Treat the Whole Person

People exist as a multi-dimensional entity, involving the physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual planes of being. Additionally, each individual interacts with and is affected by their daily environment.

All these areas must be addressed in any successful healing approach.



Deepak Chopra is a physician whose unhappiness with western medicine led him to search for an alternative. An endocrinologist who is a former Chief of Staff at the New England Memorial Hospital in Stoneham, Massachusetts, and who has taught at Tufts and Boston University Medical Schools, Dr. Chopra was introduced to the ancient methods of Indian healing, known as Ayurveda, by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the man who has done more than any other to bring traditional meditation to the West.

Chopra proved an apt student, and has become a master teacher as well. He is the founding president of the American Association of Ayurvedic Medicine, and has written and lectured widely, authoring the bestselling Quantum Healing,as well as Creating Health, Return of the Rishi, Perfect Health, Unconditional Life, and Ageless Body, Timeless Mind.

Dr.Chopra has initiated collaborations with medical associations in the Russia, Poland, Hungary and Brazil. He has spoken at the U.N. in New York, the World Health Organization in Geneva, the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Australia, the National Institutes of Health in Washington, and at medical schools worldwide.

Chopra has been instrumental in developing the practice of Ayurvedic medicine, which may well be the world's oldest living system of healing, in the United States. He is the Medical Director of the Sharp Institute for Human Potential and Mind-Body Medicine in La Jolla, California, and lectures and teaches worldwide.

Holistics and Quantum Mechanics

The most advanced theories of matter and energy in the field of Modern Physics, called Quantum Field Theories, are virtually identical to the descriptions of Qi and Prana given in the ancient texts, many of which are thousands of years old.

Reiki Relevance


Reiki is the "Universal Life-Force-Energy". The "Ki" part is the same word as Chi or Qi, the Chinese word for the energy which underlies everything. Reiki is a system for channeling that energy to someone for the purpose of healing. 

Reiki : How it Works

The body is composed of energy. This energy makes up the body, and also pervades it in more subtle forms. How free flowing this energy is  corresponds to the health of the body, as well as the state of emotions and mental activities.
 Reiki Rebalances the Energy in the Individual 
How does Reiki do this? Reiki practitioners are attuned to higher vibrations of energy that correspond to healthy states of being, as well as higher states of consciousness (as defined by spiritual advancement techniques such as yoga and meditation). Reiki practitioners are channels for these higher vibrational energies they bring these energies into the energy field of the individual during a Reiki treatment session.



Quantum Healing

DR: What led a western-trained medical physician such as yourself to pursue the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda?

DEEPAK CHOPRA: Just an unhappiness with the mechanical approach of contemporary medicine, which says that there is a magic bullet in the form of a pill for everything we have.
And the fact remains that none of our medical interventions either get to the root cause of disease, or make a significant difference in mortality or morbidity. They just alter its expression.

It's frustrating to see patients again and again, and to keep giving them sleeping pills, tranquilizers and antibiotics, for their hypertension or ulcers, when you know you're not getting rid of the problem or disease. The word "cure" is not even used. You are just treating the patient. "Curing" is a term that all physicians avoid. Our training is not oriented toward that.

DR: Can you explain what you mean by
"quantum healing?"

DEEPAK CHOPRA: Quantum healing is healing the bodymind from a quantum level. That means from a level which is not manifest at a sensory level.     Our bodies ultimately are fields of information, intelligence and energy.   Quantum healing involves a shift in the fields of energy information, so as to bring about a correction in an idea that has gone wrong.

So quantum healing involves healing one mode of consciousness, mind, to bring about changes in another mode of consciousness, body.

DR: How important is meditation in achieving and maintaining health?

DEEPAK CHOPRA: Meditation is a very important aspect of all the approaches that one can use in quantum healing, because it allows you to experience your own source.  When you experience your own source, you realize that you are not the patterns and eddies of desire and memory that flow and swirl in your consciousness.

