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How to Use Reiki Hand Positions for Healing

Did you know that Reiki energy is innately wise?

This may sound surprising, but it is one of the subtle qualities of Reiki that make it so powerful.

It has its own inherent intelligence, allowing it to flow into a recipient’s body wherever it is needed most, and in just the right amount.

This means that as a Reiki practitioner, you do not need to guide Reiki energy with your mind in order for it to work. It will naturally move to the areas of the body that need healing, creating a feeling of balance and vitality in your life.

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? You can just channel Reiki and let the magic happen?

Not so fast!

When it comes to using Reiki energy on people, there are specific hand positions that you can use to target particular ailments and conditions.

In this article, I will provide you with a step-by-step guide to practicing Reiki. I will cover how to channel Reiki energy, show you how to use different hand positions, and highlight the health issues they can help treat.

You will learn how to place your hands to effectively use Reiki on yourself and on others, giving you a solid base to get started practicing Reiki.

Channeling Reiki for Healing

channeling reiki energy through palms

In order to access Reiki energy and be able to use it for healing, you must first learn how to channel it.

People have found many different ways to channel Reiki. There is not one right way to do it.

Generally, I recommend holding your hands so your fingers are close together. This allows the energy to accumulate without escaping through the gaps between the fingers.

Many people initially experience Reiki as heat because one of the functions of Qi, or energy, is to warm the body. Between the fingers, there are acupuncture points that are used to release heat out of the hands (such as for heat-aggravated arthritis).

If you spread your fingers apart, you may notice that your hands feel cooler when the fingers are wider. Keep your fingers together, relaxed, and soft. The energy used for Reiki healing emanates from the minor chakras located in the center of your palms. I recommend keeping your wrists aligned with your hands rather than at a sharper angle, to allow a free flow of energy. There are 3 main ways people channel Reiki. I recommend that you practice all of them so you can discover the benefits for different conditions and positions on the body.

1. DIRECT CONTACT: Touching the Body Place your hands on the part of the body where you are channeling Reiki.

This technique offers an opportunity for physical connection and therapeutic touch. If, like me, you are a kinesthetic learner (you learn by doing rather than by listening or watching), you may have an easier time tracking the recipient's breath, energy, and other rhythms when using direct contact.

2. OFF THE BODY: Hovering Over the Body Place your hands above the targeted area, without directly touching the recipient’s body.

This technique is especially useful for working in more subtle realms of healing. You should choose this method if you are working on treating the body on a karmic, subtle body, or auric level. Often the subtler the technique, the stronger the effect on the astral body.

You should also apply this technique if there is a reason not to directly touch the recipient's body. These reasons could include sunburns, lacerations to the skin, or treatment on an area that is inappropriate to touch such as breasts or genitals. Another reason could be trauma. In some cases, touching a recipient’s body can be very triggering. This method allows you to adapt to the different needs of your patients.

3. COMBINATION: With Slight Cupping of Hands Slightly bend your hands to create a cup-like shape.

Cupping the hand allows the energy to build in the empty space between the palm and the recipient’s body. Use this method if you are working on a more sensitive area of the body, such as the eyes. This is a combination of the whole hand and the hovering technique.

Exercise for Channeling Reiki

The following exercise is a good practice for channeling Reiki. Do it in a peaceful, quiet space and let yourself be guided!

1. Close your eyes.

2. Focus your attention within and connect to a place that is calling you for healing in your own body.

3. Notice how you know this part of your body is calling you: bring your awareness to that area and attune yourself to as much information as you can get about the sensations you feel there. You may notice tension or spaciousness, color, emotions, depth of sensation, thickness, and images.

4. Bring your hands to that area and notice if there is any change when you contact that place.

5. Notice how you are holding your hands. Are your hands on top of each other, are your fingers close or wide apart from each other, are you touching your body? Is there a lot of pressure or are your hands touching quite gently?

6. Begin to slowly vary how you are making contact. Try bringing your fingers closer together, then far apart. Try hovering and touching. Experiment with different amounts of pressure. Notice your wrists. Each time you change the way you are touching your body, pause and notice if there is a change in the sensations in your hands, in your body, and in the area being touched.

