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What is Reiki?


Reiki means Universal Life Force Energy”


Origins of Reiki:

The system of Reiki was developed by Mikao Usui in 1922 while performing Isyu Guo, a twenty-one day Buddhist training course held on Mount Kurama. Dr. Usui began the training as a Christian living in a primarily Buddhist region of Japan, because he wanted to understand how Jesus healed people with his hands and raised the dead. The training involved meditation, fasting, chanting, and prayer. At the end of the 21 days, Dr. Usui had a mystical revelation gaining the knowledge and spiritual power to apply and attune others to what he called Reiki. He saw a bolt of lightening come out of the sky and it struck him in his third eye. At that moment, he saw and received all of the Reiki symbols that are used to confer both attunements (similar to an Empowerment from a Lama) as well as the healing energy during a treatment. Dr. Usui was a physician with the Japanese Army and attuned 2000 students, with only 16 of them receiving the Master Level attunement from him. Dr. Usui took his own life after being called to active duty immediately following Pearl Harbor by stopping his own heart. Dr. Usui attuned & trained Hawayo Takata to Master Teacher, a Hawaiian native, which Westernized Reiki.


My Master teacher who attuned me is 16 people back from Dr. Usui in the lineage. Much like lamas tracing their lineage back to the Buddha himself, Reiki is a sacred trust to those who are attuned, as Dr. Usui did not pass away very long ago and we are quite close to him in the lineage.


It is believed that Reiki actually originated in Tibet, its secrets protected by the lamas in the “Tantra of the Lightning Flash” in the Vajra Sutra. This is widely debated and highly controversial.

What does a Reiki treatment entail?

The recipient lies clothed on a massage table and the practitioner places his or her hands over each chakra in the body in a certain order. The recipient typically reports feeling warmth and an overall sense of well being. Reiki can also be performed on a person from a distance. I have experienced this as both the recipient as well as given Reiki when I could not be in someone’s physical presence.

Is Reiki affiliated with any kind of religion and does it infringe upon religious beliefs?

Reiki is not associated with any particular religion. I have found that it is up to the recipient  to decide if receiving this kind of work aligns with their beliefs. Reiki is never given without permission- this is very important.

Can Reiki cure disease?

Like any healing modality, spontaneous healing is always a possibility. There are no guarantees with any type of therapy. One thing that I do know about Reiki is that it can never harm! It’s also incredibly appropriate for those who are contraindicated for other types of treatments such as massage therapy. I found Reiki to be a very powerful relaxation tool for my patients as well as their loved ones when I worked in the Palliative Care Unit at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY under Dr. Timothy Quill. Dr. Quill has published several wonderful books on the topic of end of life care and is considered a pioneer in Palliative Care. He is a leader in his field and I was very privileged to serve him and his patients. Reiki is also wonderful for children with special needs such as autism and sensory integration disorder.

For more information about Energy Medicine visit http://www.reiki.org/faq/whatisreiki.html

Thanks for stopping by! XO, Ashli

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