Reiki is now being taught to some as a hand’s off therapy. Is this a good thing?
When I learned Reiki, it was taught as a hand’s on technique with the practitioner’s hands gently resting directly on the client’s clothed body. These days though, I am seeing more and more people who have been taught to give Reiki while holding their hands several inches above the recipient.
I am not sure what I think of this new trend. I have found one benefit for people in receiving Reiki is that it provides a source of non-threatening, unconditional touch. By removing the hands, this positive benefit is lost.
Have we become so fearful of human touch that even the touch of another for healing purposes is to be avoided?
Why I Use Hands On Reiki and Energy Healing
As human beings, we are social animals. Numerous studies have proven how vital touch is for our mental and physical well-being. Too often though we are taught that touch is a bad thing, something to be avoided.
Reiki provides a safe, nurturing means of satisfying the deep, instinctual need we all have for human touch.
When reading through a Reiki web forum, one writer described a feeling of abandonment which she would feel if the practitioner severed that contact created by placing his hands upon her for a Reiki treatment. Another described feeling tension if the contact was broken, from not knowing if the practitioner had completed the Reiki session or even if he was still in the room.
As I am giving Reiki I not only use a hands on approach, I also make certain to never break that contact with a client for the duration of the session. When moving my hands from one place to another on the body I leave one hand in place at each site briefly before bring the second hand over.
When working in delicate or sensitive areas I will place my hands slightly above or below to allow for privacy. Likewise, I will maintain a very light, delicate touch when working around the hair or the front of the neck.
I have found that there are times when working hands off is appropriate, for instance, when removing energy blockages. However, I will maintain contact with one hand while doing the hands off work with the other hand.
As a case in point, I once worked with an 87 year old woman who suffers from Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME). She had quite a bit of trouble with her back, hips and legs and all session were done with her sitting in her armchair where she was comfortable. As I could not get to her hips directly, I did the work by holding one hand at the top of her back and the second I physically held within a visual image I create off to my side of her spiritual body. This is the same way I send Reiki when doing long distance sessions, it’s just that my client is next to me instead of across the world.
Why Others Use Hands Off
I’ve seen four main arguments for using Reiki with the hands off the body. In this case, hands are held about 2 – 3 inches above the body.
1. Because in this way, the practitioner can treat the auric field which surrounds the body. Some also find that it is easier for them to intuitively sense changes in the energy field when working with the hands held slightly away from the body.
2. For privacy – not touching the breasts and the genitals, for instance. However, when using a hands on approach, the hands can be placed on the lower belly or just below the clavicles to allow for comfort and privacy.
3, When treating areas that are sore or tender. For instance, over an open wound or burn, or when the client is hypersensitive to touch. Again, treating the area surrounding will be just as effective.
4. When treating animals. I have found that if an animal will allow you to touch it, then gently turning the energy flow on and letting the animal decide whether or not to receive the healing energy flow is the best way to work. Animals, and children, will simply leave the area when they don’t want to receive Reiki any more.
1. If the client prefers it that way. The client’s comfort is paramount, so if they request that you not directly touch then the treatment should always be given with the hands a few inches away.
2. When treating someone who is sensitive to touch. This may be a person with injuries to the skin, or it could be someone with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Many people with ASDs are very sensitive to touch, finding it uncomfortable to excruciatingly painful, in which case a hands off approach would be most appropriate.
What is your opinion on this matter? Should Reiki be taught as a hands on or hands off healing technique?
- Reiki for Beginners – Sat/sun 18/19 Jan Clontarf Castle, Clontarf, Dublin 3 (justreiki.net)
- Energy Fields (marysenchantments.wordpress.com)
- I Am a Reiki Aide (thereikispace.wordpress.com)
- Get to know Reiki (khloesayles.wordpress.com)