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A Brief History
The person first associated with Reiki was Mikao Usui, born in 1865 in Japan. In 1922 after a 21 day fast and meditation, Usui was said to have attained enlightenment. Having a well-rounded education including medicine, history, religion and psychology he began teaching in the early the 20th century. His intention was to guide an individual’s spiritual development through meditation, contemplation and Usui teate (Usui hands on healing method). His focus was was to teach as many as possible about Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Society for Usui’s Spiritual Healing Method). Usui passed in 1926.
In 1925 Churijo Hayashi, a Naval Surgeon and Soto Zen practitioner, came to train with Usui. This was not as unusual as it might seem since naval officers often used Reiki as first aid. After Usui passed, Hayashi came to be known for his teaching of Reiki. In 1931, he separated from Usui’s society forming his own Hayashi Reiki Kenkyu Kai (Hayashi’s Society for the Research of Spiritual Energy). With his vast medical background, Hayashi wrote a text which included options for treatment of many disorders.
Hawayo Takata, a first generation Japanese-American, was born in 1900 in Hawaii. In 1935 after her husband’s death she began to suffer a number of health problems. She traveled to Japan and while in Tokyo seeking medical treatment, she was directed to Churijo Hayashi’s clinic. It was there she regained her health and she became intrigued with Reiki’s healing ability. Although customarily not permitted to be taught to foreigners, Takata became Hayashi’s student and after Hayashi passed in 1940, Takata was the only source in the West about Reiki. While Takata was aware of traditional treatments that were passed to her by Hayashi, there are indications she took creative liberty in modifying some protocols due to her belief Westerners did not have an adequate understanding of the human energy system (through a Japanese perspective).
Reiki as taught under Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai has not left Japan nor is it traditionally taught to non-Japanese. In this form of Reiki a devoted spiritual practice is included, the result of which is somatic and physical balance. The form of Reiki that has been practiced in the West since the 1940’s and with which we are most familiar can be attributed to Hayashi Reiki Kenkyu Kai with adaptations credited to Hawayo Takata. As practiced in the West, this system of healing has been associated with the chakra system and focuses less on spiritual practice, more on therapeutic application.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the National Institutes of Health Practices have identified Reiki as a modality which interacts with energy fields, also called biofields, of the body. In the East the basic premise for wellness suggests that one’s life force energy be balanced and that when in balance, the natural result is health in body and mind. It is when stressors begin to accumulate in the system that turmoil is created which can result in disease or an imbalanced mind. According to Pamela Miles: “Reiki has the potential to rebalance the biofield at the deepest vibrational level, thereby removing the subtle causes of illness while enhancing overall resilience.”
One of the reasons people seek out CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) is that Western medicine often fails to address relief of disorders where the symptoms tend to be somatic and subjectively experienced. These symptoms, (i.e., pain) often result in a lower level of quality of life for the individual. Studies reveal that application of Reiki results in decreased heart and respiration rates, increased parasympathetic activity, and measurable reduction of anxiety as well as systolic blood pressure. For those that practice or have received Reiki, there is little doubt there are physiological and psychological benefits. Reducing autonomic nervous system response appears to enhance the ability of experiencing a higher level quality of life and for this reason alone, Reiki can serve as a valuable adjunct therapy to allopathic medicine.
In addition to being a Reiki Master Practitioner, I have been trained to incorporate the benefits of Reiki with Guided Imagery. The premise in this regard: there are ultimately two ways to face an unpleasant situation. We can be fearful and anxious or,… we can create and focus on a scenario which is an absolute alternate possibility. The situation is as it is. Our response to the situation is the only thing we have an option to transform.
Using this winning combination of Reiki and Guided Imagery, you can transform an unpleasant situation into something manageable. Through a guided imagery process, we will access the incredible power of the mind to address uncertainties ranging from health issues (i.e., surgery, illness,... ) to stressful circumstances (flying, job interview, taking a test,...). Combining this with Reiki, we create an inner environment of peacefulness and safety. It is here that we, working together, can restructure concerns then create and implement a scenario of power and strength.
Testimonials for Reiki and Guided Imagery
I had a history of traumatic events with going to the dentist. So much so that even a cleaning at the dentist would have me sleepless and nervous prior to the visit. I spoke with Eve about the anxiety I was experiencing, and decided to give the guided imagery a try. I know of the power of the mind, and that your thoughts create your reality, but as much as I tried to talk myself into not being fearful of the dentist visit, it just wasn't working. After a phone consult and interview with Eve, we scheduled an appointment.
The session was extremely relaxing, but also empowering. The combination of the Reiki with the imagery session allowed the suggestions to go so deep into my being, that I could feel the transformation in thought from just the one session. I practiced my imagery session every day and upon the day of my dentist appointment, went in confidently, without anxiety. And the procedure went flawlessly. During the procedure, when my mind would slip to the place of fear, I was able to cancel it out with my more powerful tool of the imagery now imbibed in my memory. The session was truly transformational and I would highly recommend guided imagery for anyone wishing to shift from a current negative state into a more empowered state of being. - Linda W.
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I just graduated college, was studying for my CPA exam, whilst moving out and starting my career. I was having a hard time focusing on the exam and Eve suggested I try Reiki and Imagery session. She helped me correlate things together such as a ring I wore that brought me strength and the color green that made me think of success. I tried the Imagery session the night before my exam and I truly believe my exam day was more successful because of her.
Going into my exam, I was most worried about being too nervous and unable to focus because of the nervousness. I sat down at the exam seat and looked at the computer and remembered all the key points Eve pointed out to me the previous night. I felt more relaxed and that was key to my exam. She also gave me a cotton ball with a relaxing essential oil blend to put into my shirt. I correlated the smell, the ring, and the color green to my future success and my ability to stay calm and collected during the exam. I still use the essential oil blend when I need to focus. - Nicole B.
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I have been a client of Eve's for years. I have received various services from her, including massage, reiki, aromatherapy and guided relaxations. As a clinician, I appreciate Eve's attentiveness to detail and ongoing commitment to developing her skills as a healer and massage therapist. Recently, I moved from New Jersey to New York City. Before taking my state boards, I contacted Eve to setup a guided relaxation over the phone the night before. She immediately relieved my excessive stress and worries through a soothing hour long, customized practice. She provided practical energetic tools for emotional regulation during the exam and I am thrilled to say that I passed with a very high score. I have Eve to thank as a healer and guiding light in my life. She is highly skilled in a variety of healing techniques. I highly recommend her reiki and guided imagery services. She is a true healer and energetic master. - Elisabeth B.
Resources for A Brief History of Reiki
Essential Reiki, A Complete Guide to an Ancient Healing Art, Diane Stein. The Crossing Press. Freedom, CA
Reiki, A Comprehensive Guide, Pamela Miles. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, New York.
The Original Reiki Handbook of Dr. Mikao Usui, Dr. Mikao Usui and Frank Argava Petter. Lotus Press. Twin Lakes, WI.
Vibrational Medicine – The #1 Handbook of Subtle Energy Therapies, Richard Gerber, MD. Bear & Company, Rochester, NY