Although these patterns of desire and memory are the field of your manifestation, you are in fact not these swirling fluctuations of thought. You are the thinker behind the thought, the observer behind the observation, the flow of attention, the flow of awareness, the unbounded ocean of consciousness.

When you have that on the experiential level, you spontaneously realize that you have choices, and that you can exercise these choices, not through some sheer will power but spontaneously.

DR: What aspects of contemporary lifestyles do you feel are most harmful to people's health?

DEEPAK CHOPRA: The most harmful is the loss of simplicity, and the loss of trust. The experience of alienation, fragmentation, isolation....this ultimately leads to all of the problems, like contamination of our environment, hostility towards each other, poor nutrition, and hard work, too much work . A work-oriented society, a success oriented society, in which we believe that somehow, material objects are the only source of our happiness.

DR: How do you find time for medical practice, writing, travel and family life, and still get to bed early, as you recommend in your books?

DEEPAK CHOPRA: That's a good question. I in fact don't believe in the existence of time. That's one thing I have to tell you, and the other is that I don't take myself or what I am doing seriously. I believe in the ancient saying that this is a recreational universe, for those who want to share God's one great passion, beauty.

I experience beauty in everything I do, and when I experience it emotionally, then I know intellectually that it must be the truth. So if I don't go to sleep by ten, it doesn't bother me, because I'm not tired. Most of my writing I do in planes, when I have plenty of time.

I meditate whenever I have a chance, and that is actually more frequently than most of my patients meditate. I see patients about 50% of my time at this clinic. That too is a source of great joy to me, talking to people and interacting with people. In fact, I have learned more from my patients than from anybody else.

DR: What has surprised you most in your practice of Ayurvedic medicine?

DEEPAK CHOPRA: What has surprised me most is that when given insight, even a little bit of insight, patients find themselves empowered to do the impossible.

DR: Your father is a medical physician in India. How did his values influence you with regard to your choice of a career, and also regarding your outlook on western and eastern healing methods?

DEEPAK CHOPRA: My father was a great source of inspiration for me, because he was such a wonderful father, who never in his life have I heard raise his voice. He brought up his two children as princes, told them that their birthright was to have all their desires fulfilled.

He was a very strongly western-oriented doctor, however. He is a cardiologist, very well-known in India. But he is also a very fun-loving person. I still remember going on vacations and picnics together, going to Shakespearian dramas together.

I never wanted to be a doctor. I always wanted to be a writer and journalist, but when I got to college, I felt that I also had to be a doctor, because that was a very important part of my childhood experience, watching my father heal people. He has that ability.

Not only as a great, great cardiologist, but also as someone who cares about his patients. Even when he is not in the hospital or office, he cares about them, he thinks about them, he talks about them to his children and his wife. Not giving away any confidential information, but just wondering how he can help them. He has always been a great source of inspiration.

He was not, however, inclined very favourably toward Ayurvedic medicine until I introduced him to it. Now he is the most enthusiastic researcher on Ayurveda in India.


The Spiritual and Physical Aspects of Reiki

In the West Reiki is primarily seen as a Complementary Therapy. But at it`s roots  Reiki is for personal development, self awareness, and was approached as a way towards greater understanding of the human condition.  For some it was a quest for enlightenment.


However ...

One of Mikao Usui's students was a man called Dr Hayashi,a retired surgeon commander from the Imperial navy, a Christian.

Dr Hayashi was not so interested in the 'spiritual path' side of Reiki, and he concentrated on Reiki as a treatment technique. Dr Hayashi taught Mrs Takata, and Mrs Takata brought Reiki to the West.

Physical, Mental, Emotional ... it is still the one energy.   Each of these states interact and affect each other.  Reiki energy is transferred through the Reiki Practitioner to the client. This is when Reiki will gently re-balance your energy and free your body to heal itself.


Can you measure Reiki in some way?

