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Article by Reiki Master Judy Camblor

So what actually happens during a Reiki session? What techniques does the Reiki practitioner use in order to bring us back into mind/body balance?

I’m glad you asked. In this article, I will cover the step-by-step procedures that I teach to my Reiki students during the Level 1 attunement class. The Level 1 attunement class covers the basic techniques which are the same techniques used throughout every level. In the Master/Teacher level, I teach additional healing techniques. Some of these techniques can be modified by each practitioner to a form that best suits their style, however, the techniques themselves basically stay the same.

Byosen Scanning

At the beginning of a Reiki session, we are taught to conduct the Byosen scanning. This scanning is performed on a client while they lay on your treatment table. Before beginning, be sure to ask your client to participate by imagining themselves in a peaceful retreat. This helps your clients to relax and mentally prepare for the session. You will find they will soon be off to La-La land (and it’s okay if they snore a little bit). Now, back to Byosen scanning. This is done by holding the hands over the chakras and other body parts for a minimum of three breaths while allowing the Life Force Energy (LFE) to travel through the practitioner to the client and back out. Three breaths is an initial starting point for any new practitioner. Through repetition, the practitioner learns to use their intuition to guide them when more or less scanning is needed in a particular area of the client’s physical body and aura.

Beginning with the Third Eye Chakra, a practitioner places their hands over the client’s Third Eye. After three breaths, the practitioner moves their hands now to the Crown Chakra before moving on to the ears. In my own practice, I like to feel the energy between the ears by pulling the energy out and pushing it back in. (This done by simply holding the hands near the ears and not touching them.) During the treatment of the ears, I envision the pineal gland as a beautiful blue crystal. As I move my hands away from and towards the client’s ears, I envision this crystal beginning to spin and spilling it’s beautiful white and blue light around the head-clearing out stagnant energy and sweeping away old thought patterns that no longer serve the client. From here, I move to the back of the head to bring that spinning energy to more of a normal pulse. By now, my client is somewhere in La-La land enjoying visions of the happy place they love.

The Different Procedures of a Reiki Session

From the back of the head, I move to the shoulders. I like to work on the shoulders because many of us hold our stress there. I sweep away the stagnant energy found in the shoulders before moving to the Throat and Heart chakras. The Throat and Heart chakras are centers of communication. When either of these is blocked or slow, it means that we are holding onto information whether it be speaking our truth or expressing our creativity. Please see my article on “In my own Experience”, to read about how having these two centers blocked for so many years affected my own life.

Now we come to scanning the body. Beginning at the shoulders again, I look for spots that cause changes in temperature in my hands. When I am conducting a Reiki session, the palms of my hands tend to get very warm. This warmth is produced by the movement of LFE. When I notice my hands getting too hot or too cold over a certain region of the body, I know that I need to stop scanning and deliver healing to that particular part of the body. I also listen closely to my intuition to see if there are portions of the body that need more clearing than others. Moving slowly down the body from the chest area, I begin to scan the Solar Plexus Chakra; the area of our personal power. I spend some time here because I like to get a feel for where the person’s self-confidence is. Do they need a boost? Is some preconceived notion about themselves blocking them from harnessing this personal power? By sweeping and clearing the energy here, the client is able to experience a newfound sense of purpose and direction. Since this is where we digest everything in life that we experience and everything we put into our bodies, after sweeping and clearing, I will move my hands in a clockwise motion a few times to get the digestive energy flowing to aid in their mental, emotional and physical digestion.

From there I move to the Sacral Chakra which is the seat of our creativity, female reproduction, and emotions. Huh? Emotions so low in the body? Yes! While it makes sense that our emotions come from our heart, and they do, the Sacral Chakra stores all of our emotions from the time that we are born until we leave the physical plane. Any buried emotions can hide here and create disease in the body. Any repressed or unexpressed desires can also reside here. This chakra can also become overworked if there is too much sexual energy being expelled. Too much of anything is not good for you, right? Well, that applies to sex also. Once the sweeping and clearing of this chakra is done, I do the same digestive hand motions here that I do for the Solar Plexus Chakra. I direct the energy out of the body through the regular paths of elimination.

