The UK Reiki Federation (UKRF) is an independent organisation of individuals who have been attuned to Reiki, with the objective of providing support and guidance to Reiki professionals and to the public, with particular reference to education and training, and the public practice of Reiki. Some of their members give of their time each week to send Reiki healing to anyone who makes a request from anywhere in the world.

Each week the volunteers receive a list of those people/animals/events that have requested healing and they all collectively send positive Reiki healing to everyone on the list.

The UKRF claim that Reiki distant healing (RDH) has now been scientifically proven by Lynne McTaggart in these articles and that healing is magnified when many healers are involved, so we are contributing an amazing vibration of positivity into our world and doing so much good, with so little effort. Imagine how brilliant it would be if even more members decided they too wanted to support other people, with minimum effort. It’s so simple just to place your hands on the list and send Reiki to everyone on it. It can be so quick if time is an issue for you and yet so powerful.

A group of UKRF members send Reiki to each other at specific times of the week. They state that we have a list of members’ names and allocated time slots in the week when we can send and receive Reiki energy to each other. The intention is to send Reiki for all the different time slots and then sit down and receive the energy whenever it is convenient for us to do so. Those members who have given me feedback all say they can feel the energy flowing during these times.

I urge you to look up the two ‘scientific proofs’ by McTaggart – I promise, you will not regret the effort. For those who might like to see real evidence for or against RDH, I ran a quick Medline search. Somewhat to my surprise, I did find a rigorous study RDH. Here is its abstract:

In this randomised, double-blinded study, women who underwent an elective C-section were allocated to either usual care (control, n=40) or three distant reiki sessions in addition to usual care (n=40). Pain was assessed using a visual analogue scale (VAS). The primary endpoint was the Area Under the VAS-Time Curve (AUC) for days 1-3. Secondary measures included: the proportion of women who required opioid medications and dose consumed, rate of healing and vital signs.

AUC for pain was not significantly different in the distant reiki and control groups (mean ± SD; 212.1 ± 104.7 vs 223.1 ± 117.8; p=0.96). There were no significant differences in opioid consumption or rate of healing; however, the distant reiki group had a significantly lower heart rate (74.3 ± 8.1 bpm vs 79.8 ± 7.9 bpm, p=0.003) and blood pressure (106.4 ± 9.7 mmHg vs 111.9 ± 11.0 mmHg, p=0.02) post surgery.

CONCLUSION: Distant reiki had no significant effect on pain following an elective C-section.


This begs at least three questions, in my view:

  1. Which evidence should I trust, that of McTaggart or that from what seems to be the only RCT on RDH?
  2. The UK Reiki Foundation state on their website: As the largest Reiki-only professional organisation in the UK and Europe we are setting the highest standard for Reiki. Is the promotion of the McTaggart ‘proof’ combined with the omission from the UKRF site of the only trial of RDH truly in accordance with the highest standards?
  3. Is a professional organisation that does such things really professional?

84 Responses to ‘Reiki distant healing’ … has now been scientifically proven !?!?

  • I am very worried, frightened even.
    Given that participants can feel the energy flowing through them when Reiki practitioners place their hands over names on a list, surely the WHO, UN and every government in the world should be concerned that some Reiki practitioners might have evil intent and deliberately send harmful energy?

    We should be told what health and safety checks have been carried out on this powerful energy.
    Urgently, lest it gets out of control.

    • Dr Rawlins: I am very worried, frightened even.

      Deeper down, is this perhaps due to a concern that IT may be flowing towards you?

    • Talking of strange energies, the Austrian army have a dowsing regiment. Dowsers are also used by civil engineering contractors among other government agencies. But you know it’s all hokum

    • There is no such energy as “Reiki Energy”. When somebody wants to work with energy they are working with the Frequency of Energy/ Vibration, then the question is “How”
      Sentences are written, Words/ Symbols/Numbers, they are then applied to selected Chakras and retained. Unfortunately all of the so called teaching is confused for alleged Teacher to Teacher.

    • Richard Rawlins – please don’t be worried or frightened (that can’t be a good feeling) Reiki can do no harm.

      We practitioners never have evil intent or send harmful energy. Not really sure what your concern is: healing is healing : that is what Reiki is. It cannot by its very nature -healing – also be harmful and evil.

