What is Usui Reiki?

Traditional Usui Reiki - Usui Shiki Ryoh

Usui ReikiReiki is a Japanese form of hands-on healing using Univeral life force energy, also known as Ki, chi or prana, to heal physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and bring about a state of balance and harmony.

Reiki is a Japanese word which means “Universal Life Force Energy” or a mysterious, ethereal and sacred energy of heaven and earth, that is, of the universe that sustains all life. Reiki Ryoho (pronounced Ray-key Ree-oh-hoh), means Reiki therapy or Reiki Healing Art. 

The name Reiki derives from two Japanese characters rei’ (meaning ‘unseen’ or ‘spiritual’) and ki meaning ‘energy’ or ‘life force’, similar to the Chi or Qi referred to in China, the Prana of India, or the Mana of Hawaii and other names around the world. In English, the meaning of Reiki is often given as ‘Universal life force energy’ or “Spiritually guided life force energy”.

This energy,  has been used for centuries for healing, and bringing the body, mind & soul back into balance. The energy was also used and experimented with, by such doctors, scientists & scholars as Pythagoras, Hippocrates, Paracelsus, Mesmer, Reichenbach, Quimby and Edgar Cayce, to name but a few, but was known under several different names such as Orgone.

Even our Aboriginal Traditional Healers, known as the Ngangkari, use a form of energy medicine, in fact Carol did some Reiki on a couple of these amazing healers when they came to Dubbo in 2019 to work with other indigenous people.

Reiki is a safe, natural, holistic therapy which brings about healing on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. It is said that healing may occur in any or all of these domains in a single treatment, without a complete understanding needed by either the practitioner or the recipient. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been promoted as being effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery. An amazingly simple technique to learn, the ability to use Reiki is not taught in the usual sense but is transferred to the student during a Reiki class. This ability is passed on during an “attunement” given by a Reiki Master and allows the student to tap into an unlimited supply of “life force energy” to improve one’s health and enhance the quality of life.

Healing is aimed at a full and complete resolution of the causes of the dis-ease. Healing is returning to a state of alignment with your Higher Self or true way of being. Reiki also works well with conventional medical treatments.

When we have emotional issues going on in our lives it can cause a block in the flow of our energy field or aura. If we are unable to deal with these issues, the block may move through the layers to manifest as illness or injury. When the paractitioner does Reiki on himself/herself or others, the energy blockage is cleared, allowing the mind-body-soul system to return back into homeostasis, which then speeds up the  healing process and return back to health and balance once more. The Reiki practitioner is simply the channel or hollow reed, through which the energy flows. It is drawn by the client/patient to use for their highest good, whether that is for physical, mental, emotional or spiritual purposes, or a combination of any of these levels.

Reiki is based on the premise that universal energy flows through all living things. When we have emotional issues going on in our lives it can cause a block in the flow of our energy field or aura. If we are unable to deal with these issues, the block may move through the layers to manifest as illness or injury. When blockages occur this energy cannot flow freely through the body resulting in a range of disorders – emotional, physical and spiritual. 

Using the traditional Usui method, Reiki life energy is channeled through the hands of the practitioner to the client whilst you are fully clothed. When the paractitioner does Reiki on himself/herself or others, the energy blockage is cleared, allowing the mind-body-soul system to return back into homeostasis, which then speeds up the  healing process and return back to health and balance once more. The Reiki practitioner is simply the channel or hollow reed, through which the energy flows. It is drawn by the client/patient to use for their highest good, whether that is for physical, mental, emotional or spiritual purposes, or a combination of any of these levels. There are many applications for this form of natural therapy.

You may experience the transfer of the Reiki energy as a warm tingling sensation, tingling, coolness or other sensations. Distant healing can also be done by a Level 2 Reiki practitioner or higher, who is trained to do so, to send Reiki Healing to others who are not physically present. This is similar to Prayer Power and can be accurately shown to work, which has been validated by scientific testing.

Carol Macrae had been a Registered Nurse in the past, then went on to help her husband own and operate fitness centres for more than 20 years.

