Research Abstracts on the Effectiveness of Reiki Treatments
A Summary of Evidence-Based Research and Clinical Effectiveness
Prepared by Australian Reiki Connection Inc. (ARC)
01. Effects of Reiki Versus Physiotherapy on Relieving Lower Back Pain and Improving Activities Daily Living of Patients With Intervertebral Disc Hernia - 2018
...The aim of this study was to determine the effect of Reiki energy therapy compared with physiotherapy on relieving lumbar pain and on the ADL of patients with IVDH
Conclusions: Pain relief in Reiki group was more than that of the physiotherapy and drug therapy groups, which indicates that this method is more effective in controlling pain and improving the daily activities in the patients with IVDH
Source: J Evidenced Based Integrative Medicine 2018 Jan-Dec;23:2515690X18762745. doi: 10.1177/2515690X18762745.
Authors, Farnaz Jahantiqh, BSN1, Abdolghani Abdollahimohammad, PhD2 , Mohammadreza Firouzkouhi, PhD2 , and Vahid Ebrahiminejad, MD3 Read Full Article
1. Benefits of Reiki for STRESS
a) The effect of Reiki on work-related stress of the registered nurse.
....Reiki, an ancient form of Oriental "energy work" or healing, has been found to decrease stress. Data from this small pilot study supports educating nurses about Reiki practice to decrease work-related stress.
Source: Cuneo CL, Curtis Cooper MR, Drew CS, Naoum-Heffernan C, Sherman T, Walz K, Weinberg J The effect of Reiki on work-related stress of the registered nurse. J Holist Nurs. 2011 Mar;29(1):33-43. Epub 2010 Read Full Article
b) Biological Correlates of Reiki TouchTM Healing
.... The aim of this study was to test a framework of relaxation or stress reduction
Conclusions: These findings suggest both biochemical and physiological changes in the direction of relaxation. The salivary IgA findings warrant further study to explore the effects of human TT and humeral immune function.
Source: Wardell, Diane Wind and Joan Engebretson, "Biological Correlates of Reiki TouchTM Healing,” Journal of Advanced Nursing, Feb. 2001, Vol. 33, No. 4: pp. 439-445. Read Full Article
c) Reiki improves heart rate homeostasis in laboratory rats
.... Reiki, but not sham Reiki, significantly reduced HR compared to initial values. Reiki, but not sham Reiki, significantly reduced the rise in HR produced by exposure of the rats to loud noise. Neither Reiki nor sham Reiki significantly affected blood pressure. Reiki is effective in modulating HR in stressed and unstressed rats, supporting its use as a stress-reducer in humans.
Source: Baldwin AL, Wagers C, Schwartz GE. Reiki improves heart rate homeostasis in laboratory rats. J Altern Complement Med. 2008 May;14(4):417-22. doi: 10.1089/acm.2007.0753. PMID:18435597 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Read Full Article
2. Benefits of Reiki for Pain, Anxiety, Depression
a) A Phase II Trial of Reiki for the Management of Pain in Advanced Cancer Patients
... : “In addition to pain, cancer patients experience many symptoms associated with their disease and treatment ...The use of nonpharmacologic interventions, such as Reiki, may make it possible to provide cancer patients with good pain control at lower doses of traditional opioid preparations, thus reducing these symptoms. “Regardless of whether the addition of non-pharmacologic adjuvants reduce opioid use or not, this small study lends support to the hypothesis that Reiki, when used in conjunction with standard opioid pain management strategies, relieves pain and improves quality of life. Future studies will show whether this improvement is attributable to touch alone or to touch as a part of a Reiki treatment.
Source: A Phase II Trial of Reiki for the Management of Pain in Advanced Cancer Patients Karin Olson, RN, PhD, John Hanson, MSc, and Mary Michaud, RN Faculty of Nursing and International Institute for Qualitative Methodology (K.O.), University of Alberta; Alberta Cancer Board (J.H.); and Cross Cancer Institute (M.M.), Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Read Full Article
b) Biofield Therapies: Helpful or Full of Hype? A Best Evidence Synthesis
..Biofield therapies(Reiki) show strong evidence for reducing pain intensity in pain populations, and moderate evidence for reducing pain intensity hospitalized and cancer populations. There is moderate evidence for decreasing negative behavioral symptoms in dementia and moderate evidence for decreasing anxiety for hospitalized populations. There is equivocal evidence for biofield therapies' effects on fatigue and quality of life for cancer patients, as well as for comprehensive pain outcomes and affect in pain patients, and for decreasing anxiety in cardiovascular patients. There is a need for further high-quality studies in this area
Source:Shamini Jain & Paul J. Mills. Biofield Therapies: Helpful or Full of Hype? A Best Evidence Synthesis. Int. J. Behav. Med. (2010) 17:1–16
c) Effects of Reiki Treatment on Anxiety and Depression
There were statistically-significant levels of improvement in all three measures in Group 1: State Anxiety (p.001), Trait Anxiety (p.001) and Depression (p.001) from Baseline to Post-test. In Group 2 change in State Anxiety was not significant for time (p.07), however, changes in both Trait Anxiety (p.001) and Depression (p.001) were significant. Findings indicate approximately 10% reduction in State Anxiety, Trait Anxiety and Depression after completion of the three Reiki treatments. These reductions were maintained at the 30-day Post-Intervention measure.
