What Is A Reiki Attunement And Why Is It Necessary To Get One

The Reiki attunement process allows the initiated to connect to the universal life force energy. This way the student becomes a vessel through which the energy flows and is now able to practice Reiki.

The attunement is usually done in person by a Master to its student.

What Is A Reiki Attunement And How Does The Process Look Like

Through the Reiki attunement the student receives the full opening of the main energy channels and centers to the Universal Source of Life Force Energy.

The student then receives additional information and symbols necessary for practicing Reiki.

Science has proven that at the core of atoms there is… well, energy.

So in a way, we are all “attuned” when we are born. That’s when the flux of energy starts.

However, most of us don’t really use this gift throughout our lives because we are not aware of it. Therefore the flow becomes “coagulated”.

Of course, there are exceptions, but these are rare occurrences.

After you go through the Reiki attunement process, you adjust your frequency to the universal source of life force energy.

This creates a permanent link between you and the source of energy.

In return, the attunement helps the practitioner develop a higher level of awareness and with time it helps raise her consciousness through practice and meditation.

It is obviously up to the initiated to work and keep all these activated.

Like with everything else you build in life, Reiki requires time and attention.

The Reiki Attunement Experience

This can differ from one Reiki Master to the next. Each human is different and because Reiki is a flexible and adaptable healing art, its initiation procedure can take different forms.

One’s general understanding, vibration and sensitivity level usually leads to such variations.

That being said, there is common ground and all Reiki attunements are or at least should be based on the Usui teachings.

While some teachers offer attunements for each Reiki level, others perform them all in one day.

Once you receive a Reiki attunement it stays with you forever. However, it doesn’t hurt to go through this process if you feel like it.

I did so because at times I felt it was necessary, but also to gain that experience of going through various approaches.

Therefore I can say that both ways work perfectly fine.

How Does It Feel Like

The symbols and knowledge travel through us in the moment of attunement because we become vessels through which the energy flows.

After the process, some students feel dizzy while others relaxed.

I have seen students become hyper-energized while some were with their heads in the clouds.

Others experience revelations by having a feeling of “enlightenment” or spiritual awakening.

During the attunement, there is a chance that you may drift away, fall asleep, or meditate.

It’s possible to “see” certain things that can be useful for your future life.

Either way, it is advisable to share your experience with your teacher once the attunement has ended.

How Does The Reiki Attunement Work And How Long Does It Take

When you first meet your Reiki Master/Teacher for the Reiki attunement, at one point, she will ask you to sit on a chair in the “gassho” position (praying position).

Afterward, she will ask you to relax, close your eyes, breath deeply and visualize a place that you favor (this is optional and maybe some masters will not mention it).

You’ll most likely be facing a window and there should be some relaxing music in the background.

Some Reiki teachers also have candles and/or incense sticks lit.

Others may ask you to pray, but this will depend on you as well.

While relaxing in the chair, the Reiki Master will conduct a series of movements and draw different symbols with the purpose of opening your main energy channels and centers.

She may start by placing her hands on your shoulders.

Then, she will open your hands from the gassho position and place them on top of your head.

Another special sequence of Reiki symbols will follow in order for the attunement to be sealed.

How Long Does It Take

This whole process can take from 5 up to 15 minutes. It all depends on how the Reiki teacher prefers to do the attunement.

Even though this might not seem like a consistent amount of time, the Reiki attunement has a huge amount of power at the energetic level.

If you’ll transition into meditation, it might seem longer than 15 minutes.

Why Is A Reiki Attunement Necessary And Can You Practice Reiki Without An Attunement

Normally, for a person to practice Reiki, she needs to receive an attunement for at least the first degree.

This is necessary because through the Reiki attunement process the energy fields, channels, and chakras open. Not only this but they also become receptive to the universal source of life force energy.

The student also receives the channeled information and symbols required to practice Reiki.

Vibration changes as well, helping the initiated become more aware of herself.

Basically, we are all connected to the universal source of life force energy.

However, because we live such busy lives, we do not use our full spiritual and energetic potential. Eventually, those channels get clogged.

We get exposed to many residual and unwanted energies throughout our life so an attunement is a reset of spiritual potential.

A fresh start if you want.

There are people though, who are born with spiritual abilities or directly with access to the universal source of life force energy.

They have an intuitive mind about how to channel and use that energy throughout their life. But even they need guidance from time to time.

How Many Reiki Attunements Are There

As schools have different ways of teaching Reiki, the master/teachers from those schools also have different ways of giving attunements to students.

When it comes to Usui Reiki Rhoyo, there are 3 levels you can be attuned for.

