Sound Reiki: Two questions about treating yourself with Reiki

How long should each hand placement be? Should I treat myself daily?

I recently received an email with this question: “I have a question as to how long each hand placement should be, three or five minutes? And is this a practice I should do everyday?”

Thanks for the questions! You will receive the greatest benefit from Reiki if you treat yourself daily. A 2010 survey of 546 Reiki practitioners found that 87% of practitioners who gave themselves Reiki one hour each day reported an improvement in their overall health. This figure dropped to 68% for those who gave themselves Reiki less than one hour per week.

“Give yourself Reiki one hour each day, and your life will be transformed.”
Tadao Yamaguchi, Founder, Jikiden Reiki Institute, Kyoto, Japan

It is commonly taught in Level I Reiki classes that you should stay with one hand position from two to five minutes. This may be a useful guide for beginners, but focusing on time can get in the way of tuning in to your own wisdom. Your body and your hands are better guides than the clock when it’s time to move to another position. Pay attention to the sensations in your hands and body, and you will feel the ebb and flow of energy. You will know intuitively when it is time to move on. This may be in three minutes or 30 minutes. Sometimes when treating myself I will remain in one position for 45 minutes or longer. Remember, it is impossible to make a mistake. Simply place your hands on your body and allow Reiki to flow. With practice, your hands may move on their own without your even thinking about it.

Finding time to treat yourself. The easiest times for me to treat myself are in the morning before I get out of bed and at night before I go to sleep. This may be a brief period of time, or as long as 45 minutes to an hour. Or I may climb onto my treatment table at another time during the day or evening, put on one of my favorite CDs and give myself a complete treatment for an hour or more. (A sofa or bed will work just as well.)

Self-Treatment Position #7 treats the thymus (immune system), lungs, and heart.

Self-Treatment Position #7 treats the thymus (immune system), lungs, and heart.

I also treat myself when I’m sitting in the waiting room of my doctor’s office and when I’m in church. You can treat yourself while you are in a meeting, especially if it is a stressful one, or when you are sitting on a park bench watching your children play. Flights, and road trips (if you aren’t the driver) also offer opportunities for self-treatment. Simply place your hands (or one hand) on your thighs, abdomen, heart, or another place on your body and allow Reiki to flow.

Although it is important to treat yourself daily, I believe it is also important to regularly receive Reiki from other practitioners. I find it easier to empty my mind, totally relax, and give myself completely to the treatment when I am receiving from another practitioner, and the resulting healing is deeper. Reiki Shares or Circles are another good way to receive from other practitioners and to practice giving; however, these treatments are typically brief and not a substitute for a full hour to hour-and-a half private session.

You’ll find more information and photos of 15 specific hand positions for self-treatment in my book, Reiki, A Guide for the Practice of Levels I and II, Chapter 9, Healing the Healer: Self-Treatment, pages 105 –116. Click here to schedule a session with me.

Marianne is a Puget Sound-based Reiki teacher and practitioner. She is a former editor, contributor, and columnist for Reiki News Magazine (2004-2010) and the author of Reiki, A Guide for the Practice of Levels I and II, which other teachers have called “one of the best Reiki books out there.” See her current class schedule. To make an appointment for a distant or hands-on Reiki session, click here.


© 2009-2013 Marianne Streich, Reiki for Living, all rights reserved. For re-posting permission, please contact Marianne.