Reiki? Where’s the proof?


energy

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 on kindnessIn 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.

140_Yamaguchi_CG (1)

Looking Back With Gratitude, Moving Forward With Hope

Featured


Thank you, what a year it’s been!

Sandy Burnham

At the beginning of the year I was honoured to accompany my long-term client, student, mentor and, dare I say, friend, Sandy Burnham, on the final lap of her journey with cancer. Aileen Jardine and I had been privileged to be able to give her frequent jikiden reiki treatments. Sandy had been very publicly supportive of Jikiden Reiki. And she taught me much about grace.

Infinite love and thanks.

Reiki Documentary: Hand Healing, are you serious?

Reiki Documentary Premier

In the spring I was given the opportunity to make a documentary film with Emily Macinnes, an incredibly talented, perceptive and sensitive documentary photographer and a wonderful person to work with. Please check out her website, she has such a gift for telling deeply touching stories through the medium of photography. (And has now proven her hand at film making, too.)

Our 25 minute documentary ‘Hand Healing: Are you serious?’ was premièred at the First Jikiden Reiki World Congress in Barcelona in August and was very well received.

I want to give heartfelt thanks to Tadao Yamaguchi for his encouragement, belief in us and support, without which I would not have been able to overcome my (at the time pretty crippling) fears. I am so grateful to the sponsors who have contributed towards the cost of making the film. (So far, about half the required amount to cover expenses has been raised. If you would like to become a sponsor, please get in touch).

Most importantly, I am infinitely grateful to the people who have been willing to tell their stories on camera: of initial skepticism, doubt and then very real, tangible healing outcomes with Reiki.

Many people have spoken to both Emily and myself after the screening, giving us such positive feedback. To me the most encouraging comment was from a Paediatric Surgeon, who said that if anything would make her want to look more closely at the potential of Jikiden Reiki for healing, it would be the kind of testimonials that we captured in our film.

Hand Healing, are you serious? A Reiki documentary

I now look forward to working with Emily again some time in 2015 to plan the online and offline launch of our project. The hope is that it will help change perceptions and open the minds of many more people to the benefits of Reiki.

1st Jikiden Reiki World Congress in Barcelona

Was it the line up of speakers, amongst whom were internationally respected leaders and authorities in the field of Reiki and energy work? Was it the newly emerged facts about Reiki history that Yamaguchi sensei shared at the Conference? Was it the fact that the first day of the Congress coincided with Usui sensei’s birthday, which we duly celebrated? Was it meeting old friends again some of whom live in countries far away, and having the opportunity of nurturing new and old connections? Meeting colleagues from all over the world (21 countries to be precise)? Was it the remarkable City of Barcelona?

Chiyoko Yamaguchi’s Tribe

Chiyoko Yamaguchi's Tribe

It was all of these things that made the Congress a wonderful experience, and it was so much more:

To me it was Chiyoko Yamaguchi’s grounded, unpretentious, simple, deep love of Reiki that was at the heart of this Congress, bringing people from so many different parts of the world together to be part of Tadao sensei’s vision to share Reiki in its orginal Japanese form with the world. I am truly grateful to be part of this global tribe.

4th Annual Jikiden Reiki Seminar with Tadao Yamaguchi

September saw the 4th Annual Jikiden Reiki Training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh. We’re so lucky that he chooses to train new and existing practitioners here in Scotland every year!! Here’s feedback from one of this year’s new students: “Thank you for arranging such a beautiful seminar, with such wonderful, lovely souls. I’m still smiling ! I really had no idea how truly amazing it would be. It all flew by so quickly ! I’m only just starting to digest all the information and the whole feeling of those marvellous 4 days.” ~ Helen Kelly

Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh 2014

It’s true, the trainings bring together amazing people for an amazing experience (and very solid, authentic, Reik training) every year.

Tadao Yamaguchi has promised to be back next year! (Watch this spot)

Simply Jikiden Reiki Borders Treatment and Training Studio

2014 has not only seen my 2nd anniversary working from the Ladysmith Physiotherapy Clinic in Innerleithen, but also my 5th Anniversary this November of working from Tweed Chiropractic Clinic in Galashiels.

