Usui Reiki

Dr Mikao Usui was born in the small village of Yago, Southern Japan, in 1865 into a prosperous family. A keen and talented student, he travelled widely, including to Europe and China, and studied history, medicine, psychology and the Taoist, Buddhist and Christian scriptures. In young manhood, be became a successful businessman. But in his fifties, his health and his businesses began to fail.

Legend has it that Mikao Usui discovered the Reiki principles while meditating and fasting on top of Mount Kurama, believed to be a sacred mountain. He felt an incredible energy, and soon after found he could heal himself and others by laying his hands on them. This led to his rediscovery of the ancient hands-on healing method that he named ‘Reiki.’ Reiki means ‘universal life energy’.

He opened a clinic in Tokyo in April 1921.People came from far and wide. He also gave workshops to spread the knowledge. In 1923 a dreadful earthquake shook the city, and he gave Reiki treatments to the survivors. The clinic became so popular that it couldn’t handle the numbers, so he built a larger one and was honoured by the Emperor for his work.

He founded an association called Usui Shiki Reiki Ryoho. It had 2,000 students and 21 trained Masters by the time of his death.

Usui was said to be a warm and gentle man, modest, humble and courageous. Contemporaries said that people were drawn to him for his charisma and wisdom. He did not see healing as separate from his spiritual teachings.

In 1926, at 61, he suffered a fatal stroke. By then, there were Reiki centres throughout Japan.

Dr Hayashi

One of Usui’s students was a medical doctor and retired naval officer, Churijo Hayashi. He was initiated as a Reiki Master in 1925. He opened a clinic and adopted a scientific method to his practice. He carefully logged his treatments and results and used this information to create the ‘Hayashi Healing Guide’ which included detailed treatments for specific conditions. These included specific positions on the body on which the hands re to be placed to facilitate flow.

Mrs Takata

One of Hayashi’s patients was a Hawaiian, Hawayo Takata (1900-1980). By her mid-thirties she was desperately ill. On a visit to Japan she was taken into hospital to be treated for gallstones, a tumour and emphysema, but she claimed she heard a voice telling her that the operation was unnecessary, discharged herself and consulted Dr Hayashi. She received daily treatments for four months as was completely cured. Impressed, she persuaded Dr Hayashi to teach her Reiki and was initiated as a Reiki Master in 1938[1].

She worked tirelessly to take Reiki to the USA, from where it spread to Europe and around the world. She initiated 22 Reiki Masters, who taught others and spread the teachings.

There are now an estimated million Reiki Masters in the world. The Reiki taught by Mrs Takata was a somewhat watered-down version of Usui’s original methods, designed to be more palatable to the West. Many Reiki practitioners regard Hayashi and Takata as a kind of lineage; others set up splinter groups of their own, each claiming to be the authentic successors of Usui. However, there is no evidence that Usui himself intended to initiate such a line.

Today’s Reiki is much more structured than the intuitive method practised by Usui, for example, the hand positions now taught originated with Dr Hayashi and were developed by Mrs Takata.

Moreover, Usui did not approve of taking a fee for giving Reiki – Mrs Takata overturned that and spawned a whole industry. Even Reiki Masters have to make a living!

©David Lawrence Preston, 18.3.2017

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[1] For further details, see William Rand, The Healing Touch, Vision Publications, Southfield MI, 1991

Basic Principles of Reiki

Reiki is an ancient healing art rediscovered and popularised by Dr Mikao Usui in the early years of the last century. Reiki is a form of energy healing. Anyone can use it, and it is easily learned. It involves the practitioner ‘channelling’ energy into the biofield of the patient, thereby restoring the flow of energy and information to support healing and wellbeing.

One of the most important principles of Reiki is that the practitioner must set aside their own desires, will and ego aside, and allow the Reiki energy to direct itself to where it is most needed. The giver is never drained, because it is not their energy: this is the secret. The energy flows through not from the healer into the person being healed.

Healers often report feeling ‘at one’ with their clients, of being with the client in an energy field that transcends their physical presence. Patients too often report a feeling that they are in the presence of a third party, something bigger than themselves.

You can also draw on this energy for yourself, whether you’re ill or in need of a boost, by learning Reiki.

Training is normally given by a Reiki Master, who gives the basic instruction and attunes the students to the Reiki energy. Reiki 1 enables the student to practice on themselves, family and friends; Reiki 2 qualifies him or her to practise professionally.

