The term reiki refers to “universal life energy.” Reiki is a healing method that involves manipulating the body’s natural flow of energy. Those who practice reiki believe that an energy force occupies the body and the space around it. Similarly, when a reiki practitioner works with a patient there is a flow of energy between them. This flow is believed to assist the body in its own natural healing processes.




Reiki identifies seven energy centers within the body. Each center is called a chakra and energy flows freely the body’s connected chakras. When energy is flowing well between the seven chakras, you are healthy in every sense – mentally, physically, and spiritually. When a particular chakra is blocked, it may result in illness, weakness, or pain. A reiki practitioner works with the patient to both identify chakras that are weak or blocked and then rectify the imbalance.

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Treatment sessions with a reiki practitioner typically last for one hour but this may vary according to the needs of the client. Most practitioners require that you attend more than one session. The practitioner may put his or her hands over your body in the area that corresponds to chakra that is blocked in order to transfer energy to those areas. Proponents of reiki claim that this practice creates a deep sense of relaxation and a surge of positive emotions in the patient. Some claim to have had spiritual experiences while doing reiki.


Reiki is used to treat a number of conditions, both mental and physical. For instance, people dealing with chronic pain may try reiki to decrease the pain they experience on a day-to-day basis. Reiki may also be used to speed up the healing process, improve quality of sleep, and reduce tension in the muscles. On occasion, people suffering from terminal illnesses such as cancer look to reiki to help control their pain. Reiki is not to be considered a suitable form of treatment for cancer or other serious diseases, although some people undergoing chemotherapy for cancer have reported feeling less nausea following a reiki session.

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There is currently a lack of scientific evidence to substantiate claims about reiki’s effectiveness. Any positive effects of reiki may be attributed to the placebo effect. Moreover, there is no way of proving that there is a transfer of energy between patient and practitioner. Since reiki is often practiced in a calm and relaxing environment – candles or soothing music may be used during the session – it is difficult for scientists to distinguish what aspect of reiki is responsible for the therapeutic effect. Reiki appears to be most effective in treating conditions that are largely psychological, for instance stress and anxiety. Physicians who treat cancer patients may not object to those patients receiving reiki treatments as it is not only safe, but it may help them to relax. However, patients should continue receiving conventional medical treatments alongside the reiki sessions.


Reiki does not usually involve touch and is therefore considered safe. While the efficacy of reiki is not known, it cannot be detrimental to your health provided you do not use it as a replacement for conventional medical treatments. It may be combined with conventional medical treatments, however, as a form of complementary therapy. Speak to your physician if you are considering trying reiki as a form of therapy.