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Reiki? Where’s the proof?

Reiki? Where’s the proof?

Simply Jikiden Reiki - BLOG

Reiki? Where’s the proof?

I recently published an interview with Tadao Yamaguchi and introduced it to the Reiki community by promising rare insight into traditional Japanese Reiki. One of the readers found themselves disappointed, as, like so many articles on Reiki, we had offered no proof or supporting evidence of what Reiki is. The following is my attempt at an answer to this reader’s questions:

So what is Reiki, and where is the evidence?

 

To answer simply, Reiki is a natural healing system using touch created by Mikao Usui in 1920s Japan after he had achieved an experience of enlightenment, and crafted from extensive, deep knowledge of various traditions. Priding himself in the simplicity of his healing system, Usui sensei deliberately chose elements that would result in a healing modality easy to learn by anyone (and not forcing them to adopt elaborate spiritual systems or beliefs).

As to proof of what Reiki really is, we cannot offer it, as to date there is none. As Mr Yamaguchi says, “if the power of Reiki were to be scientifically proven, Reiki would spread a lot more rapidly.”

So is Reiki a belief system?

 

Not in my eyes. Experience shows that belief is not necessary for Reiki to have an effect, and probably very few people believe that Reiki will help them in any way until they experience various effects for themselves. While it is true that we can’t currently measure or explain Reiki energy in scientific terms, I am convinced that it would be possible to measure some of the effects of Reiki treatment in a scientific way. For example, many people experience deep states of relaxation and, often for the first time, tune into a deep part of themselves as a result of Reiki treatment. I am sure that these Reiki induced altered states of consciousness would show up on brain monitors (as has been done for meditation). At the moment, we perhaps just lack the institutional and financial muscle to instigate research of this type.

Reiki research

 

For an overview of credible research available on the efficacy of Reiki (no research has been done yet specifically on Jikiden Reiki) I would recommend a look at the medical papers listed on  Pamela Miles’ website . One of the studies she often cites is on patients who have suffered a heart attack. Giving Reiki treatment in this scenario has been shown to improve heart rate variability (which indicates a state of improved resilience and makes further problems less likely).

Is Reiki spiritual or physical?

 

“Is the system of Reiki spiritual and if so why is an attunement necessary?” Yes, it is a spiritual healing system, and it is mostly a physical treatment method. This is me paraphrasing Mikao Usui’s answer (the founder of Reiki practice) when he was asked the same question. To me, one of the big attractions of the Reiki healing system is that it works for anyone, regardless of whether you think of yourself as a spiritual person or not. And, really, spirituality and reality are inseparable, indivisible. You may like to read  Amanda Jayne’s blog post on the subject, too.

Underlying Reiki is a Shinto world view, based on the understanding that the original creative energy that resulted in the physical universe still permeates every aspect of it. I’m not particularly knowledgeable about quantum physics, and don’t always like how some of us in the healing world latch onto it perhaps without really understanding much.  I also have a feeling that the circle is closing, and that cutting edge science is not a million miles away from what the Reiki healing system conceptualises as a spiritual world view. I’ll leave this to the people who understand science to articulate! (If there’s anything in it).

Are attunements necessary?

Now the second part of your question, “Why is an attunement necessary?” Mikao Usui discovered that he had developed the ability to heal himself and others by touch, as an unexpected by-product of an experience of enlightenment. This happened for him after years of hard ascetic practices (and perhaps lifetimes worth of preparation, who knows).

The same path is open to anyone. And highly unlikely to be successful for you and me!! (At least in the short term). The beauty of the Reiki healing system is that Mikao Usui managed to create a method that reliably enables anyone to bring enough energy through their body to benefit themselves and others. That’s why we need ‘reiju‘, the slightly inadequate English translation of which would be attunement.

How does reiju work in scientific terms? I don’t know. Does it work? Absolutely! The energy that, for example QiGong practitioners can feel build up between their hands (sometimes after years of practice) can be felt immediately after three attunements.

Are Chakras part of Reiki?

 

Your last question “If in reality Reiki is a holistic system using vibration to raise the vibrations of chakras, why the secret? So this is hard to answer, as I’m not sure I entirely understand your question. First of all let’s clear up a misunderstanding. The chakra system comes from India, and has nothing to do with the original Reiki system. It’s not that it’s necessarily wrong to find similarities and compatibilities with other healing systems. They were simply not part of Japanese Reiki. The conceptual framework in Jikiden Reiki is a different one, based on applying high frequency energy (Reiki) on diseased parts of the body, or those areas that have accumulated excess toxicity, and using it to stimulate the body’s innate healing and cleansing ability.

Is Reiki a secret healing method?

