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Reiki Master – Acquiring The Highest Rank In Energy Healing


While there are those who want to experience the healingpower of Reiki, others aim towards a higher kind of encounter: to be a Reiki master.

Yes, there are those who, after healing through Reiki – a centuries-old Japanese healing technique – seek to administer the healing itself.

In Milwaukee, Reiki master Margot Jackson runs Gypsy’s Hope, which offers both Reiki healing and Reiki training, reported WDJT-TV.

Jackson, in the website of Gypsy’s Hope, describes Reiki as “a form of alternative medicine.” A Reiki practitioner – a person performing Reiki – uses “energy healing” to cause relaxation, to lessen stress, and to promote healing.

A Reiki practitioner will become a Reiki master after completing a series of training, plus internship.

What is Reiki? | A Short Film

Reiki Master Teacher

As the widely acknowledged founder of Reiki, one might be quick to surmise that Mikao Usui (1865-1926) was the first Reiki Master Teacher.

Reiki founder and first Reiki master Mikao Usui
Reiki founder and first Reiki master Mikao Usui

However, according to the Michigan-based International Center for Reiki Training (ICRT), four Reiki healing styles were already practiced in Japan even before Usui developed his own (Usui Shiki Ryoho or the Usui System of Reiki Healing).

It may be safe, then, to say that each creator of these Reiki healing styles can be considered a Reiki master, namely:

  • Matiji Kawakami (Reiki Ryoho; 1914)
  • Reikaku Ishinuki (Reikan Tonetsu Ryoho)
  • Kogetsu Matsubara (Senshinryu Reiki Ryoho)
  • Reisen Oyama (Seido Reishojutsu)

Born in Gifu Prefecture in Honshu, Japan, Usui relocated to Tokyo in April 1922, according to ICRT. There, at 56, he established Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai(Usui Reiki Healing Method Society).

Roughly a year before his death, Usui trained 20 Reiki teachers to continue what he started.

“I would like to make this method [freely] available to the public for the well-being of humanity,” he said, as found in the Usui Reiki Ryohohandbook.

Another person that can be considered a Reiki master is Chujiro Hayashi (1880-1940), a Japanese medical doctor and naval captain.

Dr. Hayashi was one of the last people who received training from Usui, according to Reiki.org. He passed on the knowledge to Japanese-American Hawayo Takata (1900-1980).

Takata became a Reiki master in 1940.

Born in Hawaii and died in Michigan, she was the one responsible for spreading Reiki awareness and practicein the West.

Before she passed away, Takata produced 22 Reiki masters under her wing, according to The John Harvey Gray Center for Reiki Healing in New Hampshire.

John Harvey Gray (1917-2011), the founder of the said Reiki healing center, was the third Reiki Master Teacher initiated by her. Lourdes, Gray’s second wife, is a “5th Generation Reiki Master Teacher.”

What Is The Meaning Of Reiki Master?

In her article published by wellness company Goop, Los Angeles-based Reiki master Kelsey J. Patel said, “Envision yourself as a vessel for healing.”

That’s the way to begin a Reiki session regardless of whether one is a Reiki believer or practitioner/master.

“You must activate the energy within yourself,” Patel said.

A female Reiki Master Teacher channeling energy
A female Reiki Master Teacher channeling energy

Still, people who do Reiki don’t necessarily make them a Reiki master.

Though fundamental knowledge and understanding of this traditional Japanese healing technique is a step that leads to becoming one, the journey is still long, so to speak.

The designation “Reiki master” means a Reiki practitioner who completed all three degrees or levels of Reiki training, including an internship with a Reiki master.

Aside from performing Reiki sessions, being a Reiki master qualifies one to conduct Reiki classes.

How Do I Become A Reiki Master?

Becoming a Reiki master involves training and internship.

Reiki training for Usui Reiki Ryoho(Usui Spiritual Energy Healing Method; the one by Usui Mikao) is typically composed of three degrees or levels. Others are up to four-five levels, depending on the Reiki master in charge.

1. First Degree/Level I/Reiki I/Shoden Reiki(“first teachings”)

  • principal focus is on self-Reiki, AKA Reiki self-care or Reiki self-healing
  • recommended for those who want to practice Reiki on themselves
  • learn about the history of Reiki, Reiki precepts (rules), hand placements, and how to channel Reiki energyand become a strong channel.

