Tag Archives: freestyle treatments

When I treat, do I need to keep at least one hand touching the body at all times?


Keep touching or you’ll lose the ‘connection’?

In some lineages, students are taught that they always need to keep at least one hand resting on the body at all times because, if they do not, they will ‘lose their connection’ with the client, and then have to go through a ritual again in order to regain that lost connection.

But is this really necessary?

Do we have to have to touch the body every second, like a sort of Reiki tag-team, for fear of disconnecting, and is the Reiki ‘connection’ so fragile?

What’s the difference between hands-on and hands-off?

I believe that there is no difference between a Reiki treatment carried out when hands are resting on the body, and treatments where hands hover over the body.

Reiki is generally carried out as a ‘hands-on’ therapy and I think that this is a good idea: there is something very special and healing about human touch, with or without the addition of Reiki, and that closeness or connection that comes through making physical contact with another person is an important part of the Reiki experience.

Of course there are times – and hand positions – where it is better for the sake of propriety and respect to keep your hands off the body, particularly when working intuitively, when hands can end up wanting to go goodness-knows-where, and it’s not always wise to always put your hands down where they want to come to rest!

Basically Reiki is a hands-on practice

Viewing Reiki as a hands-on practice, though, does not mean that we have to keep our hands on the body at all times. We can mix-and-match, resting on the body sometimes and hovering over the body at other times during the course of a treatment, and we can do both at the same time: resting one hand on the body while allowing the other hand to hover.

If we are always keeping a hand on the body for fear of losing our ‘connection’, I wonder what we think that connection is all about.

Distant healing is a standard part of Reiki practice, where you can send the energy to the other side of the planet if we like, just by focusing our attention on the recipient. If we can do that then why would we believe that, at the same time, we can’t send Reiki to a person on a treatment couch in front of us – just inches away from us – unless we’ve made physical contact with them?

It makes no sense at all. 1,000 miles away and sending Reiki’s no problem… six inches away and we lose our connection if we’re not touching the body.

How can that be?

How are we connected?

So what is our Reiki ‘connection’ to the recipient?

I believe our ‘connection’ to them is based on our state of mind: by focusing our attention on the recipient we connect to them.

If we think about the Buddhist origins of Reiki and the concept of oneness, there is no ‘us’ and there is no ‘them’ anyway: this is illusion! We are already ‘connected’ to them because in reality we were never separated from them.

We are them.

So, in practice, by being with a client in the same room for the purposes of giving and receiving Reiki, we merge with them, we begin to become one with them. It is our intention that underlies our connection and the energy flows to where our attention is directed, whether our hands are on the body or not.

Over to you

Were you taught that you need to have at least one hand on your client at all times for fear of losing your connection? If so, what has happened in practice? Have you experimented with both-hands-on, one-hand-on and no-hands on?

What feedback have you received from clients where you didn’t follow the rules that you were given?

And what do you think about your ‘connection’ to your client? Do you think it depends on physical contact with them?

Post a message below to let me know what you think.

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





How long should I spend in each hand position?

timing of reiki hand positions

Treat like clockwork?

In some Reiki lineages, students are taught to spend a set amount of time treating each hand position, no matter who they are working on, and some practitioners use audio CDs with little ‘bells’ that sound out every three minutes, say.

But isn’t this a bit mechanical, and everyone’s different, so why would we give essentially the same treatment to everyone that we work on?

Altering your treatments to suit the client

The energy needs of each person that we work on will be different, so it’s reasonable to expect each Reiki treatment that we give to be different, based on the individual energy needs of the client.

I don’t think we should treat everyone like a “Reiki robot”, changing hand position every time a bell pings, no matter what the client’s energy system needs on that occasion. In my last blog I spoke about moving beyond the standard hand positions that are taught in some lineages, and we can also move beyond the idea of treating for the same amount of time in each hand position.

Clients will have areas of the body that need Reiki more than others, so it makes sense to spend longer in these areas of need, and to spend less time in areas where there’s not such a great need for Reiki to flow.

How to know how long to take in one position

So how can we work out how long we should spend in each hand position? I would like to suggest two methods, one based on sensing the flow of energy, and one based on intuition.

