6 Reiki Healing Health Benefits
Reiki healing is an ancient form of therapy perfected in Japan a century ago. But are there modern benefits? What does science say about it?
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Great Benefits of Reiki
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1. Reiki Healing May Aid in Recovery
In the middle of recovery? Perhaps a healing touch on top of your hospital stay will help.
There are loud and ambient noises in hospitals. And scientists think these could hinder recovery.
One animal study found that reiki could help lessen the effect of noise on recovery. When compared to sham reiki, true reiki was able to decrease the effect of noise stress.
The researchers continued their research to see if reiki has an effect on the resting heart rate and rise in heart rate. They found that reiki helped lessen both the resting heart rate and rise in heart rate when exposed to noise compared to sham reiki.
2. Reiki Healing May Relieve Pain
Have trouble coping with pain?
Oncology patients usually experience pain, fatigue, and anxiety. And reiki may help patients cope with these.
In a 2015 study, patients were divided into a control group and an experimental group. The experimental group received 30-minute reiki sessions for five nights on top of nurse and standard care. At the end of the study, they found that the experimental group recorded lower levels of pain, fatigue, and anxiety.
Another study on patients with herniated disks found that reiki and physiotherapy might be more effective than drug therapy. But reiki may actually be more effective and faster than physiotherapy.
On the other hand, a study on fibromyalgia patients showed that reiki had no effect on pain. There were also no other effects on secondary outcomes like:
- use of medicine
- doctor visits
- physical or mental function
Most studies pair reiki with standard care. One study also admits that it's difficult to tell if the effect was because of standard care or because of reiki. This may have been because the reiki session was timed too close to standard care.
In light of this, you can try it along with your doctor-approved treatment. But it can not replace standard care.
3. Reiki Healing May Ease Anxiety
Stressed or burned out? This could be a quick and direct way to ease your mind and help you relax.
A 2011 study tested the effects of reiki on health care professionals that are feeling burnout. It found that the ancient therapy could have an effect on the parasympathetic nervous system. This leads us to believe that it may help the body relax. The parasympathetic nervous system controls our body when it's at rest.
A study tested whether reiki could help ease the anxiety of women going through breast biopsy. However it found that it did nothing to ease their anxiety or help them to relax.
Current research results are conflicting. It will take more quality studies to conclude whether this therapy could help you deal with anxiety.
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4. Reiki Healing May Help With Depression
Reiki could be a great tool for nurses that deal with depressed patients. There is some evidence that suggests that it could improve a person's well-being. It might also help beat anxiety and depression.
But there's still a lack of high-quality research. Because of this, it can only be a voluntary and complementary treatment.
5. Reiki Healing May Improve Quality of Life
Touch therapy may help improve the quality of life in cancer patients.
Cancer patients, during treatment and recovery, often feel fatigued.
One pilot study found that reiki may help cancer patients beat fatigue and showed improvements in quality of life. However, this was only tested on a total of 16 patients. The researchers also did not compare with placebo.
Another study tested the effects of reiki and massage therapy on:
The results showed that both reiki and massage therapy has a positive effect on all symptoms. Except the former was more effective in improving fatigue and anxiety.
However, the results are based on only one session and were not compared to standard treatment. But if proven, it could be a quick and straightforward option for patients.
6. Reiki Healing May Improve Your Well-Being
A regular Reiki session may help improve your mood and overall well-being. Even better, the effects could be long-lasting.
Researchers did a small, blind study on 40 university students. They weren't aware if they were included in the reiki group or in the control group.
They took six 30-minute reiki therapy or sham reiki sessions over two to eight weeks. Students in the reiki group showed continuous improvement post-treatment. They had lower stress levels and also had lower anxiety and depression.
In fact, the reiki group was able to sustain their improved mood. Their overall well-being was at its peak during the fifth-week follow-up.
On the other hand, there were no changes in the control sham reiki group.
Keep in mind that the research about Reiki and biofield energies is still underway. Many of the published studies are inconsistent, small, short-term, and are low quality.
Before we can say for sure that reiki has science-backed benefits, the studies should:
- have consistent results
- have a standard procedure on how to conduct reiki
- be able to give a clear picture of how it works and the mechanisms involved
Here's an infographic guide that you can use. Feel free to download, save and share it with your loved ones:
There is no governing body that trains and certifies Reiki practitioners. So your experience may differ depending on the experience and expertise of your practitioner.
It's also not FDA-approved and most likely not covered by insurance.
Approach your doctor if you're interested in trying out a reiki massage. It can only be a complement to your treatment and cannot replace medication or standard care prescribed by your doctor.
That said, reiki is harmless and if trying out after options actively helps give you peace of mind, then do try it out. It could help you cope with anxiety and depression, and improve your overall well-being.
Did the science convince you? Willing to give it a go? Let us know in the comments section below!
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