the right liver meridian and its energy center as well as the solar plexus chakra.

One of the negative emotions that the liver stores is anger.

By sending energy at this level, we remove the negative prints that anger leaves behind. Still, it is necessary to change our behavior towards people and situations in life. The more we understand this, the less anger we will attract. This leads to a healthier and more balanced liver and gallbladder.

By cleansing the solar plexus chakra we contribute significantly to keeping away anger and other negative emotions.

Both Hands Below The Navel On The Lower Abdomen

At a physical level, with this position, we energize part of the small and large intestines and the healthy absorption of nutrients.

With intention, you can also visualize how the energy is going to the back of your body, to the kidneys.

At a spiritual level, you develop self-acceptance, creativity, and the ability to gather spiritual information. This happens because, at this level, we find our true inner-self, our Kundalini energy.

At a mental level, thoughts and information may scatter. You might forget some of them but at the self-level, everything that flows through here will be remembered and used throughout your life.

Here you have the Seika Tanden and the sacral chakra. This is one of your main energy power centers. It is also the place where you find sexual and creative energies.

In many Asian cultures, this is believed to be the energy “warehouse” of the whole body and the place of physical and spiritual equilibrium.

By sending light to this energy center you learn how to manage these energies in a balanced way.

Hands-On The Hips Area

Place each palm on the inguinal junction (the line that unites the legs with the rest of the body).

The right-hand goes on the right hip while the left-hand goes on the left hip. The tips of the fingers are touching each other.

Here we energize parts of the small and large intestine as well as the reproductive system. This position helps the ovaries, uterus (prostate for men), and bladder be in good health and function at optimum levels.

With this position, you energize the blood flow to your legs, your inguinal lymph nodes, and your muscle tendons located in this area.

You can also send energy to the appendix.

NOTE: If the appendix has an infection you should NOT use Reiki as a treatment. Consult a doctor or a specialist as soon as possible.

On a spiritual level, you enhance your capacity to adapt to certain situations in life. Sending energy here will gradually activate the root chakra or Muladhara responsible with grounding and mentally-emotional balance.

Energizing this part of the body will help you reach a more relaxed and disciplined perspective towards your sexuality and vital instincts.

Hands-On The Chest

There are many variations to this position.

What I recommend is keeping your hands on the upper chest, just above the heart. Have the intention of energizing your lungs. The energy will flow as intended. This is particularly good for helping you heal respiratory issues.

Then move to the center of the chest over your heart. This will offer energy to the heart and thymus gland which is also known as the “youth gland”.

It’s a very useful position for people with cardiac issues.

While some imbalances cannot be cured without the intervention of modern medicine, others can be significantly improved or kept under control.

Other Ways Of Doing It

If you can, place one hand behind the back projection of the heart chakra.

An incredibly efficient position for women is placing the palms over the breasts. If for any reason this doesn’t feel comfortable, you can hold them at a distance as well.

This position helps remove/prevent breast lumps and negative emotions stored at this level.

It will also help remove negative emotions towards yourself and avoid any physical imbalances.

Take 10 minutes for each position.

We know from Sensei Takata that if you feel an area drawing in more energy, it means that it requires more attention. This means both physical and spiritual.

On an energetic level, these positions help stimulate the meridians of your lungs and stomach. The energetic structure of the heart has also a lot to benefit from.

On a spiritual and emotional level, you activate the heart chakra Anahata.

You enhance your ability to offer and receive compassion and love. You become more carrying towards yourself and close ones.

This, in turn, helps your physical, energetic, mental, and emotional structures to change their energy and gradually heal.

One of the most beautiful things about using these positions is that we learn to forgive ourselves. Doing so helps us remove the thoughts and feelings of “unworthiness”. Once we learn how to love ourselves we can love others too.

This can only lead to inner peace and harmony.

Hands-On The Back Of Your Body

This is tricky because we do not have the physical construction to place our hands on our backs.

However, there are a few positions that you can use.

Either way, placing your hands on a part of the body with the intention of channeling the energy to a certain area will transfer it to the desired location.

Placing The Hands Over The Shoulder Blades

If you are having difficulty using this position, you can place your hands on the cervical area, below the neck.

At a physical level, this position has the role of relaxing and maintaining the good health of the upper muscles.

At an energetic level, the cervical area is known to trap most of the stress and unexpressed emotions. This is why healing it will gradually release and dissolve those residual energies leading to stability and calm.

This position also helps with stimulating the bladder meridian. The left part of the upper muscle corresponds to the stress point and the right one corresponds to the bladder meridian itself.

Placing The Palms In The Kidney Area

For this position, you can either use your palms or the back of your hand. It really doesn’t matter. When activated with Reiki, hands have no polarity.

With this position, we send Reiki to the backside of the spleen, liver, and kidneys.