Some teachers prefer to follow the old, traditional way and offer multiple initiations for each level.

Others prefer a more modern approach and give either one attunement for all 3 levels or one for each.

The third level is split into 2 separate initiations:

  • One for having the third degree (which represents the Master level)
  • The other gives the student the ability to pass on Reiki attunements.

Regardless of the method, the Reiki attunement takes place because we are channels through which the energy flows.

What Are The Reiki Attunement Symbols

The main Reiki symbols used in attunement are the Fire Serpent, Tibetan Dai Ko Myo and traditional Dai Ko Myo

Of course, during the attunement, a teacher will, at one point, uses Cho Ku Rei, Sei He Ki, Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen, Shika Sei Ki, and Shika So.

These are all meant to open the main energy channels of the student and implement access to the universal source of life force energy.

Through the use of the Reiki attunement symbols, the student can receive their vibration and power.

In return, this procedure should help you receive a correct, full attunement, on that given level.

This is how the attunement is done.

What Reiki Symbols Do You Gain Access To

For Reiki level 1 there are no symbols. At this stage, you simply receive access to the universal life force energy and information on the hand positions.

You start working with symbols after Reiki level 2 attunement. There you receive access to Cho Ku Rei, Sei He Ki, and Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen.

Dai Ko Myo or the master symbol is the last one and it’s revealed to you at the Reiki attunement for the third degree.

Can You Attune Yourself Or Can You Be Attuned At A Distance

This is a recent concept to the world of Reiki.

I have seen videos and courses that “teach” you how to attune yourself or even have a Reiki Master attune you at a distance.

While I do agree with Reiki distance healing, using the amazing Reiki symbol Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen, I don’t fully agree with the concept of self-attunement or at a distance.

Personally, I advise people to receive their Reiki attunement(s) one-on-one, in the presence of a Reiki Master and Teacher.

Why is that?

Because if you take a look at Reiki’s history you learn about Mikao Usui and his moments of enlightenment when he received access to the universal source of life force energy.

The necessary knowledge implies a lot of difficult steps than most people can’t go through. It might even be dangerous for their health fasting for 21 days.

Miako Usui indeed attuned “himself”, some might say. You can also interpret it as the Divine Source attuned him and therefore anyone, in theory at least, can do the same.

But that’s not exactly accurate.

As mentioned before, these spiritual moments meant fasting (black fast – no food), meditating and praying for 21 days

Before that, he was a dedicated Buddhist priest with a thirst for spiritual knowledge.

He eventually received through channeling the answers he was looking for.

I also believe he was destined to receive this knowledge and bring Reiki to the world. Another valid point I might add.

Usui Sensei’s attunements were passed on and perfected by his students, Chujiro Hayashi (initiated by Mikao Usui himself) and Hawayo Takata.

Therefore he was the only one, that I know of, who did this by himself.

In my opinion, unless you follow Mikao Usui’s exact steps, it is unlikely that you’ll be able to attune yourself in Reiki.

Attunement At A Distance

When it comes to receiving a Reiki attunement at a distance, perhaps it can be done if you agree with some strict guidelines.

The student should find a relaxed, quiet moment for about 10 minutes or so, in order to better understand what she is receiving.

[NOTE: this is not something I recommend!]

We have to bear in mind that exceptions always exist. Again, there are people with special abilities and early access to the universal source of life force energy.

Like any exception from the rule, these people might be able to receive attunements at a distance or none at all.

I haven’t had the opportunity to meet such people, but I have heard that it is possible.

Bottom line, I strongly encourage everybody to find a Reiki Master they resonate with and do the Reiki attunement in person.

From there on, you can practice on yourself and evolve through learning using online resources or other types of Reiki material you like.

Where Can You Get A Reiki Attunement

You should search for a physical Reiki Master / Teacher that you feel comfortable with and resonate with.

Everything should go smoothly, as long as they have the proper training.

It is up to you though to find the right one.

IMPORTANT: The attunement is done through and not by a Reiki Master. The teacher is simply a channel through which the energy manifests itself.

The essential thing here is what you do with it after.

There are many people out there who are willing to share their knowledge and time with people who desire to learn and practice.

How Much Does A Reiki Attunement Cost

Some Reiki teachers offer attunements for free while others ask tremendous amounts of money even for the first Reiki degree. (You can learn more about a harmonious relationship with money through the Reiki Money system.)

I believe that an exchange needs to take place, and money is the easiest way to do it.

Of course one should be reasonable when it comes to charging for a Reiki attunement but I will never judge someone for how much they are charging.

They are responsible for their choices and if that’s their price, it means they have a reason for it.

