Andrew Bowling's REIKI HISTORY Archives

(formerly located at
From 1998 through 2006 Andy Bowling presented a web site detailed with Reiki History and facts.  When he discovered original teachings of Mikao Usui shared by Chris Marsh, he began to focus more in that direction.  In 2007 Andy decided to stop his Reiki History pages but gave me permission to host this archive at my web site. I hope you enjoy this original contribution to the Reiki world.

If you have comments or suggestions, Contact Me.
Rick Rivard  (
December 2007

Copyright Info - Making Use of Threshold Web Pages


New information has now become available and these pages are now up-dated accordingly.

New information  received from students of Usui now indicate that these techniques were taught by Usui, I have therefore changed the layout.

Usui's healing had gained the attention of the Japanese Navy, who, although they had modern ships, had limited medical facilities and personnel. (one doctor or medical assistant per ship) They had been looking for a method that could be practiced as a form of emergency treatment for the officers to learn so that the long waits for treatment, sometimes days could be avoided.

Usui devised a system that could be learned by these men, but was not dependent on the years of spiritual training that Usui had undertaken.

This is what later was to become Reiki.
Reiki actually came later, as an off shoot of these teachings, but was primarily devised for the Navy as a sort of paramedic discipline.


This account of the development of Reiki, is from 'existing' students  of Usui and in total agreement with what  Hiroshi Doi is teaching now. And which I was taught by him in Japan 2000.

However, Reiki has no direct connection with Usui's spiritual teachings.

Precepts - Waka Poetry.

Kenyoku (Dry bathing or Brushing off)   (Removing of blocked energy.)

Note - The brushing of the arms from shoulder to hand is an addition by H. Doi, it was originally just brushing the wrist to tips of fingers.

(An interpretation from Japanese - Kenyoku - Imagine sacred bathing before you meet god, which is done by Shinto priests at some ceremonies to clear/purify body and spirit.)

Brush either in the aura or with bodily contact.

a) Place the fingers of your right hand near the top of the left shoulder, with the fingertips over the indentation just in from the edge of the shoulder (where the collar bone meets the shoulder). The hand is lying flat.

b) Draw the flat hand down across the chest in a straight line, over the "V" of the sternum (where the rib cage meets) down to the right hip.

c) Repeat this procedure on the right side, using the left hand. Draw it flattened from the shoulder, in a straight line, across the sternum, to the left hip.

d) Repeat the procedure again on the left side.

Place the right hand on the edge of the left shoulder top of arm, fingertips on the edge pointing outwards.

e) Draw the right hand, flattened, down the outside of the arm, all the way to the finger tips, all the while keeping the left arm straight and at your side.

f) Repeat this process on the right side, with the left hand on the shoulder and drawing it down the right arm to the fingertips.

g) Repeat the process on the left side again.


Joshin Kokyu ho (Soul Cleansing Breathing)

Meditation focusing on Tan-dien.

1) Put your hands on your lap with your palms up and breath naturally through your nose.

(2) When you breath in, visualise that white light coming in on your breath and through your crown centre, and then expanding to whole of your body.

(3) When you breath out, visualise that the light filling up your whole body expands out of your body through your skin onto infinity in all directions.

At the beginning and end of each breath pause for a moment.

This is a simple meditation and may have been changed for individual students.


Byosen Reikan Ho. - Body Scanning.

Description..... This is commonly taught in the west, but maybe not in this way.

(1) When a person has a disease, you may feel 'something' transmitted from the source of the disease. This is called Byosen. What you feel varies depending on the type, severity and status of the disease and from person to person. But some samples are: sensations of "something moving, pulsating, or piercing", pain, numbness, heat, coldness, tickling, tingling, etc. (The sensation you have in your hands are called "Hibiki" or "Resonance" and you can judge by it the cause of the disease, the status of it and the time it will take to heal.)

