What is Reiki?

Reiki, pronounced “rey-key” is a form of energy healing that takes place through gentle touch. It restores health and harmony to the physical body, releases emotional blockages and activates a closer connection to spirit. Its recent origins have been traced back to Japan in the late 1800’s and the inspired work of Dr. Mikao Usui. Defined as “universal nonphysical energy”, Reiki works with body intelligence to flow wherever the body needs it for healing.

How can I benefit from Reiki?

Reiki has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to promote healing. Reiki’s effectiveness is now recognized by science making it a healing technique used in hospitals by doctors, nurses and medical staff. (see Reiki’s scientific evidence below)

Reiki is beneficial for relieving effects of:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Pain, inflammation, muscle tension and headaches
  • Emotional imbalance and depression
  • Fatigue

Reiki works with the vibration of love and compassion and is a wonderful way to receive healing. Reiki is an easy form of self-healing to learn and practice.

Is Reiki a religion?

While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not.

How does Reiki work?

Reiki works with your body’s inner intelligence, flowing where it is needed accordingly. This means it cannot be misused and can never be harmful. It is safe, natural and simple. The more we know about quantum physics, the easier it is to understand the complexity of this invisible and almost magical healing modality.

What is a Reiki session like?

During a Reiki session, the Reiki practitioner sends a flow of subtle life force energy (chi or ki) by holding the hands lightly on or above the receiver’s body. The receiver remains fully clothed and lies comfortably on the treatment table during the session. Reiki energy produces sensations of warmth and relaxation while leaving the recipient feeling nurtured and a sense of restored vitality. Reiki strengthens the body’s natural healing abilities and assists in achieving a state of balance. Because Reiki is so gentle, it is safe to use with children, elderly and for those who are ill or recovering from illness. Reiki may also be integrated into a massage session with a laying of hands on an affected area of the body for healing.

Is there scientific evidence to support Reiki’s healing claims?

Previously viewed with skepticism, Reiki is now a credible form of energy healing. “Reiki has become a sought-after healing art among patients and mainstream medical professionals,” says Dr. Mehmet Oz M.D. Reiki is now being taught to medical students at the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona and is practiced in numerous medical centers and hospitals across North America. While conventional science is still unable to ascertain exactly how Reiki works, numerous medical studies validate Reiki’s seemingly magical effects.

Research shows:

  1. Reiki promotes healing at the cellular level.

A 1990 study by Dr. John Zimmerman found that practitioners of Reiki and other healing modalities emit extremely low frequency (ELF) range frequency waves from their hands. These ELF frequencies are biologically important because the stimulate tissue repair: 2 cycles per second (Hz) is effective for nerve regeneration, 7 Hz is optimal for bone growth and 10 Hz is used for ligaments. During a healing session, the frequencies emitted from the Reiki practitioner’s hands range from .3 Hz to 30 Hz and focus primarily in the 7- 8 Hz range. These pulsing frequencies induce current flows in the tissues and cells of the person receiving Reiki to stimulate healing. Dr. Zimmerman found that non-practitioners do NOT produce the pulsing ELF field.

2. Reiki reduces pain and anxiety.

A 2003 study on the effects of Reiki and HIV pain and anxiety found that participants reported a significant reduction in subjective pain and anxiety after twenty minutes of Reiki healing. In addition, the participants receiving Reiki reported a sense of inner calm and heightened awareness despite that the Reiki treatments were not conducted in a setting conducive to relaxation.

A 1997 study at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton found Reiki treatments reduced pain significantly (p<0.0001) as measured using both a visual analogue scale (VAS) and a Likert scale

3. Reiki decreases blood pressure.

A 2004 Scotland Reiki study showed Reiki recipients had a significant decrease in heart rate and diastolic blood pressure compared with both the control and placebo group.

4. Reiki reduces depression and stress.

A study to quantify the effectiveness of Reiki for treatment of depression was done in 2004 by A.G Shore. Participants were assessed before and after Reiki treatment with standardized psychological assessments (Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Hopelessness Scale and Perceived Stress Scale). Participants who received weekly Reiki treatment for six weeks reported significant reduction in depression, hopelessness and self-perceived stress as compared to the placebo group. The benefits of these six weeks of Reiki healing were shown to still be in effect when the participants were retested a year later. ‘

5. Distance Reiki treatments are equally effective to hands-on Reiki treatments.

The 2004 study on the effectiveness of Reiki and depression involved both hands –on Reiki sessions and distant Reiki sessions. The study showed there was no significant difference between the group receiving hands-on Reiki and the group receiving distant Reiki, both groups improved to a similar degree compared with the placebo group. When retested a year later, both groups had still retained the benefits of the Reiki healing

6. Reiki creates deep relaxation and a meditative state.

Research in the 1980’s by Dr. Robert Becker and Dr. John Zimmerman found that Reiki creates an “alpha state” in the brainwaves of both Reiki practitioners and recipients. In the alpha state, the brainwaves have slowed down to oscillate between 8-12 Hz. The alpha state is created naturally in when we are very relaxed such as right before you fall asleep or when you are daydreaming. The alpha state generates healing, relaxation and greater creativity.

7. Reiki increases immune function.

A 1997 study quantified that Reiki used on patients with chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis; lupus and fibromyaglia experienced reduced pain, increased relaxation and mobility and improved spleen, immune and nervous system function as a result of their Reiki sessions.

A 2001 study of 23 healthy people who received 30-minute Reiki treatments found the participants’ anxiety and systolic blood pressure dropped significantly. In addition, there was also a significant improvement in immune response as measured by increased salivary IgA which is the antibody secreted in saliva that protects against infection.