Reiki is often regarded by practitioners as being a ‘hot' energy. They feel extra heat as Reiki flows. The University of Arizona has used an Extra Low Frequency meter to see if it could pick up heat changes in the body. When practitioners reported that they were flowing Reiki, the ELF (extra low frequency) meter picked up significant increases in emissions from e.g. the palms of the hands. The emitted energy was more marked in people who had studied to third degree/master level. Researcher Melinda Connor said: ‘We have discovered a number of things: First, that master healers seem to be emitting at the same time in the extra low range from 20Hz - 1000Hz, in the ultra violet, the visible light, the infrared, the gamma and x-ray and at the 3 GHz range. I do not have the equipment to map more ranges yet. So it turns out that potentially millions of frequencies are being emitted from a single cell."
Arizona University recruited only highly regarded and experienced Reiki practitioners for its research who also were regularly giving Reiki. (Communication from Melinda Connor, 2006).

Reiki Research and Stress Reduction in rats
Reiki has been shown to work on rats and reverse the effects of gut leakage caused by stress. Please note that Reiki was compared with ‘sham-Reiki' and a control group. Reiki reduced leakage significantly compared with the two other groups. The research indicates that Reiki could be used to reduce the environmental stress experienced by laboratory animals and hospital patients. The researchers went on to show that Reiki would also modulate the heart rates of stressed rats.

Here's what Ann Baldwin wrote while on a research trip to Bristol. "I am a professor at the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA and during the last few years I have become concerned about the environment in which animals (mainly rodents) are housed for research. I have also become interested in Reiki. Although most facilities are extremely clean and the animals are free of disease, the environment is often extremely noisy and I have shown that this type of noise actually causes inflammation of the animals' blood vessels and intestine (Wilson and Baldwin, Microcirculation 5, 299-308, 1998; Wilson and Baldwin, Microcirculation 6, 189-198, 1999). In addition, more often than not, rodents are housed in tiny cages with little or no enrichment. There is evidence to show that noisy and/or Spartan conditions affect the scientific data obtained from rodents and so confound experimental results. I came to Bristol for a month to study a technique to measure stress hormones in rodents so that I can provide data to show that the animals are stressed by such living conditions. By doing this, I hope to improve the welfare of research animals and the validity of the data obtained from them.

How does Reiki fit into this? Well, one reason that I jumped at the chance of learning Reiki was to see whether it would help the rats that are stressed by excessive noise. The answer was yes! (see reference). Of course, when I arrived in Bristol one of the first things I did was to search the Internet for a Reiki group because I was curious about Reiki in England. I would be interested to see if there are any other scientists who read this and are using Reiki in their experiments." Anne Baldwin PhD (personal communication to Jeanne Long).

Personal Interaction with a Reiki Practitioner Decreases Noise-Induced Microvascular Damage in an Animal Model
J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Jan-Feb;12(1):15-22.

Ann L. Baldwin, Ph.D.
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
Gary E. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology, Center for Frontier Medicine in Biofield Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
Objective: To determine whether Reiki, a process of transmission of healing energy, can significantly reduce microvascular leakage caused by exposure to excessive noise using an animal model.
Rationale: Reiki is beginning to be used in hospitals to accelerate recovery. Despite many anecdotes describing Reiki's success, few scientific studies are reported and none of those use animals. Animal models have the advantage over human subjects in that they provide well-controlled, easily interpretable experiments. The use of noise is relevant to hospital patients because of the excessive ambient noise in hospitals in the United Kingdom and United States. Loud noise can lead to several nonauditory disorders in humans and animals that impair recovery. In the rat, stress from noise damages the mesenteric microvasculature, leading to leakage of plasma into the surrounding tissue.
Design: One group of four rats simultaneously received daily noise and Reiki, while two other groups received "sham" Reiki or noise alone. A fourth group did not receive noise or additional treatment. The experiment was performed three times to test for reproducibility.
Outcome Measures: Average number and area of microvascular leaks to fluorescent albumin per unit length of venule.
Results: In all three experiments, Reiki significantly reduced the outcome measures compared to the other noise groups (sham Reiki and noise alone) (p < 0.01).
Conclusions: Application of Reiki significantly reduces noise-induced microvascular leakage in an animal model. Whether or not these effects are caused by Reiki itself, or the relaxing effect of the Reiki practitioner, this procedure could be useful for minimizing effects of environmental stress on research animals and hospital patients.
Reiki and Rats' heart rates and blood pressure