 

“Why the secret?” So here I’m not sure what secret you are referring to. Why don’t we put out everything that we teach on the internet, as has happened with the Reiki system that’s come to the West through Mrs Takata? The answer, in essence, is respect toward the teachings and the original teachers. In spiritual traditions such as Esoteric Buddhism, you probably would have had to prove yourself by scrubbing temple floors for twenty years before you would be trusted with anything of equivalent value to what you are being taught in the Reiki healing system. Does it help, putting all that we know out there on the internet? Not in my view, as it simply cheapens everything and exposes form without understanding, leading to more and more mis-understanding.

Can we preserve the integrity of Reiki practice?

 

Are there any guarantees that we avoid misunderstanding when passing on the teachings directly (as the original teachers did)? I guess there can never be any absolute guarantees. We simply make the very best effort that we can to offer the teachings in their integrity, with their background understanding intact as much as is possible, by qualified teachers, who have had to demonstrate their understanding before becoming teachers. Does this offer a complete safeguard towards preserving the integrity of the teachings? No. Not always. People still filter what they are being taught through previously encountered concepts, misremember, misunderstand or apply their own ideas.  In Jikiden Reiki, this inevitable situation is counterbalanced by a worldwide supportive community including many practitioners and teachers inside and outside of Japan who are familiar with the Japanese language and culture. There is also a standard curriculum that is being taught by all Jikiden Reiki teachers.Committed to passing on Reiki in its original simplicity and clarity, we take collective custodianship of the practice and gently point out to each other when we think that we’re getting something wrong.

Tadao Yamaguchi gives unique insight into Japanese Reiki

Tadao Yamaguchi gives unique insight into Japanese Reiki

Simply Jikiden Reiki - BLOG

Tadao Yamaguchi gives unique insight into Japanese Reiki

In this rare interview with Tadao Yamaguchi

 

The head of Jikiden Reiki Institute in Kyoto, Japan, speaks about growing up with Reiki as a child, his family’s involvement in the practice, their extensive treatment experience using Reiki to benefit everyday ailments as well as very serious conditions, and about his vision for the future of Jikiden Reiki.

Find out why Reiki went underground in Japan and became some kind of secret healing art, what kind of conditions respond well to Reiki, how to use Reiki to support serious health problems, who is suitable for practising Reiki, how to give the most effective treatments and more.

Read the FULL INTERVIEW here

 

An extract of Gisela Stewart’s recorded conversation with Tadao Yamaguchi has also been published in the November/December issue of Kindred Spirit.

Contact me if you would like me to send you a copy by mail order.

 

Chronic illness: How to get the best results from Reiki treatment

Chronic illness: How to get the best results from Reiki treatment

Jikiden Reiki at Ladysmith  Physiotherapy

I’m amazed what even just three or four Reiki treatments can sometimes achieve. A month ago I saw a client three times in quick succession, who had been frequently ill for over two years and despite regular check-ups with her doctor and repeat medication, unable to get to the root cause of her problem. Tired of being ill almost constantly, she was willing to commit to the three sessions in quick succession that I had recommended.

We were going to reassess the situation after the initial boost, but it turned out that this was all the help she needed. Usually, chronic scenarios require a little more patience and commitment. However, this lady left feeling better after just three sessions. I am convinced that she would not have had the same results with the same number of treatments if given at weekly or fortnightly intervals. In my experience, to maximise chances of improving long-standing conditions, consecutive treatments are key.

In Jikiden Reiki seminars, when talking about the history of Reiki, we teach that Chiyoko Yamaguchi and her sister Katsue went out into the community for treatment on consecutive days, and working in this way fits well with the concept of byosen, a way of observing the body’s response to Reiki treatment that is a corner stone of Jikiden Reiki practice.  While byosen is strong, get back to the problem area as soon as possible (not a week later, as is the common expectation). It seems (from a discussion I followed on LinkedIn), that one of Mrs Takata’s students, Virginia Samdahl, also encouraged working in consecutive sessions. While substantial commitment is required from both practitioner and client, experience shows that using Reiki in this way is more likely to get the desired results.

On the related subject of chronic pain, internationally respected author and champion of integrative healthcare, Pamela Miles, recently refused to be impressed with a 40% improvement  after Reiki treatment, suspecting that even better results might have been achievable with a few more sessions. In my opinion, based on treatment experience and my understanding of Jikiden Reiki,  people who commit to an initial program of consecutive sessions or sessions scheduled in quick succession, can sometimes improve considerably. Learning Reiki themselves at this point, they can then self-treat for maintenance. If only there were a way of funding blocks of let’s say four to six sessions in quick succession, perhaps to be repeated once or twice (as required), so that more people suffering from chronic conditions could experience this type of shift.