Simply Jikiden Reiki Centre in Galashiels

Even better, my dreams are coming true: For years I’ve fantasized about my own Simply Jikiden Natural Healing Centre. And this summer I have taken on a beautiful large treatment room under the Complete Health Borders umbrella, which is big enough to hold practice events and seminars: The Simply Jikiden Borders Studio!
We’ve had our first monthly Reiki share there in October, which felt great. Now I am looking forward to regular monthly Reiju kai events and biannual seminars in Galashiels in 2015.

Ending the year on a festive high

On the first Sunday in December we held our  2nd Scottish Jikiden Reiki Christmas Gathering in Edinburgh. We had a lovely Christmas lunch and Reiju kai afterwards (by popular vote this will now be an annual event!).

Jikiden Christmas Gathering

MarikoportraitMany thanks to fellow Shihan Mariko Tanaka Pollock for her presentation on Shinto and her irresistibly charming invitation to visit her home country of Japan for the 2nd World Congress in Kyoto in 2016.

Folks start saving now, this is going to be unmissable!

Wishing you all a joyous and relaxing holiday period and the very best for a healthy, prosperous and happy 2015.

With much love
Gisela xo

You may also want to read : How I got into Reiki, part 2

It’s about a woman on a mission to help spread Reiki 🙂 Our documentary film project will hopefully take this mission one step further. Watch this spot in 2015!

4th annual Jikiden Reiki Seminar with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh


What drew me to Jikiden Reiki was the simplicity of the method passed on unchanged from the original teachings, the quality of the theoretical concepts and the Yamaguchis’ experience in successfully treating people year after year.” AMANDA JAYNE

Jikiden Reiki offers a useful approach for conditions that are notoriously difficult to treat in medicine.” JENNY VERINDER, paediatric nurse and health visitor

 Are you looking for effective tools to boost the body’s natural healing ability?

JIKIDEN REIKI  gives you the skills to engage the body’s amazing natural capacity for healing. Reiki in its original Japanese form: pure, simple and effective. The training is clear and comprehensive, giving you the tools to use this simple hand healing modality on yourself and on others with confidence. Reiki Course with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh

Tadao Yamaguchi is the head of the Jikiden Reiki Institute in Japan. His mother Chiyoko learned Reiki from one of the original teachers, Dr. Chujiro Hayashi (a trained medical doctor and Navy officer).  Together they founded the Jikiden Reiki Institute with the intention of spreading authentic Japanese Reiki, and Tadao Yamguchi has been working tirelessly ever since to help people worldwide discover authentic Japanese Reiki as an effective natural healing method.

For information on the course syllabus click here.

 Edinburgh 6th-9th September 2014

Shoden (1st level): 6th & 7th September
Okuden (2nd level): 8th & 9th September

Shihan Kaku (Assistant Teacher): 10th September 

Course organiser Gisela StewartCourse Organiser Gisela Stewart
gisela@simplyjikidenreiki.co.uk
01896 870277     Rika Tanaka portrait2
Course language Japanese, translated into English by Rika Tanaka. The training with Mr Yamaguchi is also available in London (28th-31st August). Contact Rika Tanaka for details. Teacher training in London: Shihan Kaku 1st September, Shihan 1st & 2nd September

Cost:

Note: The fees for training with Yamaguchi sensei are slightly higher than with other Jikiden Reiki teachers because of his costs in coming over from Japan. Shoden: £230 Okuden: £280 Shihan Kaku: £650 Shihan: £550

Teacher training

is only available to candidates who have completed their Jikiden Reiki training and meet a number of strict criteria and requirements, including sufficient treatment experience (120 hours on 40 different clients). There is no fast-track to becoming a fully qualified Jikiden Reiki teacher.

What others say

Thoughts on learning Jikiden Reiki with Tadao Yamaguchi

How training with Tadao Yamaguchi helped Ruth to tap into her natural healing ability

Hand Healing? Are you serious?

Do you already practise Reiki, or are you a Reiki Master?

This article explains why Jikiden Reiki may be of interest to you.

How is Jikiden Reiki different from Usui Reiki?

What makes Jikiden Reiki training special?

