Imagine my surprise when I discovered energy work being offered by New York State Continuing Education at the University of Buffalo. The course was intensive and lasted a full day. The teacher, Peg Crawford is a Master Reiki Teacher, and a mental health professional with 40 years experience. Peg provided Reiki attunement‘s to all (21) mental health professionals who attended. This was accomplished with the help of her Master Reiki assistant. No small task. But, effectively accomplished. According to Reiki tradition and practice the attunement provided us the right and privilege to use Reiki for healing; Ourselves, our families and even healing for our clients.
At the end of the course I was certified as a USUI Reiki Practitioner Level-1. Because I was so impressed with the first course I immediately signed up for a second course and became a Reiki Practitioner Level-2. After being trained by numerous Reiki Master’s and working successfully with my client’s, I am now a Usui Reiki Master Teacher (URMT) and a Karuna Ki Master Teacher (KRMT).
Additionally, I am so impressed with the overall effects that Reiki can provide I am happy to offer Reiki to my clients and their families. The relaxation and peace my clients are experiencing is helping the healing process. Please note, I do not use the laying on of hands with Reiki. For my clients, I use the hovering technique that I was directed in while studying at the University of Buffalo. However, I am also trained in the laying on of hands. Additionally, I never mix Reiki with Art Therapy.
A Definition of Reiki
Reiki is a method of natural energy healing based upon the use of the Universal Life Force Energy. It works with the energy field within and around the individual, channeling energy through the practitioner’s hands and into the receiver. Reiki energy brings deep relaxation, soothing emotions and reduces pain, negative emotions or energy. It enhances your ability to heal on all levels, including physical, emotional and spiritual. People who receive a Reiki treatment report decreased pain, deep relaxation, improved sleep and enhanced energy. On an emotional and spiritual level, individuals report reduced stress, fear and anxiety, enhanced feelings of peacefulness, improved creativity and mental clarity.
Reiki creates a relaxation response in the body which lowers blood pressure and heart rate, stimulates the immune system, balances energy and accelerates healing on all levels. In addition, it releases blocked memories and past trauma, assisting in the integration of and resolution of past emotional issues. There is increasing research and evidence on the impact of Reiki energy upon the emotional well-being of the participant, particularly upon anxiety and depression.
Reiki is administered during an individual session while lying on a massage table. The individual usually experiences the energy as a warm or tingling sensation. The Reiki practitioner works to open all the chakras, thus aligning your internal energy sources, and removing toxins and blocks which prevent your natural healing energies from functioning effectively. During the course of a Reiki session, the individual may discuss and resolve deep emotional issues which surface naturally during the course of treatment. In addition, a counseling session can be enhanced with the use of Reiki energy to open healing channels and restore emotional balance.
Reiki – Clinical Studies
Anxiety and Depression
Richeson NE, Spross JA, Lutz K, Peng C. Effects of Reiki on anxiety, depression, pain, and physiological factors in community-dwelling older adults. Research in Gerontological Nursing. 3(3):187-99, 2010.
Twenty older adults received Reiki as an additional treatment for symptoms of anxiety, depression, and pain. After regular Reiki sessions, patients showed lower anxiety, depression, and pain while improved mood, well-being, physical symptoms, curiosity, and self care.
Tsang KL, Carlson LE, Olson K. Pilot crossover trial of Reiki versus rest for treating cancer-related fatigue. Integr Cancer Ther. 6(1):25-35, 2007.
Sixteen patients with cancer-related fatigue were randomly assigned to either the Reiki then rest group or the rest then Reiki group. Results suggest that Reiki is effective in decreasing tiredness, pain and anxiety as well as improving quality of life compared to rest alone. Further research is needed to confirm the impact of Reiki due to small sample size in this study.
Chronic Illness and Reiki
Dressen LJ and Singg, S. Effects of Reiki on Pain and Selected Affective and Personality Variables of Chronically Ill Patients. Subtle Energies & Energy Medicine. 9(1): 51-82, 1998.
