Reiki is a generic word in Japan. It is used to describe any type of healing based on Universal life force energy, and has the basic meaning as the Chinese CHI and Sanskrit PRANA. Reiki is non-religious and can be accepted by anyone of any faith or creed. Reiki expands the subtle body system, the aura and the chakras to help clear away blocked or congested energy. It is an intelligent energy that knows where is it needed most whether that be physically, emotionally or both.
Reiki, as it is practiced in the UK today, dates back to the teachings of Mikao Usui in Japan in the early 1920’s. Usui was a lifelong spiritual aspirant, a lay monk with a wife and two children. In Usui’s time, various lineages of Buddhist, Taoist, and Shinto practices coexisted as the dominant themes in Japanese spirituality and culture.
Usui’s intense spiritual practices culminated in a profound revelation that led to the practice now commonly called Reiki. This realization most likely occurred in 1922.
Usui travelled widely in Japan during the last four years of his life, offering his spiritual teachings to more than 2,000 beginning students, but training only 16 as Reiki masters. One of his master students, Chujiro Hayashi, was a retired naval officer. Hayashi worked with Usui to excerpt the healing practices from Usui’s larger body of teachings so that they could be more widely disseminated.
Hawayo Takata With Usui’s blessings, Hayashi opened a Reiki clinic in Tokyo where 16 practitioners gave treatment in pairs. Hawayo Takata, a first generation Japanese-American, came to Hayashi’s clinic for relief from a number of medical conditions, including asthma. Months of treatment restored Takata’s health, and she became a devoted student. With Hayashi’s active guidance and support, Takata brought Reiki to Hawaii in 1937 and eventually to the US mainland. Takata practiced and taught Reiki for 40 years before she began training Reiki masters (practitioners empowered to teach others) and spread through the world.