Tadao Yamaguchi teaching in EdinburghPractical, treatment focused training, allowing unique insight into the cultural and spiritual roots of Reiki practice.

Simple, practical healthcare tools to support yourself and others. Ongoing local support from teachers to help develop skills and confidence.

Suitable for complete beginners and experienced Reiki practitioners.

The Jikiden Reiki curriculum is likely as close as it is possible to get today to how the founder of the practice, Mikao Usui, taught.

Original Reiki, nothing added nothing changed. Passed on in its original integrity.

A global supportive community of practitioners.

Students are accredited by the Jikiden Reiki Institute in Kyoto, Japan.

Places are limited. You can secure your space by requesting an Institute approved booking form from the course organisers and paying your non-refundable deposit.

Click here to book you place now

Jikiden Reiki course with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh 2012

7 years of Jikiden Reiki (and no signs of the 7year itch)


Since Jikiden first came into my life 7 years ago, I think it is fair to say that I have benefited from and been changed by the practice on a daily basis, as have many others through me. This photo was taken in 2006  in Frank Arjava Petter’s house in Duesseldorf, when I attended my first ever Jikiden Reiki training event with Tadao Yamaguchi. (Since then I have attended many). I am posting it here, because the sheer delight I felt on discovering Jikiden Reiki is palpably visible. Delight at the quality of the training and deep insight into the roots, nature and essence of Reiki practice in a way that was tangible and practical, and very much applicable, and to be applied to, everyday life. Beaming with energy after five days of learning with Yamaguchi sensei and Arjava sensei, feeling like a ball of blueish-whitish light. (I’m the girl grinning from side to side sitting to the right of Tadao sensei).

My first Jikiden Reiki training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Duesseldorf , June 2006. I'm the person with the big grin on my face to the left of Mr Yamaguchi.

My first Jikiden Reiki training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Duesseldorf

Memories are flooding back as I see images of this year’s training with Yamaguchi sensei in Frankfurt popping up on facebook, with participants contacting me who have this incredible experience for the first time.

Recently I had a nice surprise when colleagues on LinkedIn unexpectedly congratulated me on on 7 years of dedication to Jikiden Reiki. This struck me like a bolt from the blue,  as time has just flown by since my first training in June 2006. There are definitely no signs of a 7 year itch as far as I’m concerned: I am as passionate about jikiden as ever.

So what am I getting from my keen involvement with Jikiden Reiki? Let me warn you: the list is bound to be long. On a personal level: I am definitely not the same person I was before I discovered Jikiden Reiki. A couple of weeks ago a friend stopped me in the street to tell me about a conversation she had had with one of her children: Her primary school aged daughter had asked her if I ever got angry. Because the girl had only ever seen me with a smile on my face, she believed that I would probably even smile when telling my kids off. Although not quite true, this lovely story made me smile even more. I am no saint and I can definitely (although rarely these days) blow my top, but it is true that I feel (and therefore probably radiate) a quiet undercurrent of  happiness most of the time. Like anyone else, my life has its complications and is by no means always easy. But I do feel quietly happy a lot, and I credit Jikiden Reiki for that. I love my work helping people return to physical and mental health with Jikiden Reiki treatments in my clinics in the Scottish Borders and in Edinburgh, and I love passing on these simple yet invaluable skills to others in my Jikiden Reiki courses and I love the effects the practice has on my life  and on the lives of those around me.

What other changes have I noticed about myself? Some of the qualities I have acquired through daily Reiki practice include patience, groundedness and more of an ability to see situations from multiple perspectives simultaneously; meaning I can better see and feel perspectives other than my own. When confronted with challenging situations, I don’t tend to panic and can usually think on my feet. Having been at the receiving end of  two nasty scams last year and again this year, I don’t tend to waste much time or energy on negative states of mind such as getting angry or upset (although worry can be a little harder for me not to engage in), instead finding the people and tools that can support me in effectively dealing with the situation.

