"It is much better to give this power widely to a lot of people in the world and enjoy it among them than to keep it exclusively by his family members."-- Dr.Mikao Usui
Reiki is believed to have originated in Tibet over 2500 years ago. It was rediscovered by Dr. Mikao Usui in the early1900's in Japan. Technically speaking, reiki is actually the Higher Power energy in the universe that is utilized in Dr. Usui's system. His technique is formally called the Usui System of Reiki Healing.
Many healers use "ki" and guide this energy in their healing work. However, in reiki, the energy is spiritually guided and goes where healing for the highest good is needed. It is not dependent on direction from the person channeling the energy nor does it deplete the healers own energy -- as said, they are simply a channel. It is a power within us, but not of us! People who do healing, have reported increases of at least fifty percent in the strength of the healing energy after taking reiki training.
Dr. Usui had studied kiko, the Japanese version of qigong, which is a health and healing discipline based on the development and use of life energy. Usui found that these methods required the practitioner to build up and then deplete his own life energy when giving treatments. He wondered if it were possible to do healing work without depleting one's own energy.
Dr. Usui had studied in Europe, and China. He encountered personal and business struggle that led him to travel to Mt. Kurama. It was there during a twenty-one day spiritual study, which likely consisted of fasting, prayer, and meditation, that he was enlightened with the reiki energy. He realized this new gift did not deplete his own energy, and began sharing it with family. He eventually opened a clinic in Tokyo, and provided treatments and classes.
Dr. Usui did not bring his system of healing to the United States. It was Mrs. Hawayo Takata, born in Hawaii to Japanese immigrants, whom introduced reiki to the West. Mrs. Takata's story goes that after the death of her husband, she was left to raise two young children on her own. While attending her sister's funeral in Japan, she became seriously ill and entered a hospital. She was told to prepare for surgery, but she opted to visit a reiki clinic instead. She received two reiki treatments a day, and in doing this for four months, her health was restored. She then became a reiki practitioner herself and after returning to Hawaii, in 1938 she began teaching reiki in the United States.
Her training was very expensive. It wasn't until after her death, that reiki masters of her decent in the U.S. began offering classes at reasonable prices. This finally allowed Reiki training to reach a greater number of people in the West. There are now an estimated 500,000 reiki masters with as many as 3,000,000 people having been initiated into reiki throughout the world!