Most Reiki people can feel the flow of energy through their hands, which often shows itself as heat, fizzing, tingling, buzzing, heaviness, a magnetic feeling or whatever, if you can feel the flow of energy through your hands then you will be able to tell whether the hand position you are using is drawing lots of energy.

Sometimes it’s completely clear, since your hands are absolutely ‘on fire’!

It would be a good idea to stay in that hand position for longer, and after a while you will start to notice that the flow of energy – and associates sensations – starts to reduce in intensity.

When things have calmed down, move onto your next hand position.

We can also allow our intuition to guide us in terms of how long we spend working on a particular part of the body. Everyone is intuitive, and our intuition can make itself known to us in different ways. We may feel ‘locked’ into a particular hand position, or have an ‘inner knowing’ that we should stay where we are for the time being.

One little trick that I have used in the past to tell whether I need to stay where I am or move on involves using a visualisation that connects to your inner knowing: when treating someone, and I’m wondering whether I should move on now, I have an imaginary hand appear in my mind’s eye, resting where my real hand is.

I imagine that this imaginary hand moves away from the body, as if on a piece of elastic, and if the imaginary hand wants to pull itself back to its original position, pulled by the elastic, then I should stay there for longer.

If the hand seems happy to drift away, in my mind’s eye, then I know it’s ok to move on to a new position… just a little visualisation that you can use to access intuitive knowledge.

Over to you

If these approaches are new to you, why not try them and see what happens, and let us know about your experiences by posting a message below.

Or maybe you started out doing treatments with standard timings, and now you don’t.

How did that happen, and what do you think about the quality of your treatments now that you’re working more freestyle?

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





Reiki – a very portable therapy

reiki self treatment meditations

Reiki is with you every moment of every day.  When I went to Egypt on a Reiki trip in October, 2006 arranged by Louise Heseltine (what a memorable trip that was Louise!), we were in the Valley of the Kings.   It was fiercely hot, and I was coming out of one of the tombs.     It had been a LONG way down and involved uneven steps.  A gentleman with a stick was just starting his journey down.  I advised him that it was very steep and that he might have a lot of difficulty.   Surprisingly, he heeded my advice and we both walked back up to the top.   I then asked him what his problem was and he said he was in excruciating pain in his back (sciatica).  I told him we were part of a Reiki healing group visiting Egypt and if he would be agreeable to give me his name, our group would send him Reiki that evening…..

When I mentioned this to Louise, she was very enthusiastic and we all sent him some distant healing that evening.

We were in Egypt for two weeks, travelling all over the place – Cairo, Luxor, etc.  So you can imagine my surprise when we went to visit Karnack Temple (consisting of 62 acres of temples!) a few days later, that walking towards me was this same gentleman, this time without his stick!  What are the chances of meeting the same person twice in a place like Egypt!!!   I greeted him and he recognised me immediately.  I asked him how he was and he said:  “Remarkable, you are seeing me here walking so much better!  However, I still have some pain in my left ankle…………”

Without further ado, I got down on my haunches and gave him a blast of Reiki.  Unknown to me, Louise captured that moment, above!   After a few minutes, I asked him how it was, and he was delighted.  He said the foot was tons better!!

We did Reiki and empowerments in many sacred places and thanks to our contacts there (Khaled, the curator at Karnack, and Ahmed) we saw many sacred sites not normally open to the public…..  So thank you Louise for that wonderful memorable trip.

As you can see, Reiki goes with you on holiday, and can be used to help anyone who is in trouble……and you don’t need to pack anything extra in your suitcase…..

Have you got a story to tell about giving Reiki “on the go?”   Would love to hear from you!!

Reiki blessings



hertfordshire reiki coursesHannah Shine is one of Taggart’s Reiki Evolution team of teachers, based in Essex/Hertfordshire.   She is also a multi therapist, practising from her home at Hatfield Heath.   Her Reiki courses are run from her beautiful summer house in her relaxing garden. Her therapies include homoeopathy, reflexology, Bowen technique, head massage, body massage, kinesiology, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), Quantum Touch and many others.  She runs monthly Reiki shares at her home.   She has qualified as a Cognitive Hypnotherapist at the Quest Institute in London.


