How Reiki Came to the US

Rosanne Bostonian, PhD, is a retired psychologist who now focuses on holistic health. Dr. Rosanne Bostonian often combines healing modalities including essential oils, Foot Reflexology, and Reiki.

Reiki is quite a common healing practice today in the US. It is a healing technique that works with the idea that an unseen life force energy exists within and around us, and that this energy can be moved or increased to help a person with relaxation and stress relief, and to provide healing from a range of injuries or illnesses.

Many forms of Reiki have been practiced for a long time in Japan, but it was Mikao Usui who founded the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai healing society in 1922. The society formalized the healing practice under Usui and made it teachable to others who would become Reiki Masters.

Reiki came to the US through Hawayo Takata, who turned to Reiki for help with several health issues and found healing within four months. She learned the practice and brought it with her to Hawaii, where she set up clinics and began teaching it to others. Takata established herself as an authority on Reiki, adding rigid rules to the practice and insisting on charging high fees. At one point she claimed that all the other Reiki Masters in Japan had died in World War II, leaving her the last and only authority on the practice.

After Takata’s death, however, the Reiki practice continued to grow and change in the US. More people began to provide instruction in Reiki, making it accessible to a much wider range of people who wanted to learn to practice it or simply receive its healing benefits. Today, there are well over 4 million Reiki practitioners in the world.


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