2. Second Degree/Level II/Reiki II/Okiden Reiki(“inner teachings”)

  • perform Reiki on other people, specifically on family members and friends
  • perform distant Reiki(e.g., through online/social media)
  • a more improved hands-on Reiki treatment
  • deeper Reiki concepts

3. Third Degree/Level III/Reiki III/Reiki Master/Reiki Master Teacher/Shinpiden Reiki(“mystery teachings”)

  • becoming a Reiki master
  • more Reiki healing techniques/methods
  • receive the attunement(when a Reiki master “attunes” or prepares your body to receive and channel Reiki energy or healing energy)

As for the internship, it varies. Some can be 9-16 hours of paid internship in a Reiki clinic. Others can be for seven days or for one whole year.

There is no established governing body that issues a license to Reiki practitioners. The ICRT gives professional certification. Independent Reiki masters also provide certificates upon completion of the training and internship.

Several Reiki sites mention the Reiki Licensing Commission for Reiki Masters and Healers (RLCRMH). However, it’s difficult to find information about it online. As of this writing, it appears it doesn’t have a website or even a social media account.

The International Association of Reiki Practitioners (IARP) offers professional membership across the globe.

Reiki master Guilherme Victorino teaching the Master's course in traditional Japanese Reiki
Reiki master Guilherme Victorino teaching the Master's course in traditional Japanese Reiki

Of course, one should seek training with a certified Reiki master.

The Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality& Healing of the University of Minnesota recommends inquiring about the following information when looking for a Reiki master:

1. The kind of training(s) the Reiki practitioner received (Reiki I only, up to Reiki II only, up to Reiki III/Reiki master)

2. The dates of these trainings (to know how long they have been practicing Reiki)

3. The duration of the training to be given (Reiki I and II are usually 8-12 hours long)

4. How long the gap was between each training

  • It’s preferable to take Reiki II 3-6 months after Reiki I for longer hands-on experience. Other Reiki masters require no less than 12 months between the two.
  • Before taking Reiki III or the Reiki master training, at least 1-2 years of hands-on experience after completing Reiki II.

5. The “clinical experience” of the Reiki master who will train you (know the kind of people he/she has performed Reiki healing to – and for how long)

6. Information regarding the Reiki training/session (e.g., basic description, duration, fees)

In addition, the center suggests that one asks the Reiki master these two particular questions:

1. “How do you describe Reiki?”

  • The Reiki master should be able to provide an answer with clarity and confidence.
  • Be mindful if he/she says anything to bring down the reputation or credibility of modern healthcare and/or make claims that Reiki can cure any form of disease. These two are red flags.

2. “Do you practice Reiki on yourself every day?”

  • Train under a Reiki master who practices Reiki self-care daily.
  • Why? It's because it shows how he/she aims to further develop his/her Reiki healing experience.

For the ICRT, the answers one should receive from a Reiki master should be “supportive and empowering.”

Reiki Master Training Cost

There are some centers or Reiki clinics that offer free training up to a certain degree/level, but the cost for a Reiki master training varies a lot.

According to Earl E. Bakken Center, a session can go from $50 up to $75.

Reiki III alone can go as high as $1,600.

It all depends on from whom or from where you will get the training.

For example, at the ICRT, Reiki I and II cost $430 and Reiki III, $1,045.

New York-based Reiki master Pamela Miles charges $365 for Reiki I (three online sessions). Miles has been practicing Reiki (the one by Hawayo Takata) since 1986. She proclaims herself in her website as “the original Medical Reiki master.”

U.S.-based Rising Soul Retreats offers Reiki I for $333 (in-person training; two days, eight hours and six hours respectively; freebies, such as anointing oil and crystal).

Reiki I and II at Gypsy’s Hope is $200 each (both for six hours); Reiki III, $250.

So, becoming a Reiki master can be costly, but for those pursuing it, the benefits are priceless.


Medical NewsToday reported that approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. received Reiki healing in 2007, such as one from a Reiki master.

The number of Reiki practitioners has continued to increase since then.

The John Harvey Gray Center for Reiki Healing alone trained over 20,000 people in the past 25 years.

In the U.S., patients in more than 800 hospitals can avail of Reiki services, according to a study published by the Nursing Clinics of North America in December 2020.

No wonder becoming a Reiki master is a goal for a lot of people.

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