What is Reiki?

Reiki Is Life Energy

Reiki (pronounced ray-key) refers to the energy of all living things. The term for this "universal life energy" comes to us from Japan and the work of Mikao Usui (1865-1926).  He developed a way of working with Reiki to balance, enhance, and support the natural healing ability of living things. The Usui System of Natural Healing, also known as Usui Shiki Ryoho, passes on this method through classes in the oral tradition, from Master to student. Hawayo Takata, the woman who brought the Usui Shiki Ryoho out of Japan, stated in her early diary, “This power (Reiki) is unfathomable, immeasurable, and being a universal life force, it is incomprehensible to man. Yet, every single living being is receiving its blessings daily, awake and asleep.” Reiki is simply life energy.


Reiki Is a Treatment

The word Reiki also refers to treatments. Usui Shiki Ryoho practitioners provide gentle hands-on treatments to promote healing, balance, and well being. Reiki treatments work effectively with conventional western medical procedures. In over 20 years' practice, I have given Reiki treatments in my office, hospitals, and hospices with profound results. I especially appreciate the absence of negative side effects with Reiki treatments!


While some clients come for treatment to deal with specific physical symptoms, most people quickly realize the benefits of treatment on a regular basis. "Checking in" through a one-hour Reiki treatment every month helps clients balance and clarify their priorities. Simply taking time to rest and renew through a Reiki treatment relieves everyday stress and tension and restores enthusiasm and vision for one's life work .


As a practitioner of Usui Shiki Ryoho, I am committed to daily self-treatment. I credit Reiki treatment with my own experience in surviving cancer, major life transitions, and minor illnesses. I am seldom ill; and when I am, I almost always discover a big gift in it, thanks to the way Reiki works to heighten intuition and strengthen our natural healing abilities.


Reiki Is a Practice

The benefits of Reiki treatments can lead to a commitment to work actively with life energy. We can honor this desire through the practice of Usui Shiki Ryoho. The Japanese symbols for Reiki suggest the mysterious quality of life that we call spiritual; but Reiki is not a religion. You don't have to hold any specific belief for Reiki to work -- but conscious practice intensifies our ability to work effectively with universal life energy to balance and beautify our lives. What does it mean to practice Reiki? For me, it was taking a First Degree class, doing daily self-treatment, and applying the five principles of Usui Shiki Ryoho to everyday living. The principles as we hold them in Usui Shiki Ryoho are:

Just for today, do not worry.

Just for today, do not anger.

Honor your parents, teachers, and elders.

Earn your living honestly.

Show gratitude to every living thing.


Mrs. Hawayo Takata was well known for insisting that students "practice, practice, practice." As you can see from the principles, Reiki practice is an on-going life work!