Reiki originates from an ancient healing system accessing life essence or Universal Life Force Energy to restore equilibrium and symmetry to the body, mind and spirit. The Japanese tradition may have been passed down by spiritual people in India and Tibet, remaining relatively unknown to the western world until recently.
The divine life essence is referred to by many different names depending on the tradition of the culture and/or religion: life energy, universal force, life force, chi, qi, ki, taksu, orgone, prana, kundalini shakti, source, soul, The Holy Spirit, The Beloved, etc. It is precisely this divinity that is accessed when energy healing transpires.
The story of the rediscovery of Reiki begins with Dr. Mikao Usui, a mystic, sage and scholar from Kyoto, Japan. In the late 1800’s, Dr. Usui embarked upon a several-year quest to find out more about this ancient healing system, inspired by the hands-on healings performed by many saints across the millennium of multiple cultures reporting healing of mind, body and the emotional self through spiritual means. His experience culminated on Mount Kurama in Japan, when after a 21-day period of meditating and fasting, Dr. Usui experienced a ‘satori’ or awakening when he received the Reiki symbols and instructions on how to activate the healing process in others. Not long after a devastating earthquake in Japan, Dr. Usui took to helping to people, traveling throughout Japan teaching and healing people. After establishing a clinic ‘shinryōsho’ in the 1920’s and implementing the Reiki Gakkai, he partnered with a well respected Japanese medical doctor. Enthusiastic about their partnership as Dr. Hayashi brought clinical credibility to the Reiki clinic, before his death, Dr. Usui taught 2000 pupils, 20 of which were initiated as Reiki masters. Near the end of his life, Dr. Usui initiated Dr. Chujiro Hayashi as Grand Master to carry on in his memory.
After Usui’s death, Dr. Hayashi became Dr. Usui’s primary successor establishing another clinic in Kyoto, Japan. It wasn’t long before Dr. Hayashi was recognized by the Emperor of Japan who decreed Reiki to be a national treasure. Dr. Hayashi continued to pass the knowledge of Reiki on to 13 Reiki masters before his own death in 1940. This included the first female Reiki masters, Chie Hayashi (Chujiro’s wife) and Hawayo Takata of Hawaii. Hawayo’s initiation in to Reiki was exceptional as she was the only foreigner taught by Dr. Chujiro and the only person trained in Reiki to teach outside of Japan. It was Hawayo Takata who brought Reiki to Hawaii and established a small clinic for nearly a decade on the Big Island of Hawaii before moving to Oahu to reach a broader audience.
Before Takata’s death in 1980, she mentored and initiated 22 Reiki Masters in the Japanese tradition of Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki spreading Reiki throughout the islands and to the mainland United States and Canada. After Hawayo’s transition, her grand daughter Phyllis Furumoto became the Spiritual Lineage Bearer of Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki, a position she held for four decades, holding the Essence of Reiki. Phyllis committed her life’s work to teaching and sharing Reiki with the global community upholding the Japanese traditions of Reiki as they were passed directly down to her through her grandmother from Dr. Chujiro Hayashi.
Through Phyllis’s continued dedication to her grandmother’s teachings, she preserved the unique Japanese traditions of Reiki taught in the Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki lineage. With Phyllis’ global work in the Office of the Grand Master, students and practitioners of Reiki have grown exponentially. Before Phyllis passed in 2019, she turned the reigns over to Johannes Reindl of Austria who remains the Spiritual Lineage Bearer of Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki carrying on the traditions of the Grand Masters that have come before him representing the Usui Method of Natural Healing.
Those trained in Reiki have had the energy channel activated by a Reiki Master enabling them to provide hands-on healing to others. Accepted globally and commonly used to treat emotional and mental distress as well as chronic and acute physical problems, the practitioner uses light hand placements to transmit healing energy to balance, harmonize and heal by replenishing the Universal Life Force Energy that becomes depleted from stress, emotional upheaval, disease and trauma, all of which compromise the immune system, lead to fatigue and depression and are pre-dispositions to illness.
Reiki does not stem from or require any particular religious belief, though stories of Buddha, Jesus Christ and other mystics acknowledge that hands-on healing is both a sacred and an ancient healing tradition.
Reiki provides an opportunity for the body to reset itself, to come in to alignment with Universal Life Force Energy. When stressed, the body, mind or spirit can become depleted of vital chi or qi energy, in Hawaii known as ‘mana’. Reiki restores any lost vital energy which allows for the body, mind and spirit to return to balance. In this way, Reiki releases pent up energy in the body that is not serving its higher good and charges the body with Source energy for a boost of the mind, body and spirit. Reiki works by filling a vibrational gap and restoring the body to wholeness. In this way, if you are experiencing a Reiki session for the first time, you will have a more impactful experience if you save it for when you are depleted rather than when you are feeling at the top of your game.
For more insights on what you might expect from a full Reiki session, click here.
The *Five Principles of Reiki:
Just for today, do not anger.
“I accept what is and what isn’t.”
Just for today, do not worry.
“I project a positive future.”
I earn my living honestly.
“I am honest.”
I honor my parents, teachers and elders
“I am respectful and respectable.”
Show gratitude to all living beings.
“I am kind.”
*These principles are adapted from “The Reiki Handbook” by Larry Arnold and Sandy Nevius (Harrisburg, PA, PSI Press,1982). Variations of the principles have evolved over the generations, still the basic precepts remain synonymous amongst the different Reiki lineages. Independent of the principles, the affirmations are written by and a practice of
Reiki is not meant to be a substitute for a one-on-one relationship with a qualified
medical professional and is not intended as medical advice. Results vary widely;
Reiki is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.