We are all taught about what is known as the “wisdom” of Reiki – or, as I tell my own students, the phrase “Reiki has its own wisdom – it goes where it needs to go.” This is actually the beauty of this holistic modality in that the Practitioner does not need to direct or manipulate the energy in any particular way.

The Practitioner simply calls upon the Universal Life Force Energy. When one is open as a clear and receptive channel, this energy flows in, through, and out to the intended recipient. So in its infinite intelligence and knowing, Reiki will automatically go to the place in the recipient's energetic field that most needs healing. For instance, even if one is offering Reiki at a client's head, if it is the digestive system that is most in need of healing, the energy will concentrate itself there.

Illness and body imbalance are a result of blockages in one's energy system – a disorder in the flow of healthy ki in and around the physical body. Of course, these are energetic blockages, not visible to the eye. Reiki can help remove these blockages, in order to return the recipient to a state of balance and well-being.

However, the one slight dichotomy, especially for new practitioners, concerns the classic standard hand positions. The question arises: why do we need a preset protocol of hand positions if Reiki has its own wisdom?

Mikao Usui, the founder of Reiki, is believed to have practiced Reiki in a more intuitive way himself. The standard hand positions were typically developed and taught by Mrs.Takata, possibly to “westernize” or standardize the practice of Reiki. Even though we consider them standardized, there are variations among Reiki teachers.

For newer students, learning the hand positions can help instill confidence. After all, it may be easier to initially follow a preset group of hand positions, as opposed to figure out intuitively where one might want to offer healing. That concept can be a bit daunting to a beginner.

In terms of the recipient / client on the table, he / she would most likely appreciate receiving a full body treatment. This is especially true of a first-time client, and many seem to prefer having a head-to-toe-to-back session.

Of course, one could just do a body scan (Byosen scanning) to help find potential blockages, or find a specific area in need of Reiki – and then just do Reiki in that particular area. However, I believe a client will not be completely satisfied if they are only aware of having Reiki being offered at their stomach area, for example. It is part of the human experience to want and enjoy a full body treatment.

However, I do teach scanning to my students and I encourage them to use their intuitive guidance as to how to offer the healing energy, because so much of Reiki is based on using one's intution. It is usually most effective if we just trust in the wisdom of Reiki to work for the highest good, and release expectations about specific opportunities.The infinite intelligence of the Universe will provide the healing that is appropriate for each individual!