Reiki is a method of healing developed in 1914 by Mikao Usui, a Japanese Buddhist. During a 21 day Isyo Guo training course on Mount Kurama – the Horse-Saddle Mountain north-west of the city of Kyoto – he received a revelation which enlightened him to what he called Reiki, and would enable him to heal. In April 1922, Usui moved to Tokyo, and there founded the Usui Reiki Ryōhō Gakkai which means "Usui's Spiritual Energy Therapy Method Society". Usui died on the 9th of March, 1926, but only after having taught some 2000 people the techniques of Reiki. All practitioners are descended from this teaching through a lineage.

For me, the most important precepts
are the Five principles of Reiki :

Kyō dake wa:
Okoru na,
Shinpai su na,
Kansha shite,
Gyō wo hakeme,
Hito ni shinsetsu ni.

These can be translated into English as :

Just for today –
don't be angry,
don't worry,
be grateful,
work with diligence,
be kind to people.

Although this might sound simplistic, these principles form the heart of Reiki, and learning to put Usui's principles into practice is actually far from easy !!

Reiki is increasingly offered in hospital, hospice, and private practice settings, applied to a variety of illnesses and conditions. According to Deborah Bier in a recent article in PsychCentral, those who receive such treatments report relief of symptoms from numerous health challenges, including mental health issues. Research shows that Reiki primarily helps in the reduction of stress, anxiety and depression, as well as relief of chronic pain — the last of which can bring on anxiety and depression, or make episodes worse.

While the debate on how best to study integrative therapies such as Reiki is now gaining momentum, research attempts have been and continue to be made. With institutions like the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) in the USA now focussing on the subject, it is clear that research into Reiki is generating a lot of interest.