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What is Reiki

Reiki is an energy-based healing and self-development system that originated in Japan. A trained Reiki practitioner channels naturally occurring external electromagnetic energy into a client in order to initiate a healing response, either on a physical, emotional or spiritual level. Reiki can be used on chronic illnesses and injuries, minor ailments, emotional traumas, stress, depression, anxiety and other physical and emotional problems. A Reiki treatment is very relaxing and often clients experience pleasant sensations such as heat, tingling and seeing colours, an indication that the energy is travelling through the body. A Reiki course is very simple to learn and enables anyone to become a Reiki practitioner and channel energy for healing purposes. It is also a journey of self-discovery and helps to awaken the individual's intuition.

What we call Reiki today was originally referred to as the 'Usui System of Natural Healing,' or 'Usui- do' (The Way of Usui) named after the founder of Reiki, Mikao Usui, a Samurai, who discovered Reiki while undertaking a spiritual retreat on Mount Kurama in Japan. Today the term is used to encompass a whole range of energy healing systems, some of which bear no relation to Mikao Usui's teachings whatsoever. In our practice and teaching of Reiki we stick as closely as possible to the original teachings to maintain the integrity of the system of Reiki.

The word 'Reiki' is a Japanese term consisting of two words 'rei' and ki'.


Rei (lit. Japanese - spiritual or sacred) - Mikao Usui described this energy as "light coming from the hand" and it is used to treat the individual on a spiritual or soul level. Students taking a level 1 Reiki training course learn how to use this energy. It is essentially a high frequency energy.

Ki (lit. Japanese - energy) - Ki is usually used in the context of life force energy, which exists within all living things and surrounds all living things. This energy is the other component of Reiki, with 'Ki' having a lower frequency range and being used to work on a physical and emotional level, as these energies are denser. Students taking a level 2 Reiki course learn how to use these lower frequency energies. 

In many Eastern traditions Ki needs to flow freely through the body in order for us to maintain a state of balance or homeostasis. When we develop an illness or injury, or when we experience any kind of stress of emotional trauma, the flow of Ki is disrupted. If we develop an energetic blockage the flow of our Ki is disrupted and this can actually cause illness. The healthier we are the more Ki we have flowing through our body. Reiki helps to correct energetic imbalances and blockages within the body. It can be used directly on injuries, illnesses and areas storing emotional trauma.

Reiki is also a spiritual path for those who seek to explore this aspect of Reiki. Mikao Usui believed that Reiki was a path to enlightenment, that anyone could achieve by self-healing with Reiki on a daily basis. Many individuals choose to take a Reiki course because it is effective, so simple to learn and in a two-day course you can become a Reiki practitioner and use Reiki for yourself daily without relying on someone else to treat you. The ability to channel energy is achieved through Denju (lit. initiation), also referred to as attunements, passed on to the student by a trained Reiki teacher. Attunements offer a direct connection to external universal energy, awaken the individual's intuition and any latent spiritual gifts and proffer the ability to heal using Reiki. 


How does Reiki work?

Reiki is a natural energy healing system. The energy used in Reiki is made up of universal energy and Ki or life force energy. A qualified Reiki practitioner channels this energy into a client in order to promote health and wellbeing and initiate repair processes where required. Reiki symbols are used to vary the frequency of energy being used to suit the presenting condition. Click here for more information on the science behind Reiki and energy healing. 

Passive Reiki

Those using Reiki passively do not direct or focus the energy in any way, or attempt to work directly on conditions. The idea is to allow the body to heal itself over a period of time. It is effective mainly for relaxation as no attempt is made to make an improvement in any physiological or psychological conditions.

Active Reiki

When used actively, the Reiki practitioner utilises the Reiki symbols, colour, visualisation, intention, koto dama (sounds to invoke specific universal vibrations) and jumon (mantra) to produce a more direct impact on the presenting condition(s). The afflicted area is worked on directly. This is the form of Reiki we used, which correlates with the original system of Reiki taught by the founder, Mikao Usui. 


What is the difference between Western and Japanese Reiki?

