There has always been some debate about hand positions
in Reiki. Some teachers attach no importance to them at all, and
advise their students to just put their hands wherever they feel
like it. Other teachers demand that they be done exactly and precisely
the same way every time. I was taught by the latter method. No
variations, no side trips, no intuitive leaps.
Hawayo Takata always insisted that a full body treatment
be done except in very exceptional circumstances. 'Some Reiki'
she would say, 'is better than no Reiki at all.'
Dr. Usui, on the other hand, according to recent
reports, apparantly placed his hands according to his own diagnosis
and did not follow any prescribed pattern. The speculation is
that he followed his own internal intuition. In my view it is
much more probable that he followed ancient principals of diagnosis
and hand placement according to the Chinese Meridian and Acupoint
Thanks to the work of Frank Petter, William Rand
and others it is becoming much clearer that there is actually
a scientific basis for placing the hands on specific areas of
the body to achieve particular results and not a matter of intuition,
angel guides, or anything like that.
For all those who have ever wondered if hand positions
are important and why we place our hands the way we do, the answer
is they are, and we place them according to scientifically proven
points on the body that produce specific healing effects.
The result of this research leads me to conclude
that while Reiki may be seen as an 'intuitive' system, it is one
that is based on extensive knowledge and experience. In the absence
of extensive knowledge and experience, intuition in my view seems
like mere guesswork.
Logic and intuition, though, working together in
harmony produces miracles. To me this is one of the more important
teachings of Reiki.
As regular visiters to this site know, I have spent
the last several years in the practice of TCM/Acupuncture as well
In brief, TCM practice is aimed at the manipulation
of Qi (the Ki of Reiki) in the body to treat illness and promote
health and well-being.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a 5,000 year
old medical practice that encompasses a wide range of theoretical
approaches and practical techniques and firmly established in
the esoteric healing traditions of Japan.
Acupuncture came to Japan in 502 AD. The Chinese
government of the day presented the Mikado of Japan with the "Canon
of Acupuncture". Zhi Cong (pronounced Gee Tsong) brought
charts of Acupuncture and Moxibustion and other medical texts.
In the 7th century, the Japanese government sent
doctors to China to study and issued an imperial decree to copy
the medical educational system of the Chinese Tang dynasty. It
set up a specialty of Acupuncture and Moxibustion.
The Japanese embraced these practices, as they have
embraced many things Chinese over the millenia and developed them
along their own lines.
From my research, it is apparant that Dr. Usui's
system of natural healing is based on ancient principals and his
techniques are quite familiar to anyone who has studied TCM. He
has apparantly drawn from Qi Gong practice, Tuina Massage practice,
and Acupuncture practice and woven various techniques of his own
into his unique system.
While it is apparant that Reiki is not Acupuncture,
it is at the same time based on the same theories of Qi flow,
energetic entry points, and manual manipulations to invoke and
facilitate the flow of Qi in the body, but with both a Japanese
and a personal spin.
The idea of fine tuning as a sort of short cut to
developing the ability to emit Qi, which came to him in a vision
on Mount Kuryama, is one that seems unique to Reiki and one that
is very appealing to impatient westerners. In the East, these
practices routinely take 20 - 30 years to master. Even in Usui's
system, a fine tuning in no way prepares a student to begin a
healing practice. A student needed to demonstrate the ability
to 'emit Qi', at a specified level before being allowed on to
the next level.
In virtually all eastern practices, mastery of the
physical is a pre-requisite to being allowed to advance to metaphysical
and/or spiritual studies.
This by the way, is not an argument to diminish
all that Reiki has become in the West; a return to the womb, as
it were. While I might be something of a 'purist' at heart, with
more than 50 different practices having Reiki in their name, clearly,
there are forces and principals at work that encourage and reinforce
our work in the West with metaphysical energies. There is much
more to it, in my view, than simple impatience. Western Reiki,
in all its myriad forms clearly has a presence.
The question for me is do we continue to ignore
Reiki's clear scientific roots and healing potential or do we
On these pages I am setting out to explore the links
between Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medical theories, and
Reiki. I must confess this is not so easily done. Both systems
actually have numerous streams and methods. It is quite easy to
get bogged down in the details.
Still both Chinese medicine and Reiki have a rich
history of embracing divergent and often contradictory viewpoints
into an wholistic system of health, healing, metaphysical and
The mission, if I may call it that, is to figure
out how everything fits.
Usui Hand Positions - Self
of Reiki 2