What is Reiki and Does it Really Work?

Written By: Lisa Fortune Creeden, Level III Master Reiki Practitioner on May 25, 2023

Reiki is an ancient technique used for stress reduction and relaxation and has been shown to have several benefits for both physical and mental health. It is a gentle, non-invasive therapy that involves the practitioner gently placing their hands on or near the body. Reiki is often used in conjunction with conventional medical treatments.

Over the last 25 years, Reiki has been integrated into hospital and clinical settings. One of the first hospitals in the United States to offer Reiki was Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. In 1998, the hospital began offering Reiki to patients undergoing chemo and radiation. The program was a success, and Reiki was soon offered to patients in all areas of the hospital.

The medical community, worldwide, has continued to embrace and utilize the benefits of Reiki for both their patients and staff. This is due in part to increasing research supporting its effectiveness. In addition, many healthcare professionals are becoming more open to the use and benefits of complementary and integrative therapies. Reiki’s foundations are based on a holistic approach to integration and balance of mind, body, and spirit.
Reiki in Clinical Trials
  • A 2015 study published in the journal “Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine” found Reiki was effective in reducing pain and anxiety in patients with cancer.  
  • A 2016 study published in the journal “Pain Medicine” found Reiki was effective in reducing pain and improving sleep quality in patients with chronic pain.
  • A 2017 study published in the journal “Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice” found Reiki was effective in reducing anxiety and depression.
  • In 2018 the “Journal of Holistic Nursing” reported Reiki was effective in improving sleep quality and reducing stress in patients with chronic pain. 
Benefits of Reiki 
There are many benefits to using Reiki in your life.  Some of the benefits include:
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Relieving pain
  • Improving sleep quality
  • Stimulates the body’s immune system
  • Reducing stress-related symptoms such as headaches, digestive disorders, and muscle tension
  • Helping to cope with chronic pain
  • Supporting the healing process after surgery or other medical procedures
  • Helping to manage the side effects of cancer treatment
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Improving mood
  • Promoting and enhancing relaxation and a sense of well-being
  • Providing comfort and support 
How Reiki works
Reiki is based on the belief that there is a life force energy that flows through all living things. When this energy is blocked or disrupted, it can lead us into an unwell state of being. Reiki helps to restore the flow of this energy by rebalancing the body’s energy centers, which can help to promote healing and well-being.

The formally trained and experienced practitioner is “attuned” to the energy and blocks of the person with whom they are working. Reiki does not draw from the practitioner’s energy; it works through the client’s own energy systems. Reiki can’t help you control situations, but it can help you stay aligned with your higher self.
Reiki is a gentle relaxing, safe, non-invasive, and effective therapy that can be used to treat a variety of conditions. It is a complementary therapy that can be used alongside conventional medical treatments. It should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a physician or a psychotherapist. It has been shown that Reiki can increase the efficacy of other types of healing.

If you are already in good health, regular Reiki treatments can enhance your ability to respond to stress and serve as a form of preventative medicine. It’s good self-care.

If you would like to schedule a Reiki treatment at Women & Infants Integrative Care Center, visit: https://www.womenandinfants.org/services/cancer/integrative-care, or call: 
Providence: (401) 274-1122, ext. 47247
South County: (401) 789-2867 

Disclaimer: The content in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only and should not serve as medical advice, consultation, or diagnosis.  If you have a medical concern, please consult your healthcare provider, or seek immediate medical treatment.