Over the past few years, Reiki has become extremely popular not just in spiritual and wellness communities, but also amongst many celebrities. More and more often we hear that different celebs, like Christina Aguilera, Mel B, and Gwyneth Paltrow, swear by this healing practice. For those of us who have already made Reiki a part of the regular practice, it’s not surprising. We already know what a magnificent impact it has on our lives. But if you’ve never tried Reiki healing and wondering: ‘What is Reiki?’, this article is for you. I will try to give answers to the most common questions about Reiki.
Where Did Reiki Come From?
First, let me tell you that there are different versions of Reiki history and its evolution. I’ll share with you the facts I’ve been taught and discovered after several years of research. They may not exactly match the Reiki history facts you’ve been taught.
The Reiki System was rediscovered and adapted by Dr. Mikao Usui.
Mikao Usui was born August 15, 1865, in the Japanese province of Gifu in a family professing Tendai Buddhism. As a child, Mikao Usui studied with Tendai Buddhist monks.
His early years Usui devoted to the study of Kiko in the Buddhist temple of Tendai on the sacred mountain Kurama.
Kiko is a Japanese version of qigong, a discipline designed to improve health through meditation, energy exercises, and slow physical exercises. This discipline focuses on the use of Ki and includes methods of healing by placing hands on the body.
The essence of using the Kiko system is to create a source of healing energy with the help of special exercises, and only then – the use of this energy for healing.
This method had a very big disadvantage – a healer had been submitted large depletion because in the process of the healing he/she had to use a large amount of his/her personal energy.
Focusing on this drawback, Usui began to ponder whether it is possible to practice healing without accumulating Ki in the beginning, and not losing Ki at the end of the healing session. It was this question that prompted his study and research of various fields, including medicine, psychology, and religion. In search of knowledge, he traveled extensively in Europe and Asia.
In 1914, focusing on religious practice, Usui decided to become a Buddhist monk. At the same time, he continued to work hard in the field of his research.
However, in 1922 he decided to return to mount Kurama and spend twenty-one days there for fasting, praying, and meditating.
Mount Kurama is a sacred place with powerful energy. Since ancient times, this mountain has been revered by the emperors of Japan. This sacred place is very mystical as well as powerful. Kurama is considered the abode of Tengu (the Great spirit of Nature, the Owner of the mountains), who raised the best warriors of Japan. It was here that the great commander and national hero of Japan of the XII century Minamoto no Yoshitsune mastered the martial art and gained his magical power.
As I said, Usui practiced meditation on Kurama mount. And one of the meditations that he practiced was the following: the overthrow of the flow of water on his head, standing under an artificial waterfall. The purpose of this meditation was to open and purify his Crown chakra.
It is believed that by the end of his seclusion on mount Kurama, Usui had attained enlightenment when the Divine Light entered his Crown chakra. Through this Light Usui received his initiation into Reiki. His consciousness expanded, and he realized that he reached his main goal – he gained the ability to heal other people without depleting his own energy reserves.
After Usui was initiated into Reiki, he first practiced Reiki on himself and then on his family members. And soon he founded the “Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai”, opened his clinic in Tokyo, began to teach other people about Reiki system, and started giving Reiki healing sessions to other people.
Usui did not want the Reiki system to be a secret doctrine accessible only to a limited number of individuals. He also did not want this System to be restricted or controlled in any way. Usui sought to make Reiki accessible to everyone and wanted this system to be spread all over the world.
According to his teachings, every person who has taken the path of Reiki is able to experience the Divine state through which a new better world can be created.
Dr. Usui also said that it is not enough to heal a person physically. The human spirit must be involved in the healing process. That is, the health of the physical body depends on the health of the spirit. Therefore, it is possible to heal only those people who consciously show a desire to be healed with Reiki Energy.
For those wishing to study Reiki, Usui suggested using the Five rules of Emperor Meiji. These five rules later became the Basic principles which represent the ethical basis of the Reiki system. These principles are:
1.Just for today, do not be angry.
