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It is said that in the original Usui system, only five formal hand-positions were used. These focussed on the head and neck.

A Reiki treatment session would involve first working in these five positions, followed by treating specific area of the body where imbalances presented.

The five positions were apparently named: zento bu, sokuto bu, koutou bu, enzui bu, and toucho bu

Treatment can be given with hands either in direct contact with the client, or alternatively with hands held a few inches out in the client's energy field. The example given below uses the latter approach.

While originally both the person receiving treatment and the person giving treatment would sit in seiza position, treatment now more commonly involves the person receiving treatment sitting on a chair while the person giving treatment stands.

The client should sit upright yet relaxed, with their hands in their lap, or resting on their thighs - their feet should be flat on the ground. If necessary, a cushion should be provided to support the lower back. Children, and adult clients of short stature may also require a firm cushion (or perhaps even a footstool) beneath their feet if the chair is a little too high for them to place their feet flat on the floor. An alternative option is of course a height-adjustable chair

The treatment procedure:

You - the practitioner - should stand a metre or so in front of the client. Both you and your client perform gassho rei - the gassho bow.

[The Japanese term gassho refers to a ritual gesture formed by placing the hands - palms together, in the prayer-position - in front of the mouth - the fingertips at a level just below the nose. (Many people also perform gassho with hands positioned in front of the chest at a level just above the heart.) Gassho rei involves bowing from the hip - back kept straight - with the hands in the gassho position. The bow / gassho implies recognition of the oneness of all beings. This gesture is also used to show reverence to Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Patriarchs & Teachers. ]

You then move to stand behind the client.

To begin, centre yourself - do what you do to let the Reiki flow: some people like to place their hands on the client's shoulders (- as if they were going to give them a shoulder massage) - as a means of making a 'connection' with the client.

Draw the relevant symbols if you chose to - in your mind's-eye or in physical space. Silently intone their mantra-names (or their kotodama if you work with these)...

As a general guideline, (especially for newer students), it is commonly recommended that you stay at each of the positions described for about 3 -5 minutes or so - however, the sooner new students begin trusting their intuition in these matters, the better, so do what feels right at the time.

zento bu:
With a steady, flowing movement, reach around in front of the client so as to position your hands about two to four inches in front of their forehead at the level of the hairline - palms flat, facing towards the client, your middle fingers almost touching each other. Stay with this position as long as is necessary.

sokuto bu:
When you feel ready to do so, smoothly draw your hands apart and around to the sides of the client's head so as to position them over the clients temples - again, two to four inches away from the surface of the client's head. Stay with this position as long as is necessary.

koutou bu:
Moving your body easily and smoothly to the client's left side, at the same time, your left hand moves to take up a position two to four inches infront of the centre of the client's forehead, your right hand moves to the back of their head - to a position just above their occipital ridge (the point where neck and skull meet) - two to four inches away from the client's head. Stay with this position as long as is necessary.

enzui bu:
Moving easily and smoothly to stand behind the client once more, at the same time your hands move to take up position two to four inches to either side of the client's neck. Stay with this position as long as is necessary.

toucho bu:
Smoothly move your hands upwards and over the client's head, bringing both hands to rest horizontally two to four inches above their crown - thumbs should almost touch each other, as should the first joint of each index finger. Stay with this position as long as is necessary.

After completing treatment in each of the five formal positions detailed above, you may then proceed to treat specific areas where the client's symptoms are presenting.

[Depending on the areas requiring treatment, some practitioners like to sit on a chair themselves for this part of the process. This is fine as long as there is no interruption to the 'flow' of the treatment. If you choose to use a chair, have it already in position at the optimum distance from the client to allow for ease of access to the relevant position.]

On completion of the treatment, do whatever you do to disconnect.

Centre yourself.

Move to stand a metre or so in front of the client.

Manifest kansha - gratitude - for having been granted this opportunity to assist your client to heal themself.

To complete the procedure, both you and your client perform gassho rei - the gassho bow.

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Disclaimer: The contents of this site is for general information only. James Deacon does not necessarily endorse the methodology, techniques or philosophy of individual modalities detailed herein, and accepts no liability for the use or misuse of any practice or exercise on this site, or ones linked to this site.