Reiki Reiki is a Japanese word that has been translated into English as “universal life energy”. The Japanese word ki is the same as the Chinese word chi. Many ways of using ki and chi are known in the west including acupuncture, tai chi, and chi gong.

In the early twentieth century Dr. Mikao Usui introduced a healing method in Japan that he called Usui Reiki Ryoho. One of Dr. Usui’s students was Dr. Chujiro Hayashi. In turn, Dr. Hayashi taught Reiki to Hawayo Takata.

Mrs. Takata was a first generation American of Japanese ancestry who was born in Hawaii. After studying Reiki in Japan under Dr. Hayashi she returned to Hawaii where she began to practice and teach Reiki. During her lifetime she initiated hundreds of students and twenty-two Reiki Masters. They in turn have taught Reiki to others around the world.

What is Reiki?

Dr. Usui said, “Our Reiki Ryoho is an original therapy, which is built upon the spiritual power of the universe.” A Reiki practitioner serves as a channel for the universal life energy and the practitioner’s hands transmit the energy to promote health and healing to oneself and others. The energy can be transmitted to people, pets, plants, and food with equal effectiveness.

How does someone learn Reiki?

Reiki is passed from teacher to student through an attunement. A Reiki Master is someone who has been taught the method of attunement. One learns Reiki in stages. Dr. Usui taught Reiki in seven stages while Mrs. Takata taught it in three. In the Takata lineage, the stages are known as Reiki I, Reiki II, and Reiki Master. In Reiki I, a student is attuned to the energy and learns how to use it on self and others. In Reiki II, a student learns the Reiki symbols, which provide additional ways to access the energy including working with the unconscious mind and distance healing.

How does Reiki work?

When a practitioner uses Reiki, the energy flows into his or her body through the crown or the heart and out through the hands. As it flows out of the practitioner’s hands, the energy flows to where it is most needed. It is not necessary for the practitioner to concentrate on the flow of energy or try to direct it.

Where can I learn Reiki?

Level I and II classes are led by Reiki Master Tony Lewis in Oakland, California. For more information, send a message to