She learned Reiki in 1998 after her knees had been swollen for three years due to managing fitness centres and teaching too many high impact aerobic classes every week for over 10 years. Even though surgeons told her there was a 20% chance an operation could fix her knees, and that she could never exercise again, not even go for walks, she was devestated, but would not give up.

Reiki found Carol after a series of events which culminated in a Reiki book falling off a shelf in front of her in a book shop. After reading this book, she knew that she would have to fix herself. After taking the Reiki Levels 1 and 2 classes in Byron Bay, Carol returned home, put her hands on her knees for 20 minutes, then went to bed. In the morning when she worke, the pain and swelling was gon forever and her knees were fully healed. She exclaimed “Oh my God, this is not my imagination, this is real!” Three weeks later Carol began doing Reiki treatments on clients and saw miracles appear below her hands!

A year later Carol trained to become a Reiki and Seichim (Egyptian Healing) Master and Teacher. Three weeks later Carol started teaching Reiki to her students, who had been her clients who also wanted to be able to share this gift with their families and friends. Since then Carol has taught over 700 students and has 76 Reiki Masters she has also trained, so that they too can share the magic that is Reiki. 

This was the beginning of Carol’s life work as a healer, Clinical and 5-PATH Hypnothersapist, Touch For Health Kinesilogist, Theta Healer and Spiritual leader in her community. Carol has learned many other techniques such as Kinetic Shift and other mind-body techniques. 

Her quest has always been to heal herself, then share what she has learned with others. Like a drop of water in a bucket, as we help one person at a time, they change their lives, and the effects spread out to have an effect of others we may never know. 

Everything is energy, and the only the only thing that limits us is our belief. When we work in this field, miracles happen!

The Benefits of Reiki

Reiki is a safe, gentle, non-intrusive touch therapy, which restores the natural energy balance of the body, promoting harmony in all areas of one’s life and bringing wholeness to the recipient and giver.

Here are some of the benefits of Reiki:

  • Treats symptoms & causes of illnesses & heals holistically.
  • Strengthens life force energy & immune system.
  • Relieves pain and stress.
  • Provides deep relaxation, evoking a sense of peace and well being.
  • Clears away energy blockages in the body, to increase the rate that it heals and returns to wellness.
  • May bring clarity and insights helping to improve one’s outlook on life.
  • Strengthens creativity, awareness and intuition, and promotes creativity.
  • Helps meditative states.
  • Compliments the healing properties of traditional medicine, naturopathy, massage, shiatsu, bowen, meditation and other healing modalities. 
  • We do not encourage anyone to discontinue any form of modern medicine or treatments, we offer our practice of complementary therapies as a way of working with your existing program to enhance your healing process.
  • Is NOT a religion and holds no creeds or doctrines.
  • Anyone can do Reiki!

Reiki Workshops

Carol runs Reiki and Seichim workshops in Dubbo, NSW, Australia on a regular basis throughout the year. People from all walks of life have used Reiki to help heal themselves, their family, friends and clients. Cleck our Workshop Page for more details or book from the link above.

The History of Reiki

Miko Usui

Mikao Usui was a Japanese Tendai Buddhist who studied Kiko, a form of Martial Arts similar to Qiging. In 1922 he went on a search to discover a healing method, similar to that used by Jesus and the Buddha, that would not deplete his own life force energy. After years of dedicated research and a twenty-one-day retreat on Mount Kurama, involving meditation, fasting, and prayer. Usui claimed that by mystical revelation he had gained the knowledge and spiritual power to apply and attune others to what is called “Reiki”.

After this experience he began back down the mountain and was, from this moment on, able to heal. On his way down the mountain he kicked his toe, which bled profusely. He placed his hands on the toe, and the bleeding stopped. On this first day alone he healed his toe, his own starvation, an ailing tooth of the in-keeper’s daughter and the Abbots sickness, which was keep-ing him bedridden. These are known as the first four miracles.

