What is Reiki Ryoho?

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  • Written By: Donn Saylor
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2019
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Reiki Ryoho is the traditional name of the alternative healing technique known as reiki, which utilizes the alignment of spiritual energy to heal the body and mind. Though various schools and types of reiki have developed, Reiki Ryoho is considered the original form of the practice as developed by the Japanese healer Mikao Usui in 1922 and is the most widely taught reiki style in the Western world. Among the reported benefits of doing Reiki Ryoho are an equalization of imbalances in the body, mind, and spirit; the cultivation of harmonious and stress-free states; and a creation of personal empowerment and positive self-image.

Mikao Usui was a Japanese Buddhist who developed Reiki Ryoho after achieving enlightenment. Usui claimed the idea for Reiki Ryoho came to him in the form of a spiritual revelation, which entered his brain through the crown chakra and inspired the direction his life would take. He relocated to Tokyo and began teaching and practicing Reiki Ryoho to anyone who was interested. Usui opened his first school in Tokyo and gained a loyal following of students, who would eventually carry on the practice of Reiki Ryoho after the sensei's death.

According to Usui, Reiki Ryoho has five guiding principles: do not get angry today, do not worry today, express your gratitude, do your work honestly, and be kind to others. These are the core tenets of Reiki Ryoho. Though various reiki traditions have developed over the decades, these five simple principles remain universal.


Learning Reiki Ryoho entails a connection with a universal consciousness that will bring about a two-fold process of healing. The spiritual element of Reiki Ryoho initiates the spiritual growth and evolution of the reiki recipient, inspiring him or her to look at the unhealthy patterns and obstacles to happiness that have caused a disconnect from the spiritual energy flow. The energetic element of Reiki Ryoho is the aspect of the technique that uses healing energy to alleviate pain and suffering of the body, mind, and emotional states.

During reiki classes, participants learn the principles and applications of the technique, which involve 12 basic hand positions along various meridians and chakras in the body. The hands direct the flow of energy that instigates the healing process. There are three levels of Reiki Ryoho education: First Degree, Second Degree, and Master or Teacher Degree. This accreditation allows practitioners to be recognized as certified Reiki Ryoho professionals and, in some countries, is mandatory for practitioners before they can acquire insurance.


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