      I think I have referred before to research being carried out by the medical profession on Reiki within the hospital environment. Now I don’t know about you but I have a lot of admiration for medical professionals and therefore I trust they would not consider Reiki a support if it any way damaged their patients.

      Specifically Reiki distant healing is sent ‘for the highest good, harm of none……etc) nobody receives anything they don’t want : but that would be a whole different experience to explain.

      As I know you are not honestly interested in Reiki (using words evil etc kind of gives it away) I will withdraw from the conversation. But please be reassured: Reiki does no harm. And if anybody need distant Reiki healing it surely is our global leaders who to say the least have lost their way. Lynne McTaggart does sterling work with the Intention experiments.

      • Angela:
        “Reiki can do no harm.”

        Thank goodness, but how do any of us know?
        Surely you do not know what the intentions are of all Reiki practitioners?
        What health and safety checks have been done on this energy?

        Medical practitioners who utilise Reiki may be deluded, or seek to deceive. How do we know?
        All I am asking for is evidence – perhaps the evidence of research to which you refer.

        Thank you.

      • Angela said:

        We practitioners never have evil intent or send harmful energy. Not really sure what your concern is: healing is healing : that is what Reiki is. It cannot by its very nature -healing – also be harmful and evil.

        Why? What is it’s ‘nature’ that allows differentiation between what might be good or bad?

        Please cite a success McTaggart has achieved.

      • Angela, you seem to know what your talking about! I have aways been fascinated with Reiki. I would love to hear more about it!

        • Hi Amanda – Reiki is not only a healing modality it is a self development tool and truly life enhancing. The UK Reiki Federation is a good preliminary source of information : they offer teachers who are CNHC regulated (Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council). If you are outside UK research similar organisations.

          Be mindful when selecting a teacher ( I always offer a free consultation and healing for a prospective student: so they can make an informed decision.) Seek out a similar teacher if you want to train in Reiki.

          Reiki does no harm (despite the questionable to say the least comments by sceptics on this blog )
          The practitioners of Reiki are the conduits.

          I have been teaching Reiki for 15 years and it is a true privilege. I tell students at Master level that we are not Masters and at this level the learning truly starts. Whilst we have reached the ‘Master’ level, humbly we walk our path. No one person on earth knows all there is to know. We learn to the end.

          There is a great Reiki expert ( I call him that because he has carried out endless research ) :he has no ego and when I met him his humility stood out: he told me ‘we are still learning about Reiki and so it will always be. His healing was very special. If you want to know the complexities of Reiki any of Frank Ajarva Petter’s books will inform.

          I wish you Reiki blessings should you choose to embark on this life enhancing healing system

          To those on this blog who criticise something I feel they have very little cogent knowledge of, I have no words in response. I apologise but I am struggling with comments and critique that offer nothing in the way of even the smallest amount of knowledge. Whilst I might struggle, I hope that those seriously interested in Reiki will look at the many organisations and books on offer.

          • “The UK Reiki Federation is a good preliminary source of information”

          • To those on this blog who criticise something I feel they have very little cogent knowledge of, I have no words in response. I apologise but I am struggling with comments and critique that offer nothing in the way of even the smallest amount of knowledge.

            Typical courtier’s reply. If you have knowledge to impart to those who “offer nothing in the way of even the smallest amount of knowledge” then please educate us. In this thread there have been many comments that purport to explain reiki. If I characterize them as vague, ill-defined, contradictory, unevidenced notions that read a lot like New Age or Post-Modern nonsense then I expect you, Angela, to offer something of better quality.

            Thus far the contributions of reiki fans all read like the ravings of kindly-intentioned but seriously deluded nutters.

          • “Typical courtier’s reply.”


            @Angela All the pomp and ceremony in the world cannot hide how your emperor is stark bollock naked. Try again.

    • Richard you have to understand, before we send healing energy, we ask for permission, or when client is asking . This is Universal Intelligent energy, cannot be misused. It’s NOT a practitioner Energy. ❤️❤️❤️??? Have a wonderful day, and don’t worry. ??

      • Olga Dan said:

        This is Universal Intelligent energy, cannot be misused.

        How do you know?

        And a supplementary: from where does this energy originate?

