Usui Shiki Ryoho 

Usui System of Reiki Healing

Origin of Reiki

When discussing Reiki, it's essential to differentiate between Reiki as the universal spiritual energy itself and Reiki as a collective term encompassing various systems of healing that utilise this energy. 

Reiki roughly translates into English as the energy of the heaven and the energy of the earth - often as universal life force. It is the divine energy that creates and sustains life. 

Mikao Usui embarked on a journey to unravel the mysteries behind the healing methods attributed to Jesus, including both hands-on and distant healing. Following an extensive period of study, introspection, and meditation, Usui had a profound encounter where he felt a deep connection with a sacred energy pervasive in all living beings. He used the term "Reiki" to articulate this energy. Usui believed that tapping into and harnessing this spiritual energy was fundamental to understanding how one could facilitate healing for oneself and others. Through dedicated fasting and meditation, he unlocked the secrets of connecting with this energy and gained insight into how to transmit this knowledge to others. Usui developed a system of healing called Usui Reiki Ryoho - or the Usui System of Reiki Healing. He then went on to teach others his system - commonly known as Reiki. 

Reiki Lineage 

A lineage is a line of succession from one generation to the next. Within the context of Reiki, lineage refers to the unbroken line of Reiki masters and students who have passed on and received the teaching of, and initiation into, Reiki. Thus, a continuous line of succession from Mikao Usui to present day masters and students. 

The knowledge and wisdom that Usui had uncovered regarding the connection to and utilisation of Reiki energy were closely safeguarded. Usui selected a handful of students whom he deemed worthy to be entrusted with the means to transmit Reiki to others. These individuals, later known as Masters, were carefully chosen to carry forward the legacy of Reiki initiation and practice. 


One of the students Usui chose to entrust the ongoing legacy of Reiki to was Chujiro Hayashi, a reserve officer in the Japanese Imperial Navy. Hayashi had spent a great deal of time travelling with and learning from, Usui. Prior to his death, Usui revealed to Hayashi the closely guarded knowledge and method of passing Reiki on to others. In time, Hayashi passed this on to Hawayo Takata, a Japanese woman living in Hawaii.

The Transmigration of Reiki 

Hawayo Takata encountered Hayashi during a visit to Japan while she was staying with her parents. During her time in Japan, Takata's health deteriorated despite seeking conventional medical treatment. However, upon learning about Hayashi's Reiki clinic, she underwent several Reiki treatments which notably improved her condition. Impressed by the results, Takata requested Hayashi to teach her Reiki, to which he consented. She dedicated considerable time to learning from him, eventually becoming a master under his guidance. Before his passing, Hayashi entrusted the legacy of Reiki to Takata.


Driven by a profound passion for both practicing and teaching Reiki, Takata returned to Hawaii amidst the turmoil of war, where she continued to practice and teach Reiki. This transition marked a significant shift as Reiki expanded its influence from its origins in Japan to the United States and various other Western countries.

Takata initiated a total of 22 students as masters - giving them the knowledge and ability to teach and pass Reiki to others. By the time of her death in December 1980 Reiki had become popular in the West. Many of her students had come from different parts of the globe and returned to their homes to teach Reiki to others. One of Takata's students was her granddaughter - Phyllis Lei Furumoto.

Usui Shiki Ryoho and the Reiki Alliance

Phyllis had grown up with Reiki - though not always understanding that. In time she travelled with her grandmother while Takata taught Reiki workshops. During their travels Phyllis began to understand what Reiki was and how she had essentially been one of her grandmother's students since she could remember. As Takata become frailer and more unwell Phylis took on more responsibility for organising and teaching Reiki until her death in 1980.

After Takata's death members of the Reiki community looked to Phyllis for leadership and recognised her as 'Grandmaster' and lineage bearer of Reiki. The transition to the role was not easy. There were some challenges to Phyllis' appointment. One Master argued Takata had groomed her as her successor. Fractures in the Reiki community began to occur and the rise of increased independence. At a meeting in 1982 several of Takata and Phyllis' students met in Hawaii and formerly recognised Phyllis as Takata's successor. In 1983 they met again and formed the Reiki Alliance - an alliance of Masters dedicated to maintaining the teaching and tradition of Takata. Usui Shiki Ryoho and the Reiki Alliance represent a continued commitment to the direct spiritual lineage of Usui - Hayashi - Takata - Furumoto. Prior to her death in 2019 Phyllis formally acknowledged and announced her successor - Johannes Reindl.

