Hawayo Takata Explains How to Give a Reiki Treatment

Hawayo Takata explains how to give a Reiki treatment. The practice of Reiki has grown exponentially since Hawayo Takata, a Japanese-American woman, first introduced Reiki to the United States in the 1930s. Because Reiki has been largely passed on as an oral tradition, vulnerable to changes and omissions, it is helpful to learn what Takata (as she liked to be called), taught about Reiki in order to gain more clarity and a deeper understanding of its practice.

One of the most common questions in need of clarification is “Where should I start the Reiki treatment … from the torso or from the head?” There has been much confusion regarding where Takata began her Reiki treatments on her clients. Some Reiki practitioners believe that Takata always began on the client’s head. Others believe that she started on the front of the torso. She actually began with both of her hands placed on the front of the client’s torso.

In order to shed some light and help clarify this question, we are presenting an excerpt from our library of private recordings of Hawayo Takata. These recordings were made by John Harvey Gray, with Takata’s permission, while he was training under her to become a Reiki Master.  The audio recording was taped in 1975, and in some parts is a little difficult to hear. We have done our best to keep the transcription as authentic as possible in order to preserve its integrity.

Audio Recording by Hawayo Takata explaining how to give a Reiki treatment

This audio file is the property of Usui-Gray Integrated Reiki System, Inc. Copyright 2015. All rights Reserved.

Transcription of audio recording by Hawayo Takata explaining how to give a Reiki treatment

Takata: “Now, in the treatment, Reiki treatment is very simple, and we will be repeating and repeating the same thing over and over again, but this is for (unintelligable). One, two, three, four, the Foundation Treatment, there’s no difference than any other time, you start with the Foundation Treatment: one, two, three, four. (Note: Takata called the first four positions on the front of the torso “The Foundation Treatment.”)

So, when this is finished, then the fever, you go up to the chest. To the lungs. One, and two, and three, and four. And by this time, when you have given enough time and a good treatment, they begin to perspire. And then turn the patient over; treat the back of the lungs again. You have finished the front and you treat the back of the lungs. One, two, and then the kidneys—(mumbling to someone)—and then, right into the back. It’s a complete treatment. There’s no such thing as partial treatment.

In Reiki, you do the front and the back—complete treatment, and then do the rubbing—the circulation, you have to raise the circulation in order to give the blood a good chance for circulation and also the legs. The legs; rub up, rub up. Now, how long do you take this? One hour in the front, or, forty-five minutes in the front, if you can do this half an hour for the Foundation Treatment in the front, and then the chest, another twenty minutes, turn over, and the back of the chest: one, two, three, and four. When this is done, then you start running the circulation, the nerves in the ’s back, and that is a complete treatment. So take about hour an a half.

When you do hour an a half Reiki, no matter where you treat, he has had plenty of energy, plenty of Reiki, so he has to get well. And in case of cough or pneumonia, which is also fever, then you turn the patient halfway to the side. Then you treat in the pleura, all the front and the back of your lungs and to the side of your lungs. This side and then turn the other side and do the same thing and that will take care of the cough. But if you do have lots of mucous, you have to have an outlet for the mucous. An outlet for the mucous, number one. Be sure that you prevent yourself from creating mucous. And the worst thing to eat and drink is to drink milk.

When you have cows’ milk that is an animal drink. And even ice cream, has nothing but milk and sugar. With all this mucous forming things are prevented from entering your body, you will have less mucous. And so, be careful about your diet. Now, many people will argue and say that, “Milk is calcium. What are you going to substitute milk for?” And when you want to know what is the best drink, besides milk—there is a vegetable milk, called the soy milk. Drink soy milk and there’s no mucous. Soy milk gives you protein and calcium, and lots of lecithin, which help your brain. It’s good for your children. And milk, I do not condemn. But milk should be drunk with people with very very good stomachs. And should be in between.”

7 thoughts on “Hawayo Takata Explains How to Give a Reiki Treatment”

  1. Thank you Lourdes, it is always a treat to hear from Takata herself. The recordings are a treasured gift. My first Reiki class, different lineage, started on the head. My instructor then said “Don’t really worry about placement, Reiki goes where it is needed”. I was always confused by that statement. Why are there any positions if that is true? Hearing Takata in her own voice from the recordings (in your Master class) brings many things into focus.

  2. Hi Susie,

    Thanks for writing. There has been a great deal of confusion regarding both subjects: starting the Reiki treatment on the head, and erroneously thinking that the Reiki energy goes where it is needed. The majority of the time, it does not. Takata never taught that the Reiki energy goes where it is needed. Just the opposite. In addition, Takata always recommended giving full-body treatments for all long-standing conditions, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual because in long-standing conditions, the whole body is involved in the healing process. I plan to focus on these two subjects in the next several posts. I will also address some of the possible reasons for how the confusion started.


  3. Hi Lourdes!
    I was wondering what Takata meant
    by rubbing at the end of the Reiki
    session! Thanks so much for sharing
    this with us.



  4. Hi Pam, the rubbing is a technique that Takata used at the end of a Reiki session to cause the energy to circulate. Since it involves manipulation of the body similar to massage, we no longer use it. Otherwise, Reiki could be classified as a form of massage. We certainly don’t want that to happen. In its place, John Harvey Gray developed a method of smoothing the energy in the aura that achieves the same result as the rubbing. I’m going to make a video this weekend demonstrating positions 1 through 4, i.e. the foundation treatment, I’ll also demo the rubbing technique and John’s technique of smoothing the energy flow over the aura. Then, I’ll share the video on the blog. So, stay tuned Lourdes

  5. Thanks so much Lourdes! This information is really helpful!
    I am looking forward to the video!

  6. Hi Lordes

    Thanks for posting this. It sounds to me that the “(unintelligible)” word is fever. It would be wonderful to hear more of the recordings. I look forward to your next posts.

Comments are closed.

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