Byosen can be felt as warmth, strong heat, tingling, pulsing sensations, or tension. In 'The Hayashi Reiki Manual,' Petters describes a session where he was holding the client's feet & "perceived my client's whole body at once, the way you would feel the whole form of an apple if you wrap your hands around it. I felt not only the outside of his body but the inside as well. I could feel his feet, his legs, his inner organs, his back, his head, his hair .. I could feel where energy was moving freely and where it was obstructed. The problem areas felt like dark spots in a light body, like dark holes in the Milky Way." (p. 45)
This brings to mind a time when I was studying anatomy for my Massage Licensing, & suddenly felt my skeleton within my body, the articulations, the places the muscles attached! Fascinating!
Petters goes on to write that this ability to sense comes from being totally present for the client as you work with them. Scanning can happen while touching any part of the client's body, but is felt more strongly in certain places.
The assessment begins when you first meet with your client. Look into their eyes, perceive skin tone, breathing (shallow? Deep?) Is he moving confidently, slowly, in pain? Does she seem focused or absent minded? Continue with a visual assessment as they lie on the table, note areas that seem stiff, how they hold their neck, arms, legs; etc.
Then move on to internal scanning, choosing one of these areas for your scan. Generally we use both hands, but experiment! Some knowledge of anatomy will come in handy. Take time to practice this at the beginning of your sessions (just feels like sweet Reiki to the recipient!)
- Scanning below the ankles. With the client's heels in your palms, allow the fingers of both hands to gently curl into the indentations between the ankle and the heel (Inside of feet). Apply a little pressure, & keep your hands in place.
- Scanning in the Medulla Oblongata (base of skull). Slip one hand under the head, gently turn to the side to slip the other hand under. Curl fingers lightly, & allow them to rest there without moving.
- Scanning the Temples. Place both hands on the client temples, with the curled fingertips resting by the eyes
- Scanning by touching hands. Fingertips in the client's palm, curl a little, and allow them to rest there without moving. You can also take one of their hands in both of yours.
In offering Reiki, we don't interpret or diagnose, prescribe or suggest someone has an illness. That seems to be one of the reasons Takata didn't emphasise using Byosen when she was teaching in the West. It is helpful to hone this skill of sensing different qualities of energy, & to use our observations as we offer treatments. Many times the energy will balance out, & the feeling will subside, signaling time to move to a different area.
I encourage you to experiment with different the places to sense, and to continue practice Byosen as you do self-Reiki sessions.