Reiki History

Reiki is an ancient form of healing believed to have begun in Tibet several thousand years ago. Seers in the Orient studied energies and developed a system of sounds and symbols for universal healing energies. Various healing systems, which crossed many different cultures, emerged from this single root system. Unfortunately, the original source itself was forgotten.

Dr. Mikao Usui, a Japanese Christian educator in Kyoto, Japan, began an extensive twenty-one-year study of the healing phenomena of history's greatest spiritual leaders. He also studied ancient sutras (Buddhist teachings written in Sanskrit) and had spent many years on a quest for the secret of the ancient healing knowledge and rediscovered the root system in the mid- to late 1800s.

Dr. Mikao Usui went to a mountain top in Japan and underwent a 21 day purification, fasting and meditating at the end of which he received underwent a metaphysical experience and discovered ancient sounds and symbols that are linked directly to the human body and nervous system which activate the universal life energy and became empowered to use these sounds and symbols to heal. He came down from the mountain and spent the rest of his life (until his death around 1893) practicing and teaching what we know as Reiki.

Dr. Usui passed his knowledge onto several others and made Mr. Chujiro Hayashi the Reiki Grand Master with the responsibility of training all the other Reiki teachers. He took Reiki to the USA in 1936 where he met up with one of his students, Mrs. Hawayo H Takata going on in 1938 to make her a Master. Mr. Hayashi died on 10th May 1941 passing on the Grand Reiki Master to Mrs. Takata. At this time there were only 5 living Reiki Masters under her leadership. However, she went onto grant 22 Masterships before her death on 12th December 1980 when she willed the title of Grand Master to her granddaughter Phyllis Lei Furumoto. After Mrs. Takata’s death the western Reiki movement split into two directions. The ‘Reiki Alliance' led by Phyllis Furumoto and 'The Radiance Techniques' which was led by Barbara Ray and based in the USA. Several other branches grew out of the ‘Reiki Alliance’. Reiki has gone on from strength to strength now being practiced worldwide.

There are many forms of reiki being practiced now. The two principal ones are: "the Usui System of Natural Healing" and "the Radiance Technique." The Usui System of Natural Healing balances and strengthens the body's energy, promoting its ability to heal itself. 

Reiki is useful in treating serious serious illnesses as well as others. Examples are: sports injuries, cuts, burns, internal diseases, emotional disorders, and stress-related illnesses.


Reiki is not involved with religion or dogma, although it draws upon both Christianity and Buddhism for some of its teachings and it's ethical base. People of all walks of life and spiritual backgrounds appreciate it's loving simplicity and benefit from it's healing power.

Usui Mikao (臼井甕男, 15 August 18659 March 1926) is the founder of Reiki




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