Science and Reiki – Some Experiments


For the past few years, there have been a number of talks and concerns surrounding Reiki as a complementary form of medicine.  This can be expected knowing that this approach to treatment is completely different from what mainstream medicine has to offer. But the good news is that there are now a growing number of studies and data that suggest the efficacy of Reiki as an alternative medical treatment. The studies are varied and the results are many. But one thing is crystallizing in all these developments – Reiki is starting to get acceptance as an effective alternative form of treatment. Here are three important Reiki studies that have been conducted in the past that pushed this type of healing and treatment into mainstream.

Autonomic Nervous System Changes during Reiki Treatment: A Preliminary Study

The study was conducted by the National Institute of Health and the US National Library of Medicine, and its results published on their official website. In this experiment, the objective was to determine if Reiki will have an effect on the functions and roles of the nervous system. The design of the study was a blind trial and based on the summary report that was made available on the web, the study was conducted in a silent room.

Image by by harminder dhesi photography

In order to facilitate the experiment, the investigators and researchers have assigned 45 participants into three groups. The No Treatment group, the Reiki treatment facilitated by a practitioner group, and the Placebo treatment group that was facilitated by another person who has no background in the delivery of Reiki. In the last group, the person was advised to simply mimic the style of the Reiki practitioner so that the participants in the group will think that they are under Reiki treatment.

In order to measure the effect of the measurements, the researchers came up with their own quantitative measures that will let them measure the functions of the nervous system. For example, the team recorded and measured the cardiac vagal tone, the breathing activity and the heart beat. In order to have a point of comparison, the values before and after were recorded and compared. Based on the values recorded, it was found out that the diastolic blood pressure and the heart rate decreased for those people in the group that received the actual Reiki session from someone who is knowledgeable in Reiki. There was a significant quantitative difference in the measurements, compared to the No Treatment and Placebo groups.

Effect of Reiki on the Immune System

Another study that was conducted on Reiki was about the potential influence of the practice on the person’s immune system. The study was conducted by the Helfgott Research Institute of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine . In this study, it was found out that the practice of Reiki also has an effect on the person’s immune system. In order to come up with the results, the team of researches checked the effect of the practice on the count of white blood cells.

The researchers came up with three groups for the experiment – the group that received the Reiki treatment, the group who relaxed, and the last group are the ones that did not get the relaxation and did not receive the Reiki treatment either. In order to come up with a point of comparison, blood tests for the subjects were taken before and after the treatment. In this study, it was found out that the immune system of the person was enhanced after receiving Reiki. This was validated by the increase in the number of the white blood cells in the blood of the person who was part of the group that received the Reiki help. Again, this study shows the importance of Reiki in influencing how the body acts and reacts.

Reiki Increases Hemoglobin

This was based on the study that was conducted by Otelia Bengssten, M.D. In this study, the doctor attended to the requirements of 79 people who are sick. The participants of the study were diagnosed with a number of diseases and illnesses. Some of the reported illnesses of the respondents include multiple endocrine disorders, congestive heart failure and brain tumor. In order to test the effect of Reiki, 46 of the patients underwent Reiki treatment, and the other 33 were used as the control. Those who were treated with Reiki showed increase in hemoglobin. In short, through Reiki session, patients showed signs of recovery.

Among these three studies, this one made by Dr. Bengssten is considered as the most important validation that indeed Reiki can help improving one’s health.

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  1. It got distant attunement last year for reiki I and II. I would like to let you know that I have not contracted even a common cold in last one year. It is true that Reiki boosts immune system.

  2. Wonderful case studies. If there are some more scientific validation please share. It will enable more people to get benefited from Reiki.

  3. Have undertaking level 1 & level 2
    (distant healing ) 5 years ago and I can only sing it praises I have never been on better health in mind, body and spirit and very rarely had need for any medication, Reiki has changed my life and health and for this I feel blessed, a huge thank you to my teacher Dorothea, a beautiful soul and a beautiful lady.

  4. I took my 1st level attunement just 2 days back and have started healing all the chakras on daily bases. I am eager to take my distance reiki attunement as early as possible. When can I take it at the earliest? Please guide me. There are different opinions from different masters.

    • Take time to settle into Reiki and self-practice, get to know the energy and let it settle with you, then contemplate on the next step.
      Reiki should be a way of life, not just something to go get an attunement and then jump to the next and so on.
      It would be more beneficial for a Reiki student to spend a year at level one, than to rush through. There will be many changes you will find yourself coming into in that year.
      I did my 2nd degree 2 years after my 1st degree and my Level 3, 2 years after that. My teacher wanted to make sure I understood the energy, that I understood the practice, that I was using it before doing my master level.
      Enjoy your new relationship with this marvelous system rather than rushing it. Take your time.

  5. In the last year I finished level I, II and master 3. Reiki has changed my life. I am writing about how Reiki healed me on all levels. I was diagnosed with PTSD after 9/11/01 and with that diagnosis I was indefinitely always going to have symptoms. In the last year of Reiki I have experienced more healing through Reiki than any other treatments. My life has truly taken off again. Thank you thank you thank you!

  6. I’ve been a practitioner of energy therapy and Reiki for 15 years and it still delights me when I see the change in a client after a session. It is a wonderful treatment to receive and give. I am a Counsellor and Hypnotherapist and combining all three treatments in my practice has a truly profound effect 😀

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