By sending energy to your kidneys you enhance your daily level of energy. They are considered to hold most of our vital energy. It is a good Reiki position for removing stress.

At an energetic level, you stimulate the energy points located on the bladder meridian. Some of them correspond to the kidneys and gallbladder.

You also stimulate the back projection of the solar plexus chakra, thus cleansing residual emotions that connect to your past.

Fear is one negative emotion associated with the kidneys. By using Reiki you help eliminate this negative energy and turn it into light.

Placing Your Hands In The Lower Back Area

With this position, you help heal and strengthen the lumbar area, the sciatic nerve.

You also energize part of the intestines and the base of the spine.

On an energetic level, you stimulate the sacral chakra, responsible for the creative energies, sexuality, and social skills.

Also, you stimulate the “belt” meridian which keeps the energy in the Seika Tanden.

Placing your hands here helps boost your kundalini energy.

Sending Reiki for 10 minutes a day is enough.

Hands-On Knees

This part of the Reiki hand positions is perhaps best done when sitting in a chair.

We need to pay attention to our knees because they store part of the residual energies gathered from the places we’ve visited.

These energies can also add up from years of too little or too much physical activity.

From a spiritual perspective, the knees and elbows represent our manifestation towards certain events and changes in life.

The right part represents a more rational manifestation while the left represents the creative side.

Our knees are strongly connected with our vital energy and to our deep, inner-self manifestation. This is because our legs and feet energetically correspond to the Earth Star, Root and Sacral chakras.

I recommend sitting in a chair and placing each hand on the corresponding knee for 10 minutes when doing self-treatment.

Hands-On Feet And Ankles

Similar to your knees, your feet and ankles can trap residual energies from the places you’ve visited. The same is true for extreme physical activity or inactivity.

Our soles are like maps. They have reflex points that treat multiple parts of our body. Sending Reiki to them will gradually stimulate those points. Eventually, the corresponding areas of our physical body will improve and even heal.

Sending Reiki here will also stimulate the kidney’s meridians as well as your grounding ability.

As said before, our legs, knees, feet, and soles are in strong connection to the Earth Star, Root and Sacral chakras. Therefore, they should all have a healthy connection to Earth.

Sit in a chair and hold each foot between your palms. Send light for 10 minutes or for as long as you feel like. Do so as part of the self-treatment.

BONUS: Self-treatment When Lying In Bed

This is something that I find very useful.

When going to bed place your activated palms on top of your head.

Stay like this for 10 minutes and don’t worry if you fall asleep. The energy will go where it’s needed.

You can even start with the intention, should you fall asleep, that this energy will go where it is needed the most in your body.

If you manage to stay awake continue for as long as you can until eventually, you fall asleep.

I sometimes manage to reach the heart or solar plexus chakra. Most of the times though, I fall asleep at the crown chakra level.

If you’re able to finish a full self-treatment, even better.

Some might feel too energized after this exercise. If that’s the case, stop practicing self-treatment before going to bed. Do so for a while to balance your Yin and Yang energies within your body.

I Would Love To Hear From You

If this your first time learning about these positions, which one do you think you’ll benefit from the most?

Are you familiar with these traditional hand positions?

If so, is there anything you would like to add?

Use the comments section below to share your thoughts.

About Vlad and ReikiScoop

Vlad is an Usui Reiki Grand Master/Teacher who has also gained the Master/Teacher Level in Karuna, Shamballa MDH, and Gendai Reiki, with 15+ years of experience. He now shares his knowledge through ReikiScoop. You can always read more about Vlad and ReikiScoop in the about section.

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    6 thoughts on “13 Traditional Reiki Hand Positions Explained For Full Body Healing”

    1. THANK YOU for this detailed correspondence list of the hand positions and HOW they are working with where they specifically are. When I was attuned for level 1 I felt like I had no idea what was happening, only that something was happening.. and honestly, my interest faded w a lack of intel. So again, THANK YOU!! You’ve gotten me excited about reiki again, and now that I have more understanding, I’m getting a sense that my sessions are more effective.

      Can u offer explanations for what the different sensations I’m feeling in my hands means? For instance, when my hands will be vibrating so rapidly I can’t even feel them… I think I was interpreting that as when that sensation slows down, it’s the indicator to move to the next position? Almost like, the orgasm.

      • Hi there.
        I am so happy that the information was useful to you. I am so proud that you have restarted practicing Reiki and regained your confidence!

        Well, different practitioners have different sensations. It depends on the vibrations level for each person and for each part of the body. Some parts of the body might offer a cold feeling in the hands, while others a tingling sensation. Some places need more energy and others may not. Don’t overthink it, just let the energy flow and relax. Your intuition and experience will show which part needs more energy and when to advance to the next hand position.


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