The benefits of Reiki on your health and wellbeing are significant, and research over the years has proved its effectiveness in several areas, here we look at 10 Benefits of receiving Reiki.
So you’ve heard of Reiki but do you have any idea what it is, and how it can help with your health and wellbeing? I would hazard a guess that the answer is no. It’s a great buzz word, and it often perceived as an alternative therapy that’s ‘a bit out there’, so are there any real benefits of trying this treatment?
First of all, let’s look at what Reiki is all about. Reiki is a Japanese word for "universal life force energy". It dates back 2,500 years to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and was rediscovered by Dr Usui, a Japanese scholar in the late 19th century.
At a basic level, Reiki is a holistic system of healing and works on three main levels: physical, emotional and spiritual.
The healing technique channels energy to the patient to encourage the natural healing processes of the human body and help restore physical and emotional wellbeing. It is not a belief system or linked to any religion or culture. It works as a pure energy similar to our thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
A treatment will feel like a wonderful calming radiance that flows through and around you. It is a simple, natural and safe method of healing and can be used to complement all other medical or alternative therapies.
Top 10 benefits:
Helps with Pain Management
Promotes Health & General Wellbeing
Aids personal growth
Increases intuition, creativity and self-awareness
Relives stress and tension
Can help with depression and grief
Compliments all other treatments
Ok so let’s take a look at some of the science and evidence behind these claims.
1. Reiki eases pain
If your health is causing pain, more than likely you will have tried several methods of pain relief which are often temporary, and can sometimes lead to other side effects.
Several studies have been conducted on this subject, including comparing the effects of Reiki on pain against other methods. One such study, a Cochrane review of Touch Therapies, compared a selection of 24 studies using Therapeutic Touch (TT), Healing Touch (HT) and Reiki.
After reviewing the data, the Author concluded that Touch Therapies (TT) may have a moderate effect on pain relief, but more studies are needed. The greatest pain relieving effects were on participants who received Reiki from experienced Reiki practitioners.
2. Reiki aids sleep
All of us could benefit from improved sleep, and at some point in our lives most of us will suffer with some degree of insomnia, so Reiki can be hugely beneficial in this area.
There have been very few studies looking into the correlation between Reiki and sleep. One small study used volunteers who reported to have poor quality sleep and/or difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep.
Each volunteer was taught Reiki in order to self-administer and completed a number of questionnaires/tests/assessments before, during and after treatment.
The findings indicated that Reiki is beneficial for sleep because it decreases episodes of insomnia and improves sleep patterns.
3. Reiki calms the mind
People who meditate to calm the mind have an increased immune system, show less signs of stress and anxiety, have better relationships, improved communications skills, and are generally happier than those who don’t meditate.
In a study conducted at the University of Texas Health Science Center published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Reiki can induce physiological changes in the body suggesting decreased stress and increased relaxation. These changes included a significant decrease in blood pressure and a rise in skin temperature – both indicators that the body is relaxed.
Subjectively, the participants reported a decreased anxiety level and described the experience as peaceful, soothing, quiet and gentle.
4. Reiki promotes Health and Wellbeing
Firstly, it has been proved to increase the number of white blood cells. These are the cells that fight infection, and therefore improves the immune system too.
A study on Reiki by the Helfgott Research Institute at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine looked at the effects of Reiki on cellular immunity.
Firstly, participants were divided into three groups, Reiki, relaxation control, and no control. Blood was then taken before treatment, immediately after treatment and four hours later. Secondly, each participant was exposed to the group treatment through each stage of the process: taking blood, relaxation, taking blood, Reiki, and taking blood.
White blood cells were isolated in the laboratory, and the number of white blood cells in those who received Reiki was higher than the control group.
5. Reiki can remove energy blocks
Alternative therapies are often based on principles of meridian lines. These are energy lines found throughout the body, and the theory is if these energy lines are blocked, illness will occur, and when we are healthy the energy can flow freely.