J Altern Complement Med. 2008 May;14(4):417-22
1: Baldwin AL, Wagers C, Schwartz GE.
Laboratory for the Advances in Consciousness and Health, Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0068, USA.
OBJECTIVES: To determine whether application of Reiki to noise-stressed rats can reduce their heart rates (HRs) and blood pressures. RATIONALE: In a previous study, we showed that exposure of rats to 90 dB white noise for 15 minutes caused their HRs and blood pressures to significantly increase. Reiki has been shown to significantly decrease HR and blood pressure in a small group of healthy human subjects. However, use of humans in such studies has the disadvantage that experimental interpretations are encumbered by the variable of belief or skepticism regarding Reiki. For that reason, noise-stressed rats were used as an animal model to test the efficacy of Reiki in reducing elevated HR and blood pressure. DESIGN: Three unrestrained, male Sprague-Dawley rats implanted with radiotelemetric transducers were exposed daily for 8 days to a 15-minute white noise regimen (90 dB). For the last 5 days, the rats received 15 minutes of Reiki immediately before the noise and during the noise period. The experiment was repeated on the same animals but using sham Reiki. SETTING/LOCATION: The animals were housed in a quiet room in University of Arizona Animal Facility. OUTCOME MEASURES: Mean HRs and blood pressure were determined before Reiki/sham Reiki, during Reiki/sham Reiki, and during the noise in each case. RESULTS: Reiki, but not sham Reiki, significantly reduced HR compared to initial values. With Reiki, there was a high correlation between change in HR and initial HR, suggesting a homeostatic effect. Reiki, but not sham Reiki, significantly reduced the rise in HR produced by exposure of the rats to loud noise. Neither Reiki nor sham Reiki significantly affected blood pressure. CONCLUSION: Reiki is effective in modulating HR in stressed and unstressed rats, supporting its use as a stress-reducer in humans.
PMID: 18435597 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Reiki Research and anxiety reduction

1. Hartford Hospital, Connecticut carried out research, under Dr Molly Punzo, MD into using Reiki to reduce anxiety and pain across a number of departments including Cardiology, Orthopedic, Oncology, and Palliative Care units, as well as in the outpatient Cancer Center. During the pilot phase, outcome measurements were obtained from patients rating their anxiety and pain pre and post Reiki sessions. The Quality Management Department analysed the results which showed a statistically significant decrease in anxiety and pain regardless of the specialty area. This is summarised in the diagram below. Thanks to Hartford Hospital for producing this. Click here for more information.

Is Reiki just a ‘placebo' effect?
We have already shown that Reiki has been demonstrated to work on animals. In the research below, Reiki was shown to increase the growth rate of heat-shocked bacteria. The researchers also showed that this happened effectively when Reiki practitioners had first given a treatment to a person for 30 minutes beforehand (the healing context) as opposed to giving the Reiki treatment ‘cold' (non-healing context). The research also suggested that the better the well-being (social, emotional and physical).of the practitioner, the more effective the treatment.
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
In Vitro Effect of Reiki Treatment on Bacterial Cultures: Role of Experimental Context and Practitioner Well-Being
Jan 2006, Vol. 12, No. 1: 7-13