2. Just for today, do not worry.
3. Just for today, be grateful.
4. Just for today, work with diligence.
5. Just for today, be kind to people.
Usui saw the purpose of these principles in directing the mind to a particular meditative state, which sets the stage for healing on the mental level. Dr. Usui believed that progress on the path of healing always begins with meditation. When there is a problem in life, you can meditate on finding a way to solve it, focusing on the Reiki principles.
Dr. Usui worked in Japan for many years and trained Reiki Masters, to whom he passed all the traditions of his system.
Usui training ended in 1926 when he died. He is buried in Tokyo at the Saihoji temple in Suginami-Ku. His disciples erected a large memorial stone near his grave, on which they engraved the life story of Usui.
After the death of Dr. Usui, his closest friend and colleague Mr. Ushida became the Chairman of Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai.
After the resignation of Mr. Ushida, the Reiki society was headed by Mr. Ilichi Taketomi, Mr. Yoshiharu Watanabe, Mr. Toyoichi Wanami and Ms. Kimiko Koyama, who left her post in 1998.
Currently, the President of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai is Masaki Kondo.
At the same time, it’s important to mention that there have never been such titles as “Grand Master” or “Lineage Holder” in Japan.
Chujiro Hayashi Period
Chujiro Hayashi was one of the most respected students of Usui. But even though Hayashi had received permission to teach Reiki he was never considered the heir of Usui.
Immediately after Usui’s death, Hayashi broke up with Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai society and formed his own Association. He opened a small clinic for healing people with Reiki, as well as courses to teach people Reiki.
Hayashi conducted his own research on various treatments with Reiki. He kept detailed records describing the effects of Reiki on various diseases (including severe forms of cancer). This is how Chujiro Hayashi developed his own Reiki style which consisted of the use of special hand positions for the treatment of various diseases.
Dr. Hayashi also discovered that Reiki energy flowed exactly where the body needed it most, while fully restoring the body’s strength. Thus, on the basis of his own research and studies, Chujiro Hayashi systematized Reiki as a treatment.
Reiki System became known to the West through the Japanese American origin – Hawayo Takata. Without this legendary woman, it would require a lot of time before this system would come out outside Japan. Thanks to Takata the Reiki system has spread around the world and millions of people were able to heal themselves and others with the help of Ki.
Hawayo Takata was born December 24, 1900, in one of the Hawaiian Islands – Kauai. When she grew up, she began to work on reed plantations. Then she married the accountant of one of the plantations and gave birth to two children. In 1930, her husband died, and she was forced to support the family on her own, working on plantations.
Hard work could not but affect her health – the condition of her lungs worsened, back pain appeared, and the nervous system was completely shattered. Soon after her husband’s death, Takata’s sister died, and she decided to go to Japan to visit her parents and improve her health.
Takata’s Reiki Path
In 1935, she went to the clinic of Dr. Hayashi. Being on treatment for four months, she was receiving Reiki sessions twice a day, which led to her full recovery. An examination conducted in an ordinary hospital confirmed this result.
At the end of the treatment, Takata remained in the clinic, helping with any work she’s been asked for. Seeing her zeal, Dr. Hayashi agreed to accept her as a student to the Reiki course.
After receiving 2nd Reiki degree initiations, Takata returned to the Hawaiian Islands. Dr. Hayashi followed her. Together they traveled all over Hawaii, conducting treatment, lecturing, and teaching people Reiki. Seeing the success of Takata and her dedication to work, Dr. Hayashi initiated her to the Reiki Master degree and returned to Japan.
Hawayo Takata opened a Reiki clinic in Hawaii, where she provided treatment to all those in need and at the same time she taught people the Reiki System. She became a famous healer. Conducting Reiki healing sessions and teaching people this system, she traveled the entire American continent and other parts of the globe.
Hawayo Takata sought to do everything possible to ensure that the Reiki System “took root” in the West. To do this, the system had to be significantly transformed into a Western mentality. In addition, it must be remembered that Hawayo Takata did not practice the “traditional” Usui Reiki, but a variety developed by Dr. Hayashi.
