In a typical whole-body Reiki treatment, the practitioner asks the recipient to lie down, usually on a massage table, and relax. Loose, comfortable clothing is usually worn during the treatment.
The practitioner might take a few moments to enter a calm or meditative state of mind and mentally prepare for the treatment, that is usually carried out without any unnecessary talking.
The treatment proceeds with the practitioner placing their hands on the recipient in various positions. However, practitioners may use a non-touching technique, where the hands are held a few centimeters away from the recipient’s body, for some or all of the positions.
The hands are usually kept still for 3 to 5 minutes before moving to the next position. Overall, the hand positions usually give a general coverage of the head, the front and back of the torso, the knees and feet. Between 12 and 20 positions are used, with the whole treatment lasting 45 to 90 minutes.
Some practitioners use a fixed set of hand positions. Others use their intuition to guide them as to where treatment is needed, sometimes starting the treatment with a “scan” of the recipient to find such areas. The intuitive approach might also lead to individual positions being treated for much shorter or longer periods of time.
It is reported that the recipient often feels warmth or tingling in the area being treated, even when a non-touching approach is being used. A state of deep relaxation, combined with a general feeling of well-being, is usually the most noticeable immediate effect of the treatment,, although emotional releases can also occur.
A series of three or more treatments, typically at intervals of 1 to 7 days, is usually recommended if a chronic condition is being addressed. Regular treatments, on an on-going basis, can be used with the aim of maintaining well-being. The interval between such treatments is typically in the range of 1 to 4 weeks, except in the case of self-treatment when a daily practice is common.