≡ Menu

Front vs. Back Energies

Article by Deborah Lloyd, Reiki Master

During my Reiki trainings, we were taught to start with the client laying on his back, and then asking the client to lay on his stomach and continue with hand positions along the back. When I receive Reiki, I especially enjoy the back treatments as I (like so many people) carry stress across my shoulders and down my back.

Over time, I noticed that clients’ energies felt different from the front side, to the back side of their bodies. A few times the contrast was so striking, it seemed as if a new person had come into the room and replaced the first client on the table! So, I looked for information as to why that was true – as well as asked for spiritual guidance.

What I learned is that there could be several reasons for this observation. Sometimes what I was sensing is that energies on our front represent the image we present to the outside world, while the energies on our backs are what we absorb from the outside world. For other clients, the front side energies related to moving forward in their lives, while the back side energies were about past situations. If energies feel strong and vibrant, there are positive aspects in a person’s life, while depleted and diminished energies require healing energies.

Another way I have experienced these energies are the positive and negative experiences surrounding one chakra. For example, one male client I worked with had strong heart chakra energies. I intuitively knew he expressed much compassion and kindness to the handicapped children with whom he worked. But, when opposite energies were revealed when he laid on his stomach, I knew he had some complicated feelings. I learned he took on too much responsibility for the outcome of these children. He carried the overwhelming burden of thinking he, singlehandedly, should be able to change their lives. He had not yet found a realistic perspective, or balance, in how he viewed his role in working with these special children. Through more sessions of Reiki, and professional counseling, he developed a new perspective. He could see how the small changes he helped to facilitate were actually very important to the children’s growth. He also saw how all the staff, and the parents and other family members, needed to work together – he was not the sole, responsible person. Finding this balance will enable him to continue this work for years, successfully – and with much less stress.


Image by sogard

In the same way, I have had similar experiences associated with the sacral chakra. Often, these experiences relate to intimate relationships in the client’s life. As we know, close relationships are often fraught with both positive and negative aspects. Realizing how our own issues, words and perceptions influence our relationships can be helpful. Do I facilitate harmony by “going with the flow,” (lower stomach area) or am I inflexible (lower back)? Am I bringing family of origin issues into my relationship with my partner? Do I hold onto fears that my partner will leave me, or do I release these fears, knowing they are related to a previous breakup? When we become aware of the energies we bring into relationships, we can make conscientious changes to create the relationships we desire.

One of the greatest gifts of Reiki is the growing understanding of how our thoughts and beliefs affect our entire being. Reiki helps us to recognize the energies we manifest, and how these energies affect our physical bodies. As we grow in this awareness, we can help our clients to experience awareness in their lives too.

Free eBook download: We’ve created an eBook with our best articles on this topic, and offer it for free to all our newsletter subscribers.

Deborah Lloyd
Deborah Lloyd

Deborah Lloyd is a Usui and Karuna® Reiki Master and certified holistic therapy practitioner, providing Reiki sessions and training in Asheville, NC. Deborah is the author of two books, 22 Messages from the Archangels; and, Believe and it is True: A Story of Healing and Life Lessons. She is also one of the co-authors of Reiki 101: 101 Answers for Your Reiki Questions. Reach Deborah at http://www.deblloydhealing.com/, deb@deblloydhealing.com and at Deb Lloyd Healing on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/deblloydhealing)

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Kat January 2, 2016, 11:00 am

    You dont need to turn a client over the treat their backs, Reiki will go where needed.

  • Ayshea January 2, 2016, 12:29 pm

    I knew this from chakras research. From the sacral chakra up to the throat chakra they go through from front to back. So when doing self-healing I always clear all the way through, or send energy through the back to the front.

  • Deborah Lloyd January 2, 2016, 12:38 pm

    Kat and Ayshea,

    I appreciate your comments. It has been my experience that there are many benefits to placing your hands on a person’s back. First of all, the touching and warmth of Reiki is pleasant and healing for the client. Since many people carry stress in their backs, the proximity of Reiki hands is most helpful. While Reiki goes where needed, it is advisable to be as close to the related chakras and meridians as possible.