In 1922 Usui moved to Tokyo and started a healing society which he named Usui Shiki Ryoho, which means “The Usui System of Reiki Healing”. He also opened a Reiki Clinic in Harajuka, Aoyama, Tokyo. There he taught classes and gave treatments. He initially created three degrees for his training, which he called Shoden (First Degree), Okuden (Second Degree) and Shnipiden (Mystery Teaching or Reiki Master). It is thought that he may have included an additional 3 levels This has been verified by other members of the Usui Shiki Reiki Ryoho, which still exists in Japan, although he still only used the same four Reiki Symbols which we use in the West, today.

In 1923 the great Kanto earthquake devastated Tokyo. More than 140,000 people died and over half the houses and buildings were destroyed. An overwhelming number of people were left homeless, injured, sick and grieving. Usui felt great compassion for the people and began treating as many as he could with Reiki. Demand for Reiki became so great that he outgrew his clinic, so in 1925 he built a bigger one in Nakano, Tokyo. Because of this, his reputation as a healer spread all over Japan. He began to travel so he could teach and treat more people. During his travels across Japan he directly taught more than 2,000 student and initiated 16 teachers. The Japanese Government issued him with a ‘Kun San To’ Humanitarian Award, for doing honourable work to help others.

The Usui Memorial is a 10 by four foot memorial stone located on Mt Kurama. The Memorial tells the story of Usui Reiki system of healing, and what a great service Mikao Usui did for the world.

While teaching at Fukuyama, he suffered a stroke and died on March 9th, 1926. He was 62 years old. His grave is at Saihojo Temple, in Suginami, Tokyo, although some claim his ashes are elsewhere.

An amazingly simple technique to learn, the ability to use Reiki is not taught in the usual sense but is transferred to the student during a Reiki class or workshop. This ability is passed on during an “attunement” given by a Reiki Master and allows the student to tap into an unlimited supply of “life force energy” to improve one’s health and enhance the quality of life.

One of Usui’s 16 students was Chujiro Hyashi, who trained Mrs Hawayo Takata. From there Usui Reiki Ryoho spread to the west, and now there are thousands of Reiki students world-wide, who share the gift of Reiki with their families, friends and communities. Reiki is finally becoming accepted as a wonderful natural therapy which can often heal where other traditional therapies have failed, once the mind, body and soul are in alignment and energy flowing once more.


Chujiro Hayashi

During Usui’s travels he met Dr Chujiro Hayashi, a Naval Commander in the Naval Reserve. He came from a well educated and well to do family. Hayashi met Dr Usui in the marketplace holding a lit torch announcing his lecture at a nearby temple.

Dr Hayashi was very impressed with the sincerity and  conviction of Dr Usui. When asked by Usui to accompany him in his travels, Dr Hayashi agreed. And they travelled around teaching and healing. Dr Hayashi was one of the  16 Reiki Masters Usui personally trained. Hayashi trained a total of 13 Reiki Masters.

It is believed that Dr Hayashi developed the practice of treatment by using specific hand placements over the body. An organised method of hand placements allows for full coverage of the whole body, the organs, glands and chakras (energy centres).

Dr Hayashi passed away on Tuesday, May 10, 1940. This was just prior to World War II and it was clear that Japan would enter the war. Being a Reserve Officer, Dr Hayashi knew he would be recalled to duty and therefore become responsible for killing many people. This he did not want to do, and so determined to end his life. 

Before he died, it is thought that he passed his Reiki leadership over to Mrs Takata (perhaps because she would not be in Japan at the time of war, and therefore would be relatively safe and able to continue the practice). 

Hawayo Takata

Mrs Hawayo Takata is credited for bringing Reiki to the West. Mrs Takata was born on the island of Kauai in Hawaii, on Christmas Eve 1900 of Japanese descent. Eventually she married and had 2 daughters. In October 1930 Mrs Takata’s husband Saichi died, leaving her to raise their daughters alone. In order to do this she had to work very hard with little rest. After 5 years she became very sick with severe abdominal pain, a lung condition and a nervous breakdown. Soon after, Mrs Takata’s sister died, and it was her job to travel to Japan to visit her family there, and inform them of the death of her sister.