Beverly Rubik, Ph.D.
Institute for Frontier Science, Oakland, CA.
Union Institute and University, Cincinnati, OH.
Audrey J. Brooks, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
Center for Frontier Medicine in Biofield Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
Gary E. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Center for Frontier Medicine in Biofield Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
Departments of Psychology, Surgery, Medicine, Neurology, and Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
Objective: To measure effects of Reiki treatments on growth of heat-shocked bacteria, and to determine the influence of healing context and practitioner well-being.
Methods: Overnight cultures of Escherichia coli K12 in fresh medium were used. Culture samples were paired with controls to minimize any ordering effects. Samples were heat-shocked prior to Reiki treatment, which was performed by Reiki practitioners for up to 15 minutes, with untreated controls. Plate-count assay using an automated colony counter determined the number of viable bacteria. Fourteen Reiki practitioners each completed 3 runs (n = 42 runs) without healing context, and another 2 runs (n = 28 runs) in which they first treated a pain patient for 30 minutes (healing context). Well-being questionnaires were administered to practitioners pre-post all sessions.
Results: No overall difference was found between the Reiki and control plates in the nonhealing context. In the healing context, the Reiki treated cultures overall exhibited significantly more bacteria than controls (p < 0.05). Practitioner social (p < 0.013) and emotional well-being (p < 0.021) correlated with Reiki treatment outcome on bacterial cultures in the nonhealing context. Practitioner social (p < 0.031), physical (p < 0.030), and emotional (p < 0.026) well-being correlated with Reiki treatment outcome on the bacterial cultures in the healing context. For practitioners starting with diminished well-being, control counts were likely to be higher than Reiki-treated bacterial counts. For practitioners starting with a higher level of well-being, Reiki counts were likely to be higher than control counts.
Conclusions: Reiki improved growth of heat-shocked bacterial cultures in a healing context. The initial level of well-being of the Reiki practitioners correlates with the outcome of Reiki on bacterial culture growth and is key to the results obtained.

2. Holistic Nursing Practice:
November/December 2006 - Volume 20 - Issue 6 - p 263-272
Continuing Education
The Effect of Reiki on Pain and Anxiety in Women With Abdominal Hysterectomies: A Quasi-experimental Pilot Study
Vitale, Anne T. MSN, APRN, BC; O'Connor, Priscilla C. PhD, APRN, BC
Continued Education
The purpose of this pilot study was to compare reports of pain and levels of state anxiety in 2 groups of women after abdominal hysterectomy. A quasi-experimental design was used in which the experimental group (n = 10) received traditional nursing care plus three 30-minute sessions of Reiki, while the control group (n = 12) received traditional nursing care. The results indicated that the experimental group reported less pain and requested fewer analgesics than the control group. Also, the experimental group reported less state anxiety than the control group on discharge at 72 hours postoperation. The authors recommend replication of this study with a similar population, such as women who require nonemergency cesarian section deliveries.
3. Anxiety reduced and immune function enhanced with Reiki
Biological correlates of Reiki Touch(sm) healing. Journal of Advanced Nursing 2001 Feb;33(4):439-45

Wardell DW, Engebretson J.
School of Nursing, University of Texas Houston Health Science Center , Houston, Texas, USA.

BACKGROUND : Despite the popularity of touch therapies, theoretical understanding of the mechanisms of effect is not well developed and there is limited research measuring biological outcomes. AIMS: The aim of this study was to test a framework of relaxation or stress reduction as a mechanism of touch therapy. METHODS: The study was conducted in 1996 and involved the examination of select physiological and biochemical effects and the experience of 30 minutes of Reiki, a form of touch therapy. A single group repeated measure design was used to study Reiki Touch's effects with a convenience sample of 23 essentially healthy subjects. Biological markers related to stress-reduction response included state anxiety, salivary IgA and cortisol, blood pressure, galvanic skin response (GSR), muscle tension and skin temperature. Data were collected before, during and immediately after the session. RESULTS : Comparing before and after measures, anxiety was significantly reduced, t(22)=2.45, P=0.02. Salivary IgA levels rose significantly, t(19)=2.33, P=0.03, however, salivary cortisol was not statistically significant. There was a significant drop in systolic blood pressure (SBP), F(2, 44)=6.60, P < 0.01. Skin temperature increased and electromyograph (EMG) decreased during the treatment, but before and after differences were not significant. CONCLUSIONS : These findings suggest both biochemical and physiological changes in the direction of relaxation. The salivary IgA findings warrant further study to explore the effects of human TT and humeral immune function.