Although I was lucky to receive a very good education and being naturally quite articulate, I don’t come from a privileged background, and have never been particularly confident (that is, unless I teach Jikiden Reiki). Being wired on the sensitive side and shy by temperament, I have been reluctant to reveal too much of myself. I remember with a chuckle how, when I first learned Reiki in 2003, I would keep this fact closely guarded private information only to be shared with the trusted few. This is funny, because several years later (and thanks to a process of constant, and sometimes painful, personal growth) I seem to have no choice but to fly by my true colours and to step out into the public domain bearing witness to what I know to be true. Wanting to share my my passion for Jikiden Reiki and its potential to help  people live healthier happier lives, simply by tapping into their own, innate, healing ability. Recently my efforts to bring Jikiden Reiki into environments that at first contact may not always be open to energy healing (such as conventional medicine) again triggered my fear buttons, but having done so successfully, the experience is helping me to slowly, steadily and incrementally close the confidence gap.

I am aware that I’m making it sound as if I had life all sussed, which is definitely not true. (However, for me, this makes a nice change from usually being hyper conscious of my shortcomings and failings). Just ask my friends and family and the people close to me for a long list of my flaws. All I am saying is that I have changed for the better since I became involved with Reiki practice, and I see positive changes in others, too. In my experience, the tools offered in Jikiden Reiki practice, such as the Gokai, giving and receiving physical Reiki treatments, reiju, Sei Heki treatment and hatsurei ho, as well as enabling us to practice Reiki for improved physical health, offer great opportunities for ongoing personal growth, too.

Not without reason, it seems to me, has Mikao Usui named his method ‘Shin Shin Kaizen Usui Reiki Ryoho’ (Usui Reiki treatment method for the improvement of body and mind) and described the practice as his ‘secret method to invite health and happiness.’ What could be more holistic than finding your authenticity, your stable, unfazed  core and your rootedness in compassion: all side-effects of dedicated Reiki practice. 

To be continued…

If you would like some sense of the physical healing benefits of Reiki practice, here are a few links you might like to follow:

Rehabilitation from Spinal Injury
Jikiden Reiki and Autism
Jikiden Reiki for Chronic Illness

Jikiden Reiki training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh September 2013

After the seminar with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh September 2012If you would like to benefit from the amazing opportunity to learn Jikiden Reiki directly from Tadao Yamaguchi, please contact me through this website.

Feedback from last year’s training with Yamaguchi Sensei

Stressed and overwhelmed? Discover Reiki for self-care, contentment and resilience


Why I’m so grateful to have Jikiden Reiki in my life

A guest post by Elaine Rainey

AFTER COMING TO THE END of a lengthy busy period at work, I’ve been dedicating some time to long and luxurious Reiki self-treatment.  For me, it’s a rare treat to set aside exclusive time for such things and it feels wonderful.  As I place my hands on my body, I can feel the tension easing in my shoulders, the heat building up in my body and something gently softening in my chest.  I’m feeling so grateful to have Reiki in my life, making me feel so good.

Elaine Rainey, ecologist

When I look back through my diary at what I have achieved over this past few months, I’ve surprised myself at how I have managed to navigate this with my mind and body remaining in such a good place.  It reminds me of author and film producer Jeff Brown’s words:

“There is a time to adventure heartily into new possibilities, but there is also a need for quiet integration time on the self-creation journey. We can have all the peak experiences we want but the real work happens between the peaks, while laying down and integrating on the valley floor. Growers are inch worms. Lasting transformation is an incremental process, one soul-step at a time. This may frustrate us, but it’s the only way to craft an awareness that is authentic and sustainable.”

Jeff’s words made me realise that this is exactly what I have been doing over this past few months, slowly but surely keeping Reiki integrated into my life, whenever and wherever I could, in the spaces between the busyness.  And it has paid off with a level of productivity that I didn’t think would be possible a few months ago, when I looked out towards the daunting list of tasks that lay ahead of me.

The purpose of this story is not to advocate Reiki as another ‘tool’ to help us become more efficient, productive versions of ourselves.  It is simply to express gratitude to a simple yet powerful practice that, if committed to over time, can transform our lives.

Jikiden Reiki training has been one of the best investments that I have ever made for my health and wellbeing.  I am so grateful for the many ways that my Reiki practice has changed my life.  For me, however, the most wonderful change has been to the level of contentment I now feel.  This is not a kind of contentment that succumbs to the ebb and flow of life’s experiences.  This kind of contentment has resilience, it’s authentic and unwavering.  It’s the kind that has slowly crept up on me while I’ve been faithfully placing my hands on my body, night after night, in dedicated, regular practice.

