Reiki: is it worth the time?

Reiki is a Japanese term made from two words- Rei which means “Gods wisdom or Higher power” and Ki which means “Life Force or Life Energy”. It’s now being used in more than 1000 hospitals in the US as a complimentary therapy. It is as said a complimentary one and a substitue for your regular medications and procedures. It supports body’s natural healing abilities, which is the important point to remember. But till now there has been no scientific evidence whether this works or not, but it also does not mean thet it doesn’t. But is it worth your time?

“Reiki can do no harm — the worst thing it can do is nothing,” said Ann Baldwin, a professor of physiology at the University of Arizona and a trained Reiki master, or practitioner. 


Reiki has been used in ancient Chinese and Japanese tradition for healing. It was started by a Japanese monk named Mikao Usui. Usui based his healing techniques on methods and philosophies drawn from several traditional Asian healing practices.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a type of alternative healing which is called energy healing. It uses a technique called palm healing or hands-on healing. It is based on the theory that hands can be used to harness or gather universal energy which can be transferred to the body for physical healing and emotional healing. Reiki is a psuedoscience, and is used as an illustrative example of pseudoscience in scholarly texts and academic journal articles. It is based on qi(“chi”), which practitioners say is a universal life force, although there is no factual evidence that such a life force exist.


Let me remind once again that no scientific evidence still exists yet to support these claims, but according to independent research have shown these benefits.

  1. Relieves pain, anxiety and fatigue

A study in 2015 found out that patient on treatment for cancer received reiki in addition had lower levels of pain, anxiety and fatigue. 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. But it did not have any effects of blood pressure and heart rate.

2. Enhance quality of life

A research done in 2016 found out that using reiki improved the sleep patterns, self confidence and mood symptoms of women suffering from cancer. They noted a sense of calm, inner peace, and relaxation. 

More studies are necessary to corroborate these findings.

3. Boosts mood

A small study in 2011 found that people receiving Reiki had better mood and less mood alterations.

4. May improve some conditions

Reiki may also be used to treat:

  • headache
  • tension 
  • insomnia 
  • nausea

Side effects

As it is a non invasive procedure it is generally considered safe and without any side effects. But as mentioned it is not a replacement of your doctor or your treatment.

In conclusion, as there is no clear scientific evidence to recommend reiki to patients, but people who are willing to give it a try are more than welcome to do it after receiving all the necessary information. As there is no demonstrable side effects it might be considered pretty safe and also what’s the harm in letting someone touch you right?

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