Why Draping or special clothing ?

Draping is the practice in massage of covering the client with a cotton sheet so that the only exposed area is the area to be worked on, all other areas remaining covered. This is done for cultural reasons and professional reasons in most forms of massage [there are a few exceptions]. In the case of Reiki, in the rare instances when draping is used, the client remains covered, with Reiki being done in the usual manner on the drape itself, rather than on a client in their everyday clothes.

In massage, draping provides, in addition to selective access to various parts of the body, a chance for the client to symbolically shed the events of the day and relax in a total way, without any sense of lack of modesty or fear of exposure. Most massage clients welcome the chance to experience the freedom and relaxation which draping permits.

In Reiki, although generally not used unless the Reiki practitioner is also providing classic massage, draping allows the client the same chance for total relaxation without confining garments. A reasonable substitute for draping is to have the client wear a single layer cotton garment, such as "scrubs", without undergarments. This approach allows a free transfer of Reiki energy while keeping the client fully clothed. It also creates an atmosphere of a special event apart from the stresses of the day, thus enhancing the relaxation and acceptance of the Reiki energy. In addition, it also provides a standard surface for the practitioner to work on, as well as a professional appearance for those who value it. Undoubtedly, the Reiki practitioner will also find this simple clothing comfortable to work in as well.

Historically, in general energywork, the principle of coming to the bodywork without preconceptions or reservations, including any sense of "holding back" survives in the practice of special clothes or draping as a powerful symbol of accepting one's vulnerability and acceptance of the procedure, while maintaining the necessary propriety.