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What to Wear for Reiki: Outfits for Touch Energy Healing

In addition to being an English teacher, writer and artist, I’m also a Reiki practitioner in Boston, so people often ask me: “What should I wear for Reiki?” and “What are the best Reiki outfits for my session?”

In this article, I will combine my drawings with real-world advice to explain what clothing choices are optimal for your touch energy healing appointment, and why. But first…

What is Reiki?

Reiki is healing touch energy work in which hands are gently placed on a fully-clothed client (often while they are lying down, but sometimes seated) to facilitate relaxation and flow. See more about the correct “Reiki” pronunciation here.

Reiki has been so proven to reduce stress and assist in the healing processes that it is now used in many prestigious hospitals, such as the Cleveland Clinic, as well as in private practices. Now, some Reiki practitioners hover their hands above clients without touching them, and while this has been proven to work as well, I strongly prefer the touching method, and so this article will focus on answering the attire question through that lens.

Because Reiki sessions are conducted while clothed and can cost between $50 to $150, it’s important to wear the right outfit to make the most of your session. Yes, a skilled Reiki practitioner can provide an excellent session no matter what, but the truth is that it is more difficult for the practitioner to work with certain clothes on a client. Let me explain what and why.

Reiki outfits: Tops.
Reiki outfits: Tops.

What to Wear for Reiki:

During a Reiki session, I position my hands on each of the seven chakras in order, and the more I can really touch a client’s energy and warmth, the easier it is to work with the flow. Given this, keep these guidelines in mind for choosing your Reiki outfit:

1. For Reiki aim to wear thin, soft, stretchy fabrics.

Wearing a shirt or pants that features thin, soft material like a cotton T-shirt, lounge pants, or leggings is ideal, because warmth easily passes through the fabric. Stretchy material is also excellent because it can curve with the shape of the body and facilitate Reiki hand placement.

2. Waistbands should be flexible and not bulky.

There is a very important energy center at the waist and navel: the second or orange chakra. When clients come in wearing pants with heavy waistbands (as with denim jeans), thick belts, or tied fabric bow belts, it makes positioning my hands to access that energy flow more difficult. In contrast, when clients wear yoga pants, PJs, or shorts with thin, flexible waistbands, those make hand placements a breeze.

3. Consider wearing layers or packing a warm and cooler outfit option.

Each Reiki room has a different base temperature and heating or cooling plan. Though many practitioners provide sheets or blankets if you become cold, it’s a great idea to come to your session wearing a layer of a long-sleeved T-shirt over a tank top, or pack options such as both shorts and lounge pants.

4. More fitted clothes help prevent bunching.

When clients come to Reiki sessions with very loosely-fitting clothes, more time needs to be spent on adjusting and positioning the fabric to dodge bulky bunches of fabric in order to correctly position my hands. (This is not the worst thing in the world, but can be a bit cumbersome for both parties.) In contrast, more closely-fitting, stretchy clothes are a cinch to work with.

5. Wear clean socks if possible.

Like massage, Reiki involves close proximity, and some Reiki practitioners, including me, do hand positions grasping the feet (sometimes choosing to leave socks on). While of course I will work with and give honor to whatever state people come in with, several clients have said they felt more comfortable when they were wearing clothes — especially socks — that were freshly laundered so they didn’t feel self-conscious during this part of the session.

6. Take off heavy jewelry and remove items from pockets.

Bulky watch? Chunky necklace? Thick belt? Glasses? If it’s comfortably possible, I’d suggest removing them before your Reiki session begins. I do hand placements on the wrist, temples, and collarbone, and waist, and while it’s possible to access energy flow through a watch band, for example, it’s not ideal.

7. Aim for hair that’s flowing free, with minimal product.

Because the seventh or white chakra is at the top of the head, many Reiki practitioners will do placements on your crown. Though we will always defer to what’s most comfortable for you (some clients have requested no head or hair contact), coming in to a session with your hair loose, with no thick hairspray or gel, will assist the flow.

