Reiki Therapy


What is it?

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 pain, stress, fatigue, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

It is effective?
Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

Possibly Ineffective for …

  • Fibromyalgia. Some research shows that receiving Reiki therapy twice weekly for 8 weeks does not reduce pain or other symptoms in people with fibromyalgia.

Insufficient Evidence to Make a Determination for …

  • Alzheimer disease. Early research shows that Reiki therapy might improve memory and behavioral problems in people with mild Alzheimer disease.
  • Anxiety. Early research shows that Reiki therapy might slightly improve pain and anxiety in women.
  • Tiredness in people with cancer. Early research shows that Reiki therapy can reduce fatigue in people undergoing cancer treatment. Reiki seems to work better than guided imagery and resting. But it doesn’t seem to be better than having a companion during treatment.
  • Pain in people with cancer. Early evidence shows that Reiki therapy relieves pain in the short-term in people with cancer. Reiki might work better than listening to a guided imagery tape.
  • Depression. Early research shows that hands-on Reiki or distance Reiki can improve depression and stress in people with self-reported depression.
  • HIV/AIDS. Early research shows that practicing self-Reiki therapy improves anxiety and pain in people with HIV/AIDS.
  • Pain. Early research shows that Reiki therapy might slightly improve pain and anxiety in women.
  • Pain after surgery. Early research shows that adding Reiki therapy to normal care reduces pain and anxiety in women after surgical removal of the uterus. But other early research shows that Reiki does not reduce pain in children after dental surgery.
  • Anxiety before surgery. It’s unclear if Reiki therapy reduces anxiety before surgery. But Reiki therapy might reduce anxiety before a colonoscopy.
  • Feelings of well-being. Early research shows that giving Reiki therapy to patients undergoing cancer therapy improves feelings of comfort and well-being.
  • Stroke recovery. Early research shows that adding Reiki therapy to rehabilitation therapy does not further improve recovery from stroke.
  • Stress.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Reiki for these uses.

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.

Is there concern for the safety of its use?
Reiki therapy appears to be LIKELY 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.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if Reiki therapy is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. But there’s no reason to believe that it might be harmful.

Are there any drug interactions?
There are no known interactions with medications. Before taking this product, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.

Are there any interactions with herbs and supplements?
There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Are there any interactions with food?
There are no known interactions with foods.

What dose is used?
The appropriate or safe use of reiki therapy depends on several factors such as the condition being treated or the person administering the treatment. Reiki usually involves laying on of hands on certain body parts or sending energy from a distance. A Reiki practitioner might hold their hands on the person’s eyes, crown of the head, chest, feet, stomach, and other areas for 2-3 minutes. A typical Reiki session can be 15 to 90 minutes long. Be sure to seek and follow relevant directions from your physician or other healthcare professional before using this treatment.

By what other names is the product known?
Bioenergy Therapy, Biofield Energy Therapy, Buddhist Reiki, Énergie Universelle de Vie, Energy Health, Energy Medicine, Energy Work, Healing Touch, Japanese Reiki, Médecine Énergétique, Ray-kee, Reiki, Reiki Japonais, Reiki Therapie, Reiki Touch Therapy, Terapia Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Thérapie Manuelle Énergétique, Thérapie par le Toucher, Touch Therapy, Toucher Guérisseur, Toucher Thérapeutique, Universal Life Energy.

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