As Reiki energies flow between the practitioner and the recipient during the Reiki session, the two bodies may respond or react with particular sensations. These sensations are almost always pleasant. You may feel heat, warmth, cold, subtleness, or forcefulness. The fact that you can feel Reiki flowing, whether you are giving or receiving it, is verification that the energy is being welcomed.
What Reiki Feels Like
Reiki works like a thermostat that regulates the body. Much like a furnace that automatically turns on and off to regulate the temperature, Reiki flows slowly or rapidly-as needed–to dispense balancing energies. Like a pendulum swinging back and forth, Reiki sometimes moves erratically, other times smoothly. These fluctuations of ki (chi) energy moving within us can often be felt as pins-and-needles tingling, hot flashes, goose bumps, chills, throbbing, etc.
During a Reiki treatment, both the Reiki practitioner and the recipient may feel Reiki sensations. A practitioner’s hands will often heat up as a result of the flow coursing through his palms. The recipient frequently feels sleepy and yawns repeatedly as incoming Reiki energies soothe and calm pent-up emotional tension and stress.
You may experience any of the following sensations during a Reiki session: heat or coolness, pins-and-needle tingling, vibrational buzzing, electrical sparks, numbness, throbbing, itchiness, and sleepiness.
You May Not Feel Anything
Reiki sensations can be very subtle and may be overlooked, but with continued practice most people will begin to notice even the slightest shifts of energy. A few people will seldom, if ever, feel anything with Reiki beyond the tactile sensation of hands-to-body touch.
Fortunately, Reiki works whether you feel it or not. If you are having difficulty feeling sensations while giving a Reiki treatment, try closing your eyes. Keeping your eyes shut eliminates visual distractions, which will help you focus more on the person and the sensations.
Hot and Cold Hands
It is often taught that after receiving your Reiki Level I attunements you will develop hot hands. Having hot hands is supposedly a credible sign that the attunement worked and that you are now officially a channel for Reiki. Experiencing hot hands may very well indicate that Reiki has been awakened and you are now a genuine, functioning Reiki conduit. But if you do not experience hot hands, does that indicate nothing has happened and that your attunement was a failure? Not at all. Every person’s attunement experience is unique. Being told that you need to experience hot hands or that your experience was somehow deficient because it was different from that of others is greatly misleading.
Always wash your hands with soap and water before applying Reiki. Always avoid fragrant soaps and lotions, especially if the person you are treating may be allergic to the aromatic chemicals used in those products. If your hands are naturally cold, briskly rub your palms together for several seconds to warm them up before beginning treatment.
Temperature Variations During a Reiki Treatment
For some Reiki practitioners, hand temperature may change as they are giving Reiki treatments. These changes range from burning hot to icy cold. Sometimes, the practitioner’s and the recipient’s perception of the temperature will be different. For instance, as you are giving Reiki, you may feel that you’re burning up, but your recipient may feel coolness from your touch. Or, it may be that you are experiencing cold hands, while the recipient may comment on the warmth of your hands.
Extra Healing Hands
Here is an experience that is not at all uncommon. Some Reiki recipients may feel that additional practitioners are participating in the Reiki session. For instance, one woman reported that during a one-on-one session with the Reiki practitioner, she had felt two additional pairs of hands placed upon her body.
One possible explanation of the “extra healing hands” sensation according to some belief systems is that healing spirit guides are present…. Mostly, if the practitioner’s hands are hot, it indicates the recipient’s body has too much yang energy. If the hands are cold, the body has too much yin energy.
The Reiki Pulse
The pulsating sensation of Reiki can be felt in all parts of your body, but especially in the palms of your hands. This is because the palms are the outlets of Reiki energy. Reiki is like an anxious mother waiting at the door with open arms for her children to come home. Reiki wants to flow out of your hands and be put to good use. As soon as you place your hands on yourself or someone else, Reiki automatically turns on.
Other Reiki Sensations
Aside from the vibrational sensation in your hands, you may also experience soreness in your wrists and the joints of your fingers. In treating people with severe illnesses, you may feel a powerful pulling of Reiki energies from your neck, shoulders, and down your arms as well. If you find channeling greater time periods of Reiki painful or uncomfortable when treating someone, remove your hands from the recipient from time to time to give your hands a chance to rest. You can alternate – ten minutes hands on, ten minutes hands off, and so on.
Facilitating the Flow
Reiki flows in the direction of the easiest pathway. When the natural course of a river comes up against a dam, the water pools up in that area until it either breaks through the blockade or reroutes itself by traveling around the obstacle, moving through to the next available open channel.
Balls of Pulsating Reiki Energy
There may be times when Reiki will ball up in your hands, creating a circling orb of energy. Imagine having a tennis ball glued to the palm of your hand. No matter how hard you try, you cannot shake it off. Now, imagine that this tennis ball is a living organism that has a pulse.
Experiencing these pulsating balls of energy in your hands can be an odd or even disturbing sensation, but there is nothing to worry about. Reiki isn’t flowing anywhere outside of you, because there is no specific place for it to go. However, this may very well be an indication that self-Reiki is needed. Take advantage of this excess of energy in your hands and place your hands on your body. Allowing the Reiki to flow into your body should help reduce or release the ball of energy from your palms.