Be prepared - It is advisable to choose a Reiki practitioner who is a member of, or is accredited by, an association or professional body. This ensures your Reiki session is carried out in a suitable environment and by someone who has received formal training and ongoing development. Members are also bound to a code of ethics and practice. The main Reiki organisations are listed at the foot of this article. On finding a practitioner, ask about their expertise and testimonials from previous clients.
As Reiki is a spiritual method of treatment, most practitioners will give advice about preparing for your session. You may be asked to think about what you hope to accomplish, not only with Reiki but in your life in general. You may want to consider what is preventing you from achieving your goals. Are there any physical, mental or emotional problems you hope to overcome? Do you have any spiritual questions you wish to ask?
Make some notes before you attend about your expectations and concerns. Preparation may begin a few days before and your Reiki practitioner will advise you about these and any other ideas before you attend.
Before your appointment, take a relaxing bath and focus on the goals for your first Reiki session. Don't drink any alcohol. Avoid any activity that requires too much exertion and wear loose, comfortable clothing. Allow plenty of time to get to your appointment; hurrying will affect your physical and mental well-being and be detrimental to the effects of Reiki.
What to expect - At your first session, your Reiki practitioner will spend time discussing your preparation and explain the structure of the therapy. You will then be asked to remove your shoes and socks and any items of jewellery (metallic objects can interfere with Reiki energy). You will not need to undress during your session.
Reiki usually takes place with you lying down but if this proves difficult then it can be carried out with you in a sitting position. The most important thing is that you are comfortable. If you are able to lay down, the first half of the session takes place on your back and then you will turn over on to your front.
Many Reiki practitioners use soothing music, low lighting and natural fragrances to create a relaxing atmosphere. They will then begin to place their hands gently on, or just above, areas of the body. Reiki uses various predetermined hand positions to ensure coverage across the body. Experienced Reiki practitioners may deviate from these positions using their intuition to guide them to specific problem areas.
The Reiki experience differs from one person to the next. Many people have experienced hot and cold sensations on the skin. The practitioner's hands may become hot as the energy flows between them and you. Some people feel heavy while others feel a sense of floating on air. Most would agree that Reiki is deeply relaxing and peaceful.
As Reiki can aid toxin release, it is advisable to drink plenty of water after your session. If you feel tired, make sure you rest. You may experience emotional changes after Reiki and however disruptive this may feel, it is a sign of energy beginning to flow around your body.