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The Resilience of Reiki: Unraveling the History and Evolution of a Transformative Healing Practice


Reiki History and its Evolution as a Healing Modality

History of Reiki

Reiki is a healing technique that has been around for the last 100 years, but energy healing has been around 2,500 years, although it was long neglected.A guy named Dr. Mikao Usui rediscovered the technique in the nineteenth century.

Energy healing originated in India and traveled via Tibet, China, and Japan until it was founded by Dr. Mikao Usui. He was a pastor and headmaster of Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, serving as a Christian. One Sunday morning, a group of his pupils questioned whether or not he truly believed the accounts of Jesus' miracles, particularly his healings. In response, Usui said that he did think that Jesus worked healings and miracles. The pupils said they needed evidence since they were too young to believe. Taking his pupils seriously, Usui resigned from his position at the university to pursue the answers to these queries. 

History of Reiki

Dr. Usui traveled to the United States to learn more about his faith and read Christian texts, including the Bible, but he could not figure out how Jesus accomplished his healing. He knew that the Buddha also treated the ill, so he studied Buddhism. After returning to Kyoto, Japan, seven years later, Usui studied Sanskrit, the ancient and sacred language of India, the birthplace of Buddha. Only then did he discover some symbols explaining how the Buddha performed his cure.


Usui decided to fast and meditate on the holy mountain to obtain a healing power from the inside. Kurayama is 17 km away. After climbing the mountain, Dr. Usui embarked on a 21-day journey of meditation and fasting to achieve his goal. On the final morning, just before dawn, he noticed a flickering light emerging on the horizon, steadily drawing closer. Although initially frightened by this phenomenon, Dr. Usui summoned his courage and confronted the radiant light. As it approached, it transformed into a brilliant white beam that struck him directly between the eyes with immense force. Overwhelmed by its power, Dr. Usui fell into an unconscious state.

Reiki & Kabbalah

Upon regaining consciousness, he gazed at the sky with a dazzling array of rainbow colors. Then, to his astonishment, the sky transformed into a colossal white screen, displaying ancient symbols from Sanskrit scriptures written in shimmering gold letters. Vibrating in front of him, these symbols conveyed their purpose and significance as if urging him to remember, remember, remember!

A surge of light and energy accompanied Dr. Usui's awakening despite having endured a three-week fast. This was his first indication that something extraordinary had been bestowed upon him on the mountain. Filled with excitement, his haste upon descending caused him to injure his toe severely, resulting in bleeding. Instinctively, he placed his hand over the wound, and to his amazement, the bleeding ceased, and the pain vanished. For Dr. Usui, this incident represented the second miracle of Reiki's healing energy.

Usui discovered an outdoor snack shop farther down the mountain, where he ordered a traditional Japanese breakfast. Dr. Usui insisted on having a full dinner, even though the owner suggested he eat something light to gently break the fast. The elderly guy saw that his grandchild had been sobbing and that her face was puffy when she brought him breakfast. She informed him that she was experiencing toothache due to an infected tooth, and the agony virtually instantly subsided when he put his palm over the throbbing tooth. The fact that Dr. Usui could finish his meal without experiencing dyspepsia was the fourth miracle and the third demonstration of Reiki energy!

The Evaluation of Reiki

The Evaluation of Reiki
It is crucial to know that Reiki was intended to evolve throughout time to distinguish between the two Usui Reiki versions. The traditional Usui-Tibetan Reiki has evolved into Usui Holy Fire III Reiki.

Japan's Mikao Usui (1865–1926), the creator of Reiki, stated that the practice was intended to change with time. He claimed that Reiki might be practiced at six different levels. The first was the base, and the sixth was the summit. Five is the rank of Usui Sensei, who positioned himself "one step below" the apex of the Reiki healing hierarchy. His main argument was that there are always more advanced Reiki energy levels to reach. Since we believe the Source/God is limitless, we know there will always be more advanced states of consciousness and healing.

This is a quick historical timeline showing how Usui Reiki has changed.

  • 1922: Usui Sensei fasted and received the Reiki energy on Mount Kurama, close to Kyoto, Japan. To facilitate students' learning and practice of Reiki, he added the three symbols currently taught in Reiki Level 2 a year after acquiring them. Usui taught about 2,000 students as a consequence before passing away in 1926. In response to the necessity for widespread healing among the Kanto earthquake victims in 1923, he took this action.

  • 1927: Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, Usui Sensei's successor, advanced Reiki by devising the conventional Japanese hand placement method using his training in medicine.

  • 1938 saw the introduction of Reiki as an energy healing technique to North America by Japanese-American Hawayo Takata. She made the traditional Japanese hand postures simpler to fit the Western viewpoint. She added the Usui Master symbol to the system as well.

  • 1989: Tibetan symbols were introduced to Usui Reiki by American Reiki Master and International Centre for Reiki Training (ICRT) President William Lee Rand to enable Reiki "attunements." For pupils to channel Reiki energy for healing, the Reiki Master gives them energy transmissions known as attunements. Arthur Robertson, a Tibetan shaman, taught Rand the attunement technique. Most Reiki practitioners have practiced Usui-Tibetan Reiki, which Rand established by fusing traditional Usui Reiki with a Tibetan technique of energy transmissions (or some version of it).

