Is There Research to Prove the Effects of Reiki?

Can you prove that Reiki works? What kind of proof would you prefer? Volumes of research, data and personal anecdotes have been compiled from all over the world for more than fifty years on topics such as ESP, spontaneous healing and psychic communication. Yet, somehow, all of these phenomena are still considered unscientific and unproven. In fact, such meta-physical events are in perfect tune with the laws of quantum physics. Research concerning energy and consciousness is often more thorough and exhausting than research by pharmaceutical corporations that market highly toxic drugs that can lead to death.

When somebody asks, Can you prove that Reiki is real using empirical evidence? I like to respond, only half in jest, Can you prove that science is real using spiritual evidence? Indeed, academic research demonstrates the measurable effectiveness of Reiki.

Researchers have evaluated the effects of Reiki on stress by measuring several physical indicators. Positive healing effects include significant reduction in reported anxiety, significant drops in systolic blood pressure and significant increases in salivary secretions relating to increased immune functions. These results have been published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing (2001). Research also indicates positive outcomes from Reiki healing include enhanced self-esteem and increased faith in God. These academic findings are consistent with my own experience of Reiki practice. I’ve never personally measured a patient’s blood pressure or salivary secretions, partly because I don’t know how. More importantly, I don’t measure those factors because the influence of Reiki is usually quite evident to both healer and recipient. Nevertheless, it is helpful to know that the academic community is considering Reiki seriously. Additional research explains how Reiki can be used to help diabetes patients.

Diabetes is when the body is unable to metabolize food products sufficiently. According to Registered Nurse Kathie Lipinski, Reiki can be thought of as balancing and healing all aspects of one’s being. She encourages all of her clients with diabetes to learn Reiki to stay healthy and cope with the stresses of everyday life. She explains that stress throws the blood sugar out of balance and can cause higher than normal blood sugar. Reiki minimizes the effects of stress. She adds that the hands can be placed over the solar plexus (upper adbomen) where the pancreas is located to nourish it and relieve any stress gathered there. A word of caution; a person with diabetes who receives Reiki regularly needs to be aware of its effect on their blood sugar level. Due to the relaxation induced by Reiki, it may be necessary to adjust the dosage of insulin or diabetes medicine. The same is true with patients taking medicine for high blood pressure. In both cases, patients are advised to consult with their physicians to determine if any adjustments are needed in their dosage. This case history presents a valuable example of allopathic and alternative healing approaches being used together wisely and cautiously by a health professional. Use of one healing approach does not negate the option of using another as evidenced by the use of Reiki in hospitals.

Reiki is gaining recognition in hospitals around the world. Seventy hospitals in the UK, US, Egypt, Argentina, Belgium and Canada provide health care with Reiki. In a study published in Issues in Mental Health Nursing (2007), registered nurses enrolled to study Reiki and kept journals of their experiences. The main things observed at the physical level included sensations of warmth, pulsations and calmness. In occupational terms, the nurses reported enhanced problem solving ability and increased ability to focus on patient needs. The nurses consistently reported feeling more positive about their work after participating in Reiki self healing classes. It’s encouraging to know that the nursing profession is recognizing and utilizing Reiki in its health care practices. It’s a blessing that more professions are opening the discourse to the benefits of Reiki. Meanwhile, I suggest that you don’t wait for the academic or medical professions to declare whether Reiki is effective or not. The real proof is when you open yourself to the experience and feel for yourself what scientists frequently are unable to measure using all the technology in the world. The only technology you really need to experience Reiki is your own body and mind.

The next question that frequently arises is whether or not Reiki is just a placebo. This question will be address in an upcoming article. Please stay in tune!