What is Reiki and how does it work?


What is Reiki? Should you try it? Can it actually do anything? Is Reiki “magic”? If Reiki is energetic in origin why should I have in person training? People ask us these questions regularly and so I thought this Blog post for Complementary Health Professionals would help explain the concepts of Reiki and why you might consider wither experiencing a treatment or becoming a Reiki practitioner yourself.

What is Reiki? Well, Reiki is an energy therapy that has been practiced around the world for almost 100 years. It was rediscovered by Mikao Usui in the early 1920s. Why do I say rediscovered rather than invented? It’s because, or shall I say the theory is, he did not just come up with this healing technique, rather he found the information about it in an ancient text. To explain this, let’s look at the history of Reiki.

The traditional history taught in the west is that Usui, a noted scholar, was asked by a student how the ancient enlightened masters (Jesus, the Buddha etc.) healed people. Of course he could not answer this and, being an honourable gentleman, went off to find an answer. He travelled to many temples from many religions in search of answers. In one temple in Tibet, he came across an ancient manuscript containing an archaic language as well as several symbols. Sadly no one could read the language so the document went untranslated. The head priest of this temple recommended that Usui fasted and meditated on these symbols in a cave on a sacred mountain; Mt. Kurama.

At the end of 21 days, Usui was struck by a sense of enlightenment and now understood the symbols and what they could do. Excited, he ran down the mountain path. He was clumsy due to the fact he hadn’t eaten for 3 weeks and he tripped hurting his foot. Naturally, he held his injured foot as we all do when in pain, but unlike normally, his hands warmed and the pain eased. When he moved his hands he realized the bleeding had stopped and he was pain free. This is when he realized he had a gift that must be given to the world, and so Reiki was reborn.

Usui went on to teach Reiki to around 20 people (exact numbers are unknown) how to practice reiki and teach others. The main person from those original 20, is Dr. Chujiro Hayashi. This ex navy officer added the hand positions used today in many Reiki practices around the world. He also taught Mrs. Takata, a Japanese-American lady who then brought Reiki to America, which in turn made this healing practice a global phenomenon.