What is Usui Reiki?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Usui reiki is an energy healing modality developed by Mikao Usui in Japan in the 1920s. Since its development, Usui's original modality has split into a number of different schools and traditions, including two broadly different traditions practiced in the East and West. All versions are known generically as “reiki.” Practitioners of Usui reiki follow the teachings of Mikao Usui in their work and a direct lineage of teachers can be traced back to Usui himself. People interested in participating in an energy healing session with an Usui reiki practitioner may be able to locate one in their area or work with a healer qualified to work at a distance.

Usui Reiki draws upon the idea that the body has energy that can be manipulated for health and well-being.
Usui Reiki draws upon the idea that the body has energy that can be manipulated for health and well-being.

Mikao Usui developed the modality of reiki during a meditation practice. Practitioners believe they are drawing on natural energy from the world, as well as the bodies of practitioner and client, and that they are able to manipulate this energy for healing purposes. Usui reiki can be practiced on people with physical health problems, as well as unbalanced emotions, and the healing session includes a number of symbols used by the practitioner to harness and channel energy.

Reiki draws upon many traditions from Eastern medicine, including the idea that the body has lines of energy that can be traced to key points, and that this energy can be manipulated for health and well-being. Practitioners of reiki believe that problems with the body can be traced to disturbances in the flow of energy, and altering the direction, nature, or strength of the energy can bring the patient back into balance.

There are three levels of Usui reiki practice. Reiki I allows people to heal themselves, as well as practicing direct healing on others. The reiki II certification indicates that someone can perform distance or remote healing, working with a client who may be in a faraway location. Reiki III is the master certification, allowing people to teach reiki practice and take on students.

In a typical reiki session, the client may sit or lie down, depending on preference, and the client remains fully clothed. The practitioner talks with the client about the problem that brought the client to the office, and uses the hands to sense flows of energy and blockage in the client. The hands are also used to gather and draw upon energy. Some patients report a feeling of warmth, relaxation, or comfort after a session, and the area of the body targeted may feel slightly warmer at the conclusion of the session. Clinical trials conducted on reiki do not suggest that it has a curative effect, but patients who believe in the modality may feel more calm and relaxed afterward, which can have health benefits.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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