After informing her parents, she entered a hospital and was diagnosed with a tumour, gallstones, appendicitis and asthma. The doctors were going to operate, and as she was being prepared she kept hearing a voice saying “Operation not necessary“. Eventually she got off the table asking, “Is there another way?” The doctor had a sister who had been cured of dysentery at Dr Hayashi’s clinic and suggested that Mrs Takata talk with his sister. The sister brought Mrs Takata to the clinic and her treatments there began.

After 4 months Mrs Takata became completely well and she then wanted to learn Reiki for herself. Eventually Mrs Takata was able to persuade Dr Hayashi to train her in Reiki. She worked and trained under Hayashi, which took a year and brought her to what we would now call Reiki Level II. After this year she returned to Hawaii. 

In November 1936 Dr Hayashi came to Hawaii for a speaking tour to promote Reiki. During this time he trained Mrs Takata to teach Reiki, thus making her what we now  would call a Reiki Master, and announced this in Hawaii on February 21st, 1938. As he left Hawaii he asked her to come to see him when he summoned her.

After some time, World War II was nearing as it had begun in Europe. Dr Hayashi appeared to Mrs Takata in a dream asking her to come to Japan. She did this and found Dr Hayashi in his Naval Uniform, which he had taken out of storage. He was distressed. With the coming war he knew it was a matter of time before the Navy would call him out of retirement and he would be asked to perform actions he was not capable of doing due to his spiritual development. At this time he called all the Reiki Masters to a gathering, announced Mrs Takata to be the leader of Reiki, and then announced he would kill his physical body through bursting three blood vessels in his head. And as he continued speaking and lecturing those blood vessels burst and he died.

Mrs Takata returned to Hawaii and continued using and teaching Reiki. Eventually she moved to California, continuing to use and teach Reiki. It was not until 1970 that Mrs Takata began initiating Masters.

Mrs Takata initiated 22 Masters in the System of Reiki, and there it spread to the rest of the world.

Mrs. Takata’s 22 Masters
George Araki
Dorothy Baba
Ursula Baylow
Rick Bockner
Patricia Bowling
Barbara Brown
Fran Brown
Phyllis Furumoto
Beth Gray
John Gray
Iris Ishikuro

Harry Kuboi
Ethel Lombardi
Barbara McCullough
Mary McFadyen
Paul Mitchell
Bethel Phaigh
Shinobu Saito
Virginia Samdahl
Wanja Twan
Barbara Weber Ray
Kay Yamashita

The Reiki Precepts

These are the Reiki Ideals which were developed by Sensei Mikao Usui, inspired by the Meji Emporor of the time, to act as principles to live by. Students were encouraged to kneel to meditate with hands in Gassho (Prayer Position) twice a day, and recite these words.

Just for Today, I let go of Anger
Just for Today, I let go of Worry
Just for Today, I count my many Blessings
Just for Today, I do my work Honestly
Just for Today, I will be kind to my Neighbour and Every Living Thing
(Note: every living thing includes YOU. Be kind to YOU!)

The Original Reiki Ideals

The secret art of inviting happiness
The miraculous medicine of all diseases

Just for today, do not be angry
Do not worry and be filled with gratitude
Devote yourself to your work and be kind to people
Every morning and evening join your hands in prayer,
Pray these words to your heart,

And chant these words with your mouth
Usui Reiki treatment for the improvement of body and mind

The founder … Usui Mikao


The Reiki Precepts and the Six Paramitas

When Japanese Buddhist teachers (for example Shugendo, Shingon, and Tendai priests) have been shown the Reiki Precepts, they point out that the precepts are linked to the six paramitas. Takeda Ajarai, an esteemed Shingon priest, feels that Mikao Usui created the Reiki precepts to allow his students to have a direct experience of the six paramitas without actually pointing the six paramitas out to them. This might have been done because in Mikao Usui’s time the Meji Emperor decided to separate Shinto and Buddhism in Japan. State Shinto was introduced and was promoted in the name of national unity and patriotic duty. Therefore, Mikao Usui might have created a simple form of the six paramitas which was more accessible to people who had to practice State Shinto.