PMID: 11251731 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

4. On-going study in Maine into anxiety/depression/pain
Pauline M Wilson, BA, CRM
Reiki Research Study-2008-2009

Sunday, January 04, 2009
Recently (October 2008) I became involved in an exciting research study at the University of Southern Maine. A Reiki student of mine, who is an associate professor at USM, received a grant to study the therapeutic effects of Reiki on patients, age 60 years and over, who suffer from anxiety and depression and/or pain. The subjects were carefully screened, and then they answered questionnaires to determine their levels of anxiety, depression and pain prior to starting the study. Each Reiki practitioner (master/teacher level) met with the same subjects every week and gave 30 minutes of Reiki to each subject once a week for 8 weeks. At the end of the 8 weeks, each subject was interviewed again to determine any change in level of anxiety, depression or pain. At every visit each of the subjects had his or her blood pressure and pulse recorded before and after the Reiki session as well as his level of pain. The study is still underway even though my part in the research is over. I got so much positive feedback from the subjects that I had the privilege of working with for 8 weeks that I am already convinced of the therapeutic effects of Reiki. I now eagerly await the tabulated results of this research study to be published .

Can you measure the biological effects of Reiki?

This preliminary study was carried out in Glasgow and indicated that Reiki may be able to decrease heart rate and diastolic blood pressure. The heart rate and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly in the Reiki group compared to both a placebo and a control group.

1. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Autonomic Nervous System Changes During Reiki Treatment: A Preliminary Study
Dec 2004, Vol. 10, No. 6: 1077-1081

Nicola Mackay, M.Sc.
Institute of Neurological Sciences, South Glasgow University Hospital NHS Trust, Glasgow, UK.
Stig Hansen, Ph.D.
Institute of Neurological Sciences, South Glasgow University Hospital NHS Trust, Glasgow, UK.
Oona McFarlane, M.A.
Institute of Neurological Sciences, South Glasgow University Hospital NHS Trust, Glasgow, UK.
Objectives: to investigate if a complementary therapy, Reiki, has any effect on indices of autonomic nervous system function.
Design: Blind trial.
Setting/Location: Quiet room in an out-patient clinic.
Subjects: Forty-five (45) subjects assigned at random into three groups.
Interventions: Three treatment conditions: no treatment (rest only); Reiki treatment by experienced Reiki practitioner; and placebo treatment by a person with no knowledge of Reiki and who mimicked the Reiki treatment.
Outcome measures: Quantitative measures of autonomic nervous system function such as heart rate, cardiac vagal tone, blood pressure, cardiac sensitivity to baroreflex, and breathing activity were recorded continuously for each heartbeat. Values during and after the treatment period were compared with baseline data.
Results: Heart rate and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly in the Reiki group compared to both placebo and control groups.
Conclusions: The study indicates that Reiki has some effect on the autonomic nervous system. However, this was a pilot study with relatively few subjects and the changes were relatively small. The results justify further, larger studies to look at the biological effects of Reiki treatment.
This paper was cited by:
Personal Interaction with a Reiki Practitioner Decreases Noise-Induced Microvascular Damage in an Animal Model
Ann L. Baldwin, Gary E. Schwartz
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Jan 2006, Vol. 12, No. 1: 15-22