      • So Ol’ Dan: would I be way off to assume this Universal Intelligent energy is the same intelligent-energy that is responsible for volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, lightening strikes, tornadoes, landslides and interplanetary collisions? I’m sure given your immense scientific understanding you have sophisticated instruments and calibrations showing the distinct differences between Universal-energy and Practitioner-energy. I would be interesting in reading your published findings prior to making my appointment.

      • from where does this energy originate

        The magnificent power of FANTASY ! 😀

      • Frank Odds – I agree there is a vast amount of different ideas being expressed here on Reiki.

        Respectfully, I think you skeptics criticise when you have little knowledge to base it on. I am no oracle : I am not the fountain of all knowledge. Amanda asked a question and I have hopefully given her some pointers if she wishes to learn more. Equally, if any commenter here is in serious need of information, I would suggest exactly the same.

        But we know how it works Frank : I am not wasting my time attempting to convince the die hard skeptic. From experience of many years’ checking in on this blog, I have learnt that despite the global billions who use chiropractic, acupuncture,reflexology, Reiki plus all other complementary therapies, and however much posters report efficacy, the skeptics have other agenda. Forgive me if I don’t always play the game.

        Finally, Reiki does no harm and millions benefit from it. Any serious interest?? Consult the UK Reiki Fed who I am sure will be willing to share the research and current results gleaned on Reiki in a leading London Hospital. Furthermore, I cannot recommend highly enough for those with a need to know about Reiki, Frank Arjava Petter’s or William Lee Rand’s books: now they know their Reiki. Good luck in your quest.

        • “Reiki does no harm”
          I BEG TO DIFFER!
          undermining rational thought does more harm than you might imagine.

          • “undermining rational thought does more harm than you might imagine.”

            Well said!

          • (Oh, and I could just as easily link to Kristallnacht and the Rwandan Genocide, or the various fascistic powergrabs now happening in parts of Europe and the Americas. But, baby steps first.)

    • Reiki practices and Reiki Masters don’t have intentions of evil or malace. Reiki energy is not used with any intentions of harm. It is a neutral energy that balances deficiencies and excess. Perhaps someone would be kind enough to use on you. Definitely in need

      • Now we seem to have two different positions: firstly that reiki ‘energy’ (whatever that is) can only, by its ‘divine’ nature, do good and secondly that reiki practitioners don’t have evil intent.

        Which is it? And how do you know?

    • Dear Richard,

      As a Reiki Master, I’ve always been taught and read from every source I’ve touched that, Reiki can do no harm. If a practitioner tries to harm someone with it, it will literally only send healing to the target and the practioner will be stripped of their ability to do Reiki, by the Reiki itself.
      The energy keeps itself in check and only does good, don’t worry.

    • Reiki energy is Source Love and light energy. It is impossible, in fact, it is against the very nature of Reiki energy to be dark or evil energy. Reiki is PURE loving healing energy.

  • Am I having a bad day? – what was the point of the study if the conclusion was to affirm that Reiki had no effect of pain following a c section? Was it just to sneak in via the back door dubious claims regarding blood pressure and heart rate?

    • If somebody claims to use Reiki to heal a C Section they do not know what they are talking about.
      What is a C Section, it is a cut made in the lower Body by a doctor to remove a baby, what the problem is that the cut cuts at least 5 meridians that have to be repaired but they cannot be seen. They can be repaired by a person who has been shown how to do it and it is not done by Reiki.

  • No significant differences between reiki group and control… This is important information in the context of the oft-mentioned point that a trial of A+B vs B will always reveal a positive effect for A (unless A is toxic).

    When, as in this case, the A group had no direct contact with the practitioner or even (the full paper doesn’t say!!) no knowledge of when the practitioner was remotely sending his or her ‘energy’, even the usual psychological contributions to A+B vs B have zero impact.

    • I will put it this way. If a person claims to have Reiki, they really don’t know what it really is, their claim can be tested.
      Either in person or at a distant, hands placed over the Crown, what do you feel, Warmth/ Heat or just not being able to enter the Crown, they have retained what ever energy that has been applied through an Attunement. If however there appears to be movement down through the Crown and down into the body then there is no retention.
      Reiki is the wrong word, if you look back in any published information, nobody can tell you who invented the word, it was not USUI as he only called it his own.

  • Reiki = Stupidity

  • What we can see or feel is true. God never exists, past never exists, future never exists, sunlight, sound, fragrance can never be true. So call scientists are still unable to accept, how can they accept blessings?
    How can miracle happen? Doctors having advanced science, but what single remedy they have to stop a bleeding from a cut? Reiki or else, it’s just energy like other energies. Why people love to contradiction and debate? Let us try to avoid to prove, but rather work on it, studying in detail. Instead of searching outer space, first let us search and work on our living planet first. We have many many such energies

    • This website and its comment section exist thanks mostly to the scientific method and the people that subscribe to it. Yet, you are using this site to argue against its very use. Ironic.

  • Animals are very sensitive and aware of energy flow and affects. As a animal Reiki practitioner I see subtle effects in my animal clients. They are intelligent beings and yet I need not to deal with convincing an analytical mind.
    Look at Dr Emoto Marasu’s 2 experiments “how our energy effects” white rice and water experiments.
    S. D.

  • Reiki, in and of itself is healing energy, you can do 0 harm working with Reiki, that’s almost like being afraid the nyquil will put you to sleep, then don’t take it, the purpose of it is to sleep, as is the purpose of reiki is to heal, you cannot work with reiki and send harmful energy, just as you can not get more tired while not taking the nyquil, it’s just that simple. The practitioner invokes reiki by stating to the universe your healing for their highest good and to separate personal energies, that is when reiki flows and sends its loving energy if you are that fearful the practitioner will even state this aloud for you, I can guess everyone will attune to their client to the best of their abilities. You must all learn to welcome what the universe is bringing to us as if you pay close attention you can easily see it is only helping us all advance and live more happy and cozy. I encourage you to take a class it’s short and you’ll be guided along to understand almost immediately. There are naturally negative forces out there, that are available to us all… just as the healing light of love is, as more comes to be our adaptation to it will be critical, why should we choose to fear in the dark, when just a little bit of investigation could lead us to a light, that we never knew was there. And all you gotta do is keep trying to understand, Love you guys good luck !!

  • I am not interested in a Reiki debate but once i had a massage therapist who did it who wanted rent some space in my clinic.

    I got the line of its all good, no negative energy.

    So i asked her…doesnt energy need to maintain balance in the universal? That for all the good energy there must be a balance of negative energy?

    She responded. Well, yah.. But i only deal with the positive energy.

    So i asked her…But if there is negative energy in a person and you replace it with positive energy, where does that negative energy go?

    She fumbled around for a bit.

    So i said…if you have no control over negative energy do you really think i want you releasing it in my clinic?

    She left.

    And no, i don’t buy into the Reiki.

    • @DC: “So i said…if you have no control over negative energy do you really think i want you releasing it in my clinic?”

      Priceless. You really should come over to the Light Side. You’re already part-way there.

  • if u all believe the Almighty God in the universe there sure to be Reiki distant healing positive energy

  • You are correct LOL it us called laying of hands , I’ve had this since I was a child , now they want to call it Reiki. The same techniques are found in other cultures that has no communication with the outside world and they lay hands on the same spots. And yes I can send it around the world.

    • Now they want to call it reiki? Reiki was dreamed up in 1922.

      Other than that, just because it’s found elsewhere does not mean it works. Also, how faw can you send it and how do you know?

  • From what I read..
    Apparently one cannot send a distant healing without consent from receiver.
    Also the energy is not from the practitioner, it is of God…or universe.
    If someone tried to use it to harm, supppsedly they would no longer be able to be a conduit of said energy.

  • Lol – I can’t believe some of the comments. Reiki is a healing modality in which the practitioner is the conduit. Reiki energy is pure source energy & will go where the client needs it. I’m an RN and used to think this was BS until I learned more about it. Even Hospice here in the US offers reiki sessions for terminal patients and their families – not to cure their illness but to make them more comfortable. I find it ironic that many people have no problem placing their faith in whatever God or religion they worship but condemn any type of energy healing. If reiki is not for you then no big deal!

    • you realise that ‘making more comfortable’ is a therapeutic claim, and as such it must be based on evidence, not opinion?

