Reiki is a Japanese energy healing technique. The predominate form of reiki practiced throughout the world today, also known as Usui reiki, was created by Dr. Mikao Usui in the early 20th century. It’s a complementary or alternative health approach. Reiki does not directly cure diseases or illnesses. Instead, it’s used as a way to manage symptoms and improve general well-being.
During a reiki session, the practitioner places their hands either directly on you or just above you to bring about healing. The belief is that the practitioner is able to stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities.
Read on to learn more about the benefits and side effects of reiki, and what to expect from a reiki session.
1. Relieves pain, anxiety, and fatigue
According to a
review of randomized trials, reiki may help to reduce pain and anxiety, though more research is needed. It may also help to reduce fatigue.
2015 study found that people being treated for cancer who received distant reiki in addition to regular medical care had lower levels of pain, anxiety, and fatigue. These levels were significantly lower than the control group, who only received medical care. Participants had 30-minute sessions of distant reiki for five days.
In another 2015 study, researchers looked at the effects of reiki on women following cesarean delivery. They found that reiki significantly reduced pain, anxiety, and the breathing rate in women 1-2 days after having a cesarean delivery. The need for and number of analgesic pain killers was also reduced. Reiki didn’t have an effect on blood pressure or pulse rate.
2018 study compared the use of reiki to physiotherapy for relieving lower back pain in people with herniated disks. Both treatments were found to be equally effective at relieving pain, but reiki was more cost-effective and, in some cases, resulted in faster treatment.
2. Treats depression
Reiki treatments may be used as part of a treatment plan to help relieve depression. In a small 2010 study, researchers looked at the effects of reiki on older adults experiencing pain, depression, or anxiety. The participants reported an improvement of their physical symptoms, mood, and well-being. They also reported more feelings of relaxation, increased curiosity, and enhanced levels of self-care.
Larger, more in-depth studies are required to expand upon these findings.
3. Enhances quality of life
The positive benefits of reiki can enhance your overall well-being. Researchers in a small 2016 study found that reiki was helpful in improving the quality of life for women with cancer. Women who had reiki showed improvements to their sleep patterns, self-confidence, and depression levels. They noted a sense of calm, inner peace, and relaxation.
Larger studies are needed to expand on these findings.
4. Boosts mood
Reiki may help to improve your mood by relieving anxiety and depression. According to results from a 2011 study, people who had reiki felt greater mood benefits compared to people who didn’t have reiki. The study participants who had six 30-minute sessions over a period of two to eight weeks showed improvements in their mood.
5. May improve some symptoms and conditions
Reiki may also be used to treat:
The relaxation response that happens with Reiki may benefit these symptoms. However, specific research is needed to determine the efficacy of reiki for the treatment of these symptoms and conditions.
Reiki is non-invasive and thought to be
safe. It doesn’t have any known harmful side effects. For those with a past trauma, lying quietly in a dim room with someone close to you might be uncomfortable.
Reiki is not intended to replace any doctor-approved treatment plan.