Discovering Jikiden Reiki. How training with Tadao Yamaguchi helped one woman to tap into her natural healing ability to help herself and others


A guest post by Ruth Hinks

Ruth Hinks at the Jikiden Reiki training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh

Ruth Hinks at the Jikiden Reiki training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh

“As far back as I can remember, I have always sought balance and harmony in my life and nurtured a strong desire to, ‘make things better’ for my nearest and dearest.  Whether calming babies or returning to flight, birds stunned against the window pane, being able to help others has been motivating and rewarding for me.

However, in recent years, I had a growing feeling that there was more – more depth and breadth – to whatever it was I could do.  A feeling that I was on ‘the cusp of discovery’, but had no idea what it was.  Sometimes it really felt as if I could help someone with a headache or a neckache, but other times I wondered if it were my imagination or just wishful thinking?

I’d heard about Reiki: been given insights and even a book recommendation by complete strangers as well as reading books that I’d come across quite by chance on my own.  With this information, I realised that what I was trying to do was to connect with  Universal Energy to help others get better, but I questioned whether I was on the right track, as any healing outcomes lacked consistency or confidence on my part.  I needed guidance.

A serendipitous visit to The Eastgate Theatre in Peebles put Gisela Stewart’s flyer about Jikiden Reiki in my path.  Interest and curiosity piqued, I found on Gisela’s website that Jikiden means, ‘directly transmitted or passed down from one’s teacher’.  So, in the case of Jikiden Reiki, there is a direct lineage from the founder, Mikao Usui.  The Jikiden Reiki being taught today is as close as can be, in clarity and simplicity, to the Reiki taught by Usui Sensei, Hayashi Sensei and Chiyoko Yamaguchi.  This I found very appealing.  And then, the exciting news that Tadao Yamaguchi, whom I’d read about in my research, was coming to Edinburgh to teach Shoden and Okuden.  If ever there were a case of, ‘The Master appears when the student is ready’, this felt like it!  I contacted Gisela straight away to secure my place to study with Mr Yamaguchi.

Next, I saw a portable treatment/ therapy table for sale in the small ads at my local supermarket.  Another gentle shove along the path!

Tadao Yamaguchi and Rika TanakaThe four day training course with Tadao Yamaguchi in Japanese, with translation by the delightful Dai Shihan (Teacher) Rika Tanaka, was a wonderful experience.  Hungry for this new knowledge that I’d been searching for, I soaked up everything like a dry sponge.   The others on the course, many of whom were repeating or had come to Jikiden via Western Reiki, were very warm and open people – their energy was palpable.  It was wonderful to be in the same room with so many like-minded people and I felt instantly at ease.

It struck me how accessible and ‘everyday’ Tadao Yamaguchi made Jikiden Reiki feel.  With stories of how his Mother, Chiyoko Yamaguchi, gave healing to all members of the family when he was a small boy, he illustrated how Reiki was essentially the natural First Aid.  There is very little ‘theatre’ to Jikiden Reiki – just immediate, effective help flowing in response to compassionate intention.

Leaving the training sessions each day, I felt on a natural high: truly alive with a raised vibration.  Centred, grounded and with improved balance, I felt better equipped to cope with anything and everything.  It really gave me confidence when Tadao Sensei said that it didn’t matter how long someone had been giving Jikiden Reiki, the healing energy flowing from a newly qualified practitioner is  the same as from one with many years experience.  What does increase with regular practice and experience is one’s ability to sense the levels of ‘Byosen’, the build up of toxins which are the likely cause of dis-ease in the body.

After the seminar with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh September 2012Since training with Tadao Yamaguchi in August/ September 2012, I’ve felt privileged and able to help all members of my family, including our Border Collie who comes to me daily.  I’ve also been able to help close friends who’ve been open to, ‘give it a go’ and have been delighted with the positive feedback.

Distance healing, learned at Okuden level, has proved very helpful also: from treating a headche in the U.S., to easing a tender coccyx incurred snowboarding in the French Alps!  I’ve been able to help calm agitation in palliative care and help to bring a sense of peace to a relative at distance as he experienced the passing of his Mother.  It’s amazing to be able to feel that you can help someone even though you can’t be with them in person.

Closer to home, my Husband has been the recipient of Jikiden Reiki healing on a regular daily basis.  Just 3 months after I’d studied with Tadao Sensei, he  slipped on the ice, falling badly and rupturing his patella tendon.  Surgery was required to repair the knee and he was in a full plaster cast, then a high-tech brace for almost 3 months.  During this time it has been wonderful to be able to help reduce the inflammation and ease the pain for him and for me, to feel, beyond doubt, that I really am assisting the healing process.

At the time of writing this, he is just recovering from a second operation to remove the wires from his knee.  He is now able to walk without any means of knee support.  With physiotherapy and continuing Jikiden Reiki treatments he hopes soon to dispense with the crutches.

In my experience there are no down sides: Jikiden Reiki benefits both the practitioner and the recipient of the healing energy.  My own health and sense of well-being have improved and I feel more calm and less easily stressed.  The more people who learn Jikiden Reiki, as is Tadao Yamaguchi’s Life Mission, the better for everyone in their community.