Source: Effects of Reiki Treatment on Anxiety and Depression: A Randomized Control Trial Vera A. Porter, ThD, PhD, David A. Eicher, PhD and Nanci Avitable, PhD International J. Healing and Caring.May, 2012 Vol 12, No. 2(www.ijhc.org) Read Full Article
d) Effects of Reiki on anxiety, depression, pain, and physiological factors in community-dwelling older adults.
... Significant differences were observed between the experimental (Reiki) and treatment groups on measures of pain, depression, and anxiety; no changes in heart rate and blood pressure were noted. Content analysis of treatment notes and interviews revealed five broad categories of responses: Relaxation; Improved Physical Symptoms, Mood, and Well-Being; Curiosity and a Desire to Learn More; Enhanced Self-Care; and Sensory and Cognitive Responses to Reiki.
Source: Res Gerontol Nurs. 2010 Jul;3(3):187-99. doi: 10.3928/19404921-20100601-01. Epub 2010 Jun 30. Effects of Reiki on anxiety, depression, pain, and physiological factors in community-dwelling older adults. Richeson NE, Spross JA, Lutz K, Peng C. College of Nursing and Health Professions, University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine 04104-9300, USA.Read Full Article
e) Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch and Reiki) for the treatment of pain relief for adults
.... Participants exposed to touch had on average of 0.83 units (on a 0 to ten scale) lower pain intensity than unexposed participants (95% Confidence Interval: -1.16 to -0.50). Results of trials conducted by more experienced practitioners appeared to yield greater effects in pain reduction. It is also apparent that these trials yielding greater effects were from the Reiki studies.
Source:Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries.Touch therapies (Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch and Reiki) for the treatment of pain relief for adults First published: October 8, 2008; This version published: 2012; Review content assessed as up-to-date: July 29, 2008.Read Full Article
3.Benefits of Reiki for Mood and Well-Being
a) Randomised Controlled Single-Blind Trial of the Efficacy of Reiki at Benefitting Mood and Well-Being.
.... The beneficial effects following Reiki found in this study for those participants with initially high levels of anxiety/ depression, as evinced by the total Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale , are in keeping with the findings of our previous study . There the Reiki group demonstrated comparatively greater overall mood and stress benefits than the controls who did not receive Reiki, accompanied by a buffering of the increase in symptoms of illness seen in the controls. Here the benefits were specific to those with high negative mood and were not found in the corresponding high negative mood control group. Post treatment the total DASS score had improved with Reiki, and this was sustained over five weeks at follow-up, while no change was seen in the controls.
Source: Bowden D, Goddard L, and Gruzelier J. Randomised Controlled Single-Blind Trial of the Efficacy of Reiki at Benefitting Mood and Well-Being. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2011, Article ID 381862, Read Full Article
b) Clinical Perspective: Reiki for Mind, Body, and Spirit Support of Cancer Patients Pamela Miles
...The best reason for a patient to receive a Reiki treatment is simply because people report that Reiki helps them feel better, frequently within minutes,58 relieving symptoms such as anxiety, pain, fatigue, nausea, and insomnia, and imparting a sense of centeredness. Additionally, research supports anecdotal reports that Reiki can help patients recontextualize their illness in a way that empowers them to heal. Reiki treatment can enhance the patient’s ability to address the challenges and uncertainty of a cancer diagnosis with a clearer mind and a stronger sense of self. Conventional cancer treatment can be experienced as a war against the disease, a fight for life in which the body becomes a battlefield. The balancing effect of Reiki treatment can help the person recover from the collateral damage of treatment without compromising the effectiveness of conventional protocols. At a time when so much hangs in the balance, Reiki treatment can help tip the scales in the patient’s favour.
Source: Clinical Perspective: Reiki for Mind, Body, and Spirit Support of Cancer Patients. Pamela Miles Read Full Article
4. Benefits of Reiki for Cancer
a) Effects of complementary therapies on clinical outcomes in patients being treated with radiation therapy for prostate cancer.
..at the end of the intervention, significant improvement was found on the emotional well-being subscale of the FACT-G quality of life scale in the RRT group compared with the Reiki and control groups (P = .01). In participants who were classified as "anxious" at baseline, statistically significant improvement occurred in the RRT group (P = .02), and a positive trend was found in the Reiki group (P = .10).This pilot study documented the feasibility of conducting a RCT of CAM therapies in men undergoing EBRx for prostate cancer. Relaxation response therapy improved emotional well being and eased anxiety in participants. Reiki therapy also had a positive effect in anxious patients. A larger study to verify and better define the benefits of these therapies in men with prostate cancer is warranted.
