Karen Harrison

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Tuesday, May. 16th 2017

Reiki for Sleep

Reiki for Sleep
By Karen Harrison, Ed.S., LCPC, LCMFT

First Published in Reiki News Magazine Summer 2013

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DO YOU HAVE CHALLENGES getting to sleep or staying asleep? If you are a parent, do you wish you could get your kids to sleep so you can relax before your own bedtime? Between 50 to 70 million Americans struggle with sleep issues.1 Sleep deficiency is related to motor vehicle accidents, industrial disasters, medical and occupational errors and difficulty performing daily tasks.2 Lack of sleep may lead to chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, obesity, cancer, reduced quality of life and productivity and increased mortality in certain conditions.3

Everyone with Reiki training already has tools to help him or herself and his or her loved ones with sleep issues. This article contains many practical ideas that I have used over the years and taught to my students and clients to help them successfully get to sleep and stay asleep with Reiki. In all cases, begin by calling on your Spiritual Source and asking for help with your Reiki endeavors as you try each of the techniques listed below.

Prepare your Bedroom
If you have a TV in your bedroom, and you have learned the Byosen Scanning technique, scan the area near the TV and compare it with the energy in a room with no TV. You will notice a difference. The energy from every show (or even from a disagreement between the occupants of the room) leaves a remnant of lower vibration energy in your room that can affect you and your sleep. To clear the space, intend that the space be cleansed and charged with Reiki. With Reiki Level I, beam the four walls, ceiling and floor with Reiki. With Reiki Level II, draw the CKR symbol in the air towards the four walls, ceiling and floor. To amplify the clearing and charging, draw the CKR with a burning sage or incense stick while chanting the name of the CKR symbol. You can also use tuning forks by sounding them and drawing the CKR symbol in the air with them.  Cleanse and charge the energy in your bedroom once a week or even nightly to create a peaceful environment for sleep.

Prepare Your Bed

First use Byosen Scanning (or whatever you use to detect energy blocks) over your bed to detect any areas that particularly need cleansing. Where the energy feels static, heavy, dark, etc. intend to brush out the energy with your hands by combing your Reiki-charged hands over the area at different heights several times. Then draw the CKR and SHK symbols and the Karuna Reiki® symbol of Shanti over your bed with special attention to your pillow. It is especially effective to draw the symbols several times to create a rectangular box around where you will be lying.  Doing so creates a peaceful cocoon of loving, safe and comfortable energy that is perfect for relaxation. If you find yourself lying awake at night and worrying, get out of bed, activate your Reiki energy and clear yourself with Kenyoku-ho (Dry Bathing).4 Then clear and charge your bed as described above. Pay special attention to your pillow because if you worry, you will leave disrupted energy there. Consider cleansing and charging the energy in your bed every night before retiring since doing so frequently only takes a minute and offers long lasting results. 

If you enjoy making use of crystals and their energy, consider creating a Reiki-charged crystal bed. Cleanse and charge quartz crystals with Reiki by holding them in your hands or by beaming them with Reiki. Hold the intention to cleanse and charge them while giving them Reiki for several minutes. I have placed polished crystals between the bed and box spring. Under my bed, I have a piece of plywood with 25 napkin holders glued to the wood. In each napkin holder is an upright crystal point with the point heading up. Add rose quartz crystals to support feelings of love. Sleeping on crystals can create a feeling of floating so in order to have a balance with grounding, consider adding hematite rocks at each side and at the feet.

When you travel, always cleanse and charge your room and your bed before you retire for the evening. The energy of the last people in the room lingers. Even if their energy is good, it may not be conducive to your relaxation. One of my students complained of having nightmares in hotel rooms. Since using Reiki to clear the room and bed, he reported that he is sleeping peacefully.

Clearing the bed with Reiki, (Reiki energy pad on pillow).

Demonstrating the Reiki scarf technique.

Reiki crystal bed (the plywood platform slides under the bed).













Reiki Energy Pad
One of my students, Suzanne Jackson, created the Reiki Energy Pad, inscribed with five of the main Reiki symbols inside.5 Placed under the pillow, it helps to create peaceful sleep, and I think it makes a difference! 

Prepare Yourself
Sleep problems may originate in the mind or in the physical body. Let’s first address the mind. Worry can interfere with sleep and keep us awake at night. When we ruminate or worry, it may seem like our thinking is caught in a hamster wheel that is spinning but going nowhere. The SHK symbol can help with worry as well as insomnia. In Reiki, The Healing Touch, author William Lee Rand states, “This symbol (SHK) is used in emotional and mental healing to heal bad habits but also has many other uses. It balances the right and left sides of the brain, bringing harmony and peace. SHK is especially useful for healing relationship problems. It can be used with any sort of mental/emotional distress such as nervousness, fear, depression, anger, sadness, etc.”6

To treat your head with Reiki, activate the CKR, SHK and the Karuna Reiki® Shanti symbol and place your hands on the back of your head. Intend that your right and left brain hemispheres come into balance. You may be able to feel a shift in which the right and left sides feel equal in temperature or in heaviness or lightness after a minute or so. The following is an extension of this technique that I created through experimentation. Intend that your brain wave patterns come into coherence with each other, which means the brain waves are working together in a unified pattern. You do not have to know how to do this as your body knows how. Next intend that your brain wave patterns slow down. You may find yourself breathing slower and deeper. You can also place your Reiki hands on the pre-frontal cortex (the area in charge of executive function including decision-making), the base of your brain (which monitors the vital functions of the body) or on the sides of your head to calm these areas and prepare them for rest.