Scientific Explanation for Reiki

Scientific studies provide an explanation for Reiki. This explanation has been presented as a testable hypothesis by Dr James Oschman, a scientist with a conventional background who became interested in the practice of energy medicine. In the Winter 2002 issue of Reiki News Magazine, he discussed a number of studies that point to a scientific basis for energy medicine based on the laws of physics and biology.

The basis of Dr. Oschman’s hypothesis is the electrical currents that run through every part of the human body. These currents are present in the nervous system, organs, and cells of the body. For instance, the electrical signals that trigger the heartbeat travel throughout all the tissues and can be detected anywhere on the body.

Ampere’s law indicates that when an electrical current flows through a conductor, an electromagnetic field is produced that reflects the nature of the current that created it. Tests with scientific instruments indicate that electromagnetic fields exist around the body and around each of the organs of the body, including the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, stomach, etc. The heart has the strongest field, which has been measured at a distance of 15 feet from the body.

The fields around each of the organs pulse at different frequencies and stay within a specific frequency range when they are healthy, but move out of this range when they are unhealthy. The hands of healers produce pulsing electromagnetic fields when they are in the process of healing, whereas the hands of non-healer do not produce these fields. When a healer places his or her hands on or near a person in need of healing, the electromagnetic field of the healer’s hands sweeps through a range of frequencies based on the needs of the part of the body being treated.

Faraday’s law indicates that one electromagnetic field can induce currents into a nearby conductor and through this process, induce a similar field around it. In this way, a healer induces a healthy electromagnetic field around an unhealthy organ, thus inducing a healthy state in the organ. A detailed explanation of Oschman’s hypothesis, including descriptions of the scientific studies, diagrams, and references is presented in the journal cited above.

Five Principles for Happiness

Usui believed that the recipe for a happy life is to work on what could be improved and accept what can’t be changed. He wrote:

‘The secret art of inviting happiness, the miraculous medicine for all diseases:

At least for today, do not be angry.

Do not worry.

Be grateful.

Work with diligence.

Be kind to people.

For improvement of mind and body.’

Dr Mikao Usui.


©David L Preston, 18.3.2017

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Traditional Bioenergetic Healing Methods

Bioenergetic medicine stands at the frontiers of science. It encapsulates biology (the study of life) and physics (as in energy, the underlying animating force of life). It explains how these two disciplines interact. It is concerned with the flow and interaction of information fields within and between living organisms and their environment. This is quantum biology, a developing science which is moving in exciting new directions.

An Illustrative Selection of Traditional Healing Methods

Crystal healing

Crystals (or gemstones) have been used to help clear, infuse and balance the chakras for thousands of years. Every stone vibrates at a different frequency, so there are ideal crystals for use with each chakra. In addition, they can be ‘programmed’ by holding it in one’s hands and meditating or visualising an intention, although there is no widely accepted scientific evidence to verify this.


The most common form of dowsing employed by energy healers uses a pendulum. When held and allowed to swing freely, a pendulum will respond to the electro-magnetic frequency of a chakra. In skilled hands, it may be used to diagnose energy weaknesses and distortions.

Flower essences

The best known flower essence remedies are those developed by Dr Edward Bach in the 1920s. Bach ‘attuned’ himself to the subtle vibrations of plants, picking up on their unique characteristics, which he then used for healing. Many have found plant remedies to be effective.

Bach’s flower remedies are bio-information medicines par excellence, but they do not enjoy universal approval. This is because they include no part of the plant, but simply what Bach claimed to be the pattern of energy/vibrational essence of the flower. He wrote, ‘The action of the flower essences raises the vibration of the being…. They cure by flooding the body with the beautiful vibrations of the highest nature – in whose presence there is the opportunity for disease to melt away like snow in sunshine’.

Hands-on healing

The laying on of hands has been used throughout recorded history. In recent years a variety of forms, such as ‘Therapeutic Touch[1]’ and ‘Quantum Touch[2]’ have been developed and used for many purposes.


A popular form of hands-on healing is Reiki. Reiki is an energy healing system which involves the channelling and delivery of ‘universal life energy’ through the practitioner into the body of the patient. It works at the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels, and claims to release energy blockages and suppressed emotions, strengthen the immune system, clear toxins and release pain.

In Reiki – crucially – the energy doesn’t come from the healer, but passes through him or her. Reiki can be used for self-healing or treating others, and also claims to work with animals.


Although reviled by the allopathic community, homeopathy has a solid track record. Its remedies are prescribed according to the classical Greek Law of Similars, namely ‘that which makes sick shall heal.’ This means that the symptoms caused by an overabundance of a substance can be cured with a small dose of that substance as the body is able to make a ‘match’ between the two pieces of Information.