Now we come to scanning the Root Chakra. The scanning of this chakra includes the legs and the feet. Why? Because just as the Root Chakra is the base of our energetic body and supports the rest of the chakras, so do our legs, knees, ankles, and feet support our physical bodies. This is the seat of our animal instincts, our survival. When our basic needs are met, this chakra can run smoothly. However, remember those feelings I was talking about before in the Solar Plexus and Sacral Chakras? Yeah, they can affect the Root Chakra. If you spend a lot of time worrying that what you have is not enough, this will throw your Root Chakra out of balance. This imbalance can physically affect the knees, the ankles, and the soles of the feet.

Once I have scanned, swept, and cleared the chakras on the front of the body, I will gently ask my client to turn over so that I can go through the same procedures on the back of the body. Did you think chakras only had one side?

Sometimes I will conduct Byosen scanning while a client is sitting in a chair because it makes it easy to work on both the front and the back of the chakras at the same time. This allows for the client to have an uninterrupted meditation during their session without having to turn over on the table.

Balancing Chakras

After the Byosen scanning is done, I can now ask my client to return to laying on their backs. I like to offer my clients support for their knees and ankles in case they have lower back issues. Since I work with crystals, I will provide here a brief list of the crystals I use during this part of the session.

To begin I place a piece of Clear Quartz near the top of the client’s head and a piece of Hematite between their feet. This provides clear communication (Quartz) and grounding (Hematite). At all times during the balancing of the chakras, the practitioner should be holding space for the client with their non-dominant hand over the Crown Chakra while balancing the chakras with their dominant hand. This might be difficult to do if you don’t keep all the crystals you will need close to you. The point is to not break the LFE channel being held by the non-dominant hand.

The Different Procedures of a Reiki Session

Image by Jlhopgood

Balancing the chakra is a technique that can vary from practitioner to practitioner. Here is how I balance the chakras. With my non-dominant hand held over the Crown chakra, I move from chakra to chakra by rotating my dominant hand in a clockwise motion over each chakra three times and then sweeping the energy through the body towards the feet. I then bring the hand back over the chakra. Once I feel the energy of the chakra moving at its normal vibratory state, I move on to the next one. The goal is to get all the chakras spinning in the same direction each at their natural vibratory state. At this point, depending on your practitioner level, you can add crystals and draw symbols over the chakras. The crystals help to absorb and transmute any remaining stagnant energy, and the Reiki symbols help to amplify the healing and balancing. Use your intuition to know which crystal/symbol combination to use. By now you know what each chakra needs and you will be able to use the correct symbol for each.

One important aspect of this part of the healing process that I don’t want to leave out is that we can also direct energy from one chakra to another to benefit the entire chakra system. For example, if I know a client has communication issues with his or her spouse like speaking their truth, after balancing the Throat, Heart, and Sacral chakras, I will direct energy upward from the Sacral Chakra to the Throat Chakra. In this type of scenario, I will also direct Solar Plexus energy into the Heart Chakra so that with self-confidence, my client is open to communicating their truth to their partner in a loving way.

Here is my list for the crystals/chakra combos that I use: Crown/Amethyst; Third-Eye/Lapis Lazuli; Throat/Blue Lace Agate; Heart/Aventurine or Rose Quartz (depends on whether the client needs to attract love or heal from love); Solar Plexus/Citrine; Sacral/Carnelian; and Root/Red Jasper. There are also essential oil combinations, but we will get into that in another article.

Calling All Angels

Once the chakras are all flowing and happy, it’s time to call in the angels from the pure white light. Using a sweeping motion akin to that of the flutter of angel’s wings, I call in the angels and intuitively know which Archangel has come to the person’s aid. I give this information and other intuitive messages to my clients once the session is done. I ask the archangels to bless the healing that my client has just received and ask that it only serve for their highest good.


Standing at the head of the table, I draw an infinity symbol three times over my client.

Reiki Protective Layer

Lastly, in sweeping motions as if spreading a layer of icing over a cake, I sweep my hands over my client from head to toe covering all extremities with protective energy sealing up the cleansed aura.

I then step back and do a self-cleansing and balancing technique for myself. I allow my client to lay peacefully for a few minutes after the session before waking them up so that the energy centers and the energy body can acclimate to the new flow of energy. Once they are awake, I provide them with a glass of water that has been infused with Reiki energy and recommend that they spend the day drinking water in order to flush out the body.

Wishing you a day full of Love and Light!

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