    • @karen: “I can’t believe some of the comments”. Odd that you believe in a made-up “healing-modality” with a creepy name, where a practitioner, or a “Master” practitioner (I’m guessing they have a higher credit limit?) becomes a “conduit”. Or perhaps a “Master” has the bigger conduit? And you can’t believe comments of incredulous onlookers? When you become enthralled with Dianetics and begin to tell us all how profound you’ve found that to be you will find an equal number of doubters as well. Since all junk-science pisses off intelligent folks.

    • Karen, I agree with you.
      I have testimonials from my human clients and we have witnessed positive improvements in the animal’s behaviour when they had suffered emotional issues as well as physical issues.
      Animals are very sensitive intelligent beings and recognise healing energy. Animals who have accepted energy healing display subtle changes after. They are an honest particpant not having to pretend an outcome.
      Proof is in the pudding so to speak.

      • sorry, but in healthcare, this is certainly not true. the proof can only be in solid evidence, not anecdote or opinion.

        • Yes I understand, of course the controlled clinical studies are important.
          I have photos for one example of a 4 year old “Reactive” termed by professional certified dog trainer. The dog was first brought for a Reiki session to help with the dog’s aggression and anxieties. The handler arrived with a hyper dog at the end of a leash and a muzzle in the other. 30 minutes after handler and dog left an hour session she texted a photo of the dog laying down calmly on the seat of the vehicle with a caption “He never does this”. The dog normally spun nervously and panted heavily when in a moving vehicle.

          Thank you for letting me share a snippet of what I have experienced along with happier and healthier animals that energy healing has helped.
          I will withdraw from the continuous line of discussion.

          • still nothing but anecdote!

          • Ah. Another unverified and unverifiable anecdote.

          • @SD

            Starts with: “Yes I understand, of course the controlled clinical studies are important.”

            Then continues with a story showing that she doesn’t really believe that, or even begin to understand why controlled clinical trials are the only basis of credible evidence for therapeutic effects.

      • If only you could provide robust evidence instead of unverified and unverifiable anecdotes…

  • REIKI has killed level 1 and level 2: practicioners channeling demons not universal healing energy that is demonic occult lie that it is healing energy.

    Many receiving REIKI QiGong treatments had to have deliverance exorcisms as they were possessed by demons
    Long distance REIKI is used to channel harm and bad spirts demonic at victims by witches and sorcerers

    Former Japanese REIKI master identified three level names of demons and their symbols which are malevolent diabolical.
    New age occult practices are evil of the devil and practicioners liars
    Deuteronomy Chapter 18 KJV makes clear that these are Abominations against God From the Mystery Religion of. Babylon Witchcraft evil wicked disgusting lowlife trash..

  • Well, this thread has certainly brought some fascinating comments. Its proponents claim that reiki ‘energy’ (I have to put inverted commas round the word because it clearly doesn’t conform with any known definition of energy) comes from the universe. It’s love, it’s light (in that case surely we should be able to see it or detect it with light-sensitive apparatus), it comes from god (which one, Odin, Zeus, one of the other tens of thousands of gods?). It’s healing energy (but without definition of the diseases or conditions it can heal) and it’s a neutral energy that “balances deficiencies and excess” (errm, which deficiencies, which excesses?).

    Reiki is the “Frequency of Energy/Vibration” (whatever that is supposed to mean: maybe the capital letters have a tale to tell). Many posters assure us that reiki energy can do no harm, that it is intelligent energy and brings only good. On the other hand, it has killed its practitioners and is channeling demons.

    Welcome, folks, to the world of total self-delusion. Please do keep up the nutty posts. They say laughter is the best medicine, and this thread is pure comedy gold.

  • I agree , there are a couple of my patients on whom the doctors have completely given up. They have come out alive and are doing just fine. So i stand strongly with the benefits of healing are immense. Only the ones who have been touched can ever vouch for the same

    • let’s assume you are correct and Reiki is highly effective.
      why then does the research not confirm this?
      and would it not be the ethical duty of Reiki healers to demonstrate this beyond doubt?
      are they not behaving unethically by not doing this?

  • Dorchester Shake
    I have heard of Deuterium water 18 but what is this Deuteronomy 18 stuff all about? Sounds a bit heavy just like the water.

  • The desire to be a medical doctor is almost a hideous compulsion to some. For others, it is easy to create illusory crap in the face of human attraction for charlatans, easy healing, and a penchant for fantasy. The reality is very difficult for many.
    This is taken advantage of the dishonest, fantasist, obscurantist and sufferers of pernoladade disorders. Treating human beings from their ailments requires scientific responsibility, proof by appropriate methodology, implacable executioner. This is the most responsible way of treating human beings and showing love.

