What is Reiki?
Reiki is an ancient healing art that utilizes universal life force energy for healing through a system of “laying on of hands”. The word “reiki” derives from the Japanese words rei, meaning “spiritual consciousness, transcendental spirit, miraculous, or divine” and ki, meaning “life force energy or spiritual energy”. Ki is also the primary energy of our emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies. This holistic, light-touch form of energy medicine works in supporting one’s health by transferring life force energy throughout the system, which in turn helps balance an individual’s own ki to bring balance and harmony to the body, mind, and spirit. Although a seemingly simple form of therapy, reiki is a powerful treatment that works on all levels of healing. The potent energy transferred during a treatment comes from the highest spiritual source and has it own intelligence. A multi-dimensional essence, reiki energy knows exactly where to go and heals the cause of dis-ease wherever it lies, be it in the body, mind, or spirit, or in all areas.
Principles of Reiki
The principles developed by Dr. Mikao Usui, the founder of reiki, lie at the very heart of the practice. They provide a guideline for the way in which we should conduct our lives and act with both ourselves and others. They teach us to live up to our highest potential and be mindful of all that we do, think, and feel. While there are many versions, each outlines the essence of reiki.
The 5 reiki principles are as follows:
Just for today, I will not anger.
Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will be grateful.
Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
Just for today, I will be kind to every living being.
How Does Reiki Work?
Everything in this universe is energy and every living being has a vital life force energy (ki) flowing through them. At times, this energy can become stagnant, blocked, or mischannelled due to stress, illness, negative emotions, or energetic disturbance. The extraordinary energy of reiki works by opening the energetic or auric field of the individual and allowing healing energy to flow through the entire system, thereby balancing the energy centres (chakras) at their source. It also allows an individual to enter a deeply relaxed and tranquil state, which enhances the body’s natural healing process. Through a series of hand positions, either directly on or over the body, reiki energy is transferred into the client through the hands of an attuned reiki practitioner. As reiki flows into the energy field, it raises its vibration and penetrates into the physical body where negative thoughts and feelings may be attached and energy may be trapped. The individual then draws the energy it requires, intuitively directing it where it is needed.
Benefits of Reiki
Reiki is a wonderful healing treatment whether it is used as a stand-alone treatment or in a complimentary way with other forms of holistic therapies, natural medicine, or contemporary medicine.
The reported benefits of reiki include:
- Creates a deep state of relaxation
- Removes energy blockages and stagnant energy
- Raises the vibrational frequency of the body
- Enhances the body’s natural healing process
- Reduces stress and fatigue
- Increases vitality
- Releases tension
- Relieves anxiety and depression
- Improves sleep and relieves insomnia
- Alleviates pain
- Reduces blood pressure
- Aids the body in releasing toxins
- Improves digestion
- Supports the immune system
- Reduces some of the side effects of medication
- Aids in recovery after surgery or medical treatment
- Promotes an overall feeling of well-being
- Allows for greater self awareness
- Heightens intuition
- Assists with spiritual growth
The History of Reiki
Reiki is thought to be an ancient Tibetan healing art born thousands of years ago, however, the practice, as we know it today, was rediscovered by Dr. Mikao Usui (1864-1926) of Japan in the late 19th Century.
Dr. Usui (Usui Sensei) was a Buddhist monk who had an avid interest in learning and spirituality. He studied medicine, psychology, and theology, and later became a successful businessman. While heading a Christian school in Japan, he was asked by students how Jesus was able to perform miracles and heal so many. While Usui understood the bible and scripture intellectually, this question prompted him to form a deeper understanding of the power of healing and so he journeyed throughout the United States and visited many Buddhist monasteries in Asia to seek the wisdom of masters.
Upon his return to Japan, Usui began to suffer many challenges both personally and financially and so he spent much time meditating at powerful spots on Mt. Kurama and then finally enrolled in Isyu Guo, a Buddhist training course of 21 days that involved fasting and meditation. During his final day of training, Usui had a mystical revelation. It is said that he felt a great healing energy enter into him by striking him in the head with a ball of light. Upon completing the training, he promptly moved to Tokyo and opened the Spiritual Energy Therapy Society, also known as the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui Reiki Healing Society), and began teaching the healing practice to other professionals as well as administering the treatment to many patients. After his death in 1926, many of Usui’s students followed his practice and they continued to develop and promote the methods of reiki internationally.
One of Usui’s pupils, named Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, continued in the steps of his teacher and developed the Usui system of healing. He opened a reiki clinic in Tokyo and maintained a detailed record of the treatments he performed. Based on the information he gathered, he developed a new style of reiki, which incorporated the standard hand placements we use today. As his wisdom and practice spread throughout Japan, many were able to benefit from the healing properties of reiki.
One of the people who received reiki treatments from Dr. Hayashi was a Japanese-American woman, named Hawayo Takata. Mrs. Takata began suffering from poor health after the death of her husband and so she travelled to Japan to seek medical treatment and surgery. While there, she also sought an alternative method of treatment and was referred to Dr. Hayashi’s clinic. After receiving a series of treatments, Mrs. Takata’s health improved drastically and so she asked Dr. Hayashi to share his skills with her so that she could continue to treat herself upon her return to the United States and also share it with others. Dr. Hayashi agreed and he allowed her to work in his clinic while giving her reiki training. Mrs. Takata returned to Hawaii and started her own practice and then a few years later, invited Dr. Hayashi to come and visit her. During this visit, Mrs. Takata was initiated at the master level by Usui and subsequently began to train her own students. Her methods of training were both stringent and costly and raised some questions with her students. Upon her death, one of the masters she initiated, named Iris Ishikura, began to develop a different and more affordable system of training that opened the doors for more people to learn the healing art. Many other masters began to offer the same method of training and reiki soon began to spread quickly across the world.
Today, there are hundreds of thousands of reiki masters and millions of practitioners with the numbers continuing to grow. The amazing results of reiki have helped many accept this alternative form of treatment, so much so, that it has grown to be one of the most popular forms of holistic therapy.