Hands that can heal people, plants and cars

  • 2001-05-31
  • Devyani Banerjee
TALLINN - Skeptics may grimace. But the truth that there exists one supreme being, the absolute infinite, cannot be denied. This unfathomable, incomprehensible power is the universal life energy. "Reiki" is a method of natural healing through touch, based on the application of this energy.

So says Jana Teppih, a Reiki practitioner in Tallinn who has a clinic in the district of Kopli. Teppih is a disciple of renowned Reiki maestro Linde Toompuu, an Estonian now living in England. She has been practicing this form of healing massage for the last three years.

She carefully related the Reiki story. "Reiki as a method of natural healing was discovered by Dr. Mikao Usui, a Christian minister, in late 1800s' Japan..."

The story goes that Usui was asked by one of his students whether he believed everything that was written in the Bible, including those parts where Jesus cured the sick with the power of touch. This question set Usui thinking and he set out in search of the truth.

After wandering for many years he met an elderly monk from a Zen monastery, who admitted him into the monastery so he could learn the Buddhist scriptures, for Buddha also could cure with his touch. In the teachings of Buddha he found the symbols and the formula of how Buddha healed. But he still didn't know the techniques of healing.

Finally Usui decided to go to a spiritual retreat on Mount Kurama and meditate for 21 days. On the last day he saw a powerful light and three secret symbols he had read in the Buddhist scriptures. The light hit him on the forehead and the symbols burned themselves into his memory. He got the healing touch.

Usui called this touch Reiki, because apparently, when he touched his sick friend, an abbot, the abbot became cured and suddenly shouted, "Oh Reiki!" ("Life energy!").

Linda Toompuu, a disciple of the world "grandmaster" of Reiki, Phyllis Lei Furumoto, brought Reiki to Estonia in 1996. In the fall of 1996, she began to teach her first group of students. She had 16 students in the group, two of whom achieved the second of three degrees of Reiki.

Toompuu's aim is to teach this unique method of healing to as many Estonians as possible," said Teppih.

You can usually reach the first degree after a weekend program that lasts from Friday evening until Sunday morning. Four initiations are revealed to the disciple, four sacred rituals, performed one to one with the disciple.

The first step is to get the Reiki channels of energy within the students flowing. Then the history and principles of Reiki are taught. Next, the students are taught about the complicated hand positions used while giving and receiving treatment. Finally, during the last session, the teacher "transmits energy into the students."

After the energy is transmitted it takes 21 days to work, during which it's forbidden to practice.

There has to be at least a 100-day gap between the first and second degrees of learning. In the second degree, students learn the three symbols and how to use them in treating patients.

Teppih is the only student in Estonia who is doing the advanced third degree course. This might be because of the price tag. Charges for the course are $150 for the first degree course, $500 for the second and $10,000 for the third, or master's, course.

About 270 students from Estonia have learnt Reiki from Toompuu. The youngest is 13 years old. Reiki courses are arranged in Tallinn, Tartu, Parnu, Viljandi, Rakvere and Linnamael.

You can start practicing after the first degree of learning. This consists of transmitting healing energy to the patient. Four full treatments are given to a patient over four days. It's best to have the treatment for four consecutive days, or as close to that as possible.

The treatment lasts about one-and-a-half hours each day, and the charge is 150 kroons ($8.50) a session, or 600 kroons over the four days.

"Reiki is used to treat all types of physical ailments and also emotional disorders," said Teppih. "It can also be sent to improve suffering or strained relationships. It can even be sent to a person who is not physically present before the practitioner. The charge for sending Reiki is 50 kroons for 15 minutes."

Reiki can be used to treat animals and, yes, plants. "It can even rectify inanimate things," said Teppih. "I have fixed my videocassette recorder and started cars that have broken down in the middle of the road."

Asked if Reiki has any adverse side effects Teppih said, "Reiki is absolutely harmless. And the practitioner's energies are not depleted either."

Aasa Kolks, aged 56, said she had several operations for thyroid cancer before she tried out Reiki treatments over a period of a few months.

"My cancer cells were checked and it turned out they had stopped growing. It's now been two years since I stopped my regular check-ups. No new growths have been diagnosed. I decided to learn Reiki, and now I practice at the first degree," said Kolks.

According to Tonu Veiper, another of Teppih's clients, Reiki always comes into a person's life at the right moment. "There are no coincidences in life. Reiki has made me more mature, more confident. Earlier, life made me ask too many questions I couldn't answer. Now most of these questions no longer need to be asked. I lead a simpler and quieter life."