  • I often wondered if I should run around making idiot claims in my super suit

    Dendra.. Its two days later and I got that.. You truly are a reiki power ranger..

  • Because that’s what reiki is, healing energy, you can’t do harm working with reiki because reiki is universal root healing energy, someone trying to do harm using reiki damn near like you praying to God to hurt someone.. using reiki, you’ve only really gained access to be an extension cord of this healing energy available to all who open up to it.. God is not gonna go, oh he got the reiki so I might as well hurt the person, I might as well change this healing to hurt because the reiki user took the class… one that’s only highlighting you have a caveman view on the word Reiki, I mean if you look at two people from different nationalities your not gonna say how do you know this guy is really the black one maybe this white guy your looking at is really the black guy… well then, that would make that white skin tone man a black one, but how much sense does that make. You’ll never find a single being on earth harmed from reiki in any way shape or form but you will always find the opposite. Sometimes healing hurts, if your in a relationship your used to but your being abused, reiki will help spark whatever it needs to yank you out of that situation, and you can’t always guarantee that’ll be pretty. But regardless you just can’t take a teddy bear and throw it at someone and wonder why you didn’t get a head shot…. because my buddy, you need a gun for that. And you’ll understand this basic concept even more with just one 6 hour class. It really is not that difficult. Like, at all.

  • I am an Ex-Nurse and Health Visitor and now a Reiki Practitioner. I know that after an operation a patient is usually told by their Consultant to keep on top of their pain relief as it is easier to prevent pain than to try to control it once it is at a high threshold. Thus possibly the reason for ‘no significant differences in opioid consumption.
    The research did show ‘ the distant reiki group had a significantly lower heart rate (74.3 ± 8.1 bpm vs 79.8 ± 7.9 bpm, p=0.003) and blood pressure’ I notice this result wasn’t mention or explored by the scoffing Drs and Consultants. So the patients were more relaxed? A big side-effect of Reiki is relaxation.

    It also noted that they mention that volunteers were giving the ‘distance healing’ which is often the case, so Reiki Practitioners for free are trying to help heal others. For free!!! as in giving out freebies instead of receiving them !!!

    I think it is in the interest of Drs, Consultants and the pharmaceutical companies to discredit any therapy that may help people to heal naturally. Ill health is a lucrative business, there are a lot of vested interests in keeping people taking tablets as a remedy even though ‘pharmaceutical drugs are responsible for more than 300,000 deaths per year’. There is plenty of research to back that up! I can’t seem to find any that shows any deaths accredited to Reiki though.

    As a Health Visitor I was only allowed to prescribe and discuss with Parents the products made by the Pharmaceutical companies, nothing natural at all!!

    What is well documented is that when a person is under a lot of stress their body functions such as their immune system closes down, diverting energy to their limbs for the ‘fight or flight’ response. It is also well researched that stress is a big killer, it results in many things including cancer!! Keeping this is mind the research above showed that both their blood pressure and their heart rate was down, these women were more relaxed. That means their immune system was not compromised by stress, therefore it would have a better chance to fight infections if they arose or if they already had an illness. It’s really not a big stretch to see that something that relaxes you and lets your immune system do its thing is of a health benefit. Was infection rates also reviewed in this study?

    Also who paid for the ‘C-section’ research? I think most likely those that would benefit from natural healing therapies to be ostracised.

    • @Karen Hardy

      You wrote

      The research did show ‘ the distant reiki group had a significantly lower heart rate (74.3 ± 8.1 bpm vs 79.8 ± 7.9 bpm, p=0.003) and blood pressure’ I notice this result wasn’t mention or explored by the scoffing Drs and Consultants.

      Take a look again at the original blog post, this time wearing your reading specs. It directly quotes two paragraphs from the abstract of the study and contains these words: “however, the distant reiki group had a significantly lower heart rate (74.3 ± 8.1 bpm vs 79.8 ± 7.9 bpm, p=0.003) and blood pressure (106.4 ± 9.7 mmHg vs 111.9 ± 11.0 mmHg, p=0.02) post surgery”. So your contention that this result wasn’t mentioned by the “scoffing Drs and Consultants” is simply wrong.

