History of Reiki

History of Reiki

“There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Reiki master-teachers across all continents who train and attune new Reiki practitioners, sharing traditions, history, and practices of this form of energy healing” (Karen Fraizer, 2018).

     Reiki is an ancient healing energy, also known as the universal life force. While it has likely been around since the beginning of time, Dr. Mikao Usui was the first person to develop a system for the practices of healing with Reiki. Named after Dr. Usui, this system of energy healing is called Usui Ryoho Reiki, also known as Western Reiki. Dr. Usui was born on August 15, 1865, in Gifu Prefecture (near Nagoya), Japan, and died on March 9, 1926, in Fukuyama, Japan. (Karen Frazier, 2018) Prior to his death, Dr. Usui began training Dr. Chujiro Hayashi in 1925. Dr. Chujiro Hayashi was born September 15, 1880 in Tokyo Japan, and died May 11, 1940 by ritual suicide, seppuku, as an act of honor. At the insistence of Dr. Usui, Dr. Hayashi opened a Reiki clinic in Japan, and this is where he met his next student, Hawayo Takata, who would eventually bring the art of Reiki healing to the western world. (Karen Frazier, 2018) Madam Hawayo Takata, a Hawaiian Reiki Master, was born on the island of Kauai in the territory of Hawaii on December 24, 1900, and is responsible for the spread of Usui Ryoho Reiki (Usui Reiki) in the West. While traveling in Japan for a family matter, Takata, who struggled with mental health issues, had a nervous breakdown due to her failing health and was diagnosed with gallstones, asthma, appendicitis, and a tumor, and was scheduled for surgery. Instead of seeking medical treatment Takata sought Reiki healing from Dr. Hayashi, she was so impressed with the results she decided to learn the technique herself before returning home to Kauai. Once she returned home, Dr. Hayashi travelled to Kauai in 1937 to continue Takata’s Reiki training for several months. (Karen Frazier, 2018) After spending time in Japan and Hawaii learning from Dr. Hayashi, Madam Takata developed a system of practicing Reiki, providing healing throughout the United States. In 1970, Takata also developed a system of teaching new Reiki masters and insisted for students memorize the Reiki System, teaching it as an oral tradition. She cautioned practitioners and masters against providing written materials, such as symbols, hand positions, or even a written history. Charging $10,000 for a weekend of training, Takata believed Reiki deserved respect and should never be practiced or taught. Today, most masters have done away with the exorbitant fee, and most feel it is appropriate to share Reiki in writing, since both Dr. Usui and Dr. Hayashi provided written materials to their students. (Karen Frazier, 2018)

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