Reiki Explained

What is Reiki; The beginnings.


Reiki (pronounced RAY-KEY)  is a Japanese  word , loosely defined , means the free passage of Universal life force energy and is a generic term used to describe an ever increasing myriad of natural hands on technique of healing .

 The origins of Reiki as a generic term can be traced back  in written documents more than 2500 years old,

 It is believed Reiki was used  more than two thousand years ago by Tibetan Buddhist monks and then was re-discovered  at the end of the 19th century by Dr Mikao Usui, a Japanese theologian who re-formulated it to develop his  own unique style.

 Reiki is now practised world-wide by an estimated 3 million people and the U.S.A and Europe particularly have seen rapid growth of Reiki in recent years.

In the Chinese character system Reiki is Leiki and both originate in Tibet.

Rei in Japanese means spirit, ghost and soul  and Spiritual consciousness. The Japanese character offers  seven levels of meaning from the mundane to the esoteric and can be interpreted as the consciousness of the higher self. It can as equally be understood as ‘free passage’.

 ki means life force energy as in akido. In Chinese the life force energy is called chi and in India  in Sanskrit it is called Prana widely referred to in Yoga. There are many names for life force energy and each culture has its own.

The Polynesians call it Mana, The Hebrews call it Ruach and in Islam it is known as Barraka with some Europe cultures knowing it as Elan Vital while in America the Iroquois call it Orenda.

 Ki is the life force that is ever present and in all things.

Harnessed by the body and guided by the mind.

It is used in the physical and mental development of martial arts and was the tool used by Shamans to enhance psychic awareness, manifestation, divination and healing

 When Ki leaves a living organism then life has departed.

 Reiki is a particular kind of life force that can only be channelled consciously when someone has been attuned to its energy.



I am grateful to the two Masters with whom I studied, initially with Francesca P.Jackson from whom I learned, studied and was attuned to levels 1, 2, and Master Practitioner (3), followed by my being taught and attuned finally to Master Teacher  level(3) by Cynthia Yoko-Read.  I thank them both for their patience, guidance, understanding and loving friendship.

I am also grateful to the many Healers of various disciplines with whom I have worked and shared the spiritual journey during the last thirty  or so years. As well as the many Reiki practitioners, close friends and sharing groups, which have all greatly enriched my life experience.

Gratitude richly belongs to the spiritual lineage that began with Dr Mikao Usui, through Dr Chujiri Hayashi, Mrs Hawayo Takata, through Wanja Twan,  Phyllis Lei Furumoto and Cynthia Yoko-Read down to myself.

Acknowledgement also needs to go to the many sources of information I studied in order to further my knowledge. Just a few of these are included in the further reading section.

My education and experience has involved Non-Traditional Reiki and Healing techniques as well as Traditional Reiki, and for those who may question such a diverse direction, I will (in as much humility as I am able) conclude with a quotation from Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)

“ And who are you that men should render their bosom and unveil their pride, that you may see their worth naked and unabashed. See first that you yourself deserve to be giver and an instrument of giving. For in truth it is life that gives unto life---while you who deem yourself a giver are but a witness. And you receivers—and you are all receivers—assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives. Rather rise up with the giver on his gifts as on wings. For to be over mindful of your debt is to doubt his generosity who has the free hearted earth for mother and God for father.”


May the God of your understanding forever hold you safely in the palm of its hand.       Your Friend Tony Whitehead