DIY Reiki

Woman lying on sofa reading laptop

man doing self Reiki hands around an energy ball

When we give time to a quieting experience,
we have a different life because we have a different nervous system.
–Marianne Williamson

This quote by Marianne Williamson reminds me of Reiki. Having a daily self Reiki practice is such a simple way to give ourselves a quieting experience, shifting out of fight or flight, sympathetic nervous system dominance, into rest and digest, parasympathetic nervous system.

But can anyone do Reiki? Is it necessary to take a class? Learn 4 techniques to use Reiki on yourself whether you’ve studied it or not.

Can Anyone Do Self Reiki?

People sometimes ask me if you have to study Reiki to do self Reiki. Each of us has a natural healing ability. Taking a Reiki class offers a structure and foundation to build on this ability, especially if you’re considering becoming a professional Reiki practitioner. However, here are some DIY Reiki techniques you can try on your own whether you’ve received Reiki training or not.

DIY Reiki Techniques

Even if you’re new to Reiki, here are some self Reiki techniques to try:

hand on lower abdomen

Hands-on Healing

Hands on healing is our natural ability (just think about how you often feel better after someone holds your hand or gives you a hug). Reiki classes are a way to expand your innate capacity. You’ll learn a full Reiki self-healing protocol in Reiki I along with ways to amplify the energy healing. Once you’ve learned some basic techniques, you’ll have the ability to give yourself a self Reiki session every day, contributing to your own healing.

For now,  you can start by placing one hand on your heart, and the other hand on the lower abdomen. Close your eyes if it’s comfortable, and take a few long deep breaths. Imagine Reiki (life force energy) flowing through your hands and balancing your body, mind, and soul. Start with 5 minutes.

Book Now

Reiki Precepts

The Reiki precepts are rules to live by. There are many different translations; here’s one I like:

Do not bear anger for anger is illusion.
Do not be worried fear is distraction.
Be true to your way and your being.
Show compassion to yourself and others
Because this is the essence of Buddhahood (or this is your True Essence).

Reflect on the Reiki precepts as part of a 5-10 minute mediation. Read the Reiki precepts out loud or silently. You can pick one line to focus on if you like. Take a few deep breaths. Sit with your eyes closed if that’s comfortable, or pick a point to softly focus on as you reflect on the deeper meaning of the precepts. If you like, journal about any insights that arise. There are many layers to the precepts so this can be an ongoing practice.

Dry Bathing: Kenyoku Ho

This technique is based on a Shinto purification technique. Shinto is the native religion of Japan, and predates Buddhism by thousands of years. Gradually elements from Buddhism and Shintoism became part of the spiritual practice in Japan. Reiki founder Master Usui, his students, and those who came for Reiki treatment would have been familiar with both traditions.

This is a practice to purify the body, heart, and soul and is used to stimulate, activate, and clear the meridians (energy pathways) in the upper body.

It’s such a flexible tool. Some people use it to begin and end a self Reiki session or a session for someone else. Others use it throughout the day—before leaving home, at the end of the work day, as a pause between different activities or projects; it’s like hitting the reset button.

Remember when you do this technique that it facilitates the downward flow of energy, and this grounds you, helping you to be more in your body.

How to Do Dry Bathing

  • Place your right hand on your left shoulder – breathe in.
  • On the out breath, brush crosswise over your torso to your right hip. This clears any tension in the left shoulder, heart, liver.
  • Place your left hand on your right shoulder – breathe in.
  • On the out breath, brush crosswise over your torso to your left hip. This clears any tension in the right shoulder, heart, stomach, and spleen.
  • Once more, place your right hand on your left shoulder and brush crosswise over your torso to your right hip.
  • Bend your left arm, elbow against your side and arm horizontal to the ground.
  • With your right hand, starting at your left shoulder, breathe in.
  • Then on the out breath, brush downwards on the inside of your left arm to your fingertips. This clears the arm and hand meridians.
  • Bend your right arm, elbow against your side, arm horizontal to the ground.
  • With your left hand, starting at your right shoulder, breathe in.
  • Then on the out breath, brush downwards on the inside of your right arm to your fingertips. (arm and hand meridians).
  • Once more with your right hand, starting at your left shoulder, breathe in.
  • On the out breath, brush downwards on the inside of your left arm to your fingertips.

Book Now

Additional Practices From Your Reiki Training

And if you’ve studied Reiki, here are some more advanced practices you can do even if you’re short on time.

  • Hands-on-practice: the full Reiki self healing protocol
  • A modified version of the self-care protocol–pick 1-3 hand positions
  • Purifying breath technique
  • Hand breathing technique
  • Chant the mantras learned in Reiki II & Reiki III
  • Draw the symbols learned in Reiki II & III


Let yourself settle into yourself, into the quieting experience of Reiki.

A few minutes (or more!) every day of self Reiki will change your nervous system, balancing and calming it, and over time, you will change your life. Perhaps you’re already noticing this…

One of my favorite things about Reiki is noticing the subtle yet powerful changes in my life. How about you?

Want to Learn More About Reiki?

The Beginner’s Guide to Reiki Training

Can Anyone Learn Reiki?

Top Questions to Ask to Find a Qualified Reiki Teacher

Distance Reiki: The Beginner’s Guide to Distance Healing

Book Recommendation: The Japanese Art of Reiki by Frans Stiene

A Message

Here is a message I received for you during my morning meditation:

Your interest and attention to spiritual practice is appreciated. Do what you can each day to center your heart, mind, and body. There are many ways to do this. Take the time, put in the effort, notice the benefits. You are so loved.

Remember you can always place your hands on your body and give yourself Reiki for a minute or two. Breathe deeply and let it connect you deeper still.

Want to experience Distance Reiki?

I work with clients all over the world using an intuitive combination of Distance Reiki, Tao HandsVirtual Hypnosis, and flower essences. Book a session for general wellness and stress relief, or if you could use support with a particular challenge. Join us at a virtual Soul Healing Event or download from the library of Soul Healing Recordings. I’m also happy to guide you through any of the practices described above at the beginning of your session, just ask!

Book Now

Related Posts:

Featured in Oprah Magazine

Burned out by an all-consuming job, Deborah Flanagan found balance and peace through the healing arts — and now she's helping others do the same.

Read The Press
Also Featured On
Mind Body Green Logo Oprah Magazine Logo Dr. Oz Logo
Your Tango Logo ABC Network Logo Black Enterprise Magazine Logo Z Living Logo