Elaine RaineyElaine Rainey works as an ecologist and Jikiden Reiki practitioner and junior teacher based in Scotland, UK. Jikiden Reiki is a traditional style of Japanese Reiki, making a strong effort to keep the practice as close to its original form as possible. Elaine works with fellow Reiki practitioners and teachers to promote the benefits of Reiki, to support others through their healing journey and to encourage people to learn this wonderful healing art for themselves.

In September 2013, you will be able to learn authentic Reiki with Yamaguchi Sensei , the head of the Jikiden Reiki Institute in Kyoto, right here in Scotland. Until 2000, this level of in-depth understanding of Reiki practice had been locked inside Japan, with the first Westerners training in Kyoto in 2000, and it was only from the early 2000s that Tadao Yamaguchi started travelling to many Western countries to spread Reiki in its original Japanese form.

Jikiden Reiki Training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Scotland
Edinburgh 6th September – 9th September 2013

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If interested in this incredible training opportunity contact Gisela Stewart.

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

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?

Mikao Usui’s Legacy: Healing the World one Person at a Time


Mikao Usui found his healing ability after a retreat on Mount Kurama

"Reiki will conquer the world and heal its inhabitants as well as the Earth itself." Mikao Usui

A lesson in limits for Jikiden Reiki practitioners

Guest blog by Elaine Rainey

At a recent UN High Level Meeting on Wellbeing and Happiness, discussion turned to how the concept of Gross National Happiness (an innovative economic model originally developed in Bhutan, a Buddhist country with a longstanding tradition of mindfulness) could be applied to the rest of the world.  Discussion inevitably turned to the difficulties faced by undertaking such a task on such a grand scale.

At this point, famous environmentalist Hunter Lovins took to the stage and addressed the audience with a parable about a humble hummingbird.  She said:

When the forest was on fire and all of the animals were fleeing around her, the hummingbird was ferrying droplets of water in her tiny beak, one by one, to try and staunch the flames. “What are you doing?” her distinguished animal colleagues asked. “The best I can”, replied the hummingbird.

As Reiki practitioners, we are armed with such a wonderful healing resource in the palm of our hands.  By nature, we tend to be a compassionate bunch who are sensitive to the suffering of others.  The desire to help and to ease the suffering of others is often strong.  Starting out with the best of intentions, we can soon find ourselves overwhelmed and burnt out.  An image of a stressed out Reiki practitioner providing distant treatments to many people simultaneously at the end of a long day springs to mind.

So, what can we do to avoid this and to deliver a sustained and healthy level of service to others through our Reiki practice?
The answer, from a Jikiden Reiki perspective, is one step at a time, one person at a time.  We are taught to start with ourselves, our family and friends, then moving out into the community around us.  We are not taught methods for sending distant Reiki to many people simultaneously, or to specific areas or disaster situations.  Just one person at a time.

I remember, at a Jikiden Reiki seminar, a Reiki practitioner asked Tadao Yamaguchi, the Head of the Jikiden Reiki Institute in Japan, for advice on someone they were treating distantly for a serious illness.  This person lived many, many miles away and the practitioner did not know them personally.  This practitioner was actually asking about specifics of the treatment approach, but Tadao Yamaguchi politely asked “Why are you treating this person so far away?
A fruitful discussion developed between the participating practitioners, resulting in a contact being made with a Jikiden Reiki practioner who lived locally to the person needing help.The point was not about never sending distant Reiki to people we do not know, or to those far afield.  It was about keeping things simple, being practical and drawing on the resources of others if required.
This is something I personally value very much about Jikiden Reiki.  The approach is very humble, straightforward, simple, grounded and manageable.  One person at a time, being relaxed, doing the ‘best we can’.

You can follow the progress of the UN High Level Meeting on Wellbeing and Happiness, and the thoughful write-ups by Claudia Chender MacLellan, at http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace

Connect with Elaine on facebook: @Jikiden Reiki Treatments

Photo credit: Zlatica Retzler (many thanks!)