      Why wasn’t the result of p=0.003 and p=0.02 mentioned by the authors of the paper with the same fascination as you seem to have for it? Well, I’m sure with all your knowledge and experience of clinical medicine you’ve run into a statement along the lines “there’s a big difference between statistical significance and clinical significance.” If you imagine that a heart rate of 74 bpm vs. 80 bpm, or a blood pressure of 112 vs 106 is of any possible clinical significance, then your nursing training wasn’t up to much.

      You also need to put these numbers into context (Table 2 in the paper). The significant (p<0.05) differences in heart rate and bp were one of a series of five post-operative measurements made on the two groups. None of the other measurements were statistically significant. In total, the authors ran 33 binary comparison statistics to create their Table 2. If you run enough tests, you're sure to get significance in a sub-group, somewhere!

      But the authors already admit this themselves in their discussion:

      However, given that distant reiki’s method of action is unknown, there is the possibility that our findings are simply due to chance, given the number of secondary measures evaluated. The small but statistically significant benefits of lower heart rate and blood-pressure levels are unlikely to be clinically significant but may be interesting to future researchers who are searching for a mechanism of action for distant reiki.

      I guess you never even noticed this: maybe you need to buy some better specs.

      You wrote:

      Also who paid for the ‘C-section’ research? I think most likely those that would benefit from natural healing therapies to be ostracised.

      Why can’t you just read what the paper tells you?! “Funding: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.”

      You wrote:

      It also noted that they mention that volunteers were giving the ‘distance healing’ which is often the case, so Reiki Practitioners for free are trying to help heal others. For free!!! as in giving out freebies instead of receiving them !!!

      It may well be that the reiki master used in this study (identified only as S. Adams) gave her time to the study free of charge, but your implication that Reiki is ‘often’ offered gratis is nonsense. Take a look here (USA) where we learn that “Traditionally, many Reiki practitioners charge anywhere from $25 to $60 an hour, and hourly rates depend upon the experience and location of the practitioner. Reiki Masters have more income potential through teaching and lecturing.” Or here (UK) where we learn that “A newly qualified Reiki healer may charge from £20 to £40 per session.” and that “An experienced Reiki Healer working from a location in central London may charge up to £100 per session.”

      Finally, when you write something like “It is well documented that…” please provide a link to at least one of the documents (see the red banner at the head of every page of this blog).

  • Interesting article and comments. I find the debate very critical -often in a good way- but regret that not everyone speaks the same language and communication suffers as a result – along with the debate.
    Some people have better understanding of scientific concepts, while some have better experience of certain practices. Surely there should be a way to reconcile those two.

    As many readers, the part that interested me the most is the following:
    “however, the distant reiki group had a significantly lower heart rate (74.3 ± 8.1 bpm vs 79.8 ± 7.9 bpm, p=0.003) and blood pressure (106.4 ± 9.7 mmHg vs 111.9 ± 11.0 mmHg, p=0.02) post surgery.”

    Here is my question : could this data be used to illustrate metrics normally associated with the assessment of someone’s pain levels? Perhaps even more acurately than a visual analogue scale? When in pain, doesn’t our heart rate tend to increase and our blood pressure increase as well?

    Although I understand the use of the VAS in this study, mostly for lack of better tools, I also remember undergoing lung surgery about 3 years ago.
    I was delighted that the skill of trained doctors and advanced medical equipment saved my life.
    Nurses invited me to keep using the ” morphine pump” to get pain relief but I ended up stopping as it mostly caused my skin to feel very itchy (even with the synthetized version I was upgraded to later on).
    Overall, I felt that pain levels were pretty much the same with or without it.
    However, controlling my breathing and meditating helped me manage the pain quite effectively.
    Perhaps I am allergic to opioids. Perhaps the “itchy” reaction is a common one with people who receive those substances, I could not comment as I am quite ignorant in that matter.

    But that could explain why the study mentioned above does not illustrate a difference in the use of opioids between test groups – it is after all under the nurses’ advice that I remember using the pump… not because it helped all that much.

