The Different Reiki Branches and Lineages

Angela Gorman, copyright 2005-2010

The Universal Energy that Reiki practitinors and Reiki Masters are using is quantum. Nobody owns it or has an individual patent on it. The Reiki system of healing was developed by Dr. Usui in Japan. Some teachers choose to teach Reiki in accordance with how Reiki was handed down through the lineage of Mrs. Hawayo Takata .Others have deviated from this style. Different personalities imprint their own points of view on the same energy. Some Reiki Masters claim that what they are teaching is more powerful that other styles of Reiki. This is unfortunate as it only highlights the impoverished scientific understandings about energy in the Reiki community.

Quantum Physics is the science that explains the energy which Reiki practitioners are using. Reiki teachers may have the best intentions in the world but that does not  mean they have a clear understading of energy. Perceptions about energy are often based on superstition and personal belief systems, rather than on the science of energy.

I include below some of the many types of Reiki being taught and practised. I do not endorse one above the other. This information is the most accurate that I could find in my reseach into the various lineages of Reiki.

Usui Shiki Ryoho

Lineage: Usui – Hayashi – Takata…

There is much research going on in Japan about the history of Reiki. It has become apparant that Mrs. Takata’s original historic account of Reiki had cracks in it. The book Reiki Fire, by Frank Arjava Petter contains a more accurate account of the origins of the Reiki system of healing.

Mrs. Takata inititated 22 people to the Master level. Some of them developed their own brands of Reiki following her death.Here are the names of these 22 people: Paul Mitchell, Beth Gray, Ursula Baylow, Barbara McCullough, George Araki, Iris Ishikuro, Fran Brown, Barbara Weber-Ray, Ethel Lombardi, Wanja Twan, Virgina Samdahl, Phyllis Lei Furumoto, Dorothy Baba, Mary McFadyen, John Gray, Barbara Brown, Shinobo Saito, Harry Kuboi, Patricia Bowlig Ewing, Bethel phaigh, Rick Brockner and Ray Yamashita. 

Mrs. Takata’s style and duration of Reiki classes varied. She claimed that Reiki was an oral tradition but more recent evidence suggests that Dr. Usui used notes in his classes.

Traditional Reiki is taught in three degrees.

For more information contact the Reiki Alliance.:

There are also thousands of Independent Reiki Masters, who choose not to be part of the Reiki Alliance who teach this tradition.

Raku Kei Reiki

Lineage: Usui – Hayashi – Takata – Ishikuro – Robertson…

It is believed that Iris Ihhikuro added much of what is taught in Raku Kei. Raku Kei is somtimes referred to as ” The Way of the Drgagon”. Raku is described a a vertical flow of energy and Kei as the horitontal flow of enregy in the body.

Raku Kei is taught in 4 degrees. The first and second degree are taught as one class. The history of Reiki talks about a man by the name of Rolf Jensen who took Reiki from Dr. Usui.The 3 traditional symbols are taught, plus one additional symbol, a distance healing technique and 3 kanji hand positions. The third degree is called Reiki Sensei. Other additons to this system include a breathing technique called “Breath of the Fire Dragon”, a water ceremony and the use of herbs and minerals. 

For more information contact the Americal Reiki Master Association: 

Usui/Tibetan Reiki

Lineage: Usui-Hayashi-Takata-Carrell Ann Farmer-Leah Smith – William Rand…
William has also taken Reiki from Diane McCumber, Marlene Schilke, Beth Gray, Harry Kuboi, Bethel Phaigh and Phyllis Furumoto

William Rand teaches what he terms Usui/Tibetan Reiki which is a combination of Traditional, Raku Kei and his own understandings and perceptions of energy.

There are four levels of training. First and second degree are taught together, followed by Advanced Reiki training and the Master/Teacher degree. Two Tibetan symbols, the Violet Breath, the Reiki Grid, Psychic surgery and the 4 variations of the Antahkarana symbol are given to students of Usui Tibetan Reiki. CEU’s are available for nurses through the American Holistivc Nurses Association and for massage workers and body workers through The National Certification Board of Therapeuric Massage and Bodywork.

To find our more visit William Rand’s website:

Karuna Reiki

This style of Reiki was developed by William Rand. See lineage above.

Developed by William Rand, Karuna Reiki is open to anyone who has had Reiki Master training. It is complete with two levels, two attunements, four master symbols and eight treatment symbols.

Karuna is a sanskrit word. It is translated to mean any action that is taken to diminish the suffering of others.

To find out more vist William Rand’s website:

Tera-Mai and Tera -Mai Seichem

Lineage: Usui-Hayashi-Takata-Ishikuro-Robertson-Rick/Emma Ferguson-Margarette L. Shelton-Katleen Milner…

 It is believed that Kathleen took the original Raku Kei Reiki system that she learned, changed the attunement process and added several symbols. She claims that a great being gave her the information to change the attunements. On her website it states that all individuals who doTera-Mai are connected through ‘the Tera-Mai iniitianons through Buddha to the source of all healing -God’. It also states ‘For Buddha taught Kathleen what was missing from the original 3 attunements’. Seichim originated when Patrick Ziegler was guided to add additional symbols and to change the name from Reiki to Seichim. Some people say that Seichim has it’s origins in Egypt.  There are numerous Independent Reiki Masters who teach variations of Seichim. Kathleen Milner’s website says that ‘Tera-Mai Seichem was given to Kathleen by spirit in a consiousness-raising experience’. According to Kathleen Tera-Mai Seichem initiations pass on all 4 elemental healing energies – earth, air, fire and water.

There are three levels of training in Tera-Mai Seichim

For more information visit: 

The Radiance Technique

Lineage: Usui – Hayashi- Takata- Barbara Ray..

Barbara Ray originally taught Reiki in 3 degrees. She is reported to have claimed that Takata gave her more keys to mastership that any other of her students. In 1980 Dr. Ray and Mrs. Takata founded the American Reiki Association,Inc. It later became known as the Radiance Technique International Association,Inc. In 1983 in the first edition of her book ‘The Reiki Factor’ there is no reference to the Radiance technique. Shortly after publication of this book she claimed that Reiki was polluted and changed the name of what she taught to the Radiance Technique.

Ther are seven levels of trainig in teh Radiance Technique.

For more information visit:

Reiki Plus

Lineage: Usui-Hayashi-Takata-Barbara McCullough- David Jarrell…
David also trained with Virginia Samdahl

David developed and founded the Reiki Plus Institute. He has taken Traditional Reiki and combined it with other information and classes.

There are a variety of Reiki programmes available with David.

For more information visit: