In the traditional Usui system of Reiki there are three degrees, or levels,
of the energy. First degree and second degree Reiki deal with the energies
required to work as a practitioner, where third degree deals with teaching
only. This is what is most commonly encountered in Reiki.
However in the post-Takata era some branches of Reiki subdivided the
three degrees into smaller sections which resulted in several seemingly
additional levels being offered, and other branches added things on to
the traditional Usui system which again gives more levels to Reiki.
First degree Reiki in the traditional Usui System is the one most
widely known by the public. This is the hands-on treatment, or the laying
on of hands. A first degree treatment involves the client laying on his/her
back or stomach while the practitioner places his/her hands on the client
from head to toe in positions roughly approximating the traditional chakra
locations. The energy during the treatment flows through the practitioner's
via the hands into the client. Many remarkable recoveries from serious
physical conditions are known to Reiki practitioners throughout the world.
Individuals can also treat themselves with first degree Reiki.
Second degree Reiki in the traditional Usui System involves sending
Reiki long distance to a client many miles/kilometres away. The vibration
of this Reiki is a slightly different mix, having a higher proportion of
energy from Source and a lower proportion of Chi than first degree Reiki.
Aside from long distance healing, this differing proportion brings healing
at a mental, emotional, and spiritual level, compared to first degree Reiki,
which is primarily physical healing. Second degree Reiki is not exclusively
for long distance healing. It can be incorporated into a traditional table
treatment with first degree, and it can also be administered to one's self.
Third degree Reiki in the traditional Usui system is the level of Reiki
Master. The only thing a Reiki Master can do which a 1st or 2nd Degree
practitioner cannot do is teach Reiki and give the Reiki
attunements. Third degree confers no
additional treatment skills with clients.