Reiki is a form of energy healing popularised by the Japanese Mikao Usui (1865-1926). ‘Rei’ means universal spirit (sometimes thought of as a supreme being), and ‘ki’ is the assumed universal life energy. Reiki is broadly based on some of the obsolete concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Reiki practitioners believe that they can transfer ‘healing energy’ to a patient which, in turn, stimulates the self-healing properties of the body. They assume that the therapeutic effects of this technique are obtained from a ‘universal life energy’ that provides strength, harmony, and balance to the body and mind.

This study (entitled ‘ The Power of Reiki’) was conducted to pilot testing the feasibility and efficacy of Reiki to provide pain relief among pediatric patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Paediatric patients undergoing HSCT during the inpatient phase in the Stem Cell Transplantation Unit were eligible to participate. Short and medium effects were assessed investigating the increase or decrease of patient’s pain during three specific time periods (“delta”) of the day: morning of the Reiki session versus assessment before Reiki session (within subjects control period), assessment before Reiki session versus assessment after Reiki session (within subjects experimental period) and assessment after Reiki session versus morning the day after Reiki session (within subject follow-up period). The effect of 88 Reiki therapy sessions in nine patients was analysed following a short, medium, and long-term perspective. Repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed a significant difference among the three periods: a decrease of the pain occurred in the experimental period in short and medium term, while in the follow-up period, the pain level remained stable.

The authors concluded that this study demonstrates the feasibility of using Reiki therapy in pediatric cancer patients undergoing HSCT. Furthermore, these findings evidence that trained pediatric oncology nurses can insert Reiki into their clinical practice as a valid instrument for diminishing suffering from cancer in childhood.

This is an unusual conclusion in that it is strictly speaking correct. What is wrong, however, that the abstract reports findings related to the alleged effectiveness of Reiki. A feasibility study is not designed for that purpose. I therefore suggest to ignore all allusions to therapeutic effects.

This, I think, begs the question as to why it is necessary or productive to study Reiki in clinical trials.

  • The treatment is not plausible.
  • There have been many trials already.
  • The ones that are sufficiently rigorous fail to show that it has any effects beyond placebo.
  • The medical literature is already highly polluted with Reiki studies reporting false-positive results.
  • This can only confuse researchers who attempt to conduct reviews on the subject.
  • Reiki studies discredit clinical research.
  • They are a waste of valuable resources.
  • Arguably, they are even unethical.

If you ask me, it is high time to stop researching such implausible nonsense.


2 Responses to The power of Reiki??? No, the power of Reiki to deceive us.

  • What worries me is that if this powerful energy was off target by just a bit, what harm might be done?
    Has any harm been caused to patients by misuse of this powerful energy?
    We should be told.
    It’s very worrying how silent proponents are on this point.

    Reiki is clearly innovative treatment.
    Before any practitioner or nurse uses it for NHS patients they will have to get ethical committee approval, and that will require evidence that there are beneficial effects beyond the placebo.
    Were are studies done with hands being positioned, but the energy not applied?
    I can’t wait!

  • No, there is no power of Reiki, just look at the definition, it is all wrong, so what is the power.
    It is the Frequency of Energy and Vibration. Sentences are written of Words, Symbols and Numbers. That sentences is placed within selected Chakras and then retained.
    Before we open the doors to the skeptics try an exercise. In one hand hold an object (Cloth, Chrystal) and with the other hand over the object write your name and then hold the hands together, what may you feel after a short time, why the exercise may just to point out that something that cannot be seen may work.
    Without any further comment if the Affirmations applied to the selected chakras are retained the vibrations of the selected Chakras are increased permanently.
    This action works but there are very few who have it because the majority are not aware of retention.
    How do you know this, simple by placing hands over the Crown of a person , either in person or at a distance, and if there is warmth, heat or just not being able to enter the crown then the Affirmations used are retained, however if there is no warmth/heat and you are able to enter the Crown and move down into the body then there is no retention or “NO REIKI”

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