Japanese Reiki is much more intuitive and genuinely spiritual, in line with Japanese culture.  Western Reiki has, in many of its forms, had some of the spiritual teachings removed and replaced with a mix of pseudo-spiritual and non-Japanese concepts. Japanese Reiki cannot be defined within a framework of one set of teachings, instead many forms of Reiki emerged from Mikao Usui's original system, particularly as students studied with Mikao Usui at different stages during his own development. Common to most of these disciplines though is the concept of developing the inner self over a lifetime rather than the Western concept of attempting to change the external environment for self-gain. The other main difference is that Japanese Reiki is used as a means of working on illnesses and illnesses directly, whereas Western Reiki is often used as a relaxation therapy or as a means of balancing the 'chakras'.

What are the benefits of Reiki?

This question has many answers and some of the most pertinent ones are listed here. 

  • Reiki can be used to directly help physical conditions such as injuries and illnesses and psychological or emotional problems such as stress, depression, anxiety, bereavement, panic attacks and specific emotional traumas. 
  • Reiki offers a spiritual path, if you choose to pursue this direction and reconnects you to your true spiritual nature, enabling you to self-heal whenever you require healing. Reiki awakens your intuition and creates spiritual awareness at a rapid rate when used for self-healing on a daily basis.
  • It is recognised that stress plays a huge part in all of our daily lives and many people experience stress as a result of their lifestyle, working environment and life experiences. Reiki has a calming, relaxing effect and helps you to put your life in perspective, helping you to understand the bigger picture.
  • Reiki heightens any natural gifts you already have, particularly creative and artistic abilities.
  • Reiki helps you establish direction and purpose in life, fostering a greater comprehension of the universe and your place in the universe.
  • Many individuals, particularly in the West, lead toxic lifestyles. Reiki helps you in a very natural and organic way to make positive changes in your life, without them feeling troublesome or challenging. You will naturally be drawn and attracted to a lifestyle that is healthy and nourishing for you on every level.
  • Reiki boosts your immune system, helping your body to be stronger and in a state of balance and harmony. 
  • Reiki gives you more clarity and focus, so decision-making becomes an easier and more instinctive process.
  • Interpersonal skills are enhanced, as Reiki helps you understand other people on a deeper level and this enables you to interact with them in the most appropriate and beneficial manner. 

What are the different forms of Reiki?

When we discuss Reiki we are specifically referring to the traditional Mikao Usui system of Reiki, however there are over 150 different healing systems in existence that use the term 'Reiki' in their title. Many modern versions of Reiki bear no relation to Mikao Usui's system or teachings, while some of them do have a loose connection. The differences tend to be the way the energy is accessed channeled and used. Energy healing has likely existed since humankind existed and there are many different disciplines, with differing processes and rituals. The same can be said for other spiritual disciplines such as martial arts or yoga. There are specific connection rituals and practices within Reiki that differentiate it from other healing systems, so it can be confusing for the general public because many systems promoted as Reiki are actually teaching something quite different. What is common to all forms of Reiki is the use of energy for healing and self-development. 


What is Usui Reiki Ryoho

Usui Reiki Ryoho refers to the traditional form of Usui Reiki that has been shared by Hiroshi-Doi. This is considered to be closer to the original system taught by Usui-sensei, both in content and in spirit. This form of Reiki has more of the original Usui methods and is taught and practiced in a disciplined and structured way.

We teach the traditional Japanese form of Usui Reiki with the addition of the relevant knowledge to prepare our students to practice Reiki safely, effectively and professionally.


What is Usui Shiki Ryoho

Usui Shiki Ryoho refers to the form of traditional Reiki  that comes from the Takata lineage. This is Reiki knowledge and practice that has been handed down directly from Mikao Usui to Dr Chujiro Hayashi then to Mrs Hawayo Takata. This is a form of Westernized Usui Reiki.

Can therapists use Reiki with other treatments?

Reiki works well with any form of healing treatment. Reiki enhances the benefits of the therapists existing form of healing. Clients usually feel the difference in the treatment they are receiving and often therapists offer Reiki healing as an additional treatment.

