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The Complete Book of Traditional Reiki

Practical Methods for Personal and Planetary Healing

Published by Healing Arts Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

A comprehensive guide to the hands-on healing techniques taught to practitioners in a traditional Reiki I class

• Discusses Reiki’s origin and purpose, the attunement process, and the many physical and emotional states for which Reiki can provide healing support

• Includes step-by-step photographs of the basic hand positions

Reiki practitioners direct universal energy into the physical body through hands-on and energy-field healing to support the client in recovering health and reclaiming well-being. An easy-to-learn form of energy medicine, Reiki is becoming commonplace in such conventional settings as hospitals, hospices, and psychotherapy practices because it relaxes, relieves stress, reduces and eliminates pain, accelerates healing, and helps support the gentle restoration of the body’s natural balance. It is a unique healing art in that it can be learned by anyone, with no special knowledge of anatomy needed.

The Complete Book of Traditional Reiki takes the reader step by step through a traditional Reiki level I class. It discusses Reiki’s origins and purpose, describes the attunement process by which a student is imbued with the power to channel life-force energy, and gives complete instructions for the basic and advanced healing hand positions. The first book to serve as a teaching manual, an extensive reference work for students, and compelling reading for those considering taking a Reiki class, this updated edition includes new information on the history of Reiki and the Reiki principles and features never-before-published photographs and a translation of the Usi Memorial in Japan, a tribute to the founder of Usui Reiki.


Chapter 3



If you have had the opportunity to experience a Reiki treatment, you know that it is quite relaxing and soothing. Your perception of receiving a Reiki treatment may also be much more precise and detailed. You may have felt a comforting warmth under the practitioner’s hands or extending outward in all directions from the practitioner’s hands; you may have been aware of tingling or waves or a soft flow of the current of healing energy. You may also have felt intense heat or a sense of mild pressure or movement, even though the practitioner assured you he was not doing massage and his hands were still. This may have been accompanied by the simple recognition that your breathing had become easier, your pulse steadier and stronger, your digestion faster.

As a newly attuned Reiki practitioner, you will now experience such sensations as the energy flows through your attuned hands. With each attunement you receive, however, your hands are going to become stronger, steadier channels for the flow of healing energy. You will register this flow of energy in familiar ways, and in some new ways that are natural extensions of the ways you already know.

For example, you may be used to thinking of your hands as presenting a small range of surface temperatures: most of the time they are warm, but when you are in a room with the thermostat turned down in the winter, your hands become quite cold. Now, with each attunement, the range of surface temperatures is going to become greater. Your hands will usually be noticeably warmer or cooler when you are providing a treatment. At times your hands may feel so hot that even the air above them seems hot, as if they are surrounded by a cloud of radiant heat. On other occasions the heat may seem so concentrated under your palm that you feel as if you were holding your hands near a match flame. When you experience such sensations, you may also find that your palms are actually perspiring.

Such temperature differences will help you to recognize the sensations you are experiencing as an expression of the flow of healing energy. At times the sensation of warmth or heat is not limited to the hands but seems to travel all the way to the shoulders and the torso. This is indicative of a strong need on the part of the person receiving the energy.

Perhaps surprisingly, the sensation of cold or coolness can also indicate the flow of healing energy. At times this is pleasant and refreshing to the practitioner; at other times it is simply something to accept in the spirit of service. The sensations experienced are not of the practitioner’s choice; they are expressions of the healing energy flowing through the practitioner’s hands to meet the needs of the client. When the energy is needed in a different way, it modulates itself in answer to that need, and the practitioner notices a subtle or a marked shift.

Another familiar sensation that you may experience is tingling or “pins and needles.” When this is how the healing energy expresses itself, the sensation will be sustained for some time--as long as the area of the client’s body under your hands is calling for the energy--but it will not be uncomfortable to you. You will often be able to isolate the locus of the tingling precisely. You may say to the client, “I feel a tingling under the knuckle of my right index finger” or “The base of my palm up to my wrist seems prickly.” This is an accurate description of your perception of the energy. In time you will learn that such specific sensations are informative about the client’s condition.

Some sensations will seem new to the practitioner. For example, after a short time most practitioners experience the sensation of energy being pulled or drawn down into the client’s body. Another common sensation is that of a vortex or whirlpool of energy, often under a fingertip or a finger joint. Sometimes practitioners also feel a wave of energy moving gently back and forth between their hands.

As you learn Reiki, you learn to listen to your hands, which will speak now with a greater expressiveness than you have ever experienced before. In time, you will learn not only to listen to your hands but also to “read the body” under your hands like the blind read braille--as a language that makes a whole world of understanding possible in new and meaningful ways.


Once you have learned the twelve standard hand positions, you can take the time in each position to listen to your hands and feel the flow of Reiki’s healing energy come on, increase to a steady level of activity, and then gradually or suddenly decrease, signaling you to move to the next position. This allows the body to receive the amount of energy it naturally calls for to provide an energetic foundation for healing to occur, to stabilize, and to begin to build. Do not make it a goal to “get through” all the positions. It is better to treat even one position with deep Reiki healing than to race through a treatment without paying attention to the energy’s gentle, soothing flow.

Basic I, Position 1

The first position used on the body’s torso covers most of the lower rib cage and some of the organs most sensitive to stress. Your Reiki touch here will benefit the bones of the lower rib cage, the diaphragm, the lungs, the liver, the stomach, the pancreas (behind the stomach), and the spleen. Behind these organs the adrenal glands and the kidneys will receive the energy’s healing effects. The blood supplied to these organs from the heart through the abdominal aorta and other major arteries will be washed in the energy’s healing flow, before it circulates throughout the body and back to the heart.

About The Author

Amy Z. Rowland is a certified Usui Reiki Master with more than 30 years of experience. She has taught the Western tradition of Reiki (Usui Shiki Ryoho) since 1994 and also teaches workshops on the Reiki principles and on Reiki and intuition. She is a certified hypnotherapist and has worked as a clinical therapist. The author of The Complete Book of Traditional Reiki, Traditional Reiki for Our Times, Intuitive Reiki for Our Times, and Reiki for the Heart and Soul, she lives in Pennsylvania.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Healing Arts Press (June 14, 2010)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781594779114

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Raves and Reviews

The Complete Book of Traditional Reiki offers a comprehensive foundation for beginners and seasoned practitioners alike. Amy Rowland has presented a lucid and straightforward presentation of the Reiki teachings that will serve any sincere student and prove to be a constant source of inspiration for a lifetime of practice. I highly recommended it!”

– Lawrence Ellyard, author of Reiki Meditations for Beginners and Reiki: 200 Questions and Answers for

“Amy Rowland’s book is an engaging story of discovery, which has been a pleasure to read. Contains well-researched knowledge of Reiki’s origins and reveals practical and metaphysical insights into its use and effectiveness today.”

– Chris Parkes and Penny Parkes, Reiki Masters and coauthors of 15-Minute Reiki

“I am delighted to recommend this concise, enlightening, and thoroughly enjoyable book by Amy Z. Rowland. It is a definite “must have” for any serious student of alternative healing techniques, but also for those wishing to understand the essence of spiritual energy, Prana, Chi or Qi, as it is better known.”

– Lesley Crossingham, New Dawn Magazine, January 2012

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