Personally, I didn’t pay fortunes for my attunements but the higher levels and different types of Reiki do cost more.

Usually, they are not free of charge, and I believe this is for the better.

If a Reiki Master asks you to pay as much as you feel like, my advice is to leave the sum that you think it’s best for both of you.

How To Prepare For The Reiki Attunement

You can do meditations, prayers or simply spend the days before the Reiki attunement in peace and harmony.

Avoid getting angry or going to crowded places.

By doing so, you’ll allow the energy to flow much easier through you. This will increase the probability of feeling better during and after the attunement.

What To Eat Before The Reiki Attunement

What I generally recommended in preparation for a Reiki attunement is to avoid consuming heavy, excessive meat-based meals or drink alcohol, the day before and on the day of the attunement.

During these couple of days, you should be relaxed and preferably be fasting.

What To Wear To The Reiki Attunement

On the day of the Reiki attunement wear comfortable clothes and have a positive attitude.

Let all your worries disperse before you enter the room.

Keep your tongue on your palate, with the tip located at the back of your incisors teeth.

Also, try to keep your pubococcygeus muscles contracted (if possible). This will allow the two main meridians of your body, Ren Mai and Du Mai, to connect for a better flow of energy.

There are no rules. You can wear anything you want. I just recommend having casual clothes so you can feel as relaxed as possible.

What To Expect After The Reiki Attunement And How To Use It

Regardless of how you feel immediately after the attunement, it has taken place. Your “symptoms” will balance out soon enough, so just be patient.

Before eating, take a bit of time to reflect and understand what you have received.

It’s possible to feel confused. Don’t worry!

Things will clear out soon enough.

Drink plenty of still water at room temperature and avoid eating lots of food (especially meat-based food, if possible).

After that, you may start the 21 days of self-treatment (taught at level 1) which will help you better understand the Reiki practice.

This way you will learn how to better connect with yourself and others.

Here Are Some Of The Symptoms You Might Feel:

  • Hyper energized
  • Fatigued
  • Dizzyness
  • A clear mind
  • Confused
  • Like you woke up from a vision
  • Calm
  • Relaxed

What Are The Benefits Of A Reiki Attunement

Reiki attunement offers countless benefits.

I will try and mention some of the most important ones:

First and foremost you receive access to the universal source of life force energy.

This allows you to place your body in a state of healing.

By placing yourself in a state of healing your physical body starts to change its vibration. This will help remove toxins, unwanted, latent and residual energies and you’ll optimize through self-treatment.

Your vital energy will increase and you will be less exposed to illness and negative influences.

After the Reiki attunement, the energetic body is cleansed. The energy fields, channels, and energy centers become balanced and aligned.

It is up to you to keep them that way.

The process of healing does not stop at a physical level. It continues at a mental-emotional and spiritual level as well.

The roots of your emotional and mental imbalances will come to the surface. This will then help you acknowledge and slowly heal them in your own optimum rhythm.

In the end, this will help you grow as an individual and become better and more emotionally stable.

This process will also facilitate your spiritual life journey.

How To Reverse Or Undo The Reiki Attunement

Strangely enough, I have heard of such experiences.

Some people simply cannot adapt to the change of the new, higher vibration and want to undo the Reiki attunement.

I haven’t done this myself but I know it can be done.

If you wish to reverse your Reiki attunement, ideally you should discuss it with the same Reiki Master that originally performed the initiation.

That’s not mandatory but it’s always easier to handle such delicate matters with someone you know, like and trust.


I went through a period of confusion after my first Reiki attunement. It’s only normal to feel that and not be clear of what just happened.

Take time to process the information, and like I always advise, never rush things.

Take your time to understand and then move on to more practice and additional knowledge.

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About Vlad and ReikiScoop

Vlad is a 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.

13 thoughts on “What Is A Reiki Attunement And Why Is It Necessary To Get One”

  1. Hello Vlad, Thank you for sharing all your wonderful information on Reiki.. Im wondering do you know of a REIKI MASTER in AUSTRALIA that can attune myself and others to the symbols SHIKA SEI KI and SHIKA SO? Any information would be appreciated..Thanking You ..Delwyn Taylor..I have completed Level 1,2 & 3 Usui Reiki/Seichim and Master Teacher Angelic Reiki. Level 1,2,3,4

    • Hi there Delwyn Taylor and thank you for writing.

      Unfortunately, I do not know the Reiki masters from Australia. But some internet research might help. You can call different centers and see if their masters offer attunements in these two symbols. Shika So and Shika Sei Ki are not exactly part of traditional Reiki, however, their practicability and energy are very powerful.

