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The Art Of Reiki
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Dr. Usui
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    In the beginning Reiki had no hand positions.  All Dr. Usui would do was simply lay his hands on the patient.  As he continued with his practice he discovered that many patients were returning and so where the symptoms.  He began to think that there might be some psychological reasons for this and began experimenting with with hand positions and symbols.  Due to the fact that he was a Tendai Buddhist from Japan he drew from his knowledge of Buddhism to create the symbols.  Below are some of the more common hand positions that are currently used in Reiki.

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