You may also like to read:

Why the one-hour-a-week treatment model may not always be what you need

Check here for opportunities to learn Jikiden Reiki in Scotland in 2013

Staying Calm in the Midst of Chaos

Staying Calm in the Midst of Chaos

How Reiki can help with the current unrest in the world

Amanda Jayne

Amanda Jayne’s article was first published on her website LearnJikidenReiki in October 2011. Anticipating presidential elections in the US, and in the wake of hurricane Sandy causing untold suffering and uncertainty, her subject seems as pertinent now as it did a year ago.

“There are huge movements rising up all over the world at the moment in what looks like ever-increasing chaos.  Dissatisfaction with political systems, corporations, economies, worry over environment and nuclear leaks, and vast differences in opinions on the way the world should look and what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.  My guess is that there is more to come during this period of change and I find myself speaking to a number of people who are concerned about the future and what it may hold.
There may be more chaotic energy in the coming times – or there may simply be a period of quiet change.  Whichever it is, it is clear that change is happening right now and that we are all a part of it, perhaps more than we know.  What is also clear, is that each and every one of us can and will contribute to what takes place in the world.  Some will protest and march for change, some have already taken to the streets, some will write, discuss and argue in the virtual world of the internet and some will find themselves caught up in the fiery energy of violence or disruption in communities.  There will be people who sit back and watch the changing world, thinking it has nothing to do with them, while others still may feel helpless or ignore what is happening around them.

All are contributing to what takes place in the world.  It is simply the way of things.   Our wants, attitudes, fears, joys, actions, connections, emotions and thoughts are contributing right now, whether we are aware of it or not.  Fear and hate breed fear and hate, contributing to chaos; while moving into greater awareness and greater peace contribute to just that.  As one of my teachers, Ron Hulnick says, “Every time one person resolves one issue, the whole of humanity moves forward.”

It’s good news that everyone plays a part because all we have to do is decide if the way we are currently being in our lives is what we want to contribute to the world or not.  This doesn’t mean we have to sell our houses and build an eco hobbit house in the wilds of Scotland (though I would love to!), neither does it mean we must chastise ourselves over every negative thought or fear that passes through our lives.  What it does mean, is that we can begin to bring awareness around our reactions, how we are feeling and what we are allowing ourselves to think into our lives.   It means that we can remind ourselves when we are feeling off-centre, or find ourselves in worry or panic over the news, that our greatest decisions and ability to discern truth comes only when we are heart centred and calm.  There are many practices to help us come back to centredness and Reiki is just one of them, but I highly recommend it.

Usui sensei’s intention when creating his Reiki method ‘Shin shin kaizen Usui Reiki Ryoho – Usui Reiki Treatment Method for the Improvement of Body and Mind’, was to help people to peel off the layers of ‘stuff’ we all accumulate during life, physically and mentally, so that we are no longer led by ego and come into alignment with our true selves – with Source.

For this he created and used three things:

a)  Physical treatments to assist the body in eliminating toxins that build up and cause illness, to help with pain and skeletal misalignment and to calm, soothe and release emotion.
b)  Psychological treatments that help the mind to let go of issues, beliefs, unhelpful thoughts and negative associations or habits it has been holding on to.
c)  The gokai – the five simple principles that point us towards living well in each moment of now.
You can download an updated copy of my simple practical guide to living the gokai here.

In short, Reiki can be used simply as an everyday tool to help us stay well when we are healthy and get well when we are not, but it can also be used to help us awaken, to move into greater peace and bring us to calm centredness in the midst of what appears to be chaos.

Usui sensei saw that the world reflects the people in it, and therefore the greatest change can be brought about not by sending Reiki to a situation or an environment, but by giving Reiki to people.  As each individual changes, the world changes.

No matter how complicated a situation looks, the only energy that can positively contribute and transform chaos is love.  Love does not mean I won’t take action or speak out, neither does it ignore what is before me.  Whether I am faced with an everyday family situation, news of a disaster or a decision about my involvement in a movement in the world I give myself Reiki, feel the energy in my body and I ask myself these simple questions:

– Is this thought coming from love or fear?
– Is this decision based on love or fear?

It brings amazing clarity.”

Amanda Jayne

After the event: Thoughts on learning Jikiden Reiki with Tadao Yamaguchi

After the event: Thoughts on learning Jikiden Reiki with Tadao Yamaguchi

at the 2012 Jikiden Reiki seminar with Tadao Yamaguchi in EdinburghDare I admit it? (I’m shy about this ): After a week of becoming fluent at hearing Japanese (but not understanding much unless translated), I have started teaching myself Japanese with the help of an Oxford University language course I got for Christmas two years ago. Will I stick with it? I hope so. In an already busy and committed life, and with my memory letting me down left right and centre, this has proven too hard before. Perhaps the effort of memorising a new language will offer a cure to my memory problems? (Thinking neuroplasticity here, and forever the optimist!)

