One of issues that arises frequently in the Reiki World is that everybody is doing something different and calling it Reiki. So I thought I'd mention some points that I feel are universal to most Reiki practitioners, not only for validation and confirmation for Reiki Practitioners, but to educate the public when they are considering having Reiki sessions.
Setting An Intention: It's a good idea before you start a Reiki session that either your client mentally sets an intention for what they would like to be the results of the session, or that you and the client set an intention out loud before they perform a Reiki session in their space. I used to have my clients just set it mentally, but now we set it together and I feel it is much more powerful.
Phantom Hands: Occasionally a client will report feeling other hands on them other than yours during a session, or feeling like your hands are still in the area you were just in but you've moved to a different area. Some practitioners refer to this phenomenon as "phantom hands". Many of us were taught and believe that there are Spirit Guides, Angels, Archangels, Ascended Masters (Jesus, Mother Mary, Quan Yin, Buddha, etc.) working side by side with us when we channel or run Reiki. Explaining this to your client can be tricky if they are not into "woo woo" stuff , so you'll have to decide who is comfortable with this explanation and who isn't.
Setting Sacred Space:
It is the job of every Reiki practitioner to make sure that the space they perform their healing work in has been cleared of negative, lower vibrational energies, etc., before they start each healing session and after. There are a myriad of ways to do this, either involving smudging with sage or some kind of incense, or using specific Reiki symbols that are drawn in the air in all the corners, walls, ceiling and floor of the room.
Disconnecting from Your Client after the Session: There is an energetic cord established between the practitioner and the client as the practitioner's and the client's energy fields merge during the session. After the session, this cord needs to be severed. You can do several things to accomplish this: Running cold water over your hands, even up to your elbows after they've gone, or do a ritual called "Dry Brushing" or "Kenyoku", or place your hands on yourself somewhere and just run Reiki for about 10-15 minutes. You can also smudge yourself if you know how to do that.
Grounding Your Client at the end of the Session: Offering a glass of water right after you get your client sitting up when their session is over is pretty standard procedure. It grounds them (they might be pretty spacey after the session, especially if they were sleeping through most of it). You may also offer them some chocolate or have them hold some grounding crystals, but you never let them just stand right up immediately after the session, they might fall or stumble.
Instructions for After Their Session: Reiki is detoxifying, so it's a good idea to instruct your client to drink lots of extra fluids after their session for the next 48-72 hours to help move those toxins along through the system. Also many people say that the night after having a Reiki session they sleep better than they have in a long time and may have vivid dreams.
There are a lot more of this little "tips" I could put up here, but I think I'll save them for the next article!