Tadao Yamaguchi teaching
Tadao Yamaguchi is coming over from Japan to Edinburgh to teach Jikiden Reiki in September. For more information about this unique opportunity to learn Reiki directly from Mr Yamaguchi  and to benefit from his close connection to the original teachings and his extensive experience, please contact Gisela through the contact form of this website. For training in London, contact Rika Tanaka.

Further reading: Thoughts on  learning Jikiden Reiki from Tadao Yamaguchi

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


The length and frequency of Reiki treatment depends on your conditionAs a Reiki practitioner I find that my clients often come with unspoken expectations about their sessions with me. Showing up for treatments at weekly intervals is one of them, and at times this appears to be a rule set in stone. Yet working in this way does not always get the best results.

A toxin free body is in a better position to take care of its own healing needs

As Jikiden Reiki practitioners, we  are guided  by the sensations we feel in our hands when placing them on a client. This body feedback helps the practitioner to locate the areas in the client’s body where toxins have accumulated. Carefully observing how these sensations change over time helps us to assess how long to treat a specific area and when to expect improvement. We refer to this skill as sensing byosen (pronounced: bjoh sen).

Our treatment decisions, in Jikiden Reiki, are based on this concept of byosen, tuning into and following the body’s natural healing response. As we focus energy on an area with high accumulations of toxins, Reiki helps to break these down more effectively. The sensations we are looking for can be felt at their most intense when this happens.  Often, the toxins are deeply buried within the tissues, though, so Reiki is needed to first bring them to the surface. During these periods we may not feel so much. So careful observation over a period of time is indicated!

We suggest an individually tailored program based on what’s going on in your body

From a Jikiden point of view, there are no standard hand positions nor a standard length of treatment. Of course we would not keep you on the treamtment table beyond your endurance limit. But for severe cases, a 70 to 90 minute treatment might be quite in order. Chiyoko Yamaguchi, my teacher’s mother, and herself trained by one of the original Reiki teachers, often gave Reiki for an hour and a half, and then asked her client to be back next day or as soon a possible, when she was working with severely ill clients. And this she would keep up for a period of two or three months, if necessary, until the sensations in her hands (and the client’s health of course!) indicated improvement.

Why you may want to learn Reiki for self-care

Of course, seeing a practitioner this frequently would be difficult to afford for most people. This is why Tadao Yamaguchi, the head of the Jikiden Reiki Institute in Kyoto, often recommends that someone who is seriously ill, learn Reiki and also receive frequent Reiki treatments from a family member or someone who is able to make this level of commitment to them.

Even with comparatively more minor health problems, the weekly treatment model may not always be best. While byosen is strong, perhaps two or three treatments in one week may help the client to return to full health much more quickly by comparison to the alternative of making weekly appointments by default.

Related reading: On the benefits of Reiki for cancer patients

Welcome to Simply Jikiden Reiki: An official branch of the Jikiden Reiki Institute right here in Scotland


“I have come home feeling very strongly that I have the tools to vastly improve my life and the lives of those around me, and it is a huge positive for me. Thank you very, very much.”

Gisela Stewart, qualified Jikiden Reiki teacher (Shihan)

Gisela Stewart

Having experienced the countless benefits for myself and for my family many times, I am passionate about bringing Reiki well-being to you: through treatments in my clinics or through passing on this down-to-earth natural healing method in my courses. Jikiden Reiki is so simple that anyone can learn how to practise it, yet it offers invaluable tools for returning to or maintaining good health.

 “Wow, I feel so much lighter now.”

Other than relaxation, this is the most frequent initial treatment outcome I hear about. Jikiden Reiki treatment offers a wonderful way of not only melting away stress and tension, but also bit by bit helping to release our emotional baggage, in many cases without ever even needing to talk about it.

And of course, Jikiden Reiki treatment can be used to aid numerous physical conditions, as this simple natural healing method stimulates your body’s innate healing response and promotes overall balance and resilience. So it’s a great tool for preventive healthcare, too!

And the method is so simple that anyone can learn how to do this.

Jikiden Reiki training is comprehensive and with a down-to-earth focus on treatment. The method is taught in the same way it was originally practised in Japan without fashionable New Age add-ons and with its cultural and spiritual core intact. Only since 2000 has it finally been possible for Westerners to tap into the Japanese roots of this popular healing practice, and I am currently the only fully qualified teacher in Scotland.                                                  

Why Jikiden Reiki?

Jikiden Reiki makes a strong effort to keep practice and teaching as faithful as possible to the original methods taught by Mikao Usui and Chujiro Hayashi. Jikiden Reiki is pure and simple, using a clear framework for how to use Reiki in the most effective way to enhance the body’s natural healing systems. Read more on what makes Jikiden Reiki different…

” Reiki is not something we want you to think of as special. It is something everybody can do that is part of daily life”                                                                     Tadao Yamaguchi

Reiki treatment with Gisela Stewart Chiyoko and Tadao Yamaguchi at the Jikiden Reiki Institute in Kyoto, Japan
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Jikiden Reiki training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh Group Treatment at Reiki share in Edinburgh Gisela Stewart, qualified Jikiden Reiki teacher (Shihan)
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