Does Reiki Have any “Side-Effects”?

Article by Haripriya Suraj, Reiki Master

When we use the term side effects, we refer to a phenomenon that is not very pleasant. Many medicinal drugs and conventional treatments are known to have side effects. Though unpleasant, these side effects cannot be avoided and are accepted as part of treatment.

What about Reiki? Being a natural method of healing, does it have side effects too? Yes it does. Are the side effects pleasant at least? Not always! But they can still be labelled “happy side effects.” This is because though they are unpleasant on the surface, the side effects of Reiki ultimately bring amazing benefits. And the side effects are not just limited to the physical. They can also include mental, emotional and life altering ones.

Once attuned, healers periodically experience the side effects of Reiki for the rest of their lives. However, they are most prominent following a Reiki attunement.

Some commonly experienced side effects of Reiki include:

• Cold and sore throat
• Fever
• Abdominal disturbances/Stomach upsets
• Fatigue and increased need for sleep
• Less energy
• Light headedness
• Pain and sensations in different parts of the body, often in the heart and head.
• Emergence of unhealthy old mental-emotional patterns
• Life changes- relationships, career, location etc.

It is not necessary for everyone to experience all of these side effects. Each individual is different and healing happens in a way that is right for them.

Image by Panayiotis Filippou

Every cell in our physical body carries imprints of all our experiences spanning several lifetimes. A lot of these imprints are negative, self sabotaging and karmic. Most of us were not even aware that we carried such a heavy load prior to experiencing the healing touch of Reiki. We were like dingy dark rooms, perfectly content in our limited worlds. When sunshine enters a dark room, there is no more room for darkness to stay. Similarly, the Reiki attunement makes us channels for light. As light floods our being, all the darkness stored in our cells has to leave. This is part of the healing process.

As this process takes its course, we experience the happy side effects of Reiki. This is often a long process as healing occurs in stages. Every time we heal and release one layer of darkness from our auras, we may experience some side effects. Then there is a break. Then we are guided to release the next layer and then we may experience different side effects. The body gradually flushes out every bit of toxicity stored in our cells before paving the way for greater wellness and a higher quality of life.

So, the next time you get attuned to a higher level of Reiki or experience side effects as part of periodic cleansing, welcome it!

Read also: Can Reiki do Harm?

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Haripriya Suraj
Haripriya Suraj

Haripriya is a Reiki Master, Angel Healer, and Spiritual Teacher. She was drawn to Reiki right from her childhood and Reiki went on to become part of her life’s purpose. Reiki is her constant companion from which she derives peace and contentment. She is also deeply connected with the angels, with Angel Healing being an integral part of her Reiki practice. After reaping the fruits of Reiki practice in her life, she was inspired to spread the joy of Reiki and the light of the Angels. Haripriya offers courses in Reiki and Angel Healing as well as distance healing services. She resides in Bangalore, India. Reach Haripriya at and Angel Light on Facebook.


  1. Cold & sore throat is something that I have experienced every single time I got attuned, and was doing my 21-day cleansing process. I so agree with that, Haripriya.

    Good to know that even ‘Emergence of unhealthy old mental-emotional patterns’ can be expected as a part of healing. Everytime this happened, I wondered as to why the long forgotten thoughts that I had dealt with and closed, were coming up again. I guess it was only my assumption that they were closed. They come up again, because they were buried somewhere deep down, but never concluded or healed.

    Thankyou for the reassurance 🙂

  2. I am looking for common side effects for my clients when they ask. I know of the few that people have shared with me after receiving Reiki; tired, thirsty and one person fell asleep, woke speaking of a vision but didn’t remember any of it once we were done. Are there more fairly common symptoms people receiving Reiki are experiencing? Thanks!

    • I experienced a swollen ankle after one of my first reiki sessions as well as drainage of my left ear. The Second session I experienced drainage in my left ear immediately. Then I noticed I was going to the restroom more than usual. I think this is all a good sign that my body was releasing all the harmful toxins/ blocks that were holding me back. I Would highly recommend it, even with the side effects.

  3. I have been a practitioner for little over a year,I have given Reiki to a gentleman three times, the first time he felt wonderful the next day, he has some unique health problems.the last twice he has felt ill the next day. He feels I right in thinking the effects are the release of negative energy ? Can I minimise these effects, he wants to continue receiving reiki.

  4. I had reiki for the first time yesterday, felt very relaxed after and slept so well last night. Today I feel totally exhausted and can hardly keep my eyes open. Is this normal?? Thanks

  5. I have received three reiki treatments and have just had a very difficult week. My husband fell down some stairs and broke his knee cap badly which causes significant practical and financial difficulties in our household. 6 months recovery time is predicted. My daughter was sent home from school with severe stomach pains – she is never ill. A red warning light came on in my car warning of engine electronic difficulties and the opening mechanism on my back door sheered off leaving me unable to open it. I haven’t had such a bad week for a long time. Is it possible that this could be an effect of reiki?

  6. Anne, I don’t think the bad luck your having is anything to do with Reiki.Reiki is a positive can cause side effects due to clearing blockages so physical illness after yes, but not the things you describe. Sending you love no luck x

  7. i am a practioner and have given reiki to a number of clients who have felt ill even vomited the next day after treatment the first session. Subsequent treat meant shave made them feel wonderful. I gave a treatment to the wife of one of my clients because she saw the benefit that her husband received but after she left and went shopping she had a huge tummy upset and was very distressed whilst out shopping. It has put her off completely.i have explained that this can happen but she unwilling to try another treatment which is a shame because she was so relaxed initially after her treatment.

  8. I was sick after treatment about four days after. that happened about three times, this time I didn’t, but feel incredible tired on fourth day. I have been going a few months. pat

  9. reiki doesn’t help, destroy your bond with God, feeling sick it’s just a sign your body gives you to make you understand that this is wrong. I suggest to all of you to find another way to get better, such as praying God.
    God bless you all and protect your uncertain and lost future.

    • It’s interesting to note your reply. The truth is, and I speak from my own personal experience, that Reiki provides a pathway to God Itself.

      The last thing religion wants however is a nation of individuals who have realized the power of God shining through them.

      I pray your ignorance doesn’t stand in your way of truly finding God yourself.

      God Bless you.

  10. Hi there, i received 3 Reiki sessions so far and I got great benefits for my stress headaches and emotional pain, the first 2 sessions I hardly felt anything but on the 3rd one I had chest pain, I felt that every breath I took came out with pain, the pain remained 2 days after, I did not mind it because it made me believe that Reiki works, i feel much calmer and very less aggressive after this 3rd painful session!

  11. I had reiki done for the first time on Wed. I received it after a deep tissue massage. I felt very relaxed but weird at the same time. i had felt like I had been drugged (which I had not been). I have not been able to shake this feeling since. Is it possible to do reiki wrong to garner such a long term negative effect from having it done? Is this normal? What can I do to help myself feel better?

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