    Many blessings to you in your work,

  • Carol Graham March 13, 2016, 8:37 am

    I was taught to also only treat the front as it goes where it is needed and also disturbing the client and asking them to turn over interupts the flow of the treatment, however I totally agree with you, when the hands are placed directly on the problem point you can feel almost instant release, I think from now on I will always treat the back, thankyou for the article and the ebook, love and light ????

    • Deborah Lloyd March 13, 2016, 8:27 pm

      Carol and Kat,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Each of us should listen to our own wisdom. One of the blessings of Reiki is that it is not dogmatic, so please do whatever feels right for your clients, and your practice.

      Many blessings,

  • Kat March 13, 2016, 9:43 am

    There is absolutely not reason to turn a client over to treat both sides ie: laying on their stomach. As the energies go where needed. So if you have them laying on their back and have your hands over the heart it goes through to the charka and anywhere in that area. Master Usui had people sit and just treated over the head and front.

    • misscharms September 7, 2016, 6:13 pm

      The energy does go where it’s needed if you a ‘passive’ reiki healer. If you are an ‘active’ reiki healer but not yet intuitive where you can see what’s going on with the client by looking through your third eye. You will need to work on the back to feel what’s going on with that particular chakra to be able to record information, learn your own ‘hand language’ (see the patterns in your note taking) and then complete your case reports efficiently for Reiki research. With Blessings, Charmaine, Reiki Master Teacher, Cape Town.

      • Deborah Lloyd September 9, 2016, 12:30 pm

        Dear misscharms,

        Thank you for sharing your “two cents” – but please know your sharing is invaluable!! We all learn from each other’s experiences and wisdom.

        Many blessings to you in your work,

  • Puskal April 26, 2016, 2:21 am

    No debates guys, back may also be important so why don’t we try both and research on it? A master is someone who initiates , its not necessary we have to stick to what he says, things change over time. We have to keep experimenting and finding new solutions.

    • Deborah Lloyd April 27, 2016, 11:20 pm

      Dear Puskal,

      I appreciate your point that things do change over time! As we use Reiki energies more and more in our lives, whether treating others or ourselves, we do receive new ideas.

      Thank you for taking the time to add your wisdom to this discussion.


  • Amy Barry July 5, 2016, 12:12 pm

    I personally have felt the effects of reiki to the front and back by both receiving treatment and giving healing to another by having them turn on their back, while reiki does go “where needed” you are able to concentrate the energy on an area that may otherwise be obscured by other issues on the front side of the body. if energy and wisdom never evolved we would not have the many wonderful modalities and practitioners we have today to help heal in different ways.

    • Deborah Lloyd July 5, 2016, 11:06 pm


      Thank you for your wonderful insight about how energy and wisdom evolves. In the same way, we Reiki practitioners evolve; one way is to read and think about the experiences of other practitioners. I learn so much from others and incorporate it into my own practice.

      Many blessings to you,

  • misscharms September 7, 2016, 6:06 pm

    In my experience over 7 years is that front chakras relate to the present situation, energies and feelings. The back chakras relate to the past trauma and fear of the future because of this trauma as they are still carrying it. If you do research on chakra energy, you will find this is the case as it’s written in several books.

    I always get stronger intuitive visions of the client in their past when working on their back, which shows me what is stuck/blocked. I speak with my client afterwards who is usually quite shocked that I have seen their past memory (some of whom have forgotten but then remembers a few days later and will email me) then we work on releasing that. Usually just the memory and remembering the trigger point helps clear it. Anyhow, this is my two cents, with blessings, Charmaine, Reiki Master Teacher, Cape Town.

  • Supriya September 23, 2019, 4:55 pm

    Is it necessary to do reiki on the back as well for self treatment .
    Will it be ok if done on front side only.

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post:

Our site uses cookies. By continuing to use our site you are agreeing to our privacy policy.