What is a Reiki lineage?

A Reiki lineage is the line of Reiki teachers that leads to the student. For traditional Usui Reiki the lineage begins with the founder, Mikao Usui. If Mikao Usui does not appear on a lineage then the system is not a traditional form of Reiki originating from the founder. 



What is your Reiki lineage




Dr Mikao Usui
Dr Chujiro Hayashi
Mrs Hawayo Takata
Bethal Phaigh
William L Rand
Allan J Sweeney
Andy Chrysostomou
Dawn Mellowship

Dr Mikao Usui
Kanichi Taketomi
Ms Koyama
Hiroshi Doi
Allan J Sweeney
Andy Chrysostomou
Dawn Mellowship


Are there any laws regulating Reiki?

Reiki in the UK comes under the Voluntary Self-Regulation (VSR) process. The body that represents Reiki is The Reiki Council (formerly Reiki Regulatory Work Group).

At the moment, the framework for VSR is the National Occupational Standards (NOS). The NOS were developed to ensure Reiki practitioners and Reiki teachers work within clearly defined professional standards. The NOS set the minimum standard required for professional Reiki practice. This will have the dual effect of both protecting the public from poorly trained Reiki practitioners and driving up the standard of Reiki offered professionally.

The NOS are set out in the form of a series of competencies and the underpinning knowledge associated with each competency. From these competencies and knowledge templates the Educational Sub Group will develop the core curriculum and qualification and assessment structure for Reiki.

The Reiki Council has affiliated with The General Regulatory Council for Complementary Therapies (GRCCT). This means the federal regulating body for Reiki is the GRCCT.

Reiki practitioners and Reiki teachers can register for VSR by registering with the GRCCT. This is not a legal requirement at present, but it is a good idea for all professional Reiki practitioners and Reiki teachers to register. Once registered, there is a requirement to comply with the NOS.


Is a Reiki treatment just placebo?

The placebo effect is unquestionably a powerful phenomenon. A placebo is a substance given to an individual as a medicine or therapy, which itself has no therapeutic effect. In medical studies it allows drugs to be tested against controls for efficacy. Although, is not intended to have any medicinal effect, it does, purely because the patients taking it believe that it is a genuine drug and expect that it will produce the desired outcome. The patient’s belief produces effects and natural chemicals in the brain and body as if they were actually taking the anticipated drug. As scientists wrote in a review of the placebo effect published in the journal Annual Review of Psychology,

Placebo factors have neurobiological underpinnings and actual effects on the brain and body.

In fact, the placebo effect is so powerful that the Harvard Placebo Study Group was founded in 2001, as part of a Mind-Brain-Behavior Initiative at Harvard University. The group is made up of neuroscientists, psychologists, a behavioural geneticist and an anthropologist. Research carried out by Fabrizio Beneditti (of the Harvard Placebo Study Group) and his colleagues found that the placebo response in terms of pain relief is triggered by the release in the brain of endogenous opiates – our bodies’ natural painkillers, produced when the individual expects pain relief.

Once the individual is told that they have been administered a placebo, which is not causing a physical effect, the therapeutic effect stops, confirming that it was the patient’s belief causing biochemical changes in the body.1

It is said that around 33 per cent of patients with a range of clinical pains respond to placebo, although in some studies up to 100 per cent of individuals have responded.

Below are just a few studies demonstrating the powerful effects of placebo.

  1. The placebo effect has improved numerous medical conditions, Parkinson’s Disease being one of them. Researchers at the University of British Columbia discovered in one study that the placebo effect produced the same results as pharmaceuticals on 12 patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease do not produce enough dopamine in the area of the brain which affects physical movement. Patients who received placebo injections in the study exhibited natural dopamine releases in the brain, which the authors of the study concluded was associated with “expectation of reward.” The researchers also looked at whether the placebo effect may enhance the effects of the active drugs, but to the contrary, this proved not to be the case. In fact the study’s author’s stated “in some patients most of the benefit obtained from an active drug might derive from a placebo effect.”2
  2. In 1988 researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, USA, conducted a trial on the effects of the drug ‘Acyclovir’ on 27 adults suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Three patients suffered from nephrotoxicity (poisonous effect on the kidneys) as a result of taking Acyclovir and dropped out. Of the 24 remaining patients 11 taking the drug experienced improvements and 10 taking the placebo experienced improvements. Any improvements to the patient’s condition were attributed to spontaneous remission or the placebo effect.3
  3. Research conducted in 1996 on the steroid hydrocortisone as a potential treatment for CFS found that around half of the study participants reported improvements after taking the placebo.4,5