    Another very interesting comment was made by Leonard Thomas on Thursday 23 May 2019 at 00:27

    [There is no such energy as “Reiki Energy”. When somebody wants to work with energy they are working with the Frequency of Energy/ Vibration, then the question is “How”]

    Yes, when I heard such things I always wondered what “energy” was, how you could measure it, where it came from…
    As a sound engineer, I have a fairly square mind and am curious about technology.
    While I do have another interest in martial arts and meditation (and nowadays Reiki), I was very sceptical whenever I heard such language during most of my adult life.

    So one day, I asked a doctor if he knew what frequency our brains operate at. He answered “very low, an EEG would show frequencies ranging from 0.5 to 42Hz”. Perhaps some of you can chime in, but I read somewhere that brainwaves and brain patterns can be altered through meditation or during sleep phases. Basically, anything we do and what we think about affects our brainwaves… eating, learning, solving a problem, watching TV… meditating… even maybe practicing Reiki?

    Someone trained to use breathing techniques or meditation techniques can control their heart rate and blood pressure quite effectively. It can be a goal in itself (in order to improve performance when diving for example), or a side-effect when focusing the intent on something specific or on nothing at all – in the case of certain meditation techniques such as Vipassana.

    I must admit that Reiki pretty much hit me like a bus when I least expected it. I discarded the very idea as charlatanism until a very famous martial artist who taught Tai Chi in London 15 years ago caused me to doubt the validity of my judgement.
    Some 8 or 9 years later, I made an experiment that changed my life. 3 years after that, I followed Reiki training and became a practitioner. I have only just recently accepted the idea of charging a fee for the treatments I offer.
    One thing did not change though: I believe that understanding the nature of this “energy” and being able to demonstrate it in a measurable, reproducible and scientific way is something that would benefit a lot of people.

    Until someone can establish a protocol which demonstrates the mechanics of such forms of healing in an scientific way, here is my (admittedly wild) guess : our nervous systems rely a lot on electrical impulses to receive and communicate information throughout our body and maintain homeostasis. I cannot quote a speific study (sorry) but I do hope that most people here can agree on this. The limbic system, endocrine system, autonomic nervous system and limbic system influence each others in ways that understand more or less accurately nowadays, and this delicate balance is what can be the difference between us being healthy or not.

    A lot of the electrical equipment that I use for work as a sound engineer is “shielded” in a mesh of metal, typically galvanised steel or aluminium, in order to avoid interferences with other equipment.
    I believe that our bodies are not shielded in such a “Farraday cage”, but instead that our nervous system may be constantly receiving and broadcasting information in the low frequency spectrum. Some of this information is not necessarily conscious (or could be called “instinct” if it is half-conscious) but some of it is conscious and even deliberate.

    Could it be that the “energy” of a Reiki practitioner is none other than controlled brainwaves that are intended to heal a patient? Mind over matter. a form of controlled placebo effect induced to the patient.
    You can call it what you want, or even “Reiki” if you are a Japanese Doctor from the late XIXth century.
    But in my eyes and the eyes of many others who actually experienced it over the past decades, this “energy” is tangible and can actually be felt physically.

    It is a fact that high frequencies can carry a lot of information but that their range is very limited. Hence the necessarily high number of antennas creating our mobile phone network.
    Low frequencies, however, can carry small quantities of information over a very long distance. The lower the frequency, the greater the distance.

    If we consider that our brain uses very low frequencies to communicate to the various components of our body, and that we can modify such brain patterns by focusing our intent (in the manner of people who practice meditation), could we perhaps consider that “mind over matter” can indeed be explained by the fact that consciously altered brainwaves can potentially promote the homeostasis of our body or even that of another individual?
    Wouldn’t that even potentially resolve the old dilemma between science and religion?

    Reiki is definitely not a religion, but as a boy I remember those words written in a thick book called “the Bible”:
    “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

    There are many very badly told and badly understood stories… but their actual value should not be diminished.
    Communication is key, so I hope that contributors to this blog try a little harder to understand each other rather than deride each other’s opinions.

  • Supposing some other study showed distance Reiki to have an effect I would be concerned that there might be interaction with the (also benign) influences of Yogic Flying. Will the new 5G mobile phone network interfere with these mysterious forces.

    It took a long time before gravity waves were detected and I accept that there is much we don’t understand about ourselves. I will put Reiki into the special drawer marked Uttabollox though I would be happy to listen to new evidence.

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