REIKI THERAPY Overview Information
Reiki (pronounced Ray-Kee) is a form of “energy medicine” that uses touch. Practitioners say it will heal disease by correcting energy imbalances.
Reiki is considered to be a “touch therapy” because it involves placing the hands on or very near to a person's body. By applying the hands on or near the body, the Reiki practitioner attempts to transmit or deliver energy. The Reiki practitioner uses 12-15 different hand positions and keeps them in place for 2-5 minutes. Some people use the terms “Healing Touch” and “Reiki therapy” interchangeably. Although these practices share many similarities, there are some difference in theory, principles, and training.
Reiki practitioners are largely unregulated in North America. In some states Reiki practitioners must also be licensed massage therapists. There is no consistent standard for training in Reiki therapy. However, most schools recognize three or four levels of expertise. Training for each level takes 1-2 days.
Reiki therapy is used for a variety of health purposes, but primarily for treating pain, stress, and fatigue; for speeding recovery from surgery or cancer therapy; for improving memory and feelings of well being; and for end-of-life care.
How does it work?
Reiki (pronounced Ray-Kee) therapy originated from Buddhist monks. “Rei” means “universal spirit” and “ki” means “life energy.” Therefore, Reiki literally means “universal life energy.”
Reiki is referred to as an “energy medicine” therapy because practitioners believe that it can improve the flow and balance of energy. It is believed that energy imbalances or disturbances result in disease.
People undergoing Reiki therapy sometimes can experience tingling sensations, sleepiness, or relaxation. People with pain, nausea, or fatigue sometimes experience relief of these symptoms.
Currently, the beliefs and theories of Reiki therapy are not supported by scientific research.
- Alzheimer's disease. Developing research suggests that Reiki therapy can improve memory and decrease behavior problems in people with mild Alzheimer's disease.
- Pain related to cancer or other conditions. There is some evidence that therapeutic touch, such as Reiki therapy, can produce short-term pain relief and improve quality of life in people with cancer.
- Pain after hysterectomy. Early research shows that Reiki therapy, in addition to normal care, can reduce pain and anxiety in women after a hysterectomy.
- Fatigue related to cancer or other conditions. Some studies show that Reiki therapy can reduce fatigue and improve quality of life in patients undergoing cancer treatment.
- Stress. Some college students report that Reiki therapy can reduce stress.
- Stroke recovery. Developing research shows that Reiki therapy, in addition to usual rehabilitation, does not significantly improve stroke recovery.
- Other conditions.
REIKI THERAPY Side Effects & Safety
Reiki therapy appears to be safe when used appropriately. However, it should not be considered appropriate as a substitute for usual medical treatments.
Reiki therapy has not been associated with any side effects.