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Emotional Healing with Reiki: A Guide for Reiki Practitioners, Part 2

Article by Johannes Verheijden, Reiki Master

Editor’s note:

This is Part 2 of a multi-part guide for Reiki practitioners.

Over the next few days, we’ll publish the other parts as well.

The series starts here.

The treatment

Working hands on

Checking with your client

Of course it goes without saying that you make sure that your client is as comfortable as possible. Think of temperature of the room (use a blanket if necessary). Ask if your client would like to hear music during the treatment. All too often practitioners just put on music, but it can be very distractive and even annoying to your client. Tell your client what he/she can choose from. Not everybody loves to hear synthesiser music, no matter how relaxing you think it might be. Other people get really itchy from classical music, or Indian flute, or Japanese monks chanting, or…. Well you get the picture I guess.

Is your client comfortable with incense, or essential oil, or not..? If not, do not use it. If you have your own room where you do Reiki treatments, make sure you have the light right. Staring at the sun is not always a pleasant experience and neon light might not be as comfortable as you think. But too dark a room is perhaps somewhat putting off your client as well, so discuss this with him/her. Make your client feel at home, without being too polite or pushy. You do not have to refurbish your house, because your client does not like the colours of your wall, or dislikes the pictures you have put up. When you are working at your client’s house and you do not have your own massage table, you are your client’s guest. You can still look around for items that can assist you though, like cushions to support the head, or to put under the knees or back, in order to make your client more comfortable.

A very good way of making your room comfortable for your client is to put a few bunches of energy flowers in your room. One in every corner makes your room fresh and welcoming to all, without having to have the real flowers (in case your client has an allergy…)

Ask your client if there is something he/she wants to focus on during the treatment. Perhaps there are specific issues your client wants to address. If not you could think of letting your client draw a Tarot card, Angel card or other kind of card. There are many decks of cards available and it is always a pleasant surprise what comes up to work with. If your client does not want to draw a card, no problem!

Personal preparation

Whether you are working on a table, a yoga mat, a blanket, or a chair, your own posture – the way you stand or sit down – is very important. If your body is tensed you will not be able to fully transfer the energy and it will distract you from giving your treatment.

So, let us take a few moments and let us try to find out how close you are to yourself at this particular moment and how relaxed or tensed your body is as you are reading this. Concentrate on your belly and feel if there is tension that you can let go.

…. I will wait a little while and give you the time to do this

Image by mdemon

Got it? Good! If there is tension, let it go by breathing deeply or loosen your belt, changing the position of your pelvis, or whatever other way you want to do it. What could help, though not so elegant, is to think how your belly feels just after you have pushed out your faeces or urinated after you really had to go… I am sure you recognise the relaxation that comes right after that. Try to get that back when feeling relaxed in your belly. Relax the muscles from your belly completely and breath deeply.

How are your shoulders? Check them while reading this. Are they relaxed and easily hanging down, or are you somewhat holding them up? How is your back? Perhaps you do not even know or are aware that there is tension in your back, but if you change the position of your pelvis and shoulders and head, your back could feel more relaxed as well.

Breath deeply and be aware of the tension in your body and by breathing deeply, let go all the tension in your spine and muscles. Relax your throat, your neck, your jaws, your arms, legs. From the top down, or from your feet up, or in random order. There is no good nor bad in relaxing first your toes and then your eyebrows or anything between them.

Okay, now that you have a relaxed posture, ground yourself by really focussing on your feet and imagining that there are roots coming out of the soles of your feet.

Rub your hands, or squeeze your hands to fists and let go a few times before you start. It brings out the tension, starts up the Reiki flow and will warm your hands.

All set..? All right, then here we go taking the next step.

The treatment

If all is well and both you and your client are comfy you can start your actual treatment. Breath deeply before you start and allow your client to do the same. Tell your client that you are starting now and if it is the first time that your client undergoes a treatment, inform her/him what you are about to do: put your hands above or on the clients body. I will not tell you what basic positions you ought to do, for I assume your Reiki Master told you that. (If not, find another Reiki Master and blame me for it 😉 ).

But this I will tell you: very gently make contact with your client. If you put your hands down on the body, do not just drop them, but “land” softly and slowly. The energy field of your client will emerge your way, and your energy will look for the energy of your client to connect and it is ever so beautiful if this first “close encounter of the third kind” is be a kind and gentle one. You can always become more strict during your treatment, but it is a gift if the first “hello” is a kind and quiet one. Sometimes your hand will be drawn to a part of the body of your client, almost as if the body is hungry for energy or healing. Do not let it disturb you. Better still, lift your hands a few times about thirty centimetres and hold them a few inches above your clients body and repeat that a few times as if to “teach” your client that the energy coming from your hands is not to be bullied, but deserves respect as well. You are a channel, not a slave and you are treating your client, but are not energetically or otherwise submissively to your client.