Anyway, my language course tells me (and I’ve heard this before) that “you won’t hear Japanese people use first names often, except within the family or between close friends.” How generous of Tadao sensei (and formerly Chiyoko sensei) to treat their students as family. I love the community building aspect of Jikiden Reiki. From each Jikiden Reiki seminar I have attended (and that’s quite a few since I first discovered Jikiden in 2006), I have come home having made new wonderful and lasting friendships. After the seminar with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh September 2012I also love the humility of a teacher who keeps pointing his students to the potential within themselves and knows that this can be realised with the help of reiju and a little dedicated effort.

Anyone can do Reiki

This is what Tadao Yamaguchi sees as Mikao Usui‘s legacy. Even beginners can use Reiki successfully. Tadao sensei’s mother, Chiyoko Yamaguchi, who had learned Reiki from Chujiro Hayashi at the tender age of 17 and had practised on a daily basis for over 65 years, used to stress that the Reiki coming from her and the Reiki coming from you and me is the same energy, and that perhaps the only advantage an experienced practitioner has is that they may feel the body’s healing response a little more easily. At the recent training in Edinburgh, Mr Yamaguchi emphasized that with lots of practice, any practitioner can get to this level within half a year or so. To me, this feels both humbling and incredibly matter of fact, the reality of someone who deeply appreciates Reiki, having grown up nurtured by it from before birth, but to whom energy healing is also as natural as water and air. No need to make a fuss or be all mysterious.  Since in essence, Reiki is completely natural, in harmony with nature, and everyone’s birthright. Therefore, from a purely Reiki point of view, there are also no reasons not to give Reiki. The ability to do so is completely natural, too, and part of being human. Most of us simply need a gentle reminder of what is already there.

One of my students commented that training with Tadao Yamaguchi to her felt much more ‘serious’ than attending a seminar with Amanda Jayne or myself (the content of Jikiden Reiki seminars always being the same of course, regardless of who is teaching). It’s true, Tadao sensei definitely has gravitas. But also so much lightness and humour. Attending training with Tadao Yamaguchi and Rika Tanaka, in my experience, is always highly instructive, and also so much fun.

I also like the fact that Tadao sensei is so dedicated to transporting the

Japanese values and attitudes behind Reiki practice

In Japan, the student teacher relationship lasts a life-time, and in 1930s Japan, students would meet up with their teachers once a month if they could. They also repeated the seminars several times, to consolidate their understanding of the content and to receive further reiju.  (Tadao Yamaguchi  has many photographs of the early seminars with Chujiro Hayashi which prove this). The concept of repeating the same training can at first seem strange to students from Western countries. However, practitioners who have done so invariably comment how much they had missed first time round and how their understanding has deepened.

As the feedback from the Jikiden training with Tadao Yamaguchi keeps coming in, I find myself thinking about what it takes to be a student of Reiki. The founder of the practice, Mikao Usui, deliberately placed himself on the second rung of the achievement ladder, there always being more room for growth and development. And really, how could one ever be anything other than a student of Reiki? Nonetheless, I have a lot of respect for teachers and practitioners of long standing experience with westernised Reiki (sometimes 20 years or more) who have the humility to go back to the Japanese roots of the practice, and it’s always nice for me to hear when they find the experience rewarding.

Tadao Yamaguchi will be a guest speaker at the Mindful Peace Forum in Dundee on Friday.

 ” Wonderful, thorough, clear, transparent training/teachings withTadaoYamaguchi.”
Thank you again for arranging the seminar with Tadao.  It was very well run and I felt I learnt a tremendous amount.  However I think there was so much to take in I also lost a lot.  When he next comes I think I need to repeat so that I can catch up on what I missed so please keep me posted when you arrange another visit.
Thank you for a marvellous seminar. I was fizzing with Reiki, thank you Mr. Yamaguchi.”
Had a wonderful 4 days Gisela…..thanks very much for organising it all very much appreciated. Hopefully Tadao will teach again in Scotland???
Photo credits: Thank you to Katrin Brauer for kind permission to use some of her lovely photographs taken at the end of this year’s Jikiden Reiki training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh

Reiki ~ The Most Natural Thing in the World

Natural Healing with Jikiden Reiki“Reiki ~ the most natural thing in the world.” This is how I would summarise the essence of Jikiden Reiki and the jikiden approach to Reiki.

Passing on the teachings of Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, Reiki is seen as essential, perfect human nature, in harmony with creation. Reiki as a healing method and as a spiritual path helps find the way back to this pure state. Step by step ‘as if peeling thin layers of paper’. Physically, Reiki energises the body so that the natural cleansing processes can function optimally.

Having grown up with Reiki from an early age, for the Yamaguchis Reiki is as natural as water and air, yet something deeply appreciated. This is the sense I get yet again while rereading Tadao Yamaguchi’s book ‘Light on the origins of Reiki’.

Related reading: Is Reiki physical or spiritual?

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