Reiki System Modification
After the death of Chujiro Hayashi, Takata modified her practice style of Reiki. In particular, Takata added her own rules to the Reiki System, which had nothing to do with what Usui taught.
Many consider these rules restrictive because they make learning difficult and thus slow down the spiritual growth of students. For example, Takata claimed that Reiki is an oral tradition. Therefore, she forbade her students to have written materials about Reiki, keep notes or make tape recordings.
However, in reality, Reiki is not an oral tradition. Proof of this is that both Usui and Hayashi had written materials that their students could use.
In addition, in the brochures of her groups, Hawayo Takata claimed that she was the only Reiki Master in the world, as all Japanese masters died during the war.
Since the 1970’s Mrs. Takata began giving initiation to a Reiki Master degree.
For two days of non-apprenticeship training, she set a fee of ten thousand dollars. Moreover, Takata announced this amount as an official reward for mastering the skill of Reiki. She especially emphasized that without the introduction of this sum further practice of Reiki is impossible. The need to Deposit ten thousand dollars was often crucial.
On the one hand, the high reward for the Reiki Master degree can be considered justified, as it inspires more value and respect for the system. On the other hand, for many people, high fees become an obstacle to getting Reiki initiation and prevent the rapid spread of this system. This fact contradicts the desire of Dr. Usui to make the Reiki system accessible to everyone.
Hawayo Takata’s Death
Hawayo Takata died on December 11, 1980. After her death, one of her trained masters decided to ignore her rules. This master was Iris Ishikura. She began to take a moderate fee for the Reiki attunements which caused the rapid spread of Reiki all around the world.
Before her death, Hawayo Takata asked two of her trained masters – Phyllis Lei Furumoto (Takata’s granddaughter) and Barbara Weber Ray to lead the Reiki movement. But a year after Takata’s death the way of these Masters broke up.
In this regard, two organizations were created:
1. The Reiki Alliance – the head of which was Phyllis Lei Furumoto;
2. AIRA (American International Reiki Association) led by Barbara Weber Ray.
Currently, in the West, there are several independent Reiki organizations, but the Reiki-Alliance and AIRA are the largest of them.
Modern Western Reiki System
The evolution of human consciousness, as well as the era of rapid development, cannot but affect the Western Reiki System. Having gained access to this system, a person seeks first to adopt it for himself/herself, and then, trying to get more out of it, seeks to improve it. Thus, concentrating on the energy itself, people began to discover new knowledge about Reiki.
Currently, there are more than thirty varieties of Reiki. And the evolution of Reiki does not end there. People continue to gain new knowledge about Reiki, opening up new opportunities for the ancient art of managing the energy of life, which Usui made available to mankind.
So, What Is Reiki?
It’s easier to understand what Reiki is when you understand the meaning of two Japanese syllables ‘Rei’ and ‘Ki’. The first syllable ‘Rei’ means ‘universal, transcendental spirit, the universe’. The second syllable, Ki, can be translated as ‘sacred life energy’. Thus ‘Reiki’ can be translated as ‘universal sacred vital energy’.
What Is ‘Ki’ Exactly?
Most people have a basic understanding of Ki energy but don’t know what it is exactly. Also, most people think that Reiki is the only kind of Ki. In this part of the article, I’ll try to give more detailed information about Ki and explain what kinds of Ki exist.
In Japanese, the word “Ki” is used to refer to all kinds of vital energies. There is a certain analogy between Ki and the Chinese concept of “Qi” and the concept of “Prana” used by Indian philosophy.
Ki is the basic substance of the formation of all things in the Universe. Thus, all phenomena occurring in the Universe are a consequence of the movement and modifications of Ki.
There is an internal Ki that circulates in every human being, and the external Ki supplied to the human body when you inhale. External Ki, getting into the body during inhalation, is converted into internal Ki, and when you exhale it comes out and turns into external Ki. This is how vital energy Ki moves in the Universe. And that Ki energy is the vital activity of the whole organism.