Additionally, you can use this procedure for your clients. I have found that when I work on the heads of clients who are stressed, there is a sensation of waves of chaotic energy shooting off in different directions. Literally that is what they are doing—spinning their energy off in many directions. When I use my intention in Reiki sessions to balance the brain hemispheres, bring the brain waves into coherence and slow the brain waves down, the energy in the client’s head feels like it softens, starts moving in a coherent pattern and becomes slower. I see the client visibly relax and sometimes drift off to sleep.

I have experimented and given the client this instruction out loud, telling him that he doesn’t have to know how to do this because his body knows how to do it. I have also given the instruction non-verbally and according to what I experienced with my hands under the head, it worked equally as well. The energy in my hands shifts to a feeling of waves of energy moving together in a coherent way, much like a couple dancing together. You can explain this procedure to the client so he or she can use it at home.

Now let’s address the body. When the body is overactive, it helps to give Reiki. Our bodies may be keyed up from caffeine, exercising close to bedtime, spicy foods, etc. Activate your Reiki energy and intuitively place your hands on your body where you feel your body needs the most relaxation. It is very hard to sleep when we have pain anywhere in the body. Reiki lessens or eliminates pain. Activate CKR, SHK and the Karuna Reiki® symbols of Zonar and Halu, giving Reiki wherever you want to ease discomfort.

Reiki Scarf Technique to Smooth Energy

While taking a dance class that made use of scarves, I discovered scarves help to smooth the energy in the aura. I have found that adding Reiki and intention to the scarves is very useful for smoothing and clearing energy, which helps with sleep. My favorite kind of scarf for this practice is a multi-colored silk scarf because silk is easy to move and having many colors brings the energy of several chakras into play. Hold the scarf and give it Reiki. Scan your energy field with Byosen Scanning or whatever technique you use to determine energy blocks. Then wave and flick the scarf all around your body from head to toe for a couple of minutes, intending to clear and smooth your energy. Pay special attention to any areas of pain. Re-scan your body and notice the difference. From doing this technique for myself and my clients I have found that it smooths out the energy field and makes the energy actually feel silky. You can also clear energy in your room by waving the Reiki-charged scarf through the air.

Sleep Button Technique

Here is a technique created by Reiki Master Tracy Kincheloe, called the “Sleep Button:”7
Creating a sleep button has two phases, a creation phase and an activation phase. While you need to have use of the Reiki Level II symbols to ‘install’ a sleep button on someone, once installed anyone can activate it, making this a great thing to do for clients, friends and colleagues.

Locate the spot just above the heart (either on self, on other person or distance).Visualize a disc-like button at that spot 3–4 inches across. Draw or intend the mental/emotional and distant Reiki symbols into this button. Repeat three times an affirmation like “I install this sleep button for restful sleep at such time as (name) needs it.” Draw a power symbol to seal the energy into the button. Instruct the client in how to use the sleep button (to follow). Tell the client that the button may need to be refreshed (reinstalled) if it stops working well.

Instruct the person to tap his or her chest in that spot when he or she wants to go to sleep and say “Sweet Sleep” three times (or similar short phrase).

You can install the sleep button for a particular time, such as 11:00 p.m. nightly if that is when the client needs to go to sleep. When the client activates it around the time it is set for, he or she may be sleepy even if the client forgets to activate it, as it is “pre-installed/activated” by the distance symbol. As one client noted, “I can no longer stay up to watch Jay Leno. Can you turn it off???”

Getting Children to Sleep with Reiki

Use the techniques above to cleanse and charge your child’s room with Reiki. If your child is open to receiving hands on Reiki, give your child the healing energy for 10 minutes or longer at bedtime. I have been giving my 19-year-old daughter Reiki since she was an infant, and most of the time she falls asleep within 10 minutes—still. You can also give Reiki to your young child when asleep to help him or her sleep peacefully through the night rather than wake up and come wake you up.

Some final thoughts on getting a good night’s sleep

Along with using Reiki to help improve the quality of our sleep, it’s helpful to have a good foundation for restful sleep. Here are basic sleep tips from the National Sleep Foundation:8

1. Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule every day, including weekends. 
2. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music.
3. Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.
4. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
5. Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex.
6. Finish eating at least two to three hours before your regular bedtime.
7. Exercise regularly, but complete your workout at least a few hours before bedtime.
8. Avoid caffeine (e.g., coffee, tea, soft or energy drinks) close to bedtime, as it can keep you awake.
9. Avoid nicotine (e.g., cigarettes, tobacco products) too close to bedtime.
10. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime.

—Karen can be contacted by email at karen@karenharrison.net


1 Institute of Medicine. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem (Washington, DC: The National Academic Press, 2006)

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.

4 (Kenyoku) is a Japanese Reiki Technique for purification. In Japan, before one enters a temple or sacred place, usually there is a place near the entrance with running water that is used for ritual cleansing to purify oneself before entering. Kenyuoku…is a technique for ritual purification using energy rather than water. This is a good technique to use before and after…a Reiki (session). It can also be used at various times through the day or anytime one feels the need to release negative energy. wwwreikiwebstore.com/ProductPage.cfm?ProductID=420.

5 To see a picture of a Reiki energy pad, go to www.etsy.com/listing/122147902/reiki-energy-pads-circle?ref=shop_home_feat/.

6 William Lee Rand. Reiki, The Healing Touch, (Southfield, MI: Vision Publications, 2000), 48.

7 For more information about the sleep button, go to www.reikimastery.com/tk-sleepbutton.html.

8 www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-disorders-patient-education/rls-restless-legs-syndrome-treatment-options (retrieved March 24, 2013).

For more sleep tips, see also www.webmd.com, www.sleeptracks.com, and https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sleep/HQ01387.

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