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Reiki Treatment – Usui’s Original Hand Positions

healing hands 2It is said that in the original Usui system, only five formal hand-positions were used; and these focused on the head and neck. This would appear to make  complete sense considering the major meridians and collaterals mapped in Traditional Chinese Medicine converge at the head. Easy access to the whole of the individuals physical and energetic system can be achieved through these five hand positions.

A Reiki treatment session would first involve working with these five positions followed by treating the specific area of the body where imbalances were present.

Treatment could be given with hands either in direct contact with the client, or alternatively with hands held a few inches out in the client’s energy field. While originally both the person receiving treatment and the person giving treatment would sit in seiza position, it would be more practical today for the person receiving treatment to sit on a chair while the person giving treatment stands.

The treatment procedure:

 The recipient should sit upright yet relaxed, with their hands in their lap or resting on their thighs, with their feet flat on the ground.

To begin, centre yourself  (do what you do to let the Reiki flow) and make a connection with the recipient. (I like to place my hands on the client’s shoulders as if I were going to give them a shoulder massage).

As a general guideline, (especially for newer students), stay at each of the positions described for about 3 -5 minutes or so – however, the sooner new students begin trusting their intuition, the better, so do what feels right at the time.

zento bu: With a steady, flowing movement, reach around in front of the recipient positioning your hands about two to four inches in front of their forehead at the level of the hairline – palms flat, facing towards the client with your middle fingers almost touching each other. Stay with this position as long as is necessary.

Sokuto bu: When you feel ready to do so, smoothly draw your hands apart and around to the sides of the recipients head, positioning them over the temples about two to four inches away from the surface of the recipients head. Stay with this position as long as is necessary.

Koutou bu: Moving your body easily and smoothly to the recipients left side, at the same time, move your left hand to take up a position two to four inches in front of the centre of their forehead, move your right hand to the back of their head taking a position just above their occipital ridge (the point where neck and skull meet) – two to four inches away from their  head. Stay with this position as long as is necessary.

Enzui bu: Moving easily and smoothly to stand behind the recipient once more, at the same time moving your hands to take up a position two to four inches to either side of the recipients neck. Stay with this position as long as is necessary.

Toucho bu: Smoothly move your hands upwards and over the recipients head, bringing both hands to rest horizontally two to four inches above their crown, the thumbs almost touching each other, as should the first joint of each index finger. Stay with this position as long as is necessary.

After completing treatment in each of the five formal positions detailed above, you may then proceed to treat specific areas where the recipients symptoms are presenting.

*Depending on the areas requiring treatment, some practitioners like to sit on a chair themselves for this part of the process. This is fine as long as there is no interruption to the ‘flow’ of the treatment.

On completion of the treatment, disconnect. Centre yourself then move to stand a metre or so in front of the client. Manifest kansha or gratitude for having been granted this opportunity to assist.

To complete the procedure, perform gassho rei – the gassho bow.