      You have gained some strong attunements in Reiki. While it is true that you need to be attuned in a symbol in order to have complete access to it I would recommend trying using Shika So and Shika Sei Ki. After all, you do have master levels in Usui and Angelic Reiki, so chances are the energy of those two symbols will come to you. Call upon their energy and see how it feels. There is no harm in that.

      Hope this helps.


  2. Hi Vlad,

    For personal reasons, I desperately need to undo a reiki 1 attunement. I read in your blog post that you did not know how to do this yourself but know that it can be done. I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of someone that could? Or if you could give me some tips on how to do so. Thank you very much.

    • Hi there Erika.

      If you wish to undo a Reiki attunement, normally you should go to the master/teacher who attuned you and request this.

      I mentioned that it can be done but not that I do it myself. You can search on the internet for Reiki masters in your area that might help you regarding this matter.


  3. Hello,

    I’m hoping you can point me in the right direction of resources, or even shed a little light on an experience I had with my Ji-chan (grandfather in Japanese). He performed reiki, and my entire life I have been told by my family I have healing hands. At one point, my Ji-chan was going to transfer reiki to me, which I knew very little about at the time and am now gathering that he was likely performing an attunement. I was told I had to do it on three consecutive days at the same time. I went two days, but never completed the third because I was young and irresponsible. Are there any resources that could shed a light on the practice my Jichan was performing? What kind of reiki? If I still need to get attunement from someone else? I’ve never studied reiki, but do perform healing on myself and loved ones. Your guidance on next steps to follow would be appreciated.

    • Hi there, Rebekka and thank you for writing.

      Perhaps what your grandfather offered you is either an attunement or an “optimization” of the energetic structures. If you are able to transfer energy in a natural way then that’s great. It means that his work on you helped you channel the universal life force energy. You can continue with this and learn more about Reiki and the importance of self-treatment. Or you can have an attunement from a Reiki teacher/master and go even deeper into the knowledge and practice. The choice is yours.


  4. I love all the information you give… Other sites or people i have looked into and read about have not given as much… I have not been attuned but have read alot about it and self treating myself while in Active addiction helped me to start my recovery… At that time i stopped studying reiki because i was going through recovery from addiction and trying to build a better life for myself… but have recently been interested again… As i am 4 and half yrs clean now… While i havent been attuned when i practice it on myself and the couple times in the past used it on 2 other people i felt energy flowing through my hands and would get intuitive feelings in what was needing healing with them… I am very much interested in getting attuned and would like to know if it is possible for u to do that… I will travel to you of course… If your available… And i also read that it is necessary to get a reiki healing session done before your attunement… Is that true??? Would love to hear from you…

    • Hi there Laurie,

      I am glad that you have resolved this important part of your life.

      We are all connected to the flow of the universal life force energy. The attunement offers a stronger flow and access to the energy of the sacred symbols. Considering you already are using this flow, it could be a sign that you are meant to do this and teach others. Sometimes the ones that have passed through hard times can become the best teachers!

      Having said that it is recommended to have a short healing session before the attunement.

      I live in Europe, Romania so I believe that travelling here would be quite a burden for you. As for distance attunements, I don’t do those for the time being. I believe it would be considerably easier for you to google up a Reiki master near you and obtain an attunement. From there on, it would be my pleasure to guide you.

      Keep in touch and you can e-mail me at any time.


  5. Hi Vlad 👋
    From what I read seems that attunements are offered both as in person and distant, but preferably in person, which I would also be in favor.
    However is it possible to do own preperation as well as self study before and make arrangements for only attunement in person ?
    Where I live seems it’s always offered as full courses and the prices are very high (Switzerland)
    Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Edy,

      Well, there are practitioners that offer separate attunements and courses, while others prefer to offer them together. It all depends on each Reiki school or way of teaching.

      I don’t mind offering distance attunements, even if I still prefer the “in-person” ones. In the end, we are just channels through which the universal energy flows. Besides, if there is such a thing as “Reiki distance healing”, then distance attunements can be performed as well.

      As for the price, it strongly depends on the country, (living standards) and the Reiki school.

      If you would be so kind as to send me an email with the asked prices for the Reiki system attunements (Usui, Karuna, and others). I would really appreciate it.

      Keep in touch.

  6. Per rimuovere le sintonizzazioni c’è un procedimento specifico nel percorso di Kathleen Ann Milner, Tera Mai Reiki, in cui si elimina ogni traccia di iniziazione precedente attraverso l’aiuto di San Michele Arcangelo e la fiamma violetta. Ci sono sue scuole ovunque, persino qui in Italia, contattate il suo staff se lo desiderate.


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