My Reiki Story


Reiki Healing is a natural, hands-on touch therapy in which the practitioner channels life force energy to the client. Reiki promotes deep relaxation and helps to restore balance in the physical, mental, and emotional bodies.

I was initiated into Reiki in 1978 by Master Hawayo Takata, herself a student of Japanese Reiki Master Chujiro Hayashi. Takata was Hawaiian-born and after studying Reiki in Japan, Master Hayashi made her the first and only North American Reiki Master, thereby bringing The Usui Way of Reiki to Hawaii. Mrs. Takata later brought Reiki to mainland U.S.A., then to Canada.

I was attuned to second degree Reiki by Mrs. Barbara Brown, one of just 22 Reiki Masters initiated by Takata. I brought Mrs. Brown to Vancouver, B.C. in 1980; she in turn brought Mrs. Takata’s Usui Reiki Ryoho style to her Vancouver students. There were just 10 students at that first class – Reiki was not well known in Canada at that time. 35 years later, there are now many thousands of Reiki practitioners working in North America alone, and there are so many styles of Reiki, I think Mrs. Takata would be very surprised at how successfully her Reiki mission has become! Both Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Takata would be very happy that Reiki has become such a well-accepted healing modality.

Mrs. Takata was a wonderful woman, small, wiry, energetic and with a smile that turned on the sun. She always had wonderful, entertaining stories to tell of her many mystical experiences…like the time that she forgot her address book on her bedside table in Hawaii, and it turned up in Barbara Brown’s living room in Lumby, B.C., the very next day! But she was also a serious and somewhat stern woman dedicated to passing on the ways of true Usui Reiki Ryoho to her students.

When I studied with Takata, she knew that she did not have long to be on the planet, and she wished to ensure that Reiki would endure as a healing method and a gift to the world. As she predicted, Takata did not live long; she died in December, 1980. Prior to her death, just 22 of her students were attuned to Masters Level Reiki, among them her granddaughter and the acknowledged Grand Master and lineage bearer of Usui Reiki Ryoho / Usui Shiki Ryoho, Phyllis Lei Furumoto.

Here is a link to a list of the original 22 Reiki Masters:

Of course, we know that Reiki did endure as Takata had hoped, although Western Reiki practice has changed a lot since she first gave us the gift of Usui Shiki Ryoho. Many Reiki practitioners today do not know the history of Usui/Hayashi/Takata Reiki – surprisingly, some have never heard of Mrs. Takata. I believe that in order to be a well-rounded Reiki practitioner with a broad overview of the art, it is important to learn of Mrs. Takata’s vision and to know about her style of Reiki practice. Please click below for more information on beloved Takata.

I was blessed to study with both my teachers and have always honoured the authentic Reiki tradition that Mrs. Takata and Mrs. Brown taught me.


About the Author:

Michael Ireland is a writer, editor and wellness practitioner. She specializes in metaphysics, spirituality and self-development.

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Michael Ireland