Five Elements of Reiki

Since the original system of Reiki was developed by Mikao Usui (see History of Reiki for more information), it has expanded globally.

This expansion, under the leadership of many Reiki Masters, means that there have been many additional elements incorporated into modern Reiki, and some traditional aspects removed.

Here at Enso Academy we teach as near to the original teachings as possible.

We believe that Usui Sensei was an incredible spiritual teacher of energy. He taught each student at their own pace, style of learning and experience, as many Spiritual Teachers and Master do.

Whoever he was training, Usui Mikao taught five main elements to all students, which we maintain in our teachings today;

The five Elements are:

  • Reiki Precepts
  • Reiki Meditations and Techniques
  • Reiki Symbols and Mantras
  • Hands-on healing
  • Reiju

Reiki Precepts

These are the foundations of Reiki. Used in meditation, once you start introducing the precepts into your life, you will be well established on your journey.

There are many translations of the Reiki precepts. There have also been some additions that have been added after Usui Sensei’s time.

The ones we use in our teachings and which sit most closely with our own attunement are:

For today only

  • do not anger
  • do not worry
  • Be grateful
  • Practice diligently
  • Be compassionate to yourself and others

Reiki Meditations and Techniques

The traditional form of Reiki that we teach uses three main techniques: Kenyoku Ho, a cleansing technique; Joshin Kokyu Ho which focuses the mind through the breath; and Seishin Toitsu, a mind-unifying meditation.

These three techniques form an essential part of the foundations of Reiki.

There are many other advanced techniques that are taught at each stage of the system, each one enabling you to go deeper.

Reiki symbols and mantras

The system of Reiki teaches four symbols and four mantras. Three of these are taught at Reiki level two, and one is taught at Reiki level 3, or Reiki Master.

In traditional Japanese Reiki teachings, the symbols and mantras are used for personal development. They enable the student to experience the Japanese Energetic system of Earth Ki, Heavenly Ki and Heart Ki – more information on which can be found on our Reiki Energetic System page.

Each symbol and mantra builds on the previous, and each one is layered. As each symbol and mantra is practiced, it takes you deeper and deeper into the self.

Hands-on healing

This is the aspect of the system of Reiki that is most commonly known and experienced.

Many people are initially surprised to discover it can be used for self-healing. However, it began as a self-healing practice, and in reality, the practice of using Reiki as a healing treatment for others was a by-product of practicing Reiki on the self.

Hands-on healing enables practitioners to heal people through the flow of Reiki energy, and you can find more information on our Reiki as a Therapy page.


Sometimes called “attunement”, Reiju means “accepting/giving energy” and is a ritual in which the teacher creates a safe energetic space for the student, who can then draw in the energy he or she needs.

Systematic Approach

Reiki is systematic in its approach, teaching solid energy foundations and building on these foundations with additional tools and techniques, through different levels of Reiki. See our Reiki Energetic System page for more details on these energy foundations.

Additionally, all of the 5 elements appear at different levels of the system of Reiki; see our Reiki Levels page to discover how each of the elements are applied to the levels of Reiki.