One hundred and twenty participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups: 10 sessions of Reiki, 10 sessions of Progressive Muscle Relaxation, a control group receiving no treatment, and a placebo group receiving 10 sessions of false-Reiki. Pain, depression, state anxiety, trait anxiety, belief in personal control and other parameters were measured pre-test, post-test and at three month follow up. Based on significant results of the study the following conclusions were reached: Reiki is an effective modality for reducing pain, depression and state anxiety; Reiki is effective in enhancing positive personality changes such as decreased trait anxiety, increased self-esteem and a greater sense of internal locus of control; Reiki enhances one’s faith in God’s help; and gains made by Reiki tend to persist over longer periods of time.
Depression and Reiki
Shore AG. “Long-term effects of energetic healing on symptoms of psychological depression and self-perceived stress.” Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine.10(3):42-8, 2004.
Forty-six partiicpants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: hands-on Reiki, distance Reiki or distance Reiki placebo control. Each participant received 1 to 1.5 hour treatment each week for 6 weeks. There was a significant reduction in symptoms of psycholgoical distress in treatment groups as compared with controls and these differences continued to be present one year later.
Immune Function and Reiki
Hartwell, B and Brewitt, B. The Efficacy of Reiki Hands On Healing: Improvement in Adrenal, Spleen and Nervous Function as Quantified by Electro-Dermal Screening.Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 3(4): 89,July, 1997.
This study studied the effect of 11 Reiki treatments on the immune function of patients with chronic illness. Five patients with either multiple sclerosis, lupus, fibromyalgia or thyroid goiter were given 11 one-hour Reiki sessions. During that period, patients received no other conventional or alternative therapy. Initially, patients received 3 consecutive Reiki treatments and then were treated with one Reiki session per week for 8 weeks. Measurements of patient’s electrical skin resistance were taken 3 times (prior to the first session, after the third session, and after their last session). Out of 45 skin conductance points measured, 3 showed significant differences before and after Reiki sessions, now measuring well within the normal range exhibited by healthy individuals. The authors concluded that Reiki seemed to benefit the organ acupuncture meridians that would be affected by chronic illness and believe that further research with a larger sample size is warranted.
Mechanism of Action
Wardell, DW, Engebretson J. “Biological correlates of Reiki Touch healing.” Journal of Advanced Nursing. 33(4):439-445,2001.
A single group repeated measure design was used to study the effects of Reiki on a sample of 23 healthy subjects. Biological markers related to stress were used including state anxiety, salivary IgA and cortisol, blood pressure, galvanic skin response, muscle tension and skin temperature. Results showed that anxiety and blood pressure were significantly lowered after treatment, skin temperature increased during treatment, and IgA levels role significantly post treatment. These findings suggest both biochemical and physiological changes in the direction of relaxation, supporting the theory that relaxation or stress reduction is a mechanism of action in Reiki Touch therapy.
Social and Health Characteristics of Reiki Patients
Kelner M and Wellman B. Who seeks alternative health care? A profile of users of five modes of treatment. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 3(2):127-140, 1997.
This study compared the social and health characteristics of patients of five types of practitioners. Family physicians were used as a baseline and compared to chiropractors, acupuncturists/traditional Chinese Medicine doctors, naturopaths, and Reiki practitioners. Three hundred interviews (60 from each type) were conducted in a large Canadian city between 1994 and 1995. Striking differences between family practice patients and alternative therapy patients were found. Differences also were found between the groups of alternative therapy patients. For example, Reiki patients were found to have a higher level of education and are more likely to be in professional or managerial positions than other alternative patients. The profiles indicated that users of alternative therapies should not be considered as a homogenous population.
Wirth DP, Brenlan DR, Levine RJ, and Rodriguez, CM. The effect of complementary healing therapy on postoperative pain after surgical removal of impacted third molar teeth. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 1(3):133-138, 1993.
This study examined the effects of Reiki and LeShan therapies in combination on pain experienced after an extraction of the lower third molar. Two separate operations were performed on 21 patients with bilateral, asymptomatic, impacted lower third molars. The patients were randomly assigned to treatment or control groups for the first operation. For the second operation they crossed over to the opposite conditioning. The treatment group received Reiki and LeShan healing post-operatively. The patients assessed their pain using a 100mm visual analog scale for postoperative hours 3 to 9 and a 5 point scale for hours 4 to 9. A statistically significant difference between the treatment and control groups was seen in both the level of pain intensity and the degree of pain relief for post-operative hours 4 to 9.