Types of Reiki: The 3 Main Type of Reiki and their Variations


Mar 06, 2023

Types of Reiki: The 3 Main Type of Reiki and their Variations

Table of Contents

What is Reiki?

The Japanese practice of Reiki is a sort of energy therapy that places an emphasis on the use of very light touch in order to speed up the process of emotional and physical healing. The Master channels the healing energy that comes from the life force of the universe into the student, who then uses it to heal themselves. The student first absorbs the energy, and then uses specific hand positions on the client in order to speed up and improve the healing process. It is possible that the approach includes either lightly stroking the body with the hands or making direct touch with it. Either way, both are valid options. There are many different types of Reiki that a practitioner uses and this article explores the history and differences between the Reiki styles.

How Reiki Works

The idea behind the efficacy of Reiki is that the light hand touching of clients appears to calm their nervous systems, which in turn helps the body to heal itself. This is the notion that underpins the practice's effectiveness. It's likely that stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system will help the body reset its immune system and give it a boost, and this would be a beneficial outcome.

There are a lot of different ways in which a physical ailment might get entrenched in the body and be misinterpreted as trauma. When I was originally diagnosed with Lyme disease, not only did it present challenges to my body, but it also put a significant emotional strain on me. This was especially true in the beginning of my treatment. 

Imagine that you were in charge of everything that went on in your life, and then suddenly someone took that control away from you. Those who are battling chronic illnesses may be more susceptible to experiencing some level of psychological distress as a consequence of this. 

  • In the teachings of Reiki, it is stated that traumatic experiences have the potential to become lodged in the body at the adrenal glands.
  • The adrenal glands must first finish processing the traumatic experience before the body can begin the process of healing. I noticed an improvement in the physical symptoms I was having after practicing Reiki on my own for a few months. I was able to give myself Reiki sessions on my own.

A Look Back at the Origins of Reiki

In the 1920s, the Japanese technique known as Reiki is said to have been pioneered by a man named Mikao Usui. In 1925, one of the individuals who studied under Usui was a naval physician by the name of Chujiro Hayashi. After getting Reiki treatment, Hayashi discovered that his patients healed substantially faster than they had before. Hayashi was instrumental in facilitating the spread of Reiki beyond the borders of Japan, particularly through the efforts of his student Hawaya Takata.

Hayashi mentored Hawaya Takata in the 1930's. Following that, Takata disseminated the Reiki technique throughout the rest of the western world, starting with Hawaii. Following the dissemination of Reiki throughout the western globe, Mikao Takata instructed a total of 22 individuals to attain the level of Reiki Master. These Masters, along with their students, were responsible for the development of a large number of different Reiki techniques.

There are many different Reiki styles

There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of types of Reiki. The several variations of Reiki are Usui Reiki, Jikiden Reiki, and Karuna Reiki®. Other forms of Reiki include The Radiance Technique®, Mari el®, Raku Kei, Tibetan Reiki, Rainbow Reiki, Golden Age Reiki, Reiki Jin-Kei Do®, Satya Japanese Reiki, Men Chho Reiki®, Jinlap Reiki, Seichim, Saku Reiki, Blue Star Reiki, Reiki Plus®, and many more.

The type of Reiki known as Usui Reiki is the one that has become the most well-known

  • It is also the system of Reiki to which I have been attuned, and it is highly likely to be the approach applied if you seek treatment from a practitioner located in the western hemisphere. 
  • The lineage for Usui Reiki is Mikao Usui to Chujiro Hayashi to Hawaya Takata to her 22 Masters. 
  • It is generally accepted that the type of Reiki known as Usui Reiki is substantially identical to the form of Reiki that Makao Usui taught to his pupils. 
  • Takata's hand postures, which he created, are one of the changes that have been made. Because of the way the hands are positioned during a Reiki treatment, it is possible to take a logical approach to the procedure

Jikiden Reiki is the term given to the Reiki technique that is performed in eastern countries

  • Jikiden Reiki was named after the Jikiden waterfall in Japan. The practice of Jikiden Reiki can be understood as "to hand down directly." 
  • It is generally agreed upon that the technique embodies the purest or most genuine version of Reiki that Usui ever imparted to his students, and that none of the teachings have been modified in any way. 
  • One of the most important distinctions between Jikiden Reiki and Usui Reiki is that the former makes use of "Byosen," the latter does not. Byosen is a Japanese word that translates to "poison buildup," and it is used in Japanese medicine. Students of Jikiden Reiki learn how to recognize and mitigate the effects of potentially dangerous environments through the practice. Additionally, the focus that is placed on any one particular hand posture is decreasing.

Karuna Reiki® is an additional popular type of Reiki that was developed in Japan. Compassion Reiki is the name that most people give to this type of Reiki. This particular use of Reiki seeks to alleviate pain and suffering for all forms of life, which is the underlying goal of the practice. 

  • Karuna Reiki® was initially developed as a group effort in 1995 by Master William Lee Rand, a couple of his students, and others who were under his tutelage. The Usui Reiki technique was expanded in Karuna Reiki®, which can be considered of as an add-on to the Usui Reiki system. 
  • Karuna Reiki® was developed by Takata Hawayo. The fundamental difference between the Usui and the Kaurna styles of Reiki is that the Karuna style of Reiki makes use of new symbols. These new symbols, in particular, are of Japanese and Indian origin.

The application of Reiki can be carried out using a wide number of different methods. Every kind of Reiki is predicated on the principle of promoting the emotional and physical well-being of those who are receiving it.

In each method, the Master teaches the apprentice how to accept the universal life force from the teacher. The apprentice then practices what they've learned. 

The five guiding principles of Reiki are as follows: one should not worry, one should practice thankfulness, one should be slow to rage, one should live honestly, and one should be polite to every being.

These guiding principles are adhered to by each and every type of Reiki Master.



Lisa is a Reiki Master, Certified Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner, and trained in the Bengston Energy Healing Method. Lisa is also a Certified Life coach and currently in her second year of graduate school for a Master of Social Work to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

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