8. For women: Wear a stretchy bra to Reiki.

Because you will likely be lying down during a Reiki session, do not wear a bra that will poke you with sharp, tight underwires. Here is an affiliate link for the type of bra that’s ideal for Reiki — though anything comfortable will work.

9. Bring a mask or facial covering.

Different Reiki practitioners have different masking policies, but it’s useful to come to a session with a facial covering handy, just in case.

10. Beyond what to wear for Reiki: Pack a water bottle.

Ok, so water isn’t clothing, but hydrating is so essential after Reiki to promoting health and flow that I have to sneak it into this list!

Now that you know what to wear, you might want to check out my related energy work article, “How Many Reiki Sessions are Needed?”

What to wear for Reiki: Bottoms.
What to wear for Reiki: Bottoms.

What NOT to Wear for Reiki:

The following Reiki outfits are NOT recommended, for all the reasons listed above about comfort, energy access, and hand positioning.

  • Bulky, thick sweaters
  • Stiff materials like denim jackets or work pants
  • Thick belts or waistbands
  • Anything you won’t be comfortable lying down in for 30-90 minutes
  • Dirty, stinky, or sweaty clothes
  • Heavy jewelry, watches, or items in pockets
  • Excessive hair products, perfume, or cologne

Reiki Outfits for Practitioners:

Now, what’s the best Reiki outfit for GIVING a healing touch energy session? Each practitioner is different, but here’s what I’ve found most comfortable and useful for my own Reiki clothing, personally. Some links here are affiliates, meaning I earn a small commission upon purchase at no extra cost to you, but I only recommend items I truly use and love.

1. Stretchy, soft, close-fitting shirt (in layers) and pants.

Because Reiki involves bending close to clients, I prefer to have more closely fitting, stretchy outfits so I’m not dropping rolls of fabric on them. I love wearing this long sleeved T-shirt under this short sleeved T-shirt with these stretchy black pants when I do Reiki, though they’re all more tightly-fitting than some practitioners might prefer.

2. Colors that match YOU.

All my Reiki outfits are neutrals: black, gray, deep red, or blue, in order to be less distracting to my own flow. This is a personal preference, however, as I’ve received wonderful Reiki sessions from practitioners wearing wildly loud prints! Clients usually have eyes closed anyway, which is why the most important element is how the colors make YOU feel.

3. A crystal or chakra colors necklace.

I always wear a necklace with a crystal that vibrates good energy for me — especially green to activate the green chakra or heart, love chakra.

4. Supportive shoes.

Reiki is usually done with the practitioner on her feet for much of the time, so supportive sneakers or shoes are a must.

5. Clean clothes with little or no perfume scent.

Many clients are scent-sensitive, so I try to have as neutral a smell on my clothes and body as possible before a session — including brushing my teeth!

6. A mask or facial covering.

I have worn a mask in all of my professional Reiki sessions for the past two years, and I’ve actually found it really nice, because I can do deep breathing without worry.

7. Hair pulled back.

I have short hair now, but when it was longer, I always pulled it back to avoid shedding onto clients.

8. A soft and stretchy but supportive bra.

To RECEIVE Reiki, we women just need a soft bra with little support, but to GIVE a session, you’ll likely want stretch AND support. I love this bra for merging those elements.

9. Water to drink and wash hands.

Hydration is key for both giving and receiving Reiki, so drink up! I love this water bottle because it’s made of glass for health, but covered in a silicone sleeve for protection. You will also want access to a sink to wash your hands before and after each session to energetically and physically cleanse.

10. Scent-free tissues.

Any practitioner will tell you that crying during Reiki is a common occurrence (in a good way), so have scent-free, lotion-free tissues available.

What to Wear for Reiki, in Sum

I hope this article helped answer your questions about the best clothing to wear to Reiki sessions. Every person is different, so your ideal Reiki outfits may not be those suggested here. Either way, do weigh in via the comments section about your take on this question!

Want more reading about energy work? Check out “Reiki Principles,” and “Seeing Colors During Meditation” to learn about “Meditation Colors” and “Aura Colors!” If you’re a Reiki practitioner like me, you may also enjoy my reflections and art about the Reiki symbols, Cho Ku Rei and Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen.