r1 Reiki is the highest energy which is the essence of the universe. It supports all forms of life and has the vibrational characteristics of love, harmony and healing. It enables natural healing through restoration of balance to the body, mind and spirit. This restoration of balance manifests as a pervading sense of peace and tranquility.

Reiki and Reiki-ho

In the West, the word “Reiki” can also mean the practice of using Reiki energy. In Japanese, an extra word is added to describe working with the energy. This can be Reiki-Ho, Reiki Ryoho or Reiki Do, all of which mean Reiki system or method for working with Reiki energy.

Reiki-ho is a healing practice that originated in Japan. Reiki practitioners place their hands lightly on or just above the person receiving treatment, with the goal of facilitating the person’s own healing response. In the United States, Reiki-ho is part of complementary medicine, a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine but which more and more frequently are used together with conventional medicine.

How it works
Reiki-ho is based on the idea that there is a universal (or source) energy that supports the body’s innate healing abilities. Practitioners access this energy, allowing it to flow to the body and facilitate healing.

Although generally practiced as a form of self-care, Reiki-ho can be received from someone else and may, and has been, offered in a variety of health care settings, including medical offices, hospitals, operating rooms, and clinics. It can be practiced on its own or along with other complementary modalities.

What to expect
r2In a Reiki session, the client lies down or sits comfortably, fully clothed. The practitioner’s hands are placed lightly on or just above the client’s body, palms down, using a series of 12 to 15 different hand positions. Each position is held for about 2 to 5 minutes, or until the practitioner feels that the flow of energy — experienced as sensations such as heat or tingling in the hands — has slowed or stopped. The client too often feels heat or pulsing under the practitioner’s hands or elsewhere in the body. The number of sessions depends on the health needs of the client. Typically, the practitioner delivers at least four sessions of 30 to 90 minutes each. The duration of Reiki sessions may be shorter in certain health care settings (for example, during surgery).

Practitioners with appropriate training may perform Reiki-ho from a distance, that is, on clients who are not physically present in the office or clinic.

r3Reiki promotes relaxation, stress reduction, and symptom relief. In efforts to improve overall health and well-being. Reiki has been used by people with anxiety, chronic pain, HIV/AIDS, and other health conditions, as well as by people recovering from surgery or experiencing side effects from cancer treatments. Sacred Childbirth with Reiki is a growing practice for moms who want to experience a pain- and drug-free birth.

Reiki has also been given to people who are dying (and to their families and caregivers) to help impart a sense of peace. Both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are using and studying Reiki as a treatment for their patients.

Early History and Gendai Reiki

Mikao Usui
The word “Reiki” is derived from two Japanese words: rei, or universal, and ki, or life energy. Current Reiki practice (Reiki-ho) can be traced to the spiritual teachings of Mikao Usui in Japan during the early 20th century. Usui-sensi’s teachings included meditative techniques and healing practices. One of Usui-sensi’s students, Chujiro Hayashi, further developed the healing practices, placing less emphasis on the meditative techniques. A Japanese-American woman named Hawayo Takata learned Reiki-ho from Hayashi in Japan and introduced it to Western cultures in the late 1930s. It was thought that Reiki-ho did not exist in Japan any longer.

The type of Reiki-ho practiced and taught by Mr. Hayashi and Mrs. Takata may be considered traditional (or Western) Reiki-ho. Numerous variations (or schools) of Reiki-ho have since been developed and are currently practiced.

Late in the 20th century, it was found that Reiki-ho had indeed continued in Japan. The Japanese practice placed greater emphasis on the spiritual growth of the practitioner with the healing effects coming as a result of spiritual and meditative practice. Reiki-ho in Japan is not as widely known or publicized as Reiki in the West, and many Western master teachers are not familiar with Japanese Reiki-ho. The energy, however, is the same whatever the teaching.

In the late 1990s a Japanese man, Hiroshi Doi, who had studied Western Reiki was able to study with Japanese Reiki practitioners also. He subsequently developed Gendai Reiki-Ho.

Gendai Reiki-ho is not a new school of Reiki, but a new way to practice Reiki. It does not put forth newly developed techniques or lofty theories, and its objective is not the discussion of Usui Sensei as a person or the history of Reiki Ryoho. Gendai Reiki-ho is devoted to Usui Sensei’s spirit. It aims at enjoying Reiki’s benefit by practicing Usui Sensei’s teachings in a simple way, in daily life. As it is shown in the Five Precepts, Reiki Ryoho is nothing less than a way to health and happiness.

Hiroshi Doi
This practice incorporates the Japanese focus on the spiritual growth of the practitioner with the more familiar techniques which evolved in the West. Doi-sensei teaches that the effectiveness of the transmission of Reiki energy can be strengthened through a practitioner’s use of meditation and other energy techniques which help them progress on their path to enlightenment.

In English “Gendai” means “modern” or “new” and refers to the use of traditional Japanese spiritual practices as the base in combination with Western Reiki therapy thereby creating a modern style of healing suitable for today’s world.

Gendai Reiki has four levels: Shoden, Okuden, Shinpiden, and Gokuikaiden. The first two are comparable to the familiar Level I and Level II used in the West. Shinpiden and Gokuikaiden are master levels, the latter being also that of teacher with empowerment to attune new Gendai practitioners. In addition to the usual style of Reiki-Ho training taught by Mrs. Takata, Gendai levels include emphasis on spiritual practices appropriate to the level.