The History of Reiki Healing

Reiki Healing, while only in existence since 1922, has its roots in traditional Japanese culture and principles. Administered by touch and the power of the fingers and hands, Reiki is reported to have the powers to heal, restore energy, and promote relaxation and stress reduction among those who have experienced it.

The concept of Reiki healing was developed by Dr. Mikao Usui, a Japanese Buddhist monk. According to historical records, Usui developed Reiki healing after an intense period of meditation, prayer, and fasting. After he finished his Isyu Guo (a Buddhist training course that lasts 21 days) at Mount Kurama, Usui said that the practice came to him through a mystical revelation. He promptly moved to Tokyo and opened the Spiritual Energy Therapy Society where he taught Reiki healing to other professionals and administered the treatment to many patients. After Usui’s death in 1926, other followers of Usui’s therapy continued to develop and promote the Reiki healing therapy. New methods were developed, along with additional uses. The medical effects became more apparent to followers and supporters of the method, and they helped to implement its use as a complementary therapy administered along with Western medical practices.

Reiki healing has its foundation in the concept that an unseen life force energy flows through the human body and causes life. Followers of Reiki healing believe that when the life force energy is low, illness and stress are more likely. When the life force energy is high, such as after a Reiki healing session, happiness and health are within easy reach. The healing art is administered through the human touch through rubbing, touching, tapping, and stroking with the hands. The therapy seeks to treat the whole body: emotions, mind, and spirit, in addition to the physical body.

Followers of Reiki healing have indicated there are many health benefits that can be realized as a result of using Reiki therapy. Some include:

  • Decrease in blood pressure
  • Increasing deep relaxation and reducing stress
  • Acceleration of healing process
  • Assistance in breaking addictions
  • Pain relief
  • Support for the immune system
  • Increased sleep and better sleep patterns and habits
  • Help for treating or curing injuries, asthma, eczema, and headaches
  • Recovery from drug therapy as a result of surgery or chemotherapy
  • Postponement of the aging process
  • Cleansing the body of toxins

The theory of Reiki healing is that it uses palm healing to transfer energy to the body that promotes and encourages self-healing and an improved state of equilibrium. Reiki healing is often used along with other therapies, such as crystals, meditation, massage therapy, and aromatherapy in order to enhance its many effects on the body.

Reiki healing follows five important principles that have their foundation in Buddhist theory. The five principles are:

  1. Do not be angry.
  2. Do not worry.
  3. Be grateful.
  4. Work with diligence.
  5. Be kind to people.

These concepts are followed by many natural healers, naturopathic doctors, and providers of alternative therapies.

Reiki healing has experienced an increased level of support recently with the wellness boom that has hit the United States. People are turning to alternative, less invasive, therapies in order to help them remedy health issues such as obesity, heart disease, hypertension, and chronic stress. However, the art of Reiki healing remains quite controversial, especially among religious organizations.

While Reiki healing is not based on religion, it does have its roots in Buddhist concepts of healing the spirit. In 2009, the Catholic Church banned Reiki healing from all activities of the church, including retreats and hospitals. Other more traditional medical practitioners also continue to question the practice of Reiki healing, as it has no scientific evidence of effectiveness.