How I Perform a Reiki Session

An amazing thing about Reiki is how simple it is. In that simplicity, the stillness that settles in is what allows our bodyminds to draw in and work with the energy in the way that we need it to. When we focus on the specific, intellectual aspects of the practice it can sometimes be difficult to hold open space for healing to occur. So, I think you will find my practice is very simple. In that simplicity, the power of Reiki can flow.

In our traditional branch, we use the terms Gashho, Reiji-Ho and Chiryo. Essentially they mean to:

  1. Center
  2. Set your intention
  3. Draw the energy in and
  4. Allow it to flow where needed

That being said, when you are first starting out – details are helpful. I will try to be as specific as I can with how I perform a Reiki session in body and mind.



Once I have ensured the recipient doesn’t have any questions, I have them settle on a treatment table. They lay down fully clothed on their backs with a pillow and a blanket close in case they get cold.


I sit for most of my sessions and my table height is adjusted so I can do so comfortably. I have a roller stool I like to use and the carpet underneath keeps it quiet.


I sit and take a few deep breaths. With each inhale I feel the breath cleansing and filling my body and with each exhale I release any energy that is stagnant or not serving me. I do this by setting that intention and visualizing a release.


I then imagine each color of my chakra starting at the root and working up to the crown. As I see the color in my mind’s eye, I set the intention that the chakra has released any dissonance and is allowing energy to flow smoothly.


I then enter my AgapeMind Retreat. In this space I find I can receive a lot of information and is a nice way to keep my conscious mind busy while my energetic body is focused on the session.


Set the Intention

I place my hands on the recipient’s upper abdomen and set the intention for the session. I always like to include for their highest good. I draw in Reiki energy through my crown and allow it to fill me up until I am beaming with it.


Draw the Energy In

Then I open up and allow the recipient to draw the energy through my hands. I work with the understanding that it is only Reiki energy being drawn through, that the recipient is drawing it in and directing it and that the energy only flows through me to them.


I will stand and do a sweep where I slowly run my hands from the top of the recipient’s head down to the bottom of their feet. There I am open to receiving information such as heat, cool, seeing images etc. I do not use this information to diagnose or prescribe. My sessions are always complete regardless of the imbalances the recipient works with.


I will also use the sweep as an opportunity for the recipient to release any energy it is ready to let go of. Sometimes at the end of processing, the body can have storage that is ready to release and a sweep can facilitate that.


Allow the Energy to Flow Where Needed

I then begin my positions. I like to start at the head and work my way down. If the recipient does not have touch issues, I do like to place my hands on bodyparts (with the exception of sensitive areas). As I am in a position, I continue to be open and hold space for the energy. If my mind wanders, I return my focus to my breath and being present.


If I experience sensations, I breathe into them and surrender. I do not focus on them or try to interpret them. I know that my physical perception only captures a small fraction of what the energetic body is doing. When I focus on the energy, I am allowing the new reality that includes the recipient’s highest good to take hold.

I will feel drawn to move to a specific position and honor that.


My understanding is that this does not mean that area is imbalanced, rather it is a piece of a puzzle the body wants to focus on as it processes and balances. Dis-ease on a physical level occurs when there are imbalances first on an energetic level. Our work is on the energetic level so we cannot use physical sensations or symptoms as a way to the root of the energetic dysfunction.

Reiki works because it is not limited by our perception and partial understandings of the human bodymind. When we step out of the equation and are observers, it puts the power into the hands of the recipient and Reiki.


Closing the Session

When I have completed my final position, I return to the recipient’s abdomen and set the intention that their bodymind will continue to balance as needed and close the session. I visualize my chakras starting at the root and working up and take a few deep breaths to clear.

I gently touch their shoulder and let them know the session is complete and that I am getting them some water.

I give them space to get up and get their water.


I ask them how they are feeling and keep my session comments brief. When talking about sensations during the session I focus on the balancing as opposed to perceived imbalances. By focusing on the work the body is doing, the recipient also consciously focuses on the healing they are doing.


I ask them when they feel they would be ready for another session and we schedule that in. If they are unsure, I tell them to listen to their body and that they will know when they need to come back.

I then change table linens and take a little time to center.

I hope this is helpful for you. We are all different and every session will look and feel differently. This is another amazing aspect of Reiki and what makes it so much fun.


In warmth,


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  1. Terre Donoghue on October 22, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Thank you so much. This is great information. I’m very appreciative for your time & caring.

    In peace and health

    • Melanie Cassitta on October 29, 2018 at 2:49 am

      I absolutely love your course. Thank you very much for sharing. I’m a Stage 4 Metastatic Esophageal Cancer survivor and Reiki has been a huge part of my recovery. I’ve completed my Reiki 1 and 2 training with a local Reiki Master and have also used your course to deepen my knowledge. I greatly look forward to moving onto your Reiki Master. I find your course videos and materials so enlightening.

  2. Angela Sharp on October 27, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Thank you very much, this is really helpful and supportive. I appreciate you taking the time to share. Thank you ♥.

  3. Dale Tucker on October 28, 2018 at 5:10 am

    Hello Lisa, This is so very helpful. Wonderful guidance.
    Thank you. Blessings.

  4. Heather on October 28, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Lisa, this has been so helpful and such a great read.. Very thankful & enjoy your monthly emails,

  5. Hang Mai on November 7, 2018 at 3:20 am

    Great! Thank you Lisa for such thorough sharing!

  6. Catherine on December 30, 2021 at 9:06 pm

    Thank you Lisa, I’ve been doing it a long time now and really enjoyed your course back when I did it.
    This description is thoughtful and makes me feel supported. You are a giving Master in the true tradition.

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