Reiki is a system of healing originating in Japan in the 1920s. It was created by Mikao Usui as a way to bring oneself toward embodied enlightenment through direct connection to “reiki” or universal life force energy, also known as chi (qi) – the life-giving flow of energy that runs through everyone and everything.
Usui experienced this force of vital energy spontaneously awaken and flow through his body atop Mt. Kurama near Kyoto during a fast. He went on to share this energy with others for healing by passing the energy through his hands.
He also began teaching this practice by “attuning” or initiating practitioners to the vibration of Reiki energy. This energy is innate within all of us, but it often becomes blocked or stagnant over the course of life. With a Reiki attunement, the body’s connection to universal life force energy is re-opened and cleared so that it may flow freely through practitioners and be utilized to heal themselves and others.
The other main focus of Usui Reiki is to live by certain integral principles everyday that help create balance, and support one in taking responsibility for their health and wellbeing.
Usui was a Tendai Buddhist and was deeply immersed in the study of the sutras of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, or Tantric Buddhism. For this reason, many have maintained that Reiki is Tibetan in origin. It seems more likely that Usui’s intimate study of the Tantric sutra texts, as well as his studies of ancient Eastern healing traditions inspired the philosophy and methodology of the Reiki healing system.
Reiki today remains true to Usui’s use of “attunements” for training practitioners, passed down by Reiki Masters who can trace their lineage back to Usui, although there are many new forms of Reiki that expand on the traditions.
A Reiki practitioner relies on traditional hand placements to guide the Reiki energy through them for the client, who remains fully clothed for the session. It’s important to distinguish that this energy is not the practitioner’s energy, but rather the free flow of universal life force energy transmitted to the client to activate the body’s own innate healing process. It is often experienced as a gentle heat.
Reiki is a loving, radiant energy that never harms, so it really can meet you wherever you are on your healing journey. It can nourish all the vital functions of the body, transform harmful thought patterns, cleanse environmental toxins and other stagnant energy, and transport you to a deep inner place of peace and healing.