How to start a Reiki treatment

how to start a reiki treatment advice

A simple ritual to get your Reiki treatment started

People in different lineages are taught different ways of starting off a Reiki treatment – the ritual(s) that you carry out to get things started – and I thought it would be useful to share with you the sequence that we teach on Reiki Evolution courses, so that you can compare it with what you were taught.

It might trigger off some ideas and help you to develop your own way of doing things if you wanted to.

When standing by the recipient, our students are taught to go through a sequence represented by the letters A, C, B, M, F.

A = Affirm
C = Connect
B = Build
M = Merge
F = Flow

Below I describe these stages in a bit more detail…


It’s quite common, I think, for Reiki people to make some sort of affirmation or dedication before starting a Reiki treatment, and we have students silently affirm, “I dedicate this treatment to the highest good of [client’s name]”.

It’s just a nice way of reminding yourself that when you carry out a Reiki treatment, you do so in a ‘neutral’ way, with no expectation of a particular result, metaphorically standing aside to allow the energy to be drawn by the recipient to where it needs to go. So you’re setting the right intent.

Once you have gone through this process again and again with different clients, you probably don’t need to keep on reminding and re-reminding yourself at the start of each session: you know what your intent is.


Here is where we focus our attention on our ‘connection’ to the energy, and we have our students imagine that energy is flowing down through their crown, down through the centre of the body to the Tanden.

And just focusing on that for a little while can bring a lovely meditative state, ideal for carrying out a Reiki treatment on someone.


Now we direct our attention towards the Tanden, that energy centre two finger-breadths below your tummy button and 1/3rd of the way into your body.

This is the centre of your personal universe, the location of your intuition and creativity, a part of the body that is focused on in many traditional practices, for example martial arts, flower arranging, even the tea ceremony.

Here we notice that the energy starts to build here, strengthening and intensifying.


Having focused on our ‘connection’ to the energy and the building up of Reiki within us, now we move our attention to the recipient on the treatment table before us, imagining that we are merging with them, becoming one with them, experiencing a state of oneness.

We are neutral, empty, with no expectations, a necessary bystander in the process that is to follow.


And finally, we allow the energy to flow, drawn by the recipient to the most appropriate places for them on that occasion.

We have established ourselves as a clear channel, a free-flowing conduit, stepping aside metaphorically to allow the energy to be drawn by the recipient, creating a ‘healing space’ that they can use for their highest good.

We follow the flow of energy, resting our hands in the areas that are drawing the most energy, staying there for as long as the energy needs to flow there, resting our hands in just the right places for that person on that occasion.

Though intuitive working is something that we focus on mainly on our Second Degree courses, some of our First Degree students find that they are already feeling guided by the energy and we encourage them to go with the flow, ‘getting out of the way’ – not worrying or trying to puzzle out why you are being drawn to a particular area, just letting it happen.

Nice and simple

So there is a simple sequence that you can follow.

I really like the way that it flows from a simple affirmation, noticing your connection to the energy and building the energy within you, moving your attention towards the recipient, merging with them and allowing the energy to flow.

It’s like a lovely meditative dance with the energy.

Over to you

If this sequence differs from what you are doing currently, why not try it and see how you get on with it. And post a message below to let me know how it went.

Maybe there is something that you could incorporate into your own ritual, whatever that might be.

None of these things are set in stone, of course, and you can find your own distinctive way, so I hope the above has been helpful to you.

Here’s lots of advice about giving treatments

reiki books first degree manualIf you’d like some guidance about giving Reiki treatments, I have a whole load of advice and suggestions for you in the Reiki Evolution First Degree course manual.

This isn’t just available to Reiki Evolution students: anyone can work with our manuals.

You can order a professionally-printed copy, or you can download your manual right now.

Here are the links that you need:

Reiki First Degree manual

Reiki First Degree eBook





6 thoughts on “How to start a Reiki treatment

  1. There are so many ways to work with Reiki, so it’s important for practitioners to work with a few (or more) methods and select what works best. In my practice I follow and in my classes I teach students to follow the three pillars of Usui Reiki: Gassho, Reiji-ho, and Chiryo. Gassho means to bring the hands together at the level of the heart. In the Gassho position, the practitioner begins Reiji-ho, a three-part prayer for the wellness of the recipient. In this prayer, the practitioner prays for the Reiki to enter his body and then waits for it to do so. Once the Reiki is present, the practitioner requests that the recipient be healed on all levels and finally asks to be guided or directed by the Reiki. The third pillar is Chiryo, or treatment, and is the laying-on of hands combined with a light meditative state. I instruct my students to recite the five Reiki principles continuously while in this meditative state so that they can be certain to remain a clear channel while giving Reiki.

  2. Hi James. That’s interesting. It reminds me that I neglected to mention that we start in Gassho too! I like Reiji ho because it is such a simple way to open yourself to intuitive working and it’s teachable, so instead of waiting to see how long it takes to be able to work intuitively, you can use Reiji ho and demonstrate to yourself that you are already intuitive. And once a student has a belief that they are intuitive, that opens a lot of doors I think. We teach Reiji ho on our Second Degree courses, though we encourage Reiki 1 students to go with impressions and feelings of being ‘drawn’ to a particular area. Instead of saying the Reiki principles to ourselves, we would focus on merging with the recipient, getting out of the way; being mindful, really.

  3. I do love these conversations. When I start a Reiki treatment, after the person is on the table (or in the chair) My prayer/intention is that the person be healed in whatever way he needs to be healed and then put my hands on the person and the energy starts to flow. I do teach my students the basics (as I know them) and then encourage them to follow the energy and their instincts and that the Reiki Guides will help them as soon as they relax into it.

    Hmmm, I just noticed the dates. Did you resend this today?

  4. I have always liked this structure I read in your Shoden manual many years ago and I still use it in my classes today.I usually put prepare and connect before affirm and disconnect,bless and ground after flow!Just as a teaching structure.I am not sure I would continue to focus on the precepts throughout but I will give it a go.Personally like to be in a meditative state and intuitively feel the energy.Sometimes I start my treatments with people by doing a 5 minute visualization to help the person relax.Asking them to affirm their intention for the treatment is a positive step which the client can take at the start of the treatment.Love and light Bev

    1. Thanks for your comment, Beverley. I’m not quite sure what you meant when you said “I am not sure I would continue to focus on the precepts throughout” because I don’t think I suggested that! I think the best approach when actually giving the treatment is to just be there in the moment with the recipient, emoty, neutral, mindful, allowing the energy to guide you x

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