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History of Reiki

History of Reiki
history of reiki

Mikao Usui

Peaceful martial artist and founder of Reiki

Reiki was developed by Mikao Usui.  Mikao was a descendant of the influential Chiba Clan in Japan, which were Hatamoto Samurai.  The name Usui came from a conquered city and thereafter by his ancestors took on this name for their clan.

Mikao Usui was raised as a samurai from childhood, specifically in the martial arts technique of Aiki which is the predecessor of modern Aikido.  Aikido come from the root words “Ai” which means “join”, “one”, and “mouth.” “Ki” means energy of the body or life force, “Do” means the practice or the way.  Aiki is the study of energy and force and is the foundation of training behind the creation of reiki.

As an adult, it is believed that Mikao traveled to several Western countries, including the Americas, Europe, and China as a part of his continued lifelong study.  His studies included history, medicine, Buddhism, Christianity, psychology, and Taoism.  From philosophical and theological roots, Mikao combined this knowledge to create the healing art of reiki.

It is believed that the aim of Mikao teachings was to provide a method for students to achieve connection with the Universal Life Force energy that would help them in their self-development. What sets Mikao teachings apart from other hands-on healing methods is his use of Reiju or “attunement” to remind students of their spiritual connection. It seems that all students of Mikao Usui received five principles to live by and those with a further interest in the teachings became dedicated students. There does not appear to have been a distinction between clients and students in the beginning though this may have changed at some point. People began coming to Usui Mikao possibly for different purposes – some for healing and others for the spiritual teachings.

Today there are many different off-shoots of traditional reiki.  In Toronto alone, a simple reiki google search will find Usui, Karuna, Gendai, Seichem, and Sacred Flame to name a few.  As with any body of knowledge, certain elements are added and subtracted.  Since traditionally reiki originated from a form of martial arts, stance and grounding techniques would have been essential, yet this is not a standard reiki practice.  Native shamanic practices, on the other hand, often use grounding techniques while preforming healing on others.

As a rogue among Master reiki practitioners, I have changed many different aspects of my reiki practice in Toronto.  Although I will perform a classical Usui reiki session if requested, I encourage people to consider a modern reiki session that combines a medical intuitive reading.  Instead of simply treating chakras, I get people in touch with blockages that they consciously or subconsciously hold in their body.  These sessions are thirty minutes longer, but are more thorough in their scope.

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