Ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) results in damage to local and remote organs. Remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC) is a strategy to protect against IRI by inducing a prior brief period(s) of IRI to an organ remote from that undergoing sustained injury. RIPC has been shown to protect organs against IRI; however, the protocols and mechanisms for RIPC are unclear. For this review, a Medline/Pubmed search (January 1985 to January 2007) was conducted and all relevant articles were included. RIPC protocols are organ and species specific and both humoral and neurogenic pathways are involved in triggering intracellular signal pathways for protection.