Before I start to do an actual Reiki treatment I first silently welcome all and whomever is willing and able to help me. Then I always like to “iron” the seven layers of the aura field first. What you do is rub your hands and place them high at the head of your client (the crown chakra) and slowly move towards his/her feet. When you get there, move your hands as if you gently “swipe” something off your hands into a bowl (there is usually “someone” to hold the bowl for you). The following six times you do the same thing, but every time you make the same movement, you lower your hands a bit, until you are just above the person you are treating, not touching the body. With the palms of your hands you will feel (eventually) where there are differences in temperature responding to chakra fields, where the energy is more tight or open, where there are splinters in the aura, where it is gluey, or stinging etc. If there are splinters in the aura, pull them out gently and put them in the same bowl where you put the residue (or “aura dust”) of the energy of the aura.

When giving Reiki, do not close your eyes. Too many Reiki practitioners close their eyes when they are giving Reiki. Although you might be more focussed on what you are sensing when you have your eyes closed, you visually disconnect yourself from your client and will not be able to fully observe your client. And there is so much to observe when you look closely. And of course you can just give Reiki and do nothing else but being the channel that you are, for basically that is all you have to do… But I feel that unless your client comes to you for purely a relaxation session you ought to do the best you can to help him/her… If however, you feel that your client has problems that go over your head, do refer them to professionals in the field of psychology or psychiatry!

It is all in your head

Many people tend to address situations with their head. We want to understand, give things a place, see the bigger picture. And when we have it all clear in our heads, we forget that the emotions of this whole thinking process is still in our body and needs to be released as well. We tend to forget that the very basis of the situation might have had a deep impact to our emotional being. But in order to really go beyond the thoughts and to really be able to let go, your client will need to let go of thoughts and feel.

Is your client connected to the things he/she is feeling, or very much in his/her head? Busy to trying understand what is happening, or making a groceries list…

The moment your client will turn attention towards thoughts there will be a disconnection with emotions and feeling. If it is just to get a memory or an image of past events, that is fine. If however your client actually starts to think, it is time for you to bring her/him back to feeling. But how will you know that your client is in his/her head..? A few hints: look at how your client breathes. If that changes – usually goes up, to the chest, or gets more shallow – the head turns, the body moves or gets unsettling, you will know. If your clients starts to talk – rationalising – you will know. So, if you sense that your client is “escaping” you and turns to thinking, kindly and gently remind him/her to get back to feeling. If you remind your client often enough, he/she will recognise what is happening and gradually will try to stay with emotion and feeling. It will not harm though to keep reminding, although it should not become a mantra ;-).

Answering to signals: go to it, go through it, and leave it behind

When treating your client there are several signals that your client will offer you to work with. Often ask your client what he/she experiences and address that. Ask your client to go to the feeling, or situation that they mention and ask for clarity if you feel that your client can go deeper. Emotions and feelings are so complex and the game they play can be so intense. They can clutter together if not properly addressed and they will! But the good thing is that you will be able to recognise the cluttering and will be able to help your client.

If you put your hands on your clients’ belly, this belly should feel relaxed and – apart from people that work out more intensely – in fact a bit wobbly. If you push the belly slowly with your hand, you will find a resistance at a certain point. This is where the cluttered emotion starts. A belly that is relaxed and free from cluttered emotions can be pushed down slowly almost to the spine without any resistance. If you feel resistance in the body, focus on this resistance and ask your client to do the same. You might pinpoint your Reiki current with just one finger, or by holding your hand in the “dead Italian” position. This is a position where you place your thumb on your index finger and middle finger. Point with your fingertips down to the place where you will find the cluttering of emotions and hold them just above the body. In this way you direct the Reiki very specifically to the sticking emotion. Another way of addressing cluttered emotion is by slowly pulsing your client, holding your right hand on that specific spot and your left hand on the chest, near the heart. While pulsing you move your client slowly from one side to the other, like you would comfort a baby.

