Mind Body Connection Energy Healing Reiki History

Reiki is a form of mind-body, energy healing used as an alternate therapy for physical, mental and emotional ailments. Translated to “universal life energy” or “spiritually guided life force energy,” Reiki is a technique in which the flow of energy from a practitioner’s hands decreases stress and promotes relaxation and healing.

In general, according to Reiki philosophy, low life force energy makes people succumb to sickness. Conversely, high life force energy, joy and health help people overcome the negative forces. Reiki treats the entire being including the body, mind, spirit and emotions to enhance a person’s wellbeing.

Reiki is a simple, natural and safe path toward self-improvement. It is easy to learn. One must merely have the ability to use it once it is transferred to them during a class. An “attunement”, supplied by a Reiki master, gives the student access to an unlimited supply of life force energy. The student is then able to enhance his life. This is not dependent on any other factor besides the initial contact with the teacher and is, therefore, available to everyone.

Origin of Reiki

The origin of Reiki is somewhat unclear, but Dr. Mikao Usui founded the Usui System of Reiki after a mystical experience he had while at an Isyu Guo training course on Mount Kurama in 1914. At the time, Dr. Usui was about 50 years old. It was here that he was given the ability to do Reiki treatments and thus give healing to others without depleting his own energy.

Dr. Usui combined this experience with his existing knowledge from a very broad background in medicine, psychology and religion. He then started an organization in Japan, of which he was the first president. Men have succeeded him as presidents, but none have been “lineage bearers” or “grandmasters” as has been purported in the West.

After his mystical experience, the Reiki Usui system of healing included the:

  • energy itself
  • Reiki hand positions
  • Reiki Ideals
  • the Reiki attunement process
  • three Reiki II symbols.

In 1925, Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, a respected Reiki master, used his experience as a medical doctor to develop the Hayashi Healing Guide, which included additional Reiki hand positions for certain illnesses and a simplified version of the Reiki attunement process.

Reiki and Religion

Some believe that Reiki is affiliated with Buddhism. It is actually religiously neutral while still being spiritual in nature. Dr. Usui was a Buddhist, but he also studied Christianity. He had a very broad background in medicine, psychology and religion. His system was flexible, simple and intuitive.

Introduction to the Western World

The Usui System of Natural Healing that is present in the Western world is much more organized and structured than that founded by Dr. Usui. Hawayo Takata learned the Reiki system from Dr. Hayashi in Tokyo and brought it to Hawaii in 1937. She added the foundation treatment, a simplified version, and brought this to Westerners.

Because Hawayo Takata insisted that Reiki is an oral tradition, students could not take notes or record teachings. This has made it difficult to determine how one should practice Reiki, since many masters have made changes after Takata passed away. To date, approximately 3 million people throughout the world have been initiated into Reiki.


Rand, William (1991). What is the History of Reiki? Retrieved April 4, 2008, from the Reiki.org Web site: http://www.reiki.org/faq/HistoryOfReiki.html.