(2) As long as a person has a disease (even if the person is not aware of it), there never fails to be a "byosen". So if you are careful enough to detect the byosen, it is possible to treat the disease a couple of days before it actually shows up. Also there could be a "byosen" in people who are said to have recovered completely from his/her disease. If you get rid of the byosen in these cases, you can prevent the disease from developing again.

(3) A byosen could show up in the obvious problem area but also could be sensed in areas different from the problem area. For example, the byosen for stomach disease often show up in one's forehead, roundworm under one's nose, liver problems in the eyes, etc.

(4) At first the ability to sense Byosen differs depending on individuals but as you practice healing others anyone can develop the ability gradually.

Do not rush this process, take your time and get used to the feelings, not just in your hands but what you think/intuition.

Reiji - The ability to find imbalances in the body.

This is a really wonderful technique and should be practiced by all Reiki Levels.

Description.....  Reiji is something you develop in the course of practicing Reiki.

(Reiki will tell you where to put your hands on and how long)

(1) Sit with your back upright  and straight. Do Gasso and focus your attention on your tanden.

(2) Release every tension  in your body and relax.
     Connect to Reiki and become aware that you are part of  the Reiki energy.

(3) Get used to this feeling for a while and then move your hands in Gassho up to the level of your forehead wait for a sign that you are ready then allow Reiki to guide you to the problem area automatically (Your hands are "called"). When you are finished with that part, your hands will be "called" to where it is needed next. The process is repeated as needed.

(4) If there are not any parts of the recipient's body where Reiki is needed or all the required healing is done, your hands will be naturally guided onto your knees when you are sitting or to the sides of your body when you are standing.


Seiheki Chiryo-ho (A version of "Nentatsu-ho)

You can use this technique for yourself or others. When you do it for others, make sure the message given is what the person wants. It is better and more effective to exercise short ones many times than giving a long one.

(1) Place one hand on the forehead and the other on the back of the head. Transmit the pure message through the hand on the forehead for one to two minutes. (The message could be an affirmation to improve personality, correct bad habits, etc.)

(2) Remove your hand on the forehead but keep the other hand on the back of the head for more than 5 minutes and give Reiki. While giving Reiki, no message should be transmitted.

(3) You can use this technique for yourself or others. When you do it for others, make sure the message given is what the person wants. It is better and more effective to exercise short ones many times than giving a long one.


Ketsueki Kokan-ho (Ketsueki Joka-ho)

These are really Massage techniques and most Masseurs will know them.
They are very similar to Lymph Drainage Techniques.

This is called Blood Cleansing and is practiced in two ways. Half Body or Full Body.

<Hanshin Koketsu ho> (Half body blood cleansing)

<Zenshin koketsu ho> (Full body blood cleansing)


Uchi-te/Oshi-te/Nade-te -  Taping-hand/ Pushing-hand/ Stroking-hand

1. Uchi-te Chiryo-ho  - Tapping

This means to lightly and rhythmically tap or pat the qi field with either your palm or fingertips. This is useful to relieve stagnation or congestion and to improve circulation, (in Tui-na Chinese Massage tapping is applied directly to the body for the same purpose) The therapist taps with either fingers, palm, back of hand, side of hand, or fist to produce varying degrees of stimulation.

2. Oshi-te Chiryo-ho  - Pushing hand/Pulsing

Means to ever so slightly open and close the palm. Stretch the fingers and hand open, then relax. Do this repeatedly at a steady pace. the qi is emitted from the centre of the hand. The indications for pulsing are similar to tapping. Stimulates and improves circulation. Pulsing can be used over any area of the body that requires it, including specific accupressure points. If you pulse directly over an acupuncture point, it is easy to feel tingling and warmth at the point or radiating along the meridian.

3. Nade-te Chiryo-ho   - Stroking hand/Waving

Is very useful for congestion or pain. The fingertips sweep down the patients energy field, as though brushing the pain away.

The three above techniques can be found in many Qi Gong books.