Wellness is promoted by removing the blockages to the energy flow. Reiki can be used to locate and remove these energy blocks, restoring the energy flow throughout the body, and promoting healing.
6. Reiki Aids Personal and Spiritual Growth
It is important to note that Reiki does not belong to, or use any religious principles, and therefore can be used by anyone, anywhere, safely and joyously without conflicting with any major religion.
When Reiki was first taught to others, it was as a spiritual and meditative practice. The translation of Gassho means “two hands coming together”, and is sometimes referred to in the Western world as the “prayer position”. This was used to bring focus to the mind, the self into balance, and show respect to the spirit.
The healing energy will work on physical, emotional and Spiritual levels, helping you move towards your life purpose with clarity, energy and awareness.
7. Reiki increases intuition and creativity
Reiki is a very intuitive energy, and experienced therapists can use this intuition to know where to place the hands and for how long the energy is required.
It has been successful in bringing clarity and focus to a situation. In this way, whether you are painting, writing, problem-solving or decorating, it will allow creative ideas to flow and form, especially with regular practice.
8. Reiki helps to decrease stress and anxiety
As mentioned earlier, Reiki can bring about changes in the body associated with relaxation such as a slower heart rate and breathing. These changes naturally reverse the effects of stress and anxiety. This can be seen in studies carried out at the Benefits of Reiki in the Work related Stress Management website.
Dr Ann L. Baldwin from the University of Arizona studied the effects of Reiki on Rodents during a field trip to Bristol. She observed the animal’s environment. They were all clean and free of disease, but she found they were also incredibly noisy, and the rats were housed in tiny cages. Further evidence has shown that noisy and/or Spartan conditions negatively affect the scientific data.
Tests were carried out on the noisy environment, both with and without Reiki. Constant ambient noise, such as found in hospitals, can lead to non-auditory disorders in humans that impair recovery. In rats, the stress caused from this type of environment can lead to damage in the intestine.
At the end of the experiment, it was found that damage to the intestine of the rats was significantly reduced in the group exposed to Reiki compared to the other noise groups, and could also reduce the effects on hospital patients.
9. Reiki aids people through the grieving process
As Reiki allows for healing at the physical, emotional, and spiritual levels, it can be of great benefit for anyone dealing with any stage of the grieving process.
It is especially of benefit for those who have stalled in the process. Reiki can aid in releasing the trapped emotions associated with grief allowing the person to move forward in life.
10. Reiki complements other healing methods
Reiki does not interfere with the actions of medications or treatments. It can be safely used alongside any other form of treatment.
It has been used effectively in medical hospitals with positive results for patients and can be useful in promoting post-operative healing.
In conclusion, receiving Reiki is beneficial whatever your health or emotional needs might be. If you are tired, you’ll feel refreshed. If you are anxious, you’ll feel calm. If you are distressed, you’ll feel comforted. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, you will discover renewed clarity and purpose.
So PS, Jiang Y, Qin Y. Touch therapies for pain relief in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD006535. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006535.pub2
Institution: Clayton College of Natural Health, Birmingham, Alabama; Author: Kimberley R. Pugh; Advisor(s): Dr. Janice Martin; Degree: Doctor of Philosophy in Natural Health; Year: 2004
University of Texas Health Science Center. Authors: Joan Engebretson, R.N., Dr.Ph., and Diane Wind Wardell, R.N.C., Ph.D. Originally published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 48-53
Hodsdon, W., Mendenhall, E., Green, R., Kates-Chinnoy,S., Wacker, E, & Zwickey, H. The Effect of Reiki on the Immune System. Helfgott Research Institute at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland , Oregon , USA
Personal Interaction with a Reiki Practitioner Decreases Noise-Induced Microvascular Damage in an Animal Model J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Jan-Feb;12(1):15-22.
Reiki and Rats’ heart rates and blood pressure; J Altern Complement Med. 2008 May;14(4):417-22 1: Baldwin AL, Wagers C, Schwartz GE. Laboratory for the Advances in Consciousness and Health, Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0068, USA.