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No  one is quite sure when Reiki was originally discovered, but many believe it has very old roots.  More recently, a Japanese monk, Dr. Mikao Usui, rediscovered the Reiki healing system in the late 1800's.  

The traditional oral story of the rediscovery reveals that Dr. Usui engaged in a quest for many years to determine the authenticity of the many healings reported in the Bible.  On a spiritual pilgrimage to the mountain Kurama, after a 21 day fast,  the keys to this ancient healing were revealed to him.  Usui proceeded to heal and teach others this remarkable system until the end of his life.

Usui was also guided to incorporate 5 principles to balance the physical healing aspects: Just for today, don't become angry; just for today, don't worry; honor your elders; earn your living honestly; and have gratitude for every living thing.

In the 1930's, Mrs. Hawayo Takata traveled from Hawaii to Japan to seek medical advice for a number of ailments and as an alternative to surgery.  She received Reiki treatments and within 4 months was healed without other intervention.  She then gratefully (and persistently) requested to be taught this healing system - at that time, no women were Reiki practitioners in Japan.  Mrs. Takata finally received the attunements to practice Reiki and eventually brought Reiki to the United States in the late 1930's.

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In the 1970's Mrs. Takata began teaching Reiki Healing and attuning masters in the west.  She initiated the degree programs and the fee schedule.  At that time she believed that westerners value money and therefore a high price should be put on Reiki Master.  A $10,000 fee was applied so that the proper understanding, commitment and respect be put upon this healing system.  Now, many Reiki Masters do not charge this amount for Reiki Master as the need for and respect of this healing system is more widespread.   

For more on this incredible story, see:

Barnett, Libby & Chambers, Maggie, Reiki Energy Medicine, Healing Arts Press, 1996

Horan, Paula, Empowerment Through Reiki, Lotus Light Pub., 1992

Petter, Frank Arjava, Reiki Fire, Lotus Light Publications, 1997

Quest, Penelope, Reiki, Piatkus Guides, 1999

Rand, William, Reiki, The Healing Touch, Vision Pub., 1991

Stein, Diane, Essential Reiki, Crossing Press, 1996

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