This is also a valuable practice when you are channeling Reiki for other people. Focus your awareness on listening, noticing what is happening, and a gentle allowing, rather than pushing of the river.

9 Reiki Hand Position Techniques

Now that you know how to channel Reiki energy, let’s move on to the next step: hand positions.

These hand positions come from the work of Hawayo Takato, who is credited with bringing Reiki to the Western world.

These techniques are not strict rules to follow. You can think of them as guidelines. One of the benefits of Reiki is that it increases your intuitive, psychic, and energetic awareness. As you gain more experience practicing Reiki, you will develop an intuitive response to clients’ energies and you will be able to adapt these techniques to their needs.

I am a strong believer in tapping into our innate wisdom and using creativity as a tool for learning. In that sense, once you feel comfortable with the basics, feel free to experiment with your own techniques.

As well as the pictures of the positions themselves, I have also included a description of the types of dis-eases that each hand position can treat.

1. Eyes

Closes the eyes

Calming and relaxing

Treats frontal headaches

Diseases of the eye: eye strain, tension, vision

Treats excessive mental activity

Treats urinary bladder meridian disturbances

Treats excessive thinking and focus

2. Ears

Treats ears




Treats earaches/infections

Treats tinnitus & hearing loss

Reiki can access the whole body through the ears

3. Jaw

Treats TMJD

Treats toothaches

Connection with pelvis


4. Back of Head

Treats vision disturbances (at occiput)

Calms the spirit

Treats occipital headaches

Treats urinary bladder meridian

Treats cervicalgia

5. Forehead and Occiput “Sandwich”

Calms the spirit

Treats tension headaches & headband headaches

Treats fatigue (tonifies Qi)

Treats cervicalgia

Ajna (3rd eye) Chakra

Sharpens intuition

6. Neck and throat

Vissudha Chakra (Throat Chakra)

Speaking one’s truth – inability to

speak up


Treats cervicalgia

Mind-body connection

Keeping a lid on one’s emotions

Sore throat


Thyroid issues

Reiki hand positions: upper lungs

7. Upper Lungs

Respiratory ailments such as a cough, infections, asthma, wheezing

Chest oppression, shortness of breath


Pectoral tightness

Post breast surgery to help move Qi and blood to the area for healing

Kidneys and adrenal fatigue

Lung Qi deficiency, lung cold, lung phlegm heat

Reiki hand positions: shoulders

8. Shoulders

Shoulder tension

Carrying the weight of the world on one’s shoulders

Pectoral tightness

Post breast surgery to help move Qi and blood to the area for healing

Reiki hand position: heart

9. Heart



Excessive joy, mania (heart heat or heart fire)

Walling off of the heart

Post breast surgery to help move Qi and blood to the area for healing


Anahata Chakra (Heart Chakra)


5 Self-Healing Positions for Self-Treatment

In this next section, I will focus on hand positions that you can use for self-healing. Learning these hand positions will give you great benefits. First, they will give you the power to treat yourself by using your own internal resources. They will also allow you to experience Reiki energy as channeled from your own hands.

This can give you very valuable insight as you will be able to experiment with hand positions, pressure levels, and combinations while feeling the impact in your own body.

Although everybody responds to Reiki in a different way, self-healing practices will be a helpful guide in your healing journey.

1. Head Sandwich

2. Diaphragm, Liver, Gallbladder

3. Heart and Belly Calms spirit while falling asleep

4. Kidneys and Adrenals

5. Knees and Feet

I hope this article has sprung in you an urge to develop your Reiki journey! The good part is that your learning does not stop here.

There are countless ways Reiki hand positions can be used for healing. From the diaphragm and the abdomen to the back and the ankles, the potential of Reiki is limitless. Following a Reiki course will give you all the tools you need to set your Reiki power free with professionalism, safety, and lots of pleasure!

What are your favorite Reiki hand positions to use? Drop a comment below!


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