What is Reiki?

Reiki is considered a form of energy healing wherein energy is said to be transferred from the practitioner’s hands to the patient. It originated in Japan in the 1800’s. Proponents claim it can heal both physical and emotional imbalances.

It is accepted today that there is an energy field around each human body.  Energy medicine advocates claim that the movement of this energy can become blocked from trauma but that energy healing can unblock the flow to advance healing and reduce other symptoms of ill health.  Like massage, it may activate the parasympathetic nervous system.

The Reiki practitioner may or may not touch your fully clothed body.  The practitioner must be able to sense the energy and hold the position while energy is flowing.  There are some Japanese symbols used that the practitioner visualizes as a means to focus their intentions on the patient.

Many people find this soothing or comforting and some people report that pain is decreased.  According to a small study reported in NCBI, results suggested that Reiki is more effective than a placebo.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871310/

There are a few levels of training to become a Reiki practitioner…up to a “Master.”  These are short training sessions and the ability to perform this healing is said to be through “attunement” rituals that are meant to open the practitioner’s energy channels.  The first level is intended to enable the student to work on oneself and others, the second level is to enable distant healing and the third level is to attain the ability to attune others.

While this energy healing method is practiced widely throughout the world, there is very little scientific evidence to support its efficacy.  Small trials suggest it “holds promise” for pain, relaxation, and anxiety management.  A quick search of the NCBI database will yield reports on some of those studies.  This article https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4147026/ has an interesting discussion about how quantum physics may explain the mechanism whereby Reiki (or any energy healing method) works.