Ki And Meridians
In our bodies, Ki circulates through the meridians – that is, through the so-called channels running parallel to the anatomical systems of the body, but vibrating at a higher frequency. Energy vibrating at a higher frequency affects matter vibrating at a lower frequency. Thus, with a negative impact on the meridians, the physical body exhibits symptoms of the disease. Therefore, it is extremely important to restore and maintain the balance of the energy body.
When a person gets sick, it is the meridians that are the ways in which the disease enters the body. Conversely, when a person recovers, it is by the meridians that the disease leaves the body and the symptoms disappear.
Thus, if you clear the meridians, on which Ki circulates, its flow becomes more harmonious, and, thereby, diseases get destroyed. One of the most effective ways to cleanse your meridians is daily Reiki healing sessions.
In other words, the easier it is for Ki energy to flow in your body, the healthier you are!
Different Kinds Of Ki
There are eight kinds of Ki. Each kind has certain characteristics. But all these types of Ki are in constant interaction with each other.
The eight kinds of Ki are:
As you can see, Reiki is one (the seventh) of the eight Ki’s kinds. And there are seven more kinds of Ki that most people (even experienced Reiki practitioners) have never heard about. But, in my opinion, in order to understand what Reiki is, you need to understand what Ki is. But without understanding all types of Ki that exist it’s hard to even understand what we’re dealing with when we practice Reiki.
Kekki has the greatest power, but the least ability to organize the flow of energy in the mind and body. And Reiki has the greatest ability to organize the flow of energy in the mind and body, but at the same time, it is difficult to achieve a direct effect.
Thus, Reiki is a so-called ‘method of energy management’. It is with the help of Reiki a person gets the ability to manifest everything he needs, using the right forces, in the right ratio, at the right time.
Other types of Ki perform various functions by interacting with each other.
Kekki is the original Ki that provides vitality. It symbolizes blood. Kekki is used for cellular nutrition and energy structures.
This type of Ki is basically bioenergy, the energy of bioplasm, giving the body a structure. It symbolizes the salt or minerals in the blood (‘shio’ means ‘salt’). This kind of energy gives us a will and fortitude, ensuring our existence. Shioke forms an energy field when a person realizes the purpose of his earthly incarnation. It is Shioke that gives us the possibility of self-realization.
It is the Ki of water and liquids, which grants flux and communication. Mizuke is the energy on which relationships are built. Also, this type of Ki, gives us the ability to eat and maintain metabolism.
It is the Ki of air, which grants breath. Kuki gives us the energy of will, the ability to destroy and create. This type of Ki helps us to interact with any part of the Universe. It gives us the ability to think logically and digest food. It is the Kuki that gives the power to break bricks in karate practice. This energy helps us to follow our own path, regardless of the opinions of others. A person with strong Kuki energy cannot be manipulated.
It is the Ki of thunder which gives us motivation, striving, development, and growth. Denki connects us with creative power. The first emotion that gets created by thunder sound is fear. But then experiences gain the cleansing power that motivates us to find the most appropriate solution to the problem. That is, the thunder clears and heals, right after scaring us with its sound. It provokes a reaction that causes liberation from our emotions and the elimination of our energy blocks.
Denki transforms our fears into love. It develops tolerance in communication with other people and a better understanding of life circumstances.
Denki regulates our relationship with our own egos.
Denki helps to feel the unity with all beings. However, it is necessary to ensure that our development does not stop due to full integration with society and self-satisfaction.
It is the Ki of magnetism, which endows us with complementary forces and challenges for growth. In other words, Jiki is magnetic energy, gathering power, creative energy. Jiki is enhanced when a person consciously accepts and learns the life lessons without complaining. For enhancing this type of Ki we have to understand that everything that happens in our lives is necessary for our development. Therefore we should face all the life challenges instead of avoiding them.