Ask your client what she/he is experiencing and tell to go to that situation, or feeling. Or ask what it represents if you are not certain. At first your client will be insecure to go to the emotion. Feeling is frightening for many people, so tell your client he/she is safe and encourage her/him to go there, to feel it, to go deep into the feeling. If your client cannot reach it by her/himself, help your client by pushing the clutter. It hurts normally, but do not be too gentle and bring your client to that point where the actual emotion starts to move. You will feel when the emotion starts to move when your client breaths deeply. Compliment her/him with that, for overcoming fear of feeling is a big step for many people! Keep on addressing the signals your client is giving you. Guide him/her through this process, and keep your emotional distance, but be involved! Give way to tears, shouting, swearing, even spasms if need be and slowly keep on pulsing your client through the process. Pulsing will gently assist emotions to come lose and find a way out.

Image by llee_wu

In the midst of the process, when your client is feeling deep emotions and is (usually) crying or (at times) swearing or sobbing or any other way of showing emotion, put your left hand at the back of your client at the height of the heart. Tell your client that this is where she/he can get support from. Reiki will flow intensely when you do that, for the heart needs extra support at these times and your client will feel your hand even days after.

Not only the belly holds a lot of emotion, although it is the biggest container in the body. If your client is suffering from stress, you can treat the head (of course…) but also the upper legs, for responsibility finds a place in the upper legs and mainly at the front. Anger is not only positioned on the left side of the belly, but also in the calves of your client.

The shoulders either lift or carry. If your client is a “lifter”, you will find that there is a lot of tension in the shoulder muscles and usually your client will have a very tensed back as well and much trouble to really relax. Lifting is very tiring in the long run and gives a heavy heart. If on the other hand your client is a carrier, you will find that the shoulders are somewhat more to the front and the back is somewhat bowed. These are the people with strong headaches. Carrying often goes on for years and years it gives your client a kind of passive way of dealing with things. He/she is helped with getting aware that she/he is carrying a weight that could have been put aside a long time ago and doing penance for whatever reason is not something you will have to do for the rest of your life. Guilt over some thing or other is a very basic emotion in carriers and it would be good to address that.

If your client has parental problems – as in not getting over a deep emotional state related to his/her parents, you will find that the back of this person will bow and if it has been going on for several years, you will find that sometimes the back of your client will form a bump. This is rather difficult to address at a later age, for parents can be very heavy indeed and the basis of this can be so profound that you will not even be able to reach it in one go. There is no harm in trying several times though.

And of course the feet and the hands represent the whole body, so it would be wise to put your hands on them as well.

You can address as many emotions as your client will allow you, but if you feel that your client has had enough, stop. Relax, give Reiki in the normal way and do not pulse or push. Just put your hands on or slightly above the body and let your client rest and relax and enjoy the energy and the love that you are passing on.

Often you will find that the right side of the belly will represent emotions coming from not feeling welcome, self esteem, feeling lonely, unappreciated, not loved etc.. These emotions usually have a long history of building up and go back a long way and have been in the way of your client for a long time. But that does not mean that these emotions cannot be addressed or “leave” the body. The left side of the belly however has more to do with anger, fear, bitterness etc. These are the more external emotions and will show themselves that way when addressing them. If you feel that you are not up to handling these emotions, for people can actually start to hit or kick and let go of their anger very profoundly before the feelings of grief are allowed to come out, do not address them, but refer your client to someone who can deal with these emotions and is “strong” enough to handle them.

Specifically after heavy sessions, where a lot of emotion has been released your client will need an x-number of days to recover. Let him/her drink lots of water, no coffee, only herbal or green tea and fruit juice. No alcohol, nicotine or any other stimulants like chocolate, drugs etc. Your client will find that the urine will be darker and the faeces will be different from texture and smell, but no worries these are merely waste products that finally can leave the body. Therefore it is important to drink clear liquids and eat healthy food! The body needs to readjust again and getting used to the new situation, but you might find that your client feels like she/he has just lost ten or more kilograms in an hour or two J. After releasing the belly will feel much softer, although it might feel sore for a number of days and your client will be more emotional and either more internally focussed or in full bliss.

Specific positions of the hands

Maybe you ask yourself what Reiki has to do with all this..? Well, you can put your hands on a person and let the Reiki flow, but you can also direct the energy flow more specifically to one point. Using Reiki as a “laser beam” or a hot cup, or a gentle warm silk cloth. A few examples.


With one finger point to a chakra. Especially the third eye (spot between the eye brows), solar plexus (at the base of the breastbone) and hara (right under the bellybutton) are very receptive for this kind of energy flow, but you will find that the throat chakra will respond to it as well. Use either your index finger or middle finger. You can enforce the Reiki flow by placing one finger on top of the other hand. So, for instance your left index finger on the knuckle of the index finger on your right hand and the index finger of your right hand on the third eye of your client.


