Reiki is a holistic art of energy healing that was founded, developed and passed on by Dr Mikao Usui. Reiki is not only a simple interaction between patient and healer, or a skill to be learned and switched on and off depending on whether a session is on the go - it is a way of life, and the principles relevant to this lifestyle aim to bring happiness to all those who live according to their ideals.

The idea behind the Reiki principles is that those involved in Reiki (healers and patients) should be actively involved in achieving a balanced lifestyle on a mental, physical, spiritual and emotional level. This enables people to live "in the flow" of the universe - which in itself will bring about the necessary healing that is required in a person's life. Disease in the body is directly related to the mind, and Reiki treatments will usually bring up emotional and mental issues relative to the physical aspect that has been worked on - even if a patient may not realise this at first. What we think is directly related to what we feel, both physically and emotionally. Therefore, all of these aspects need to be brought into balance in order to live a happy life that is free from pain on all levels. By striving to live according to the Reiki principles, a balance can be achieved.

This method of living will not only affect you, but those around you too - as the principles promote harmony, love and peace in all aspects of life, from the inner workings of a human being to their environment and society. The principles are all based on universal truths and like all other aspects of the art of Reiki, they are not tied to any religions and can be used to the benefits of anyone. This is especially true when you consider that they can be adapted to whatever is most comfortable and applicable to your specific lifestyle in order to make them work for you.

There are five Reiki principles, and this set has been translated in different ways over the years - but each translation still holds similar principles and supports the core of what the Reiki ideals were intended to be.

Below are three popular versions of the Reiki principles, as well as the name of the Reiki teachers that the specific translations can be traced to:

Mikao Usui Memorial StoneKaryn Mitchel
1. Just for today, do not anger.

2. Just for today, do not worry.

3. Honour your parents, teachers and elders.

4. Earn your living honestly.

5. Show gratitude to every living thing.

Frank Arjava Petter
1. Don't get angry today.

2. Don't worry today.

3. Be grateful today.

4. Work hard today (Meditative Practice).

5. Be kind to others today.

William Lee Rand
1. Just for today I will let go of anger.

2. Just for today I will let go of worry.

3. Just for today I will give thanks for my many blessings.

4. Just for today I will do my work honestly.

5. Just for today I will be kind to my neighbour and every living thing.

You will notice that each version of the Reiki principles involves "today". It is important to be here now, to focus on the present - the only moment in which you can direct and live your life and make the decisions that will affect tomorrow and demonstrate the improvement and lessons learnt from yesterday. It is also an indication that focusing on today is enough - one step at a time is all that is needed. Each day and each moment you can start anew - fresh and ready to follow the principles that will lead to a happier life for all.

For now, use this overview of the Reiki principles to think about how you can improve these areas in your life and how they apply to your specific situation. Even small changes that are applicable to your specific view and lifestyle will make a considerable difference - keep these principles on hand, and think about each principle and how you can apply it to your daily life.

Most importantly of all, remember to be present, to accept the gift that is "now" when contemplating these ideals. The past and the present are only mental ideas, each being able to affect the moment of "now" to the extent that you allow them to. Contemplate the Reiki principles, take lessons and happy memories from the past and visualize a happy, balanced future -images that will arrive and become your present "now". Now is the only time that you can live, be healed, enjoy life, be happy and know, feel and be aware that it is so.