It is the Ki of the soul, the source of our healing system. Reiki is the vital energy that manifests itself in the material world as the closest to the divine creative force. Here are some characteristics of Reiki energy:
- connects without binding;
- stimulates without overexcitation;
- separates without creating isolation;
- soothes without causing numbness;
- directs our attention to life and love;
- creates clarity without a loss of engagement;
- awakens and supports the development of all kinds of hidden possibilities.
It is the divine energy. Shinki works by means of Reiki outside the material world.
The Reiki system is based on a deep understanding of the structure of the Universe. According to Reiki teaching, all the processes taking place inside and around us are controlled by the matter of the highest order – the energy that has Consciousness – Ki. When you know how to manage your Ki, you acquire the ability to solve any problems and maximize your potential.
Although most Reiki practitioners are mainly focused on the art of healing, Reiki’s main advantage is its multi-aspect nature. Practicing Reiki, everyone gets exactly what he needs at that moment: a businessman transforms Ki into money, an artist expresses Ki in art, a student – in studying, a cook – in the creation of a healthy dish. In other words, no matter what your goal is, by practicing Reiki you will always find a priceless gift – the ability to convert Ki into the enjoyment of life.
Dr. Mikao Usui taught to start any energy practice with the healing of the mind, resulting in a healthy body.
When the mind is healed, the body heals itself. In fact, the unity of mind and body leads to the attainment of a peaceful and joyful life. It is this unity that gives us the opportunity to engage in healing – to heal not only ourselves but also others, as well as to increase both our own well-being and the well-being of other people. This is the purpose of the Usui Reiki Ryoho system.
Reiki differs from other physical methods of healing, hypnotherapy, and psychotherapy. Dr. Usui claimed that there is no need to believe in the success of this practice in order that healing can occur. It works equally well for a small child, and for a seriously ill person, and even for a person in an unconscious state.
Reiki is not limited to the treatment of the physical body. It can also treat bad habits and negative emotions. The uniqueness of Reiki is that the healers have the abilities to heal themselves and others without the need for medical education.
Reiki uses a spiritual method that goes beyond scientific medicine and is not based on it. However, advanced medical and pharmaceutical professionals recognize the effectiveness of this type of healing and some of them even become Reiki students.
Dr. Rokura Kuga said: ‘It is a fact that non-physicians (therapists) have carried out a series of therapies such as psychotherapy with a high degree of success that has not even been achieved by medical faculties because these therapies include the character, the personal symptoms of the patient, and many different (healing) methods in their treatment.
If they (as physicians associated with the medical faculty) would blindly reject therapists and psychotherapists (who are not associated) and attempt to impede them in their work, this would be very narrow-minded.’
Is Reiki Healing Legal?
Despite the fact that Reiki healing is mostly done by people who do not have a medical education, the practice itself is not illegal and does not violate the laws of medical practice. For the first time, an explanation of the legality of the Reiki practice was given by the Japanese Prime Minister in 1922:
‘Hypnotherapy and the like (similar therapy forms) were judged to be bad forms of therapy more than ten years ago, but today they have been better researched, and also effectively applied in psychiatry. It is difficult to solve everything related to a human being with medications. Physicians follow certain paths, which are based on medical principles, in order to heal disease. The use of touch and electrotherapy in combatting disease, are not components of the healing methods of the medical faculty.’
Practicing Reiki is surprisingly easy, and therefore accessible to everyone. At the same time, this practice can be combined with any spiritual, religious and therapeutic areas, which makes it universal. Moreover, this system has great flexibility, which allows you to use it in everyday life in a variety of ways. There are no generally binding rules to follow. It gives you the ability to improvise in practice, starting from your own intuition and feelings. You can combine self-healing sessions with meditations.
Because of this, it can be used in different spheres of life. You can give the healing to all family members including pets. You can charge your food with Reiki, thereby increasing the vibration of the food and making it more nutritious. The possibilities of Reiki are endless!
What Is Reiki Path?