It is not only being given a placebo unknowingly instead of an active drug that is important, but the practitioner’s enthusiasm for the treatment being administered. In 1987, 200 patients were given one of four consultations:

  1. One conducted in a positive manner, with a placebo (where the patient was told confidently that they would get better in a few days), or without a placebo (where the patient was told they required no prescription), and
  2. One conducted in a more negative manner (where the doctor stated “I cannot be certain what is wrong with you”), with a placebo (where the doctor also stated “I am not sure that the treatment I am going to give you will have any effect”) and without a placebo (where the doctor added to this “And so I will give you no treatment”).

Two weeks after the consultation 64 per cent of those receiving a positive consultation got better, only 39 per cent of those receiving a negative consultation got better irrespective of what treatment they got.6 Thus, the effects of a drug or indeed placebo are enhanced or not depending on how positive the practitioner is.

What we are told by the health professionals or anyone we put our trust in can have an impact on us physiologically and psychologically. 

With regards to Reiki, the placebo effect will undoubtedly be a factor in many cases where the patient believes that Reiki will have a positive impact and where the practitioner adopts a positive approach about the benefits of Reiki. This is the same whether it's a complementary therapy or a medical drug being used. However, Reiki can be used on animals and very young children, who have no belief in or understanding of Reiki or expected outcomes, and the Reiki treatment will still give a positive effect. Reiki can also be used on those in a coma and distantly on individuals who are not aware of receiving a treatment (although we do not recommend doing Reiki without permission) and it will have an impact. 


[1] Glannon, W. et al. Bioethics and the Brain. New York: Oxford University Press. 2007. p. 93-94.

[2] de la Fuente-Fernandez, R. et al. Expectation and Dopamine Release: Mechanism of the Placebo Effect in Parkinson’s Disease. Science. August, 2001;293(5532):1164-116.

[3] Straus, S.E. et al. Acyclovir Treatment of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Lack of Efficacy in a Placebo-controlled Trial. The New England Journal of Medicine. December, 1988;319(26):1692-1698.

[4] Demitrack, M.A. et al. Evidence for Impaired Activation of the Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal Axis in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 1991;73:1224-1234.

[5] ‘Steroid Fails to Adequately Relieve Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.’ National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Bethesda, MD. 13 October, 1996; online at:

[6] Thomas, K.B. General Practice Consultations: Is there Any Point in Being Positive. British Medical Journal. May, 1987;294:1200-1202.


Reiki Courses

Can anyone learn Reiki?

Yes, anyone can learn Reiki. No previous 'spiritual gift' or knowledge of Reiki is required. Anyone who has received the correct teaching and attunements can use Reiki. Some Reiki students are not initially as sensitive to the energy and it takes them a little longer to perceive it, but their healing will be just as effective. It is the outcome that is important. Not everyone is sensitive to energy, but the overall result of a Reiki healing should be the same. For example, if an individual has a very painful back condition and it is no longer painful after the treatment, that is the primary measure of how effective the treatment has been, not whether the Reiki healer or client felt any sensations during the treatment. In our experience most Reiki students have some sensation of the energy by the end of a Reiki level 2 course. We have never taught anyone who could not use Reiki.

What are the benefits of a Reiki course?

Reiki courses and training can dramatically change your life for the better. Learning Reiki and daily self-healing helps many students to achieve a wonderful sense of wellbeing and clarity. Our Reiki courses are simple and straightforward, as the founder of Reiki Mikao Usui intended, and give individuals the tools to foster a happy and healthier life for themselves. Years of meditation and self-reflection are not required, because on a two-day Reiki course you experience an initiation that re-connects you to your intuition and enables you to channel energy for healing purposes. You can not only help yourselves but change the lives of those around you with Reiki healing. 

