Article by Deborah Lloyd, Reiki Master
Frequently, during Reiki training classes, students ask me why we need to learn hand positions to give Reiki to another person, and for self-treatments. My usual answer is that it is important to have a foundational base for our hands, as each hand position correlates to a major chakra and its meridians. As time goes on, and trust in our own intuitive wisdom grows, it is acceptable, and perhaps even preferable, to follow our guidance and place our hands where it feels right for the client, and for ourselves. Generally, it is good to make sure there is at least one hand position correlating to each chakra. I also teach placement of hands on the clothed body – not a few inches above, as some lineages teach – unless the client is not comfortable with touch. If so, it is fine to keep your hands above the receiver’s body.
While this is an appropriate answer, there may be a richer meaning beneath the concept of hand placement. Typically, we focus on the healing energies that emanate from our hands. But, let us not forget the simple aspect of compassionate physical touch. Many clients have not had the recent experience of touch from another person whose intention is to bring love into their lives. For others, they may have no memory of ever having this experience. Our loving hands can bring forth new, powerful emotions.
Since many clients seek Reiki for physical ailments and chronic conditions, a negative emotional reaction to any touch may have formed. For example, people who have had traumatic surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation, or a multitude of other invasive procedures and therapies, an association between professional touch and pain or discomfort can exist. This is not to say that health care professionals did not bring a loving compassion into the situation; however, there are some medical treatments that may cause pain and trauma. Carrying these negative associations within our physical bodies needs to be healed.
Using Reiki challenges us to think about the many ways we can use our hands, both in positive and negative ways. Think about the many ways you have used your hands – good and not so good – during your lifetime. Picture the hands of a little baby (one of my favorite things on earth!). Picture the hands of a toddler, an elementary-age child, a teenager, an adult. We use our hands to eat, to wash, to caress – the list goes on and on.
Now, think about your hands since you learned Reiki. Think about all the times you gave the gift of Reiki to someone through these two instruments of light and love. Think about all the times you got yourself through anxious moments, pain and sadness by using the gift of Reiki. Your hands are truly precious!
Whether or not you can remember the exact hand positions you were taught is not the most important factor. What is important is to give gratitude for being able to bring light and love into the world, through the gift of your hands!
Deborah Lloyd is a Usui and Karuna® Reiki Master and certified holistic therapy practitioner. She also is a licensed clinical social worker, working with a hospice agency in Asheville, NC. She grew up on a farm in rural Indiana and was stricken with polio at the age of three. To relieve fatigue from post-polio syndrome, she learned Reiki. This complementary technique led her to explore other alternative modalities. Her personal journey, along with life lessons learned along the way, is detailed in her book, Believe and it is True: A Story of Healing and Life Lessons. Reach Deborah at http://www.deblloydhealing.com/, email@example.com and at Deb Lloyd Healing on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/deblloydhealing)