It’s important to say that the Reiki path of each person is unique. You should never compare your own path with anybody’s else. Every person has his own reasons to practice Reiki. That’s why you should not even try to analyze, evaluate or compare your own path with others. Your experience can be completely different from a person who studied Reiki from the same Reiki Master as you did. Your feeling of energy can be also very different from your classmates. And this is normal. At the beginning of your practice, you may not feel the energy at all. And this is also ok.
What Are The Results Of Reiki Sessions?
Reiki sessions enhance the body’s ability to heal itself, restore energy balance, and strengthen the immune system, which allows it to resist various diseases or recover faster. With its help, you can treat various diseases and relieve stress.
Regular healing sessions lead to the maximum activation of the internal vitality of the person, reveal creativity, and help to manifest your intentions and desires quickly, safely and easily.
The results of Reiki sessions include:
- natural self-healing;
- complete relaxation;
- getting rid of energy blocks;
- enhancing vitality;
- the inflow of vital energy;
- preservation of the body in a state of health and harmony;
- protection against any form of negativity;
- improvement of romantic and friendly relations;
- attracting love;
- gaining self-confidence;
- attracting abundance;
- finding peace of mind and balance in all spheres of life and much more.
If you want to practice Reiki healing yourself (without the help of a Reiki healer) you should consider receiving a Reiki Attunement.
Introduction to the Reiki System always starts with the Reiki Attunement. A student receives the attunement from a Reiki Master Teacher.
The Attunement is the initiation into spiritual tradition.
This is an ancient way of transferring energy and sacred knowledge from one person to another, which cannot be transferred by means of words.
During the initiation, the reiki student goes through a process of adjustment. The result of this is the raising of the vibrations of his entire energy system to a higher level.
After the Attunement, a person acquires not only the theoretical and practical knowledge transferred to him by the Reiki Master-Teacher, but also he acquires his inner knowledge and revealing of his own potential in energy management. This internal knowledge over time takes the form of the Reiki practitioner’s special abilities, not only in the field of healing but also in the creation of his/her own reality.
Usually, when people say “the Reiki Attunement” they mean the ceremony of the initiation into the Reiki System.
However, the Attunement is carried out by the Universal Energy in response to the intention of the Reiki Master, according to a certain methodology. That is, the transfer of internal knowledge and the revealing of internal capacity is carried out directly by Reiki.
The Attunement is a great mystery, during which a complete transformation of the student’s energy body happens. As a result, the student creates deeper and stronger contact with his/her Higher Self. The Attunement, in fact, is a direct flow of the Universal Energy pouring out upon a person.
Every person who decides to try Reiki healing wonders – ‘how many sessions do I need?’.
Well, the number of healing sessions depends on the disease. Reiki is used to treat both acute and chronic diseases. However, chronic diseases require more time and healing sessions than an acute disease.
It is a disease of a temporary nature – such as wounds, colds, viral infections, periodic pains and so on. In acute diseases, positive changes caused by Reiki healing sessions can be seen after 1-2 sessions.
It is a long-term disease – such as gastritis, arthritis, hypertension and so on. Such diseases require long-term healing work. The causes of such diseases arise at the level of mind and spirit and only then manifest themselves in physical symptoms. Therefore, the healer also has to help the patient to heal mental blocks. Only in this case, effective healing is possible.
It is impossible to say exactly how many sessions will be required for chronic disease, but you need to be prepared for the fact that, most likely, you will have to be treated for a long time.
The healing process is very individual.
Some people have more flexible minds than others, some people have a stronger desire to recover than others. You have to consider all these facts.
Often, after the first Reiki session, there is a temporary relief, but after several subsequent sessions, the symptoms can worsen. This often disappoints people and they refuse to continue the healing. However, it is necessary to remember yourself and timely inform your patients about the healing crisis that can occur on the way to recovery. But the healing crisis is temporary and it leads to recovery.
The Bottom Line
Developing your inner power through Reiki you’re gradually changing your perception of the world. Relationships with people are improving, problems are resolved for the common good, and all problems disappear as soon as you develop yourself spiritually. Choosing to practice Reiki, you find a great tool, to face even the most mundane problems with the confidence that everything will be resolved for the highest good.