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History of Reiki Healing

Updated on January 14, 2015
The word reiki written using Kanji symbols.
The word reiki written using Kanji symbols. | Source

Reiki is a Japanese word meaning spiritual energy and is used to describe any form of healing that uses spiritual energy. Within the Japanese alphabet (also known as Kanji), reiki is represented by two symbols. One of these is older and is considered by many to be the traditional way write reiki and the other symbol is a more modern form.

Reiki is a completely safe, gentle and non-intrusive form of healing that is suitable for adults, children and even animals. It can be used safely by people off all ages and regardless of whether they have health issues, special needs or disabilities. In order to perform reiki the healer only needs to place their hands on the receiving person, there is no massage or manipulation of any kind involved. This allows spiritual energy to flow from the reiki healer and into the person they are healing. Reiki healing can also be performed remotely as the healer can direct the reiki energy produced wherever they choose. Reiki can be used to balance, heal or harmonise all aspects of a person.

In the western world the term reiki is generally used to refer to a system of healing the mind, body, spirit and emotions that was discovered by a Japanese Buddhist priest, Mikao Usui. His method became known as Usui Reiki Ryoho which translates to Usui spiritual energy healing method.
Mikao Usui began his Buddhist studies as a small child and became an expert in a variety of martial arts. He had a very strong understanding of the life energy found within all living things, known as Ki. When in his fifties, Mikao Usui had an experience of enlightenment consisting of visions of sacred symbols and received the gift of healing as well as the knowledge of how to pass this gift onto others. Usui then went on to develop this healing system and began practicing in 1922. After the Tokyo earthquake in 1923, Usui and his students where thanked by the Japanese emperor personally for their help in aiding and healing the wounded.

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Usui Reiki Ryoho can be used for physical healing and also incorporates meditation and energy-cleansing techniques. It teaches five principles for living a good life;

Don't get angry (Okoru-na)
Don't worry (Shinpai suna)
Show appreciation (kansha shite)
Work hard (Goo hage me)
and finally,
Be kind to others (HIto ni shinesetsu ni).

In 1926 the organization, Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui reiki healing method learning society) was created and dedicated itself to keeping the teaching of reiki alive. The organization is still running today and its member still follow Usui's teachings closely and possess the two manuals he wrote detailing his healing method. Usui himself only taught his healing system for four years before dying in 1926. During this time he taught many people the first level (Sho-den), around 50 of his students reached level two (Oku-den) but only 17 acquired the highest level of training known as Shinpi-den.

One of Usui's students that reached the level of Shinpi-den was Chujiro Hayashi. He later treated a patient in his clinic, Mrs Hawayo Takata who had been diagnosed with a tumour while visiting her parents in Japan. Mrs Takata received daily reiki treatments while waiting for an operation to remove the tumour. However her tumour disappeared before this occurred which lead her to beome interested in reiki healing herself. She went on to learn the first two levels, Sho-den and Oku-den from Hayashi. Once Mrs Takata returned home to Hawaii she opened a clinic of her own and offered reiki healing to others. She later went on to achieve Shinpi-den and began teaching reiki to people across America and Canada. Mrs Takata renamed the levels First Degree, second Degree and Third Degree, which is also known as Reiki Master. Before her death she was able to guide twenty two people through the stages to Reiki Master and from this reiki spread over the western world.

Although the methods are referred to as teaching, reiki cannot be learned as such. Reiki is not knowledge based and regardless of how much you know about it or study, you may not be able to actually perform it. Reiki is very much experience based and requires you to be able to draw the healing energy into yourself and then channel it into others. Books, lectures, videos etc are however still useful in introducing people to reiki and in teaching people practical aspects such as how to use reiki, such as the positions of hand placements.

Reiki is a safe natural therapy and can be used to help and heal adults, children and animals alike.
Reiki is a safe natural therapy and can be used to help and heal adults, children and animals alike. | Source

© 2012 Claire

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