  • 2014: Following twenty-five years of practicing Usui-Tibetan Reiki, William Lee Rand was instructed to usher in the Holy Fire energies following a profound spiritual experience. The Holy Fire® energy enhances these days, Karuna Reiki® and conventional Usui Reiki. Through the use of the Holy Fire® Master symbol and a sequence of experiences, placements, and intuitions that resemble meditation, students of the Holy Fire method of Reiki establish a direct connection to the Holy Fire energy. Using the problematic Tibetan method of attuning students is no longer necessary.


The captivating journey of Reiki, from its rediscovery by Dr. Mikao Usui to its evolution into Usui Holy Fire III Reiki, is a testament to the enduring power and adaptability of this healing modality. Dr. Usui's quest for answers led him on a transformative path, resulting in the revelation of ancient symbols and the initiation of a healing energy that continues to inspire practitioners today.

The timeline of Reiki's development, from Usui's initiation in 1922 to the incorporation of Tibetan symbols in 1989 and the introduction of Holy Fire energies in 2014, reflects a commitment to continuous growth and adaptation. The milestones in Reiki's history highlight not only its historical significance but also its ability to embrace change while staying true to its core principles.

The story of Reiki is a narrative of miracles, self-discovery, and the exploration of higher states of consciousness. As practitioners have expanded and refined the practice over the years, Reiki has become a dynamic and transformative force in the realm of energy healing.

As we acknowledge the evolution of Reiki, we recognize the profound impact it has had on individuals seeking healing and spiritual growth. The journey of Reiki invites us to embrace change, explore new possibilities, and tap into the limitless potential of healing energy. In essence, Reiki's story is an ongoing testament to the ever-unfolding nature of this ancient practice, offering a beacon of light for those on a journey of self-discovery and holistic well-being.

FAQ: Reiki History and Its Evolution as a Healing Modality

1. What is Reiki?

Reiki is a healing technique that involves channeling energy to promote physical and emotional healing. It was rediscovered by Dr. Mikao Usui in the 19th century, though the concept of energy healing has ancient roots, dating back 2,500 years.

2. Who was Dr. Mikao Usui?

Dr. Mikao Usui was a Japanese scholar, pastor, and headmaster of Doshisha University in Kyoto. He rediscovered Reiki after a dedicated quest to understand the healing miracles of Jesus and the Buddha. His journey led him to ancient Sanskrit texts, meditation, and fasting, culminating in his profound spiritual awakening on Mount Kurama.

3. How did Dr. Usui rediscover Reiki?

Dr. Usui embarked on a quest to find the secrets of healing, studying Christian and Buddhist texts. After years of research and spiritual practice, he experienced a powerful spiritual awakening on Mount Kurama. This experience led to the revelation of Reiki symbols and the initiation of healing energy within him.

4. What are some key milestones in Reiki's history?

  • 1922: Dr. Usui received Reiki energy and began teaching it in Japan.
  • 1927: Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, Usui's successor, refined the hand placement techniques.
  • 1938: Hawayo Takata introduced Reiki to North America, simplifying traditional techniques.
  • 1989: William Lee Rand integrated Tibetan symbols into Usui Reiki, creating Usui-Tibetan Reiki.
  • 2014: William Lee Rand introduced Holy Fire energies, further evolving Reiki practice.

5. How did Reiki evolve into Usui Holy Fire III Reiki?

Reiki has always been intended to evolve. William Lee Rand, after years of practicing Usui-Tibetan Reiki, introduced Holy Fire energies in 2014. Holy Fire® Reiki includes new symbols and meditation-like experiences, enhancing the connection to healing energies and eliminating the need for traditional attunement methods.

6. What are the key differences between traditional Usui Reiki and Holy Fire® Reiki?

Traditional Usui Reiki uses specific symbols and hand placements for healing and attunements. Holy Fire® Reiki incorporates a direct connection to healing energies through new symbols, placements, and meditation-like experiences, streamlining the process and enhancing the practice.

7. How did Dr. Usui demonstrate the power of Reiki?

After his awakening, Dr. Usui demonstrated Reiki's power through several miracles, including healing his own injuries and helping others with physical ailments. These experiences confirmed the profound healing potential of Reiki energy.

8. What role did Dr. Chujiro Hayashi play in Reiki's development?

Dr. Chujiro Hayashi was a key student of Dr. Usui who contributed significantly to Reiki's practice by developing the conventional Japanese hand placement method. He helped systematize Reiki, making it more accessible and effective for practitioners.

9. How did Hawayo Takata influence Reiki in the West?

Hawayo Takata, a Japanese-American, introduced Reiki to North America in 1938. She simplified the traditional Japanese techniques to align with Western perspectives and added the Usui Master symbol, expanding Reiki's reach and practice.

10. What is the significance of Tibetan symbols in Reiki?

In 1989, William Lee Rand incorporated Tibetan symbols into Reiki to facilitate attunements, which are energy transmissions enabling students to channel Reiki energy. This integration created Usui-Tibetan Reiki, blending traditional Usui Reiki with Tibetan energy transmission techniques.

11. How has Reiki impacted modern healing practices?

Reiki has significantly influenced modern healing practices by offering a holistic approach to wellness. Its evolution through various stages, from traditional Usui Reiki to Usui Holy Fire III Reiki, demonstrates its adaptability and continued relevance in promoting physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being


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