Article by Angie Webster
In my recent research on the effects of Reiki on various illnesses, I came across studies that found Reiki to be very beneficial for the treatment of depression and anxiety. I found this very encouraging and wanted to look into Reiki and mental health more deeply. What I found was that scientific studies in this area are limited at this time. However, based on what has been studied and what is known about Reiki, it does seem that Reiki can be an effective therapy in the treatment of mental illness.
In one study of Reiki and depression, patients were given Reiki for six weeks for an hour to an hour and a half each time. In this study, there was a control group that did not receive Reiki treatments at all. The patients that received Reiki had a significant improvement in depression and stress symptoms as compared to the control group, which had almost no change at all. A year later, the study participants reported continued relief. Other studies measured the effects of Reiki on anxiety and found very similar results to those in the depression study. Another study included patients with a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and found that the participants found great relief of symptoms from this as well.
There are studies that examine the effect of various complementary and alternative therapies on schizophrenia. These studies looked at the general effect of meditation, yoga, massage and other therapies like Reiki, according to which a participant chose to use. The effects of these types of therapies (including Reiki) were that the patients saw a large improvement in their level of coping and sense of well being.
In an interesting real world example, a group of mental health patients met with a Reiki master and several practitioners to receive Reiki once a week. They had all been recently released from hospital treatment and participated in a daily routine of outpatient groups. The patients had diagnoses of severe depression, schizophrenia, drug and alcohol addiction and other mental disabilities. The Reiki master that led the group of treatments said that many times the third eye and throat chakras were incredibly open while the heart chakra was generally closed. She saw a lot of improvement in the patients she treated and many asked to be attuned to Reiki so they could continue to help themselves. You cand find more information here.
Many studies have been done that demonstrate that Reiki regulates the pulse rate, blood pressure and immune system. This shows that Reiki produces a tremendous level of peace, calm and relaxation, which can only help those with mental health problems, regardless of what the diagnosis may be. iIt is well known that the creating increased relaxation increases a person’s state of overall wellness and encourages healing on all levels.
With regard to mental illness, we have to take in more than the physical aspect to include the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of the patient. When a person’s chakras are unbalanced, then imbalance ensues on all levels. One way this can manifest is through mental and emotional disturbance, inability to process incoming information, hallucinations and delusions. While there are no scientific studies to validate it, we know that Reiki balances the chakras. Balancing the chakras and promoting the relaxation response may provide a great deal of help to provide relief from the symptoms of mental illness and provide comfort to a patient as they heal.
I am certain that there will be further studies into Reiki and mental health as the effectiveness of Reiki on other health conditions is proven. In the meantime, we know Reiki can do no harm and often does a great deal of good. Given that knowledge and the studies we already have, it seems that offering Reiki to the mentally ill can only have positive results.
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Angie Webster is a Reiki Master, Teacher, and Author. Angie’s primary focus is animal Reiki, which she adores. She teaches online classes on energy healing, flower essences, herbalism, and personal growth. Angie often works with nature healing and Earth healing, hoping to better understand our connection with Mother Earth. Angie is the author of Animal Reiki: How it Heals, Teaches & Reconnects Us with Nature and Reiki from A to Z. You can follow her at: angie-webster-healing.teachable.com and on Facebook (facebook.com/angiewebsterhealing).