Homeopathic remedies are so greatly diluted that only the energetic imprint — the information — of the healing agent is left behind, and this is partly why the conventional medical establishment is so hostile. To a biochemist, the chemical composition of a medicine is what counts; in bioenergetic healing what matters is the correction of energy and information deficiencies and distortions.


Kinesiology is an energy-based healing system. The practitioner tests the strength in various muscles to identify problem areas, then restores balance within the body, relieves energy blockages and helps the body to cleanse itself of toxins and heal naturally.

Healing with light and colour

We are literally beings of light. Nobel Prize winner Albert Szent-Györgyi concluded that light striking the body alters the basic biological functions involved in digestive processing, enzymatic and hormonal interactions. Dr Jacob Liberman, a pioneer in the use of colour and light, says we are living photocells. The body gives off light of all colours, takes it in through our physical being and emits and receives light through the subtle energy bodies. He also believes that colours present in the body indicate our state of consciousness.

Light has used for healing for several thousand years, e.g. the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians were well acquainted with it. Recent research has demonstrated the power of light for healing, for example, sunlight has been shown to stimulate the pineal gland (which acts as the body’s light filter) to produce melatonin, which promotes sleep, rest and happiness. Light is known to stimulate a number of brain centres, such as the cerebral cortex, limbic system and hypothalamus.

In recent times, light therapy has proved effective for conditions such as SAD – seasonal affective disorder – a form of depression sometimes referred to as the ‘winter blues’.

Colour therapy has also been used for several thousand years. Colours have different wavelengths, e.g. red light helps wounds heal more quickly, blue light can kill bacteria and ultraviolet light can sterilise air and water. Richard Gerber (a pioneer in this field) concludes, ‘Colour healing may ultimately prove to be of great benefit in treating a wide variety of physical, psychological and spiritual problems.’


Magnets[3] were used in healing by the Ancient Chinese, Egyptians and Greeks. The great physician Paracelsus (1493-1541) was one of the first to suggest that the Earth itself is a giant magnet. Later, Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), best known as a hypnotist, used magnetic passes over his patients to correct imbalances in the body’s ‘magnetic fluids’. Samuel Hahnemann and Louis Pasteur also experimented with them, and in the mid 19th century Dr C.J. Thacher claimed that magneto-therapy could cure virtually all chronic diseases. However, none of this was taken seriously by the medical establishment at the time.

In the modern era, research continues. There has been a resurgence in the use of magnetic therapies in recent years in the West, but far more promising is the use of Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Fields which deliver a low intensity, variable, carefully tunes magnetic pulse to facilitate health and healing. AcuPearl is the leading example (


Reflexology involves applying pressure to specific zones on the feet, hands, scalp or ears to influence the various organs and systems of the body through the meridians. It has been used for several thousand years in Africa and the East. Increasingly practitioners are using ‘colourpuncture’ (concentrated coloured light) and laser pens applied to the reflexology points.

Sound therapy

Sound waves are ever present in the universe. Every movement produces sound waves, some detectable to humans, some not; human hearing can detect frequencies from 20-20,000 Hz, some animals much more.

The science behind sound therapy is well established. Sound delivers vibrations faster than many other methods and is frequently used alongside other modalities. There are many form of sound therapy – music, toning, mantric chanting, tuning forks applied directly or indirectly to the patient’s body, vibro-acoustic beds and chairs, and so on.

Every individual generates his or her own personal harmonic (vibratory range). People respond to vibrations within their own personal range and resist those that do not. If a stronger vibration overrules the personal one, such as a pathogen or negative opinion from someone else, disease can set in.

Some notes or tones can be harmful, while others can heal. For example, low infrasonic frequencies can collapse internal organs, and ultrasonic energy can decalcify and soften bones. On the other hand, sounding a tuning fork has been shown to dissolve cancer cells.


Critics often claim that nothing happens with bioenergetic healing beyond the placebo effect, but experiments with plants and animals (which are not influenced by the power of belief) suggest that the effect is real.

Research is ongoing and opening up new frontiers of knowledge which build on what has been practised down the centuries to develop effective new methods. This will have a revolutionary effect in the coming decades.

©, 20.2.2017

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[1] Therapeutic Touch is an energy therapy in which practitioners place their hands on, or near, a patient in order to detect and manipulate the patient’s energy field.

[2] Quantum-Touch is a method of natural healing teaches how to focus, amplify, and direct qi by combining breathing and body awareness exercises.

[3] There’s an excellent discussion on magnet therapy by Dr Roger Macklis entitled ‘Magnetic Healing, Quackery, and the Debate about the Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields’ at