Two years ago I completed my Reiki Master Teacher training.  Reiki has been a journey that has quite literally transformed my life.  I am a better person because of it; I view people with far more compassion, I am kinder to myself, and I have level of contentment that I had not thought possible.  Yeah, really, it’s that good.

In this post, I wrote about what Reiki is, but the bigger question people want to know is, does it really work?  Ask someone who’s had Reiki, and you’ll probably get an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’  The most commonly reported effect of Reiki is relaxation; which everyone needs more of!  Our western society today is one that is driven by stress…we speak of needing caffeine (to speed us up), deadlines, gym, angry customers or bosses, after school stuff for the kids, not to mention paying the bills, keeping a roof over our heads and, especially in today’s economy, getting and keeping a good job.  We go, go, go, nonstop from the moment we crawl out from under the covers bounce out of bed till we drop our heads back onto our pillows late at night.

This is not normal.  This is not healthy.  If you think differently, you’re fooling yourself.  The whole body needs to be cared for; not only the physical, but the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of our life require tending and nurturing.  We all need ‘down time’ or ‘me time.’  That is, we all need time to recharge and re-energize ourselves; we need to de-stress, to relax and to connect with the divine within.  There are many, many paths to this, Reiki is only one.

But does it work?  This is what most people want to know before they shell out hard earned cash for someone to lay hands on and say that healing energy is channeled through them.  I mean, can you think of any more woo-woo statement than that?

So, can its effects be measured?  In this study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Reiki was found to improve outcomes in patients after a heart attack.  This article discusses how Reiki produced measurable physiologic changes associated with relaxation and stress reduction.  This last article is not Reiki focused, but discusses how distant healing techniques produced statistically significant improvement in outcomes for AIDS patients.

In case you don’t follow the links, I’ll let you know that these are not blog posts, or opinion pieces in popular literature.  These are clinical trials published in peer reviewed journals.  Do they “prove” Reiki works?  Absolutely and conclusively?  No.  Do they demonstrate that Reiki, and other complementary spiritual healing techniques are worthy of further study?  Unequivocally, yes.

Reiki is not a magic bullet, it is an adjunct therapy.  It does not ‘heal’ or ‘cure’ the recipient, but it is doing something to facilitate improved health in those who receive it.  For those who are looking for a gentle, non-drug alternative to increasing their well-being, Reiki is a sound choice.

Here’s hoping you find that which helps you heal.

I really love hearing from you!  Drop me a comment, tell me of your Reiki experiences, let me know what you think.

P.S.  All pictures are under copyright to me.  Please ask permission before use.  Thank you!

18 Responses

  1. Hey Serena,

    I’ve had the first level of Reiki training and did some ‘hands-on” work with some of my psychotherapy clients before I retired. Mostly I use it on myself to promote healing of stressed muscles, especially in my wrists, thumbs and elbow after a long day at the keyboard. I’m quite sure I would have carpal tunnel syndrome by now if it weren’t for Reiki. I knew that some clinical trials had been initiated but hadn’t heard the results. Thanks for sharing this info!

  2. I love Reiki- for what it’s intended – as an adjunct therapy. totally saved my wrist from carpel tunnel because i was ‘storing’ stress there. thanks for the reminder

  3. I haven’t had any Reiki work done, although I’ve thought about it. As someone who pushed my body into overdrive for a few years–until all that overwork caught up with me–I’ve had to learn to stop, relax, and just breathe. I’ve had acupuncture and experienced good results from that for treating fatigue and chronic pain. Perhaps I’ll give Reiki a go. Thanks for sharing the links.

    It makes sense that Reiki would work. Many forms of spiritual work seem to make us healthier, whether in mind, body, or soul–or all three. On a related note, I’ve read a lot of articles lately about the benefits of meditation for stress relief. Some research even suggests that meditation actually improves our decision-making abilities, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we continue finding research that reinforces the benefits of alternative medicine like acupuncture or Reiki.

    1. If you ever do get Reiki, I’d love to hear what you think. These sorts of complementary practices are definitely gaining traction in the western medicine community. The east coast is far more progressive than the west in this respect. Reiki is available more readily in hospitals, offered to patients, interested nurses are training in it. I know that here in Seattle, a program was offered to a major hospital for their breast cancer patients, and the hospital turned it down. Too bad. Ah well, all things in their time.

  4. I really loved this post. I’m at a Reiki I level. I can do the hands on but not the projected. Before I offer it to anyone, I ask them if they want it. If they say they do, then I tell them to just allow themselves to believe that the energy they will feel is there to heal and help them with whatever is hurting or bothering them. I have never heard anyone say it didn’t work for them. Great post!

    1. Thanks! I love that you use the word ‘offer.’ I hear the word ‘send’ used with Reiki, but ‘offer’ or ‘share’ carries the implicit understanding that the recipient can accept the Reiki, or not. Asking permission is key before you start.

  5. I’ve had massage therapy done which also included some Reiki. I think it works best for you if your mind is open to accepting the energy work that Reiki is. We are beings of energy after all and one’s focus is a way to channel our energy to wherever we want it to go. When it’s to another individual, they must have their defense shields down to allow the energy flow to work. It’s all pretty fascinating stuff!! I’m so glad that more and more people are open to this sort of thing. I totally believe in it’s power and ability!! Thanks for sharing, Serena!

    1. You are absolutely right, the recipient must be open, or the Reiki will just flow around and back to the universe. What is really wonderful to see is just how many people ARE opening up. 🙂

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