What Is Reiki Healing And Does It Really Work?

Reiki therapy is an age-old alternative form of healing with roots tracing back to Japan in the early 1900s. The word "reiki," comes from the word "rie," meaning "universal life" and "ki," which means "energy" (via The Healthy). The idea behind the practice is to generate a positive, regenerative flow of energy to the body. The relaxing experience can also loosen frayed nerves.

A Reiki session usually lasts from about 30 minutes to an hour long. During an appointment, patients lie on a massage table fully dressed. Through a series of different movements, the practitioner places his or her hands palms down over specific areas of the patient's body (via Cleveland Clinic). As they hover, energy flows through their hands for varying lengths of time. Technicians may also move their hands slowly over the body rather than remaining stationary in one place. Either way, the practitioner never touches the patient.

Benefits of Reiki therapy

During a session, the patient may experience a sense of relaxation, which can have several positive outcomes. A 2015 study of cancer patients found that those who underwent Reiki sessions along with standard medical treatment, experienced less overall pain and fatigue (via Healthline).

Additionally, research shows that Reiki has other positive effects as well. One study conducted in 2016, suggested that regular sessions of Reiki enhanced cancer patients' overall quality of life. Reiki healing may also help improve mood. A 2011 study showed that people who had 30-minute sessions over several weeks saw a boost in their state of mind. The relaxation that accompanies Reiki may also help treat insomnia, nausea, tension, and headaches.

Overall, Reiki is considered safe for most people. However, it is worth noting that the practice is not a cure for any conditions or diseases. Reiki is best used as a complementary treatment along with standard medical care (via Verywell Mind).