What is Reiki?

Reiki (pronounced Ray-Key) is the Japanese term for universal energy originated thousands of years ago in Tibet. Rei means universal, and Ki means life energy or universal life force. Together they mean universal life force.  Ki has the same meaning as Chi in Chinese and Prana in Sanskrit. Reiki has roots in Tandai Buddhism, a mystical form of Buddhism and Shintoism the indigenous religion of Japan. Dr. Mikao Usui, a scholar of religion, and a Tao Buddhist from Japan reintroduced Reiki in the 1900s.

How is Reiki practiced?

The practice of Reiki is a light placing of hands on the body in a series of ordered positions to aid in increasing energy flow throughout the body. Reiki practitioners do not direct energy; instead, they claim that Reiki energy facilitated through the practitioner’s hands and the subtle energy travels to the places in the body that needs healing. It is important to note that there is no religious belief system attached to Reiki. The belief of how energy flows in the body is the premise of understanding the effects of Reiki.

What is a Reiki Session like?

A Reiki session may last 30 to 60 minutes. The room is dimly lit with soft music playing in the background. During the session, the recipient remains fully clothed; covered with a light sheet or blanket. Reiki is a passive practice involving no tissue manipulation or massage. The practitioner’s hands may either rest lightly on the recipient’s body or hover just above the body depending on the recipient’s preference. The recipient may experience sensations of heat, cool, tingling with some experiencing no particular sensations. Almost all experience a sense of balance and relaxation. The Reiki practitioner remains neutral allowing the recipient to apply meaning to the Reiki experience.

What are the benefits of Reiki?

Reiki treatment helps lessen the impact of stress, releasing tension from the entire system. Not only does the person move toward his or her unique balance in body, mind, and spirit, but also, depending on the level of physical health when Reiki begins the body’s healing mechanisms often begin functioning more effectively.  The NCCAM studies suggest that Reiki reduces anxiety, depression and relieves pain especially postoperative pain. Reiki is increasingly used in a variety of medical settings (a) hospice care settings to assist patients through the physical and emotional effects of dying  (b) emergency rooms settings  and (c) psychiatric settings to assist patients that have anxiety and depression.

Physical Benefits

  • Creates deep relaxation and aids in relieving stress and tension.
  • Gives you a high level of energy
  • Helps you sleep better and more deeply
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Relieves pain from acute injuries (does not healthem!)
  • Brings the body in to correct balance and harmony
  • Assists in helping the body clean itself of toxins

Emotional Benefits

  • Minimizes emotional stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia
  • Raises self-esteem and improves confidence levels
  • Improves memory
  • Enhances creativity and intuition
  • Helps in the grieving process

Spiritual Benefits

  • Connects you with a higher consciousness
  • Raises your vibrational level
  • Conducts and enhances spiritual awakening
  • Inspires guidance in questionable situations

Where is Reiki done?

Columbia Presbyterian was one of the first hospitals to include Reiki as part of their Integrative Medicine Program and Mayo Clinic Hospitals are using Reiki and healing touch therapies as part of their Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program. Trained certified Reiki practitioners are volunteering their services to both patients in Mayo Hospital and in some Rochester outpatient areas knowing that reputable hospitals such as Mayo Clinic have incorporated Reiki into their program.

Hospitals affiliated with top universities including Yale, Duke, and Johns Hopkins are offering Reiki and a variety of other complementary therapies.

What Research has been done on Reiki?

 A study performed at Hartford hospital on patients who received Reiki reported 86 % of patients had improved sleep, 78% of patients reported reduced pain, 80% of patients had reduced nausea, and 94% of pregnant women reported reduced anxiety during pregnancy (htt://dahlc.mayoclinic.org).

New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Campus performed a study to determine the effect of Reiki on the autonomic nervous system. The testing done on the participant’s baseline autonomic nervous system levels, and the results from receiving Reiki showed the levels including respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure

lowered. Reiki studies revealed noteworthy decreases in anxiety and that a single Reiki session significantly increased humoral immunological functioning and reduced blood pressure.





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