With your thumb down and your fingers closed your hand will become a funnel that will pour Reiki in a gentle flow. Very practical for use on eyes, ears, all the chakra’s, but also to ease strong emotions if the process of letting go is getting at bit too much. Pour Reiki to the heart solar plexus and hara and your client will instantly feel more relaxed. You can also combine pouring with pulsing. You pour with one and pulse with the other. In this way you combine the gentle flow of energy from pouring with the kind invitation of the pulsing to let go.

Image by avlxyz


When you put one hand on, or above your client Reiki will flow. If you put one hand on the other it will flow more strongly. Which hand should enforce which depends on what you want to achieve… If your client is sending out a lot of energy, you better put your right hand under your left hand. If however your client tends to withdraw more in his/her head, you should have your left hand do the job and be enforced with your right hand.

Dead Italian

You might pinpoint your Reiki current with just one finger, or by holding your hand in the “dead Italian” position. This is a position where you place your thumb on your index finger and middle finger. Point with your fingertips down to the place where you will find the cluttering of emotions and hold them just above the body. In this way you direct the Reiki very specifically to the sticking emotion. Unlike pouring the dead Italian more spreads the energy over your client like sweet scented water.

Combinations of hand positions

Combining giving Reiki with basic positions coming from Quantum Touch (or polarity therapy as it was used to called) you will get beautiful results, so I would very much like to suggest these methods to you.

Belly pulsing

Your client is lying on his/her back. Stand on the right side of your client. Put your left hand on the forehead of your client and your right hand on the belly of your client. Your right thumb on the hara. Gently rock / pulse your client for a few minutes, the way you would rock a baby and then stop and leave your hands in their position. Then slowly lift your hands a few inches above the body of your client and feel the flowing energy.

North pole stretch

Your client is lying on her/his back, you stand at the head. The head of your client rests on the palm of your right hand. Your thumb and middle finger is at the base of the left and right occipital bone. Your left hand is slightly above your client’s forehead. Gently stretch the head of your client for a few minutes, then release the stretch and let your client relax in your hand.

Collar bone – and pulsing the solar plexus

Your client is on his/her back. Stand on the right side of your client. The palm of your right hand is on the solar plexus, pulsing is gently, with your fingers pointing at the ribs. Your left hand is in a fist, with the thumb facing down. Hold the right collar bone between your index finger and thumb. After a few minutes you can take the left collar bone between your index finger and thumb and hold that one for a few minutes as well. Keep on gently pulsing the solar plexus as you do this.

You might want to change the position of your right hand facing the fingers to the chin of your client and your middle finger gently resting on the solar plexus of your client. You can massage the solar plexus extremely gently, making little circles in a clockwise direction, while you keep on pulsing the body. This requires some experience in pulsing…

Hand and foot

Your client is on her/his back. You stand on the right side of your client. Your left hand holds the right hand of your client. Your right hand is on the sole of the left foot of your client. After a few minutes you can stand on the other side of your client and do this vice versa.

Hip pulsing and shoulder grip

Your client is lying on his/her back. You stand on the right side of your client. Your left hand is on the shoulder of your client, with your fingers pointing at the neck. Your right hand is on the left hipbone of your client, pulsing it gently. After a few minutes you can change to the left side of your client and do this vice versa.

Pouring Reiki in third eye and hara

Stand on the right side of your client. Your left hand pours Reiki in the third eye, your right hand pours Reiki in the hara of your client. Your left hand is right above your client (about a centimetre). Make sure it does not touch the third eye.

In addition to this combination you can stretch your hands and hold your right hand a few inches above your client’s heart and your left hand above your client’s head.

Johannes Verheijden

Johannes Verheijden

Johannes Verheijden (1965) has been Reiki Master since 1998. He has been working with energy for as long as he can remember and over the years Johannes specialized in healing emotional issues. Ever since he first got in touch with energy work Johannes resonated to it. It “spoke” to him and over the years he learned to channel the energy and to heal people emotionally by using energy, often in combination with massage, or aura reading/healing. Johannes is initiator of the World Reiki Wave, which will take place for the eighth time with thousands of Reiki practitioners joining on the 21st of June. He is based in Zeewolde, the youngest village in The Netherlands. Johannes can be reached through Facebook by www.facebook.com/ReikiMasterJohannesVerheijden, or by e-mail: joh.verheijden@gmail.com

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