Ibuki-ho  -  The breathing out method .       Using the breath to heal untouchable areas. (burns)

Koki-ho and Gyoshi-ho (Healing with breathing and staring)

(1) If you feel hot in your chest, mouth or nose when you give Reiki, then you can give Reiki with your breath. Breath in though your nose then breath out softly, onto the area where you want to give Reiki to. This technique is useful especially when you want to give Reiki to where you cannot touch, burnt area for an example. You can also visualise the Reiki symbols as you do this and draw them on the roof of your mouth.

(2) Eyes can give out Reiki, too. You just look at the area to be healed and feel that the area be cleansed and healed. You should not try hard to focus or glare just a very relaxed state.


Shu Chu Reiki - The Traditional method of The Group Treatment

Description....  Several practitioners working together.


Nentatsu-Ho  -  The method for sending a thought  or wish.

Making an affirmation for yourself or other.


Tanden Chiryo-ho - (Tanden Treatment-Method )

This is an excellent techniques and I have used it with great effect on many occasions.
Also good for self healing.
(Depoisoning technique, all illness is poison to the body)
This technique can also be found in some Qi Gong books.

(1) Place one hand on Tanden (3 cm below the navel), and the other hand on your upper forehead .

(2) Wait for the energy to balance in both hands. (sometimes better just off the body)

(2) Take off the hand on your forehead and place it on top of the other on the Tanden.

(3) With both hands on tanden, let the Reiki flow thru tanden for as long as you feel, maybe 20-30 minutes.


Jakikiri Joka-ho (Purifying negative energy)

A technique for removing strong negative energy and vibratory disorder by purifying with Reiki energy and putting in positive energy. This applies to objects, crystals etc.


Six 'Levels' were incorporated within the Reiki system, six being the lowest.

Shoden, Okuden and Shinpiden refer to what is taught and are similar to what is taught in the west as :

Reiki Degree's 1. 2. 3.

The Levels 6 - 1 refer to the students ability to channel and work with Reiki energy.

Oku-den is not taught until a student actually reaches the 3rd. Level.

Usui Sensei placed himself at 2nd. Level.

The 1st Level being reserved for someone who would surpass Usui Sensei himself.

This gesture was to encourage his pupils to work hard in many dimensions, especially in spiritual growth.

The 3rd Rank is the highest any student can reach.

When Oku-den is taught and Shinpi-den the student still remained at 3rd. Level.

Within Shinpi-den the ability to use the Empowerment and  pass teachings to others is taught. The learning of Reiju is the 'penultimate Level' the top level you may discover yourself.


I have recently been given the following level's information.

I am indebted to the late Melissa Riggal for kindly supplying this information.
It was used by her school of  Reiki Traditional Japanese Reiki in Canada.

These were the levels taught to her by Tatsumi who was a student of Hayashi.

== public levels ==

rokyu Transformation 1

gokyu Transformation 2

yonkyu Transformation 3

sankyu Transformation 4

nikyu Transformation 5 (symbol #1)

ikkyu Transformation 6 (symbol #2)

shodan Transformation 7 (symbol #3)

These levels can be seen on certificates displayed at and belonged to Mr. Ogawa.

== privileged level ==

nidan Transformation 8 (symbol #4)

== secret levels ==





shichidan (shinpidan)

Later (around 1930-31) Hayashi began teaching a 4 level system:

shoden: rokyu + gokyu + yonkyu + sankyu 4 Transformations

choden: nikyu + ikkyu + shodan symbol #1, 2 and 3

okuden: nidan symbol #4

shinpiden: sandan teacher


Gakkai teaching

*In the original Usui Reiki Ryoho ('Ryoho' means: method of healing), after you received the first level Reiju (attunement) the student will continue his/her practice for many years and  will receive many Reiju from the teacher. In this way the student's ability will increase, and only then will the offer be made for the student to progress to Okuden. Level 1 is never to be regarded as a low level. After the student has practiced Level 1 thoroughly, and should s/he wish to learn a higher level, then it will feel natural to move onto Okuden.

This is contrary to what many Western Reiki Teachers claim, especially those who teach the two levels in one course.

Traditionally teaching continues until the student is proficient at that level.