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What It Means to Feel the Waves of Hand Sensations Through a Reiki Session

Learn more about what those hand sensations can represent when practicing Reiki.

Sometimes, a Reiki practitioner experiences varying sensations in their hands while performing energy treatment. No need to worry; this is quite normal in Reiki.

It can enhance your Reiki application if you learn more about these hand sensations. Below are the meanings behind some of the standard impressions you may feel during Reiki.

Sense This

The intensity of feeling energy in hands can range depending on the practitioner and the client. As a practitioner, your perception of sensations may differ from others, so while we offer up information on hand sensations, be aware that you may have different experiences. However, Walter Lubeck listed insights on energy communication through some common sensations, which can help with the ability to identify what is needed in treatment.


  • There is life-force energy currently flowing through the client.
  • The client’s energy is open and welcoming of the treatment.
  • Creates “a higher vibrational frequency of the entire system.”


  • The sensation can vary from warm to boiling.
  • The client’s energy needs treatment.
  • The energy of the client is welcoming towards the treatment.

Strong Magnetic Attraction

  • Treatment is urgently needed.
  • The energy of the client is open to treatment.
  • Once the feeling is gone, wait for other possible sensations before moving on.


  • Possibly, there is inflammation in that area.
  • Intense tingling can mean severe inflammation. (In these cases, you may want to suggest your client see their physician.)


  • There may be an old energy blockage.
  • Extensive treatment might be needed to release blockage(s).
  • The client might end up facing forgotten memories or pains.

Energy Pushing You Away

  • There “is probably an old, deeply rooted blockage” dampening the client’s life energy.
  • Second Degree Reiki (level 2 of training) is advised to treat this kind of blockage.
  • You may need to implement other energy treatments, such as affirmations, to promote healing.

Sharp Pain

  • “This may be energy build-up in the process of dissolving.”
  • The client may experience stress or pain during the release of this energy. (Assist the client after the treatment, and let them talk about their experience if needed.)

Dull Pain

  • Built-up energy that is ready to be dissolved.
  • This area will probably be in constant need of treatment until the build-up starts to release.
  • Full-body treatment may help speed up healing.

Pain Twinges

  • Built-up energy that is almost ready to be dissolved. (This is a slight variation from dull pain, as the build-up isn’t in a pre-conscious state but dissociated from the energy around it.)
  • This area is in constant need of treatment until the build-up starts to release.

Sense That

Feeling hand sensations during Reiki can be more than a happenstance. It can be intentional. Many Reiki practitioners apply Byosen Scanning. Intuitive Reiki International describes that “Byosen is a powerful feedback mechanism.” It can inform a reiki practitioner where Reiki is most needed. They suggest setting your intentions to identify where there is disharmony. Reiki master, Kathleen Johnson, explains that some of the sensations you may feel during the scanning can indicate a rise in severity levels.

Warmth (higher than usual in the hands for Reiki treatment)

  • There may be a build-up of toxins.

Strong Heat (sweaty palms)

  • There is a higher build-up of toxins.

Tingling (“pins and needles” or buzzing sensation)

  • There is an alarming amount of toxins built-up.

Throbbing, Cold (pulsing and/or cold hand sensations)

  • There may be enough of a severe amount of toxins that could cause infection in that area.

Pain (felt in the hands and possibly wrist, arm, and/or shoulder)

  • This sensation indicates the most severe toxins build-up, which will need immediate treatment until the feeling decreases or ceases.

We also encourage you to refer the client to a physician to ensure their wellbeing. Reiki is an excellent accompaniment to medical treatment and should not be a replacement.

The more you practice your intentions on hand sensations during Reiki, the more attuned you’ll be to them. In the beginning, you may not feel anything at all, but stay focused on your intentions. It will help increase your abilities.

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