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  1. What is Reiki?
  2. The History and Origins of Reiki
  3. The Reiki Principles
  4. Auras and Colors
  5. Introduction to Chakras
  6. Working with your Healing Guides
  7. Benefits of First Degree Reiki
  8. Hand placements
  9. Healing Benefits of the Hand Positions
  10. Reiki Ethics
  11. First Reiki Symbol
  12. Preparing for a Reiki Attunement
Reiki Hand Placements - Information and Illustrations
by Terri

One of the advantages of using the Reiki system of healing is that you can also do a Self-healing. In fact, it is strongly recommended that you do one daily. There are twenty-one hand positions (includes front and back) which align with the chakras as well as the acupoints. The acupuncture or acupressure points constitute a line of electrical energy and are located at approximately 741 different areas throughout the entire body. The hand positions for self-healing are the basis for all the other Reiki positions. 

The original system before Hayashi had seven hand positions, with the person remaining on their back for the entire treatment. Hayashi developed his patterns by experiment and observation. It's been said that he published a number of papers, one of which was translated by Teruko Low. It is this document that, in an edition by Harue Kanemitsu, is the basis of the hand positions that are taught in the West. There is also said to be more comprehensive notes wherein Tatsumi outlines a rigorous 24 position sequence performed by several practitioners at once. 

Healing always starts at the head and moves to the feet on the front, and then continues from head to feet on the back. I find this "rule" interesting since most illness begins in the mind (head) as well. 

Note: For all Reiki hand positions, the fingers should always be touching each other, not spread apart, in order to keep the energy focused. (See: Illustration for Reiki Hand Placements.)



The first three hand positions are on the head (for both self and others)

First position - place your slightly cupped hands gently over (but not touching) your eyes. Hold the position until the energy sensations stop, usually in about five minutes.

Second position (which is also on the head) - place your hands on the sides of your face, thumbs rest just beneath the ears, and your palms cover your cheeks. This particular position is almost instinctive since we tend to rest our heads in our hands this way quite often.

Third position - move your hands to the back of the head, fingers and thumbs forming a triangle pointing upwards and cupping the occipital ridge.

Fourth position - covers the Throat chakra, but do not place your hands directly on anyone's throat other than your own. This could bring on a panic reaction, obviously. Instead, place your hands over their collarbone, directly below the throat. The chakra is actually in the V of the collarbone anyway.

Fifth position - is over the heart chakra. Put your hands over the breastbone, or even over the breasts if healing is needed there. When doing healings for others, always place your hands with respect not to violate body privacy by holding your hands slightly above, and not actually touching the breasts. An alternate fifth position would be to place your hands in a vertical line between the breasts, with your fingertips of one hand touching/connecting to the bottom (wrist) of the other hand.

Sixth position - is over the Solar Plexus. Place your hands in a horizontal line, fingertips of one hand touching and connecting to the bottom of the other hand, just below the breasts. Keeping your hands in the same position, move next over the middle abdomen at about the waist level, then lower once more to cover the pelvic bones.

The last of the torso positions (7, 8 and 9) is with the hands brought together in the center of the lower abdomen, one above the other, just above the pubic bone. This was taught to me as the "bikini position" since when the hands are placed, they form a "bikini outline." During a self-healing, you may cover the genital area if you wish. This position is the Root chakra.

Next, move to the knees, ankles and feet. These are not "Traditional Reiki positions," but are equally as important, especially the feet; to balance and ground you afterwards. Since these are not specifically Reiki positions, there is no "right" or "wrong" way to place your hands, as long as you do the feet last.

For a full Reiki treatment you would then work on the back. There is one position only for the head; One hand on the crown and the other hand on the back of the head. Since you have done three head positions already, this one is optional. 

Next, place your hands over the back of the neck or on top of the large muscles between neck and shoulders. These muscles are tension-holders for many people. They cover the Throat chakra from the back, but is not as sensitive as the Throat center front position. 

Place one hand in front of the other, forming a vertical line, and place just below the shoulder blades (for healing others). This covers the back of the Heart. Keeping your hands in the same position, move lower to the middle back, and do one position lower yet. These positions cover the Solar Plexus. 

Repeat the knee and ankle positions but this time place your hands at the back instead of the front of the knee/foot.

Reiki uses a light touch, no pressure or massage is needed.  In fact, you may need to be sure that you pick up your hands between positions and not slide them to the next position as doing such might be constituted as "massage."  Massage laws vary from state to state.

The positions are generally held three to five minutes.  When doing the head positions you stand behind the head of the person being treated.  Move to the side of the person when doing the torso positions.


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