Reiki training offers a myriad of benefits but I have listed below some reasons to undertake Reiki classes. 

  • Reiki training enables you to self-heal on a daily basis, making you your very own holistic therapist! This is extremely empowering because you don't have to rely on others for your own health and wellbeing. By using Reiki on yourself you can create a sense of balance and harmony on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. Clarity and focus are brought into your life and making decisions and choices becomes an easier, more intuitive process. 
  • People often feel lost in life, lacking a sense of direction and purpose, and not really understanding where to focus their attention. Reiki helps you nourish your inner-self, your soul and by doing this the rest of you life starts to fall into place and flow in a more productive and guided manner.
  • A Reiki self-treatment is a fantastic way of reducing stress and gaining a sense of peace and inner calm.
  • Reiki can be used to work directly on physical conditions, ranging from mild back pain to conditions such as: cancer, fractures, torn ligaments, arthritis, addictions, sports injuries, broken bones, ankylosing spondylitis and more. 
  • On a Reiki course you experience a series of attunements, these connect you to external universal energy and foster a deeper and stronger connection with your intuition, helping you to understand who you really are. 
  • Learning Reiki enables you to give back to society by helping others, whether on a personal level helping family and friends, or on a professional level treating clients with Reiki. 
  • Emotional traumas hold us back in life and give us a warped sense of self and of the world around us. Reiki training clears away the negative energy associated with emotional trauma, so we have the memory of the event but no associated emotional pain or anguish. This frees us to make choices for the right reasons and breaks negative self-destructive patterns of behaviour.  
  • The founder of Reiki referred to his system as 'the art of inviting happiness.' People often mistake fleeting moments of pleasure for contentment. Reiki brings a sense of happiness from understanding your spiritual self.




Are Reiki courses or treatments better?

Both Reiki healing treatments and Reiki training courses are wonderful experiences that are are highly beneficial to the student or recipient of Reiki. To achieve good results with healing you may only need one treatment or a few Reiki healing treatments, it really depends on the condition being dealt with and the severity of the problem, be it emotional, physical or spiritual.

If it is likely that someone will need many treatments it is really much better for them to take a Reiki training course as this will empower them and enable them to heal themselves on a regular basis, rather than relying on a practitioner. Additionally with training Reiki courses the student is connected to the universe and so will have a constant supply of universal energy to heal themselves as well as being able to move further along their higher path.

We would prefer if someone requires many healing treatments that they take a training course, as this way they are taking responsibility for their own well being and are able to continually self heal and take greater steps in developing their universal and self awareness.

What are Reiki attunements?

Reiki attunements, known traditionally as Denju (Lit. Initiation) are a series of rituals performed by a qualified Reiki teacher on training Reiki students, which connect the individuals to the source of the external universal energy, in order to channel the energy for healing purposes and to create a purification and cleansing process within the students. Additional outcomes include awakening the students' intuition, heightening perception and creating a sense of 'oneness.' 

Students undergoing Denju or attunements often experience sensations such as:

  • Seeing colours (these are the different frequencies of energy being used).
  • Hearing high frequency sounds (literally hearing the energy).
  • Heat/tingling/cold/vibration - an indication that the energy is travelling  through the body.
  • Visions - often related to past emotional traumas or psychic visions. 
  • A greater sense of clarity and peace.
  • A feeling of contentment and unconditional love.
  • Level 1 Reiki (Shoden) - Four attunements.
  • Level 2 Reiki (Okuden) - One attunement.
  • Level 3 Reiki (Shinpiden) - This level was not carried over to the West in its entirety so there are no attunements at this level. 
  • Level 4 Reiki (Shihan-kaku) - One attunement.  

Attunements do not mark the end of a Reiki student's spiritual journey, or a culmination but a beginning and the awareness, intuition and understanding of oneself and one's path can be built upon with subsequent self-healing. In order to be effective Reiki attunements must be conducted in a specific manner, by an appropriately qualified Reiki teacher, on one individual at a time. There should be a particular number of attunements at each level as demonstrated on the right. 