Source: Beard C, Stason WB, Wang Q, Manola J, Dean-Clower E, Dusek JA, Decristofaro S, Webster A, Rosenthal DS, Benson H. Effects of complementary therapies on clinical outcomes in patients being treated with radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Cancer. 2011 Jan 1; 117(1):96- 102. PMID: 20635803 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Pilot RCT Read Full Article
b) Pilot Crossover Trial of Reiki Versus Rest for Treating Cancer-Related Fatigue.
... Fatigue on the FACT-F decreased within the Reiki condition (P = .05) over the course of all 7 treatments. In addition, participants in the Reiki condition experienced significant improvements in quality of life (FACT-G) compared to those in the resting condition (P < .05). On daily assessments (ESAS) in the Reiki condition, presession 1 versus postsession 5 scores indicated significant decreases in tiredness (P < .001), pain (P < .005), and anxiety (P < .01), which were not seen in the resting condition...Our findings may indicate that rest is somewhat helpful at reducing CRF but not as effective as Reiki, which has been found to affect individuals in terms of physical health but also on psychospiritual and social aspects as well.16 In terms of the washout effects of Reiki, the beneficial effects on fatigue, pain, and anxiety lasted longer than the 7-day period over which we monitored washout.
Source :Kathy L. Tsang, BA, Linda E. Carlson, PhD, CPsych, and Karin Olson, RN, PhD. Pilot Crossover Trial of Reiki Versus Rest for Treating Cancer-Related Fatigue. Integr Cancer Ther 2007; 6; 25 Read Full Article
5.Benefits of Reiki for Heart Attack, Surgery and Neurological disorders
a) Effects of Reiki on Autonomic Activity Early After Acute Coronary Syndrome.
These findings suggest a potential clinical role for Reiki in the post-ACS inpatient setting. Future research should evaluate whether Reiki treatment over a longer period can generate lasting benefits for autonomic balance and psychological well-being in patients after ACS. Further, this study demonstrates that Reiki treatment is safe and feasible in the acute-care setting. There were no adverse events, ..In conclusion, in hospitalized post-ACS patients, Reiki increased HF HRV and improved emotional state. Further study is needed to evaluate whether Reiki treatment may represent a long-term nonpharmacologic approach to improving HRV and prognosis after ACS.
Source: Rachel S.C. Friedman, Matthew M. Burg, Pamela Miles, Forrester Lee, and Rachel Lampert. Effects of Reiki on Autonomic Activity Early After Acute Coronary Syndrome. J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 2010;56;995-996 Read Full Article
b) Changes in the isoprenoid pathway with transcendental meditation and Reiki healing practices in seizure disorder.
...Reiki-like healing practices in refractory epilepsy results in a reduction in seizure frequency. Reiki-like healing practices produce
membrane stabilization and stimulation of membrane Na+-K+ ATPase activity by quantal perception of low levels of EMF.
Source: A RK, Kurup PA.Changes in the isoprenoid pathway with transcendental meditation and Reiki healing practices in seizure disorder. Neurol India. 2003 Jun;51(2):211-4. PMID:14571006 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Read Full Article
c) “A list of Reiki Measurable Results abstracts.”
... For Example: Surgical patients at Columbia/HCA Portsmouth Regional Hospital in Portsmouth, New Hampshire are given the option of a 15-minute pre- and post-surgery Reiki treatment. By 1998, more than 870 patients participated. As a result there was need for less anesthesia, less bleeding during surgery, less use of pain medications, shorter lengths of stay, and increased patient satisfaction.
Source: Alandydy, Patricia, BSN, RN. “Using Reiki to Support Surgical Patients.” Journal of Nursing Care Quality, April 1999, Vol.13, No. 4, pp. 89-91.Read Full Article
The paper provides a broad overview of "distant healing intention" (DHI) therapies, i.e., intentional healing modalities claimed to transcend the usual constraints of distance through space or time. The authors provide a summary of previous reviews and meta-analyses that have explored a diverse array of DHI modalities, outcome measures, and experimental protocols. While some significant experimental effects have been observed, the evidence to date does not yet provide confidence in its clinical efficacy. The purported "nonlocal" nature of DHI raises significant methodological and theoretical challenges. We recommend several avenues for improving future research.It is a long read but well worth it and while as with all research into Reiki, it says more research needed, however there are several positive results that baffle some scientists…
Dean Radin, PhD, Marilyn Schlitz, PhD, and Christopher Baur Published by PubMed 2015
More Research Articles
Effects of Reiki on Post-cesarean Delivery Pain, Anxiety, and Hemodynamic Parameters: A Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial.
Reiki's effect on patients with total knee arthroplasty: A pilot study.
Reiki Reduces Burnout Among Community Mental Health Clinicians.
Reiki Is Better Than Placebo and Has Broad Potential as a Complementary Health Therapy.
Reiki for Pain During Hemodialysis: A Feasibility and Instrument Evaluation Study.
Effects of Reiki on Pain and Vital Signs When Applied to the Incision Area of the Body After Cesarean Section Surgery:
A Single-Blinded, Randomized, Double-Controlled Study.