What is Reiki?
So here's the history for you. The Word Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is Japanese for ‘universal life energy’.
Reiki is a system of natural healing or alternative therapy using universal energy and has grown to be one of the most popular energy-healing systems in the world.
Reiki was founded or ‘rediscovered’ by Mikao Usui in the early 20th century. Usui studied Buddhism as well as other meditation and healing techniques and is most famous for spending 21days meditating and fasting on the sacred mountain Kurama (near Kyoto). Here he experienced spiritual enlightenment (‘satori’ in Japanese). During his satori, Usui received the ability to access healing Reiki energy.
Usui shared his new ability through a system and technique called an ‘attunement’ which allows Reiki to be passed from Master to student. According to an inscription on his memorial stone, Usui taught Reiki to over 2000 people. After his death, a small group of his students continued his teachings.
The two main Reiki traditions with lineage back to Mikao Usui are Usui Shiki Ryoho and Usui Reiki Ryoko.
Usui Shiki Ryoho was brought to the West in 1936 by Mrs Hawayo Katata and is the most popular and widely accepted tradition.
Usui Reiki Ryoko stayed in secrecy in Japan until the 1980s but is becoming more popular and now also taught by many in the West.
Both systems are equally valid.