Karen Harrison

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Monday, Mar. 22nd 2021

Increasing the Flow of Reiki Energy

by Karen K. Harrison, Ed.S., LCPC, LCMFT

First published in Reiki News Magazine Spring 2021

IncreasingTheFlow – click to download

Photos courtesy of Karen K. Harrison – Sending distant Reiki with a doll. 

Have you occasionally thought that Reiki might not be flowing when you are giving Reiki to yourself or someone else? Or you thought it might not be flowing as strongly as you want? Maybe the person to whom you were giving Reiki didn’t feel it, so you wondered if Reiki was flowing. These things can happen and be perplexing or distressing, especially to less experienced practitioners. In this article, I will explore what might be taking place, how to know if Reiki is flowing, and some ways to increase the flow of your Reiki energy.


Should the Practitioner Always Feel Reiki Flowing?

Sometimes when giving Reiki, the practitioner does not feel the energy flowing. This situation can occur because the energy isn’t intended for the practitioner but for the client. To know if it is flowing, you need to ask the client what they are feeling. Almost always, the client will report feeling more relaxed or feeling the warmth from your hands which of course indicates that it is flowing.

When the students give each other Reiki during my class, I like to ask them if they feel the energy flow. If the giver doesn’t, then I ask the receiver if they feel it. Almost always, the receiver feels the energy. It may take time for the practitioner to feel the flow. The giver might not feel the energy flow if she has a busy mind, has a hard time believing she can do Reiki or has had some challenging life experiences that caused her to shut down.

When I received Reiki I training I didn’t feel the energy flow for the first year. I had come out of an abusive marriage where I had to numb out to survive the abuse. Eventually, I started feeling the energy flow when I gave myself Reiki or worked on others. One of my students didn’t feel the energy flow in her hands for years. However, she felt the flow in her body as sensations. Her clients also reported that they felt the energy, so she just trusted that it worked. After several years, she started feeling the flow in her hands. Despite originally not feeling the energy flow in her hands, she was an extraordinarily successful Reiki teacher and practitioner.


The Client Doesn’t Feel Reiki

Over the years, I have had a couple of clients who didn’t feel the Reiki energy even when I perceived it was flowing. Normally clients feel some warmth and relaxation or see lights or colors. However, if they feel nothing and perceive no benefit, they are unlikely to return. Luckily, this is usually a rare occurrence.

I recently had a student who had sent several Reiki sessions to her adult daughter who lived in another city. She didn’t tell her daughter when she sent it. The daughter reported that she didn’t feel the energy, so my student thought her Reiki wasn’t working. I told her it is common for the receiver not to feel the energy if they don’t know it is coming. Only a few extraordinarily sensitive people will feel the energy even when they don’t know it is being sent, but this is not the norm. To increase the likelihood that the client will be aware of receiving Reiki, schedule the session when the receiver can lie down and relax. This situation will allow the receiver to more easily be aware of any subtle feelings of peace and relaxation that may occur within them. This student partnered with others in a Reiki Master class, and all of her partners felt her Reiki very strongly. Finally, she believed that her Reiki was working.

A colleague of mine, Grace Lindsay, told me that in one of her first Reiki classes, she was the receiver in a practice session with a partner. She didn’t feel any flow or warmth from his hands and wondered if the Reiki was flowing at all. However, after the session, she realized that the Reiki had taken her to a deep place within herself. Be open to experiencing the gifts of Reiki in a variety of ways.


Ideas to Increase the Flow of Reiki

Many students have asked me how to increase the flow of Reiki. While the energy may already flow well, practitioners often want to give the most powerful session possible. In general, when the client is relaxed, the energy may flow optimally. I often feel more Reiki flow in my hands when I observe the client is calm. The following are various ideas for you to try, to increase Reiki’s flow, help the client relax, and calm their mental chatter.

Beginning your sessions, whether in person or at a distance, with the following Byosen Scanning techniques will help increase your Reiki energy flow. Find this information in Reiki, The Healing Touch (p. 57). Place your hands in Gassho, say a prayer giving thanks for the opportunity to help another, and ask that the Reiki energy flow powerfully. I suggest adding into your prayer/intentions to set your ego aside and be a channel for the highest and holiest Reiki energy. Then bring your hands up, so the thumbs touch the third eye and ask to be guided to where the person needs the Reiki energy. Begin to scan as described in the manual or let your intuition guide you where to place your hands.

When the client wants to talk, I know as a counselor it’s helpful to have someone listen. However, after listening for a while, I might say to the client that I am happy to hear about her issues and mention that the energy may flow more strongly when she is quiet and relaxing.

