Reiki is a Japanese healing art that was developed by Dr Usui in Japan in the early 20th century. It is pronounced ray-key.
A Reiki practitioner aims to change and balance the energy fields in and around your body to help on a physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual level.
Reiki is a complementary health approach in which practitioners place their hands lightly on or just above a person, with the goal of facilitating the person’s own healing response.
The Japanese word Reiki means universal energy. Eastern medicine systems work with this energy, which flows through all living things and is vital to well being. The energy is known as ‘Ki’ in Japan, ‘Chi’ in China and ‘prana’ in India.
Reiki isn’t part of any type of religion or belief system. It is best described as a hands on healing used as a complementary therapy.
Reiki is based on an Eastern belief in an energy that supports the body’s innate or natural healing abilities.
Reiki has been studied for a variety of conditions, including pain, anxiety, fatigue, and depression.
What is the status of the research?
Research into Reiki is just beginning. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health <https://nccih.nih.gov/> (NCCIH) of the National Institutes of Health <http://www.nih.gov/> (NIH) has completed five studies looking at Reiki’s ability to benefit people with diabetes, advanced AIDS, prostate cancer, fibromyalgia, and stress.
Other published studies have looked at the effect of Reiki on measures of stress hormones, blood pressure, heart rate, and immune responsivity, and on subjective reports of anxiety <http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/conditions/anxiety>, pain anddepression <http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/conditions/anxiety>. The studies to date are typically small, and not every study is well designed. However, overlapping data from some of the stronger studies support the ability of Reiki to reduce anxiety and pain, and suggest its usefulness to induce relaxation, improve fatigue and depressive symptoms, and strengthen overall wellbeing <http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/glossary/3#term45>.
Reiki has been increasingly offered as part of workplace wellness programs to address burnout and improve skills in healthcare and other industries, as well as in university wellness centers.