2. Immune System
The Effect of Reiki on the Immune System
Wendy Hodsdon, Elissa Mendenhall, Rebecca Green, Sara Kates-Chinnoy, Elizabeth Wacker, and Heather Zwickey; Helfgott Research Institue at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, OR, 97201
Objectives: Although energy medicines such as Reiki have been shown to have an overall effect on health, the mechanisms by which energy medicine act are currently unknown. This study examines the effects of Reiki on cellular immunity.
Materials And Methods: Two protocols have been used. The first protocol randomized people subjects into 3 groups: Reiki, relaxation control, or neither Reiki nor relaxation control. Blood was drawn before treatment, immediately following treatment, or 4 hours post treatment. The second protocol exposed each subject to each treatment through the following process: blood draw, relaxation, blood draw, Reiki, blood draw. In both studies, white blood cells were isolated using ficoll blood tubes and stained with markers for CD4 and CD8 T-cells, B-cells, NK-cells and macrophages. All the cells were stained with an early activation marker (CD69) to measure activation. A flow cytometer was used to quantitate amount of activation of each cell type. In the second protocol, heart math was also used to measure general mental-emotional state.
Results: While this study is ongoing, preliminary results indicate an increase in cell activation in the group of each cell type. In the second protocol, heart math was also used to measure general mental-emotional state.
Conclusions: Our study shows a white cell activation (most likely macrophages) in patients receiving Reiki. These results provide the basis for further study of the immunological effects of energy medicine.
(Source =

Can Reiki help with recovery from surgery?

See also Hartford Hospital above

1. Reiki reducing pain medications, duration of stay and patient satisfaction

Aladydy, Patricia and Kristen Alandydy, 1999.
"Using Reiki to Support Surgical Patients".

Journal of Nursing Care Quality , 1999 Apr;13(4): pp. 89-91.

Surgical patients at Columbia/HCA Portsmouth Regional Hospital in Portsmouth, New Hampshire are given the option of a 15 minute pre- and post-surgery Reiki treatment. In 1998 more than 870 patients participated. As a result there was less use of pain medications, shorter lengths of stay, and increased patient satisfaction. This article discusses how this program was set up. Plans for the future include documentation of the benefits and the further use of complementary therapies.

(Source = Pubmed)

2. Complementary Therapies and Surgery

Surgery and Complementary Therapies: A Review.
Subfile: Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Format (FM): Journal Article (24).
Language(s) (LG): English.
Year Published (YR): 2000.
Author (AU): Petry, J.J.
Source (SO): Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 6(5): 64-76.
September 2000.

Abstract (AB): This journal article reviews the literature on the use of complementary therapies in the surgical setting. The first part looks at the effects of psychological stress on the surgical patient, and the influence of coping style and locus of control on surgical outcome and the choice of stress-reducing intervention. The second part reviews research into the effects of specific complementary strategies on surgical outcomes. These strategies include relaxation techniques, hypnosis and suggestion, imagery, acupuncture, therapeutic touch, Reiki, music, massage therapy, and herbs/supplements such as L-arginine, bromelain, garlic, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc. The evidence suggests that relaxation techniques, imagery, and hypnosis/suggestion may have beneficial effects on anxiety, blood loss, postoperative pain, pain medication requirements, postoperative nausea and vomiting, recovery of bowel function, length of hospital stay, cost of care, and patient satisfaction. These and other complementary therapies also may affect immune function, stress hormone levels, and wound healing, but more research is needed to clarify their role in the surgical setting. The article has 5 tables and 111 references.
Major Descriptors (MJ): Complementary Medicine. Surgery. Dietary Supplements. Treatment Outcomes. Literature Reviews.
Minor Descriptors (MN): Alternative Medicine.
Verification/Update Date (VE): 200104.
Notes (NT): Copyright: Yes.
Accession Number (AN): AMJA02807.

Can Reiki help with pain?

1. Reiki and pain with cancer

Cancer Prev Control 1997 Jun;1(2):108-13. Using Reiki to manage pain: a preliminary report.
Olson K, Hanson J.

Cross Cancer Institute , Edmonton, Alta.