One of my favorite techniques is asking the client to soak up the energy and be a sponge. I have a funny saying, “Suck it up, buttercup!” I will also explain that I can only give them as much energy as they can receive, and the more they can focus on being receptive, the stronger the Reiki will flow. Most of the time, I feel an immediate increase in the energy flow after providing this information. And when this works, and I feel the energy flowing more strongly, I let the client know that their intention is working.

Sometimes clients fear receiving healing energy because they think they are draining the practitioner which of course, is not the case with Reiki. To make sure the client understands how Reiki works, I might tell the client I am not using any of my own energy but that Reiki connects me to an unlimited supply of healing energy that I am channeling. Because of this, I let the client know they can have as much as they want and that I also receive Reiki when giving it.

Another technique my intuition gave me is to ask the client to focus on a soothing color. Visualizing a color activates the right side of the brain, the intuitive, creative brain. This action tends to quiet the left side of the brain, the logical, analytical side. It may help the client stop ruminating over the same thoughts. Many clients have reported feeling more relaxed when using this technique.

Massage therapists often start a session with their clients face down. They know that clients are not as likely to talk when lying face down and are more likely to relax. Reiki practitioners can do the same. Clients seem more likely to fall asleep during sessions when lying face down.

Sound healing is another tool I have tried to provide more relaxation for the client. Drumming rhythmically and softly over the client helps quiet the mind and relax the body while they attune to the beat’s sound and vibration. I find that placing Reiki symbols on the drum before beginning the drumming energizes the drum beats with Reiki. For more information about Reiki drumming, check out www.reikiclasses.com.

Sometimes I will use Reiki-charged singing bowls by playing them around the client. To charge the singing bowl, I draw a few Reiki symbols over the bowl. If I have a larger bowl available, I will place it on the client, draw a Reiki symbol, and then tap it gently with a mallet. Tuning forks to balance the brain can also assist. Check out the Sacred Ratio Pythagorean Tuning Forks Kit by Jonathan Goldman, along with his video on how to use them at www.healingsounds.com.

These techniques have worked for me, and I follow my intuition to know what to use for each client. In writing this article, I also asked other ICRT Licensed Reiki Master Teachers what they do to increase Reiki’s flow. Here is what they shared: Chellie Kammermeyer, Tracey Sullivan, and Kathy Milanowski all reported they recite the Reiki Ideals silently and step into a place of gratitude. What a great idea! I will try that. Jay Jackson offers gratitude to and for Reiki and then feels a flood of love and Reiki pour through. He states that gratitude is often the magic balm that makes everything work better.

Before beginning a session, Robin Fuerst takes a deep breath, relaxes, and says a prayer asking that her personality and ego are set aside. Likewise, Kathy Golden shared, “I remind myself that I am in the way if I am having thoughts that Reiki isn’t flowing. Then I say, ‘I turn this session over to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit,’ so I am removed, and the Reiki energy is returned to its highest vibration.”

Focusing on the breath is a well-known way to quiet the mind. Bryce Goebel shared, “Have them begin to focus on their breath. Think of what color joy would be. On the inhale, breathe in that color. On the exhale, send it out from the lungs, eventually flooding every cell with the color of joy.” Breath is powerful. I have asked clients to breathe into their pain areas on the inhale, which brings their consciousness into the area and can help facilitate healing.

Sometimes it is not the client who is initiating conversation, but the Reiki practitioner. I have observed this taking place in Reiki circles and Reiki classes. Between sessions, it is useful to check in with clients and see how they feel after the session. Beyond that conversation, talking about other topics such as daily events can distract the client. William Rand in Reiki, The Healing Touch, states, “Although Reiki will flow when you are talking, it works much better when you are in a meditative state, allowing your consciousness to merge with the Reiki energy” (p. 43).



I hope all the above ideas will help your clients relax and increase Reiki energy flow. In Reiki, The Healing Touch, William Rand writes, “The most important way to increase the effectiveness of Reiki is to invite it to come from a place of love, compassion, and kindness within you. This will create a feeling of emotional safety for clients, encouraging them to more fully accept the Reiki energy. It will also open the doors to your healing potential, increasing and providing a deeper healing for you” (p. 43).

Focusing my mind on Reiki is very relaxing for me as a practitioner. It allows me to let go of all other thoughts, which, in turn, tunes me into my guidance for how to best help the client during the Reiki session. Helpful ideas come easily in that state, and often I feel the love of the Divine flowing through me! Gratitude abounds as I rise in consciousness and open my heart to greater love! My fondest wish is that the ideas in this article will help you and that you will also be guided to unique methods of sharing Reiki that are exactly right for you to use.


Karen Harrison is a co-director of the ICRT Licensed Teacher Training Program and practices and teaches Reiki as a Holy Fire® III Licensed Reiki Master Teacher for the ICRT in Leawood, Kansas. She is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor. Karen can be contacted by email at Karen@karenharrison.net or through her website at www.karenharrison.net.

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