Reiki can help your patients, whether that’s through helping people relax or providing measurable clinical benefits. Through better integration, Reiki can also play a part in helping to take the pressure off healthcare systems.
While some medical authorities say there is no evidence of Reiki’s efficacy, you can see from the shortlist of research evidence we have compiled that this is not true.
Many hospitals and hospices already offer Reiki to patients. In the USA, Reiki is widely used in hospitals and is often administered by medical staff. Our resources will help you introduce or expand its use in your own medical setting.
Reiki can also help medical professionals deal with stress, tiredness and other issues in highly charged clinical environments. Self-care is now known to be essential for anyone who supports others.
We can help in all of these areas, bringing Reiki to benefit your patients, your medical teams and yourself.
Credit: Connecting Reiki with Medicine
Reiki for self-care
Working in the medical profession can be stressful, which can result in poor health. One of Reiki’s guiding principles is caring for ourselves when we are healing or treating others, and Reiki self-care offers simple ways to bring this into daily life. In using Reiki this way, the medical community can tap into the relaxation and relief from stress that Reiki can bring.
Reiki for self-care
6 immediate potential benefits
- It is simple and time-efficient
- It is easy and inexpensive to learn
- Once learned, it can be used at any time
- It can ease pain, anxiety and stress
- It can bring about immediate comfort and calm
- It can promote sleep and wellbeing
If you are interested, Reiki Healthcare Research Trust gives tips and links to teacher directories for learning Reiki.
Reiki, Taiji and Qigong
Partners for self-care
Free self-help resource
Hospital doctors, nurses, midwives, healthcare practitioners and ambulance paramedics can refer themselves to this free, confidential and easy-to-use service that provides distant Reiki treatments to medical professionals. Reiki Medic-Care is now only available in the UK but is working with organisations in other countries to make this an international service.
Rachel – HDU nurse recommends Reiki for anxiety.
Jo, Matron at a teaching hospital, encourages her colleagues to welcome the power of Reiki
Reiki in clinical settings
In many countries, Reiki is becoming an important part of holistic care in wellness clinics and hospices for staff, patients and their families. Reiki is also making headway in hospitals, and has been for some time, particularly in the USA.
Reiki Healthcare Research Trust works in collaboration with scientists, medical professionals, healthcare and Reiki organisations. Together, we promote the highest professional standards of evidence-based Reiki practice in clinical settings.
Our vision is that with better understanding and awareness of the potential benefits of Reiki as a holistic and healing practice, patients, their families and medical professionals will experience a difference in overall wellbeing and outcomes.
A series of videos, webinars and courses will be added to this page soon to encourage discussion and build bridges between Reiki and medical communities around the world. They will explore areas such as:
- Reiki and mental health
- Reiki for Parkinson’s and MSA patients
- Reiki and orthopaedics
- Reiki and childbirth
- Reiki and paediatrics
Reiki – the evidence base
There is a significant body of evidence which suggests Reiki’s positive effects for the relief of stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, chronic and acute pain, especially among medical staff with burnout syndrome. By helping to promote relaxation and improve sleep, Reiki may help to boost the immune system.
At St George’s Hospital in London, UK, the areas of anxiety, sleep and pain look promising for Reiki research based on raw data collection at the Connecting Reiki with Medicine project (10). A reliable short list of well-designed Reiki research studies, critical evaluations and systematic reviews which have been published in clinical, nursing or peer-reviewed journals is available here.
Reiki research (randomised controlled trials) published in the last five years yield a credible body of evidence that Reiki can reduce pain and anxiety, either alone or when used as a complementary therapy in conjunction with the usual standard of care (2-10).
Additionally, there is a significant body of anecdotal evidence suggesting that Reiki can help patients in several areas of medicine, which merit further investigation. Reiki Healthcare Research Trust will encourage and, where possible, facilitate quality discussion and robust, replicable studies.
- Effects of Reiki energy therapy on saphenous vein incision pain: A randomized clinical trial study. Shaybak, E., Abdollahimohammad, A., Rahnama, M., Masinaeinezhad, N., Azadi-Ahmadabadi, C., &; Firouzkohi, M. Der Pharmacia Lettre, 2017 9(1): 100-109. Reiki, compared to sham Reiki, significantly reduced the sensory quality of pain in the leg after catheterization for heart surgery. Only 20 patients per group.
- Self-Efficacy for coping with cancer enhances the effect of Reiki treatments during the pre-surgery phase of breast cancer patients. Chirico A, Aiuto G, Penon A, Mallia L, De Laurentiis M, Lucidi F, Botti G, Giordano A. Anticancer Res. 2017 Jul;37(7): 3657-3665. The effectiveness of Reiki in reducing anxiety in cancer patients was amplified in those who also had good self-coping skills. 55 patients per group, no sham Reiki.
- Effects of Reiki on pain, anxiety, and blood pressure in patients undergoing knee replacement: A pilot study. Baldwin AL, Vitale A, Brownell E, Kryak E, Rand W. Holist Nurs Pract. 2017 Mar/Apr; 31(2):80-89. Reiki, compared to sham Reiki or standard care, significantly reduced pain, need for pain medication, blood pressure, anxiety and length of hospital stay in patients after knee replacement surgery. Only 15 patients per group.
- Buyukbayram, Z., & Saritas, S. C. The effect of Reiki and guided imagery intervention on pain and fatigue in oncology patients: A non-randomized controlled study. Explore, 2020 17(1): 22-26. In a large-scale study, 180 oncology patients were given Reiki, guided imagery or no treatment control. After the Reiki, and guided imagery, but not no treatment control, the mean pain and fatigue scores significantly decreased.
- The effect of acupressure and Reiki application on patients’ pain and comfort level after laparoscopic cholecystectomy: A randomized controlled trial. Topdemir EA, Saritas S. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2021 May 43: 101385. Patients (210) for surgery were assessed for anxiety. Half the patients received one 30-min. Reiki session prior to surgery and the others did not. Anxiety was reassessed immediately after Reiki or no Reiki. The anxiety level of the patients in the Reiki group did not change whereas the anxiety of the control group significantly increased. No sham Reiki group.
- Yüce, U. Ö., & Taşcı, S. Effect of Reiki on the stress level of caregivers of patients with cancer: Qualitative and single-blind randomized controlled trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2021 58, 102708. 42 primary caregivers of cancer patients were randomized to Reiki and sham Reiki groups who were given 45 min treatments once a week for 6 weeks. Post-intervention Caregiver Strain Index scores significantly fell in the Reiki group compared with the sham Reiki group. All caregivers stated that they found the caring process less stressful after the Reiki sessions. Only 21 patients per group.
- The effects of Reiki and back massage on women’s pain and vital signs post-abdominal hysterectomy: A randomized controlled trial. Utli H, Yağmur Y. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 2021 23(1): 52-58. To determine the effects of Reiki and back massage on pain, analgesic use, and vital signs among women who had undergone an open abdominal hysterectomy. 34 patients per group (Reiki, Back Massage, Control). Treatment 20 min per day for first and second days after surgery. Reiki group had significantly less pain, lower heart rate, respiration rate and blood pressure and less analgesic use than other two groups.
- Karaman, S. & Tan, M. Effect of Reiki therapy on quality of life and fatigue levels of breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. A randomized controlled trial. Cancer Nursing, 2021 Nov-Dec 01;44(6): E652-E658. To determine the effect of Reiki therapy on the quality of life and fatigue levels in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. 35 patients per group (Reiki, no treatment control). Reiki group received six 40-min sessions of Reiki, one during each of 3 chemotherapy sessions and 3 after the first chemotherapy session. There was statistically significant less fatigue for Reiki treated patients in the post treatment, though both groups were the same pre-treatment.
- The Effect of Reiki on Pain, Fatigue, and Quality of Life in Adolescents with Dysmenorrhea. Koçoğlu F, Zincir H. Holist Nurs Pract. 2021 Nov-Dec. 35(6): 306-314. This randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted to evaluate the effect of Reiki applications on pain, fatigue, and quality of life in adolescents with dysmenorrhea. The Reiki group had significantly reduced pain.
- Martin, R., Glanville, M., Ball, C., Ruggles, S., Elanko, A., Elanko, S. (2019) Quality Improvement Project (QIP) exploring effectiveness of Reiki therapy on Quality of Life (Qol) outcome measures for cancer patients when used In Integrated Healthcare (IH). European Journal of Surgical Oncology 45, P2228, #132.