The Reiki precepts are listed here in Japanese:

Kyo dake wa
Shinpai suna
Kansha shite
Gyo o hage me
Hito ni shin-setsu ni

This can be translated in different ways depending not only on how the kanji is read, but also on the spiritual state of mind of the translator. I personally like this translation of the precepts:

For today only
Do not anger
Do not worry
Be grateful
Practice diligently
Show compassion to yourself and others

The six paramitas are listed here:

  • Generosity
  • Morality
  • Patience
  • Persistence
  • Concentration
  • Wisdom

Let’s have a look and see how the Reiki precepts and the six paramitas intertwine with each other. 

Generosity means giving and sharing. In Japanese Buddhism, there are different elements of giving. One is the gift of material things, but a much more generous gift is the gift of no more fear. The gift of no more fear is that as people we do not become angry, so we do not instill fear in others. Fear is also interlinked with worry; when we do not worry, we become calmer and therefore can radiate that calmness out to others. One of the most generous gifts we can give to others is to share the teachings on how to embody the Reiki precepts in their daily lives. If everyone embodied the precepts, the world would be a better place for all of us, people and animals alike. Real giving also needs to come from an egoless state of mind, giving without strings attached. This in essence means that we have a state of mind in which there is no giver, no gift, and no receiver. This can only start to happen when we let go of the ego, the “I”. Mikao Usui pointed this out in the precepts as well, because when we let go of the “I”, then there is no “I” who gets angry or worried. There is no “I” who gets in the way of being grateful and compassionate. And there is no “I” who gets in the way of not practicing diligently.

Morality means that we have to look at our moral conduct: moral conduct is the embodiment of the precepts. There are three elements of morality. The first is refraining from negative actions, like anger and worry. We often think worry is for ourselves, but it also is about not instilling worry in someone else. The second element is about accumulating positive actions, which links to being grateful. We have to be grateful for all things in life, for it is only through being grateful for both “good” and “bad” that we start to be positive in life. And the third aspect of morality is helping others, which is of course linked in with showing compassion to others. The deepest form of compassion we can show to others is in helping them to rediscover their True Self, their essence, because it is only in that state of rediscovery that they can start to really heal themselves.

The paramita of patience is about acceptance. This not only is linked to being grateful but also to anger. When we are patient with someone we will get less angry with them, and also will be less angry within ourselves. Patience therefore is the real antidote to anger.

Persistence is linked to practicing diligently. Without practicing diligently the meditation practices Mikao Usui placed in his teachings, we will not start to embody the precepts in our heart; they will be merely empty words that we repeat. Therefore the deeper aspect of persistence is the willingness to embody the precepts in our life so that we can help others. Persistence is therefore also interlinked with compassion. The deepest level of compassion we can show to ourselves is the willingness to rediscover our True Self, our essence, because it is only at this stage that we can help others to find their True Self. If we don’t know how to find it ourselves, how can we help others to do so?

Concentration is about meditative concentration, so that we do not get angry and worried. We get angry or worried because we are not mindful, not focused. The deepest aim of concentration is rediscovering our True Self and it is only from this rediscovery that we can embody the precepts in all we do. This in turn will create a better world, because if we do not get angry and worried, if we are grateful and compassionate, then this state of heart-mind will have a huge healing effect on everything around us.

Wisdom is about the complete embodiment of the precepts.

This wisdom is the foundation for no more anger and no more worry.

This wisdom is the base on which we can rest our gratitude for whatever happens to us.

This wisdom gives us strength and energy to practice diligently.

This wisdom shows us a clear path to being compassionate to ourselves and others. 

As you can see, the Reiki precepts are in fact no different than the six paramitas. If we embody the five Reiki precepts we also are embodying the six paramitas; the two are one and the same.


Reiki Stories and Techniques with Carol

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What an amazing woman to help me navigate through Reiki. The workshop is a great day and I've learnt so many things in such a short time. Thank you Carol!
Rachel Kerney
I would highly recommend seeing Carol for any challenges you are facing in your life or even to have a casual chat. A beautiful down to earth soul I am very grateful to have as support in my life. Thank you Carol.
Bradley Bower