You Can Do Reiki On Yourself — Here's How

This guest post is written by Kait Fowlie; a tarot reader, level 2 Usui reiki practitioner, moon watcher, dreamer, and creator. 

When I first started practicing reiki, I was in my early 20s working my first full-time office job and burnout was my constant. I couldn’t imagine living in a constant loop of commuting, working, commuting home, and having no energy to spare — but I, like my peers, wanted to be independent. My career was important to me, even if the job I was working at the time wasn’t. Something had to change and it couldn’t be my 9-5 job / lifestyle.

What I wanted was more energy, and I wanted a way to get it that was more all-encompassing than a diet or detox or a class pass or something. As an empath, my burn-out felt deeper than just physical after all. When I discovered reiki, I found a tool that helped me feel more deeply empowered in terms of my health than ever, because I could literally take my energy into my own hands whenever and wherever I needed. I want this tool for everyone — and the great thing is that everyone can have it. 

Meet Your Reiki 

Reiki comes from the Japanese word (Rei) which means ‘universal life’ and (Ki) which means ‘energy.’ So, reiki is, simply, universal life force energy. If you are alive, you have it, and you have what you need to heal yourself. 

Try this: Rub your hands together briskly for a few seconds, then hold them still, an inch or two apart. Feel the buzzing of sensation in your hands. Now put your hands over your eyes and feel the warmth. This small, subtle energy is your life force — your actual human superpower. The way I see it, practicing reiki (or, sending reiki out of your palms and into your body’s chakras) can help you really get to know / build a relationship with your power. 

Of course, it’s subtle. So much more subtle than a jolt of caffeine or blast of cold wind. But it’s been my experience that tuning into that super-subtle energy is often the medicine we need when we’re feeling especially depleted. 

So How Does Reiki Work, Exactly?

The therapy of reiki, developed by a Buddhist named Mikao Usui, is based on the philosophy that we’re all guided by the same life force which controls our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The idea is this: When energy flows freely, we can access deeper reserves of power. When energy is blocked (by stress, unexpressed emotions, or unhealed trauma, etc), we function less-than-optimally. 

In a reiki treatment, a practitioner will send reiki energy into a patient’s chakras (or energy centres), so energy is able to flow easily and the body can come back into balance. It’s said that whatever needs to happen during a treatment will — the practitioner just acts as a channel and lets the reiki energy to go to work in the body. In other words, reiki activates the body’s natural ability to heal. 

We can use our own hands to give ourselves reiki, too. I believe we don’t necessarily need someone who has a certification to heal us. 

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My Reiki Philosophy & How I Do It On Myself

For me, reiki is like an energetic dialogue I have with myself. It’s where I unite my body and mind with intention and ask myself, ‘OK, where are we at today? What’s going all over this body?’ It’s where I step into the role of my own healer and send myself some love. I believe that any practice that allows us to feel and accept our energetic and emotional state exactly as it is in any given moment, can be powerfully healing. So, I don’t necessarily need to know ‘if reiki works’ to know that it works for me, and that I recommend others try it if their curious!

Here’s A Simple Body Scan Ritual To Connect To Your Energy Body:

  1. Lay down on a yoga mat or a dedicated space you feel comfy. Set a timer for however long you have to devote. 

  2. ‘Dry bathe’ your body by brushing the backs of both your arms down with your hands, making a sweeping motion downward toward the floor. Repeat with the insides of both arms. Repeat 3 - 4 times.

  3. Bring your hands to your heart to set an intention for your reiki practice. (Maybe it’s something like, “I’d like to feel grounded in my body”.) 

  4. Now imagine a beam of healing white light flowing into the top of your head and flowing down through your entire body, spreading healing energy as it goes.

  5. Now bring your hands to the top of your head and slowly move them downward over your entire body, hovering a couple inches above you, to complete a body scan. Follow your hands with your breath and ‘breathe into’ each body part as you move over it. 

  6. If you feel any areas that feel slightly heavy or murky in their energy (as if the air above that body part is thicker), or if you feel energy raised in certain areas, spend a little more time there. Use your intuition. 

  7. When you’re done, sweep the energy away from your body to disperse it. Now return your hands to your heart in gratitude. 

If you want to feel a little more held as you do your reiki, here are some guided body-scan meditations I recommend: 

Tara Brach 20 minute basic body scan

Jason Stephenson’s 30-minute chakra balancing meditation

Marianne Williamson’s 8-minute meditation for a light filled body 

A Mindful Collective