The Rise of Reiki Styles

As early as the 1980s, new styles of Reiki began to emerge, each asserting its own authority and purported completeness in knowledge, practice, and teaching. Some were minor variations, others were radically different to that taught by members of the Alliance. Still others espoused direct links to Usui via an alternate lineage. By the late 1990s, and certainly by the time of Phyllis' death there were a large number of 'traditions', using Reiki as their touchstone but having teaching and practices that were well removed from that taught by Takata - some were the result of 'channeling' ancient or celestial beings. This caused a great deal of distress in the Reiki community who looked to Phyllis to define Reiki. Eventually - with the support of some of Takata's other student/masters, Phyllis presented the Four Aspects and 9 Elements that defined Usui Shiki Ryoho - this is the form of practice taught at Anamchara Holistic Solutions.

Usui Shiki Ryoho - Form of Practice 

In the midst of the rise in variations of practice within what broadly became collectively known as Reiki Phyllis and one of Takata's other masters - Paul Mitchell - collaborated to define the practice of Reiki as handed on by Takata. This was expressed in the Four Aspects and Nine Elements. 

Four Aspects

  1. Healing Practice - the laying on of hands as the foundation of treatment for self and others 
  2. Personal Development - this system challenges students' acquired beliefs, guiding them towards authenticity through daily choices
  3. Spiritual Discipline - regular practice of Reiki fosters a connection to the inherent spirit within each individual, often leading students to view it as a spiritual journey
  4. Mystic Order - mystic experiences and a sense of connection and common purpose with others following this path

Nine Elements 

  1. Oral Tradition - the form and essence if passed on from through a personal relationship with a Reiki master, through verbal, non-verbal and energetic communication 
  2. Spiritual Lineage - the recognition of direct spiritual lineage of the lineage bearers and the passing of the tradition through this line of masters 
  3. History - the sharing of the origin stories of each of the lineage bearers to express the way in which Reiki has become manifest 
  4. Initiation - the ritual passed on through the lineage bearers to masters used to connect students to the Reiki energy and bring to life the form and practice 
  5. Symbols - sacred symbols taught at second degree that, which used in a specific form of practice that create greater choices in life and an understanding of the world 
  6. Treatment - using the hands in a formal or informal way to treat self and others, in First Degree this is on the physical level, in Second Degree enables practice via distance 
  7. Form of Teaching - he container for the teaching of First and Second Degree classes.
  8. Monetary Exchange -a specific monetary commitment from the student to the master at each stage of initiation 
  9. Precepts -intended to awaken questions within a student and therefore involves the mind as well as the body and spirit in the process of becoming whole in body and spirit

The Four Aspects and Nine Elements underpin the approach to, and philosophy of, teaching Reiki at Anamchara Holistic Solutions. Click the link below to explore learning Reiki with us. 

sun rays coming through brown grass

Learning Reiki

Anyone can learn Reiki. Usui Shiki Ryoho is taught in three levels:


First Degree - is the foundation for practice on self and others. The focus in on the physical aspect of Reiki practice.


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Second Degree - is a deepening of the connection with Reiki and introduces the three Usui Reiki Symbols used to extend practice on a non-physical, non-temporal level.


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Reiki Master - for students wishing to continue to deepen their connection with Reiki and prepare to teach and initiate others, students are introduced to the fourth Usui Reiki symbol used in the initiation of others into Reiki. 

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Reiki Lineage

Usui Shiki Ryoho Lineage - Darryl Harris (Br Nathan-James)

  • First Degree 24 November 1992 - Elizabeth Latham 
  • Second Degree 11 May 1993 - Elizabeth Latham 
  • Reiki Master 10 December 2023 - Elizabeth Latham