Reiki Curious? Here's What To Expect During Your First Session

Reiki Master By Kelsey J. Patel
Reiki Master
Kelsey Patel is one of Hollywood’s leading wellness and reiki experts, and author of Burning Bright: Rituals, Reiki, and Self-Care to Heal Burnout, Anxiety, and Stress.
Woman Receiving a Reiki Healing Treatment

As someone who has been receiving and practicing reiki for several years, I've found that many newcomers to the modality have similar questions about it. So for anyone who is reiki curious, here are my answers to a few commonly asked questions. I hope they can help you decide if reiki healing is something you'd like to explore in your wellness journey.

How long is a reiki session?

A typical reiki session will last for about an hour (however, the makeup of the session can vary greatly depending on your practitioner).


Do you talk during the reiki session?

Again, it depends: You may have an in-person session where you and the reiki practitioner start by speaking for a while, more similar to a therapy session or counseling. Then you may do some healing exercises such as breathwork or EFT (emotional freedom technique) before lying down on a massage table (fully clothed) for the reiki portion, which could last around 35 to 45 minutes.

Other practitioners will have you lie down right away and go straight into the reiki. Then, they may reserve time afterward to chat through some of the things that came up during the session or answer any of your questions.

Is it possible to do a virtual reiki session?

Right now, with social distancing and stay-at-home orders in place, many practitioners are doing distance reiki healing. Reiki can be administered from a different physical space or even time frame and still be very powerful. People who have experienced distance reiki healing know the impacts of the healing that occurs, even from afar.

What should I expect to feel during a session?

While most people feel the effects of reiki right away, others may feel the impacts after their session. Common feelings include tingling, warmth, and deep relaxation. (You may even fall asleep because you become so relaxed and wake up from your session with a new sense of awareness, clarity, and/or connection.) Some say they feel as though a hand is touching a part of their body, when, in fact, it is not.

Each person is very different in how they feel and experience the reiki energy. This practice will also continue to shift and change and feel slightly different every time, similar to a meditation. Trust that your experience is exactly what it needs to be on that day.


Does reiki require touching?

Reiki is typically all hands-off; however, in my lineage, we touch the back of the head and the feet. Clients are always fully clothed, and I will often put a blanket over them so they can feel warm and relaxed. Again, each practitioner is different, and some may touch other areas of the body, like the knees, shoulders, or arms.

A practitioner should never touch the genitals or breasts, and they should never ask you to disrobe.

Do I need to go into a reiki session with a specific problem I want to fix?

Not at all. While many people come in for sessions because they are feeling things like pain, overwhelm, depletion, or anxiousness, reiki can support us in so many other aspects of life. I love working with clients who just want to receive reiki with no intention or expectation. That way, there is a whole world that can be explored during the session.

If there is something specific you want to address in a session, it's important to let your practitioner know that upon booking so they can make sure to connect to it during the healing.


How much does a reiki session cost?

This one varies. Some people charge $75 and some several hundred. There may be a price gap between virtual and in-person work, too. Each healer is very different in how they work and what they charge. It can also depend on where they are located; in LA, for example, the pricing will be very different from in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where my parents live and get reiki.

If you are looking for a more affordable reiki experience, practitioners who are just getting their reiki practice started often charge lower rates so they can get testimonials and build a solid client base.

Kelsey J. Patel
Kelsey J. Patel
Kelsey Patel is one of Hollywood’s leading wellness and reiki experts. She is not only a sought...
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