Standard Hand Positions or Freestyle?

how to start a reiki treatment advice

One of my favourite topics when I’m teaching my Reiki First Degree students is the subject of ‘standard hand positions’ or ‘freestyle’ treatment techniques.  By this I mean whether to work on a client with the 12 standard hand positions taught on most Reiki courses, (often, it seems as the be all and end all of conducting a Reiki treatment), or whether to go with the energetic flow of the treatment and flow through an intuitive, ‘freestyle’ session. I have seen therapy centre and health spa websites which describe Reiki as a treatment whereby the practitioner channels Reiki into the client in 12 different positions… fair enough, if that’s the system their Reiki practitioners choose to work with. But… guess which style of treating I prefer? I’m a person who doesn’t cope too well with the grind of a dictated routine; I’m creative and intuitive, and I’m afraid that I have a relatively low boredom threshold. Some or all of these qualities probably apply to you as well, so perhaps you can see where I’m going with this. Following 12 standard hand positions is great. To begin with. While you’re learning Reiki it’s a really sound idea to give some standardised treatments, it truly is. You really should know what they are and get comfortable with them. The hand positions are pretty convenient, they work well on clients on a treatment couch, and they are the basics that you ought to know. Definitely. But don’t feel that is all there is, please! Those hand positions can start to feel mighty restrictive when everything in your head, or indeed your hands, or heart, is telling you that the Reiki needs to flow to a different area from those standard positions.

Far more fun is there to be had, far more opportunities for amazement and challenge and ultimately learning, are to be gained by going where the energy guides you. I love the feeling of exploring the client’s energy system and supporting it by providing the Reiki as I feel it flow more strongly. I love not knowing where I will be lead for that period of time. Trust me, you have the ability to feel the flow of Reiki, to notice the varying qualities of what you are feeling in your hands. I’ve seen it hundreds of times on my Reiki courses; students are regularly startled by what they find they notice, even on day one of working with Reiki. They very quickly learn to be guided in this way. I really hope that, if you’re a Reiki person, you’ve had this experience as well.

My favourite way of working on clients is by what I call ‘listening with my hands’. I always advocate for my students to listen to their intuition because, yes, that’s what is directing you, along with being merged with the energy of the person before you. Now there are so many ways that intuition can manifest itself that I can feel another blog, or even a book coming on! But hey, you don’t have to call yourself clairvoyant, be a medium or read the tea leaves to be able to pick up intuitive information from the person you’re treating with Reiki. I have had a lifelong a passion for psychic work and have had a wonderful range of formal and informal teachers over many years, but I still maintain that anyone can learn to listen to their intuition during a Reiki treatment, with none of this kind of experience, training, or background whatsoever. And through my experience of working with my students, this has been born out over and over again. The approach is really very simple when you’re starting out: where your hands feel busy with energy, that’s where the client is drawing more Reiki through you, so stay there longer. Where your hands feel nothing much, move on and scan somewhere else until you find a busy area. Go with your gut instinct. With practice, this simple method alone will grow and evolve into a more sophisticated, intuitively informed treatment approach. And your approach will quite possibly be unique to you once you’ve learned to listen to the language through which your intuition is communicating. Keep an open mind, and explore what happens when you go with your instinct.

The vast subject of working with intuition is something I’d like to tackle in subsequent blogs, so please watch this space. In the meantime, (if you don’t already,) please, listen with your hands as a starting point for developing your own freestyle Reiki treatments. If you’ve never tried it before, you have an exciting journey ahead of you! Just get your hands on some folks and put in some regular work. You’ll teach yourself so quickly, and in any case, the Reiki will flow to support your learning. And you’ll always find giving a Reiki treatment an adventure. Trust the intuitive process and enjoy the ride!


kent reiki training courses

Louise Heseltine is one of the Reiki Evolution team of teachers, running courses in Kent.   Louise began teaching Reiki in 2005 and has worked as a complementary therapist, offering Reiki, aromatherapy (Tisserand trained), reflexology and Indian head  massage. Louise also runs Reiki Retreats and has taken Reiki people to Egypt and run regular retreats to Spain to develop their healing  skills.

Her website can be found here: www.silvermoon.org.uk.

Click here to ‘like’ Louise’s Facebook page!