In my interactions with practitioners and non-practitioners alike, I keep noticing the need for clarity and subtlety of understanding when it comes to the many aspects of Reiki.

To address this gap in information and knowledge, a new category is being added with this post: “Reiki 411.” Look for in-depth articles in the future by selecting this category.

I received this question:

“I am Reiki III and started learning Reiki four years ago. I used to self-heal by placing my hands on my chakras at least once a day for a few years but in the last year or so, I have noticed I don’t regularly at all. The last time I did was about a month ago. I do however meditate daily with a combination of angel meditation, general mindfulness and some guided ones including chakra meditations but not hands-on.

“I don’t feel this is an issue as I naturally moved away from self-healing but I am curious as to whether I should be doing hands-on self-healing regularly still. I don’t really give anyone Reiki traditionally but use energy in my coaching, teleclasses and all I do really. It seems that Reiki was a way into other stuff but I’ve never had a desire so far to be a hands-on healer but more of a general energy worker in less of a traditional way, kind of like incorporating energy into everyday life for me and others.

So what do you reckon, should I be self-healing?”

Hands-on-self Reiki

There isn’t a single answer. Everyone comes to Reiki for different reasons and stays with Reiki for their own reasons. The hands-on aspect of Reiki and that it can be shared with yourself is both unique and powerful. Just the wonder of it may be enough to keep practicing.

I’ve always felt and described this application of Reiki as the pinnacle of care and gentleness. It’s loving, nurturing, and healing. It’s such a complete way to embrace yourself. It honors you and your needs without pressure or criticism. There’s an inescapable charm to it: You take your hands and place them intentionally on your head and body, and experience both your hands and yourself in a completely new way each time. It changes your relationship with yourself and the world because you then want to touch people’s lives in the same compassionate way.

Hands-on-self Reiki is also about self-awareness and biofeedback. It’s like having a closed-circuit camera letting you into all parts of your body and being. Regularly communicating with yourself in this manner, keeps you updated and doesn’t allow for the accumulation of undesirable content.

A whole lot more can be said about Reiki’ng yourself. One last benefit that must be mentioned is wellness. Whether you have health insurance or not, go to an allopathic physician or not, when you give yourself Reiki your health is augmented immeasurably. The key here is that it goes past simple health to wellness which is a dynamic state of balance and harmony.

Going deeper

Meditation is integral to any comprehensive spiritual practice. In fact the founder of Reiki, Usui Sensei, emphasized meditation and included specific meditations in his teachings. Reiki is essentially a two-limbed teaching, with its hands-on application being based on a solid meditation practice.

When students aren’t taught Usui’s meditations, it means these valuable practices aren’t known to the teacher, who then has to find meditations from other traditions, or not include meditation in their Reiki classes. The most natural and effective way is to have the native practices of the teaching you’re studying.

Any authentic meditation method is better than no meditation. The advantage of Usui’s meditations is that they are designed to bring the fullness of Reiki to the practitioner. These Reiki-specific methods tone the energy body with all of its intricate pathways, as well as the mind and heart, and establish a true resonance between the individual and the universal.

Reiki certainly opens other avenues of learning. Reiki is certainly valid and effective as a hands-on healing art. However, only the comprehensive training and practice of Reiki lets you experience its full impact. Here’s why:

Reiki is a stand-alone and complete enlightenment teaching.


There’s an energetic version, application and experience of Reiki. For that to be available, there first has to be Consciousness. This isn’t consciousness as brain activity, but Consciousness as a universal template. Better, stronger and more balanced flow of energy is healing and leads to wellness. Hands-on Reiki goes far in helping you create that. Even within this model, however, real healing and transformation takes place at the level of Consciousness. Transformation solidifies beyond the level of energy. Energy is simply an expression of Consciousness, so it’s more efficacious to work directly with Consciousness.

Reiki is a two-limbed teaching with inner mastery through meditation being the foundation and source of its hands-on application. The two limbs complete each other and form a whole. It’s tremendously fortunate that we can use our hands to heal and comfort, the hands are such a special part of the body and give the world so much. Yet, with the well of Reiki meditation to draw from, even hands-on Reiki amplifies into a radical shift of self.

Whether for self or others, Reiki’s true power emerges when both sets of practices are passed on and sincerely utilized.

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Reiki Hands or Reiki Meditation?

2 thoughts on “Reiki Hands or Reiki Meditation?

  • 02/03/2009 at 9:13 AM

    Mmm some food for thought there. I’m curious to find out more about the Usui meditations, I just did a quick Google search and found, which I may give a go.

    I love meditating, it happens very naturally for me and I miss it when I don’t do it. This used to be the case for self-healing too but not anymore. The only areas I still self-heal are my solar plexus, throat and heart chakras, as this seems to be where my blocks manifest but not in a full body healing kind of way.

    I think it’s important to be clear of blocks and respect my energy taking the time to keep it clear, but not through self-healing anymore. I’m gonna sit with this for a bit I think and see what happens.

    Thanks Pamir.

    In love, light and abundance x x x


  • 02/11/2009 at 7:43 AM

    Hi Lola: The meditation you linked to is NOT one of Usui Sensei’s Reiki Meditations. There are specific meditation methods that Usui taught. I detailed some of the fallacies found in global Reiki on this subject in my latest post Modern Reiki. It’s best to learn the techniques that are inherent to a teaching.

    Hands-on Reiki is invaluable. It’s truly a gift for this world. Not really sure why anyone would not practice it, but there’s a context around this.

    Reiki is the only teaching that I know which has this option, while being solidly based in the primary method of spiritual practice: Meditation. But this isn’t any meditation. It’s meditation based on a timeless understanding of Ki.

    What you may be going through with hands-on Reiki is that if you’ve only received the teachings of Reiki as an energy healing art, without its meditative grounding, the value of hands-on may become stale to you or the mind minimizes it.

    You may want to also take a gander at Practical tips for the Reiki practitioner.

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