The purpose of this study was to explore the usefulness of Reiki as an adjuvant to opioid therapy in the management of pain. Since no studies in this area could be found, a pilot study was carried out involving 20 volunteers experiencing pain at 55 sites for a variety of reasons, including cancer. All Reiki treatments were provided by a certified second-degree Reiki therapist. Pain was measured using both a visual analogue scale (VAS) and a Likert scale immediately before and after the Reiki treatment. Both instruments showed a highly significant (p < 0.0001) reduction in pain following the Reiki treatment.

PMID: 9765732 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

3. Reiki and Palliative Care

Am J Hosp Palliat Care 1997 Jan-Feb;14(1):31-3

Reiki: a complementary therapy for life.
Bullock M.

Hospice of the Valley , Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

Tom was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer and received only palliative radiation and medication. At the time of diagnosis, his symptoms suggested that he had a very limited life expectancy. With the Reiki and his intent, he was able to achieve his goal of long-term stability with freedom from immobilizing pain and swelling. Tom's comfort and quality of life improved dramatically, and he is living well with his cancer. Reiki has been associated with dramatic results for many patients. The importance of the patient's intent during Reiki treatments cannot be overemphasized. Some general trends seen with Reiki include: periods of stabilization in which there is time to enjoy the last days of one's life; a peaceful and calm passing if death is imminent; and relief from pain, anxiety, dyspnea and edema. Reiki is a valuable complement in supporting patients in their end-of-life journey, enhancing the quality of their remaining days.

PMID: 9069762 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

4. NHS Supportive and Palliative Care Specialist Library
Note here, the suggestion that the more experienced the practitioner, the better the results.
Pain is a global public health problem affecting the lives of large numbers of patients and their families. Touch therapies (Healing Touch (HT), Therapeutic Touch (TT) and Reiki) have been found to relieve pain, but some reviews have suggested there is insufficient evidence to support their use.
To evaluate the effectiveness of touch therapies (including HT, TT, and Reiki) on relieving both acute and chronic pain; to determine any adverse effect of touch therapies.
Search strategy
Various electronic databases, including The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED and others from their inception to June 2008 were searched. Reference lists and bibliographies of relevant articles and organizations were checked. Experts in touch therapies were contacted.
Selection criteria
Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) or Controlled Clinical Trials (CCTs) evaluating the effect of touch on any type of pain were included. Similarly, only studies using a sham placebo or a 'no treatment' control was included.
Data collection and analysis
Data was extracted and quality assessment was conducted by two independent review authors. The mean pain intensity for completing all treatment sessions was extracted. Pain intensity from different pain measurement scales were standardized into a single scale. Comparisons between the effects of treatment groups and that of control groups were made.
Main results
Twenty four studies involving 1153 participants met the inclusion criteria. There were five, sixteen and three studies on HT, TT and Reiki respectively. Participants exposed to touch had on average of 0.83 units (on a 0 to ten scale) lower pain intensity than unexposed participants (95% Confidence Interval: -1.16 to -0.50). Results of trials conducted by more experienced practitioners appeared to yield greater effects in pain reduction. It is also apparent that these trials yielding greater effects were from the Reiki studies. Whether more experienced practitioners or certain types of touch therapy brought better pain reduction should be further investigated. Two of the five studies evaluating analgesic usage supported the claim that touch therapies minimized analgesic usage. The placebo effect was also explored. No statistically significant (P = 0.29) placebo effect was identified.
Authors' conclusions
Touch therapies may have a modest effect in pain relief. More studies on HT and Reiki in relieving pain are needed. More studies including children are also required to evaluate the effect of touch on children.

Touch therapies (Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch and Reiki) for the treatment of pain relief for adults
Touch therapies (Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch and Reiki) have been found to be useful in pain relief for adults and children. Pain is a global public health problem affecting the lives of large numbers of patients and their families. This review aims to evaluate the effectiveness of touch therapies for relieving pain, and determine the possible adverse effects of touch therapies. Although the lack of sufficient data means that the results are inconclusive, the evidence that