Denju or attunements are not to be confused with Reiju (Lit. Blessing), which as the  translation suggests are more a blessing and elevate the student's awareness to a very small degree in comparison to attunements. If Reiju are given in place of attunements this should be done on a weekly basis and the student would need to perform additional ritual meditation techniques in order to foster their own connection to the universe, such as Hatsu Rei Ho. 


Should I learn Reiki level 1 and 2 together?

In our experience it is more beneficial for the student to take a combined Reiki level 1 and 2 course. This is for a number of reasons:


  • Reiki level 1 and 2 were traditionally taught together by Mikao Usui. 
  • Reiki level 1 is a stepping stone to level 2. The first level teaches the student how to use 'rei' or spiritual healing energy to self-heal on a spiritual level. The second level teaches the student how to use 'ki' or lower frequency energies to work on a physical and emotional level. Only by taking both levels is the student learning 'Reiki'. 
  • The sooner the student can self-heal on a physical and emotional level the better. Imposing an artificial gap between level 1 and 2 stalls the student's self-development and healing ability. Thus, students who take level 1 only can feel frustrated that their healing ability is limited. Not many people can perceive spiritual healing energy because the frequency is very high and less tangible. 
  • Reiki attunements instigate a cleansing process, like a detox, that takes place on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. This can be a challenging time and the student can only adequately heal themselves through it with the energies used on a level 2 course. If a student has a particularly difficult cleansing following their level 1 training, they will feel frustrated that they cannot yet heal this effectively. 

Reiki History

What is the history behind Reiki?

The history of Reiki is unfortunately not complete, so much of the information propagated is incorrect or theoretical at best. The primary source of documentation about Mikao Usui - the founder of Reiki, can be found carved on his memorial stone at his grave site in Tokyo, which was placed there by his students in 1927, one year following his death. Much of the information and documentation handed down over the years has been confined within the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Lit. Usui Spiritual Healing Method Society), which was established by Mikao Usui in 1922. Hopefully this knowledge will eventually be shared with the rest of the world.

Mikao Usui was born in 1865 on the 15th August in Taniai village in the Yamagata district of the Gifu Prefecture in Japan. He was born and raised as a Tendai Buddhist and also followed the Japanese religion of Shintoism. Mikao Usui's family were Hatamoto Samurai, the highest level within the Samurai ranks. After sweeping social change initiated by the Meiji emperor the Samurai class lost their powerful and privileged military status. Mikao Usui continued the family tradition of learning martial arts and was also known to be very studious. His memorial stone reads

He surpassed his peers in hard work and endeavour. When he grew up he visited Europe and America, and studied in China. Despite his will to succeed in life, he was stalemated and fell into great difficulties. However, in the face of adversity he strove to train himself even more with the courage never to yield. 

Mikao Usui loved to read about Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, medicine, psychology, mysticism, and the psychic and spiritual arts. He also practiced a Japanese form of Qigong, a healing discipline that trains the practitioner to develop their own Ki (life force energy) for self-development and healing purposes. Although this can be used to heal others, the practitioner depletes their internal Ki when giving healing to others.

As part of his spiritual journey and quest for self-development, Mikao Usui embarked upon a twenty-one day retreat on Mount Kurama (Japanese - Kurama Yama) - a mountain to the north-west of the city of Kyoto. During this retreat called Kushu-Shinren (Lit. Painful discipline or difficult training) Mikao Usui experienced a satori (Lit. Enlightenment) and the knowledge of the spiritual healing method that later came to be known as Reiki. His memorial stone states that

One day, he climbed kurama yama and after 21 days of a severe discipline without eating, he suddenly felt One Great Reiki over his head and attained enlightenment and he obtained Reiki Ryoho. Then, he tried it on himself and experimented on his family members. The efficacy was immediate.

Over subsequent years Mikao Usui used Reiki to help his friends and family, treated the poor of Kyoto, opened a Reiki society and built a larger dojo in Nakano, Tokyo. His reputation spread throughout Japan and people travelled from all over the country to receive his healing and teachings. Mikao Usui taught more than 2000 students, who continued to spread Mikao Usui's teachings after his death in 1926. Following Mikao Usui's death the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai adopted a secretive approach and only allowed those who had been specifically invited to join the society. Some teachers left the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai and developed their own Reiki schools and systems of healing. The first form of Usui Reiki Ryoho was brought over to the West from the lineage of Dr Chujiro Hayashi, one of the 16 students who had reached the top of of Mikao Usui's teachings in order to become a master teacher. 

You can find more information about the history of Reiki in our book The Essence of Reiki


How did Reiki come to the West?

The founder of Reiki, Mikao Usui, taught 2000 students and 16 of these reached the top of his teachings. One of these Reiki masters was Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, a retired officer of the Japanese navy and a medical doctor and surgeon. Dr. Hayashi was born on 15th September 1880. He studied with Mikao Usui for around 10 months before Mikao Usui's death in 1926. Dr. Hayashi remained with the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (the society founded by Mikao Usui) until 1931, when he departed to establish his own clinic and school in Tokyo called the Hayashi Reiki Kenkyu Kai (Lit. Hayashi Spiritual Energy Research Society). 

Mikao Usui had tasked Dr. Hayashi with developing Reiki in a more clinical manner and initially they did this together, developing the Reiki Ryoho Hikkei (Lit. Spiritual Energy Healing Method Handbook). This guide demonstrates hand positions for various illnesses and injuries enabling students who are beginners and lack intuitive ability to work in the correct areas with Reiki. Dr. Hayashi also kept treatment records and constructed class manuals for Reiki. 

Dr. Hayashi died on 10th May 1940. Prior to his death he had taught Reiki master level to a total of 13 students, one of them being a lady called Hawayo Takata. Mrs Takata brought Reiki to the West in the 1930s.


Mrs Hawayo Takata 

Mrs Takata was a Japanese immigrant living in Hawaii. She was born on 24th December 1900. Her father worked on a sugar cane plantation as a cutter. Hawayo Takata worked as part of the sugar cane plantation owner's household and eventually became the head housekeeper. It was at this household that she met her future husband, Saichi Takata, the plantation bookkeeper. They married and had two daughters. 

In October 1930 her husband died leaving Hawayo Takata to support two children. Life became very strenuous and after five years Mrs Takata grew very ill and suffered a nervous breakdown. Shortly after she travelled to Japan to receive treatment for her ill health. Whilst in hospital in Japan Hawayo Takata was diagnosed with asthma, appendicitis, gallstones and a tumour. She was due to undergo surgery but sensed that she did not need surgery. As a result, Hawayo Takata asked the hospital if there was another treatment she could have. The hospital dietician referred her to Dr. Chujiro Hayashi's clinic where over a period of four months she received healing daily from two Reiki practitioners. Hawayo Takata made a full recovery and impressed by this feat asked to learn Reiki. Although Dr. Hayashi initially refused, Hawayo Takata demonstrated her commitment to Reiki and Dr. Hayashi taught her the first level.

Over the next few years Mrs Takata graduated to master level, returning to Hawaii to establish her own clinic in Honolulu. Hawayo Takata travelled around Hawaii giving healing treatments and in the 1970s moved to the USA, where she taught Reiki level 1 and 2 courses. It was only in 1976 that she began offering Reiki master training. Hawayo Takata adapted Mikao Usui's teachings to suit the political situation created by World War II, removing some of the spirituality and practical nature of Reiki.

Mrs Takata initiated 22 Reiki masters before her death in 1980. Because Hawayo Takata had introduced some changes to Reiki, such as disallowing students from taking notes or keeping copies of the Reiki symbols, after her death Reiki became very fragmented. The Reiki masters she had trained had different recollections of what they had been taught. Some maintained the more traditional Usui style of teaching Reiki, while others developed and adapted the original teachings into new systems of Reiki. Still, were it not for Hawayo Takata Reiki may have never made it to the Western world.  


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