What to expect from your Reiki I (First Degree) Course

Before you begin ...

It is a good idea to contact anyone from whom you may be interested in learning Reiki and talk with him or her before deciding whether to proceed with training. Also read any available literature about the course or workshop you are considering. This is especially valuable if the person has not been recommended to you by one of more of his or her students.

Reiki courses are available at many schools and colleges that offer a range of courses in different therapies. In these cases it may or may not be possible to speak with the Reiki Master in advance, though it is usually possible to speak with others such as his or her previous students.

This page includes general information about the material that is usually included in Reiki I courses. It is intended as a starting point for anyone considering such a course from any Reiki Master, and may help prospective students to understand the material offered and so discuss course content more easily with the Reiki Masters they approach.

Why some people are not sure what to expect prior to their Reiki I Course / Training

Many people find it difficult to describe and explain Reiki.

One reason for this is that Reiki is an energy that is more naturally conveyed by experience than in the form of words or even pictures. This does not mean that words, pictures, symbols, sounds, and other representations are not useful. All of these have valuable roles to play, although they may not be the best or easiest way in which to begin to appreciate Reiki.

People choose to learn Reiki and so receive Reiki I attunements for a variety of reasons, and with different amounts of information about what to expect. For example, some people may simply have experienced Reiki at a 'Health and Well-being' event and then chosen to learn this themselves, possibly without the contact information of the person or group their treatment was received from.

Typical course content for a Reiki I Workshop

The following elements are usually included in Reiki I courses.

Topic / Component of Course

Introductory Session

  • Reiki Master's own terms and conditions of teaching
  • Introductions of group members to each other
    (if the course is being taught to a group rather than an individual)
  • Summary/discussion of what Reiki is, what participants may expect, and the timetable and format for the course or workshop

Basic Theory of Reiki

  • Description of the traditional version of the story of the History of Reiki, that is the story of the re-discovery of Reiki by Dr Mikao Usui in the late nineteenth century.

Click here to read this traditional story.

  • The five principles of reiki feature in the traditional version of the reiki story. Some reiki masters discuss these separately in addition to their occurence in the 'story of reiki', both to emphasize their importance and to discuss modern interpretations and answer any questions about them.
  • Explanation of the method or structure by which Reiki is taught.
    This may include a summary of the Levels:
    I, II, III (Practitioner) and III (Teacher), what is taught at each stage, and the experience the Master advises as appropriate between each of the Levels or sets of Attunements.
  • General questions and discussion about Reiki before proceeding to the attunements.

Reiki I Attunements

  • Reiki I attunements (may be performed in two parts), according to the form of Reiki being taught, and the preference of the Reiki Master.
  • Discussion and sharing of experiences of the attunements
  • Reiki treatments - either self-treatments or treating other members of the group
  • Discussion and sharing of experiences following initial reiki healing exercise

Reiki Treatments

  • Learning the Reiki Hand positions/sequences for treatments.

    The actual positions and sequences may vary between Reiki Masters. Some courses include two sequences of hand positions - one for self-treatments (usually seated), and another for treating others (usually with the client in a reclined position, perhaps also turning-over part-way through).
  • Practice and discussion of the hand position sequences and discussion and sharing of individuals' experiences of this part of the course.
  • Discussion and possibly practice of channeling hands-on reiki for animals, plants, trees and crystals.

Other General Topics

  • Reiki Groups, Associations, Insurers, and other ways to network with other Reiki Practitioners
  • Local Events / Reiki Shares / Healing Groups
  • Related interest groups, courses, meetings, and similar.
  • Recommended books, websites, and other resources.


and at the end ...

Most reiki masters present their students with Certificates stating that they have received Reiki I Attunements and associated training. Many reiki masters also provide their students with handouts and/or a manual to keep and use to revise any aspects of the course that they may wish to re-read later.

The above is just a brief summary of typical components of basic Reiki I courses.
Individual Reiki Masters may include other elements and/or omit some of the above.

Other items that might be included:

Other topics included in Reiki I courses might include some or all of the following, which are associated with Reiki:

  • Space-Clearing Techniques
    These may be used in preparation for giving attunements and/or treatments.
    Techniques may include the use of incense, smudge sticks, tibetan bowls, cymbals, clapping into the corners of rooms, essential oils, flower and/or other essences, meditation or other approaches. Not all Reiki Masters or Reiki Practitioners use any of these. Those that do tend to have a preference for one or two such techniques and might explain their chosen techniques to their students.
  • Basic "Energy Medicine"
    Introductory level teaching about the concept of 'energy medicine' might include discussions about and/or demonstrations of auras and chakras. Auras have many layers and can have various colours. There are a series of chakras located in a vertical line approximately along the spine and colours and other associations with each one.
  • Meditation, Visualisations and Mental Imaging Techniques
    These are likely to be incorporated into most Reiki I Courses in some way.
  • Sensing and Working with Spirit Guides
    Some Reiki Masters also practise as mediums and might include some information about their spirit guides or those that have worked with their students. However, this may or may not be appropriate in the context of training groups of people as opposed to individuals.

Reiki is a wonderful energy to connect with and channel.

Everyone who learns Reiki is drawn to it at a time that is right for him or her, and to the teacher whom he or she is meant to develop with at that particular point in time. We learn in many ways, formally, informally, and by experience.

List the signs and symptoms of anxiety

There are Angels associated with birthsigns, seasons, and even compass directions.

This is not medical, First Aid or other advice and is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment. Consult an expert in person. Care has been taken when compiling this page but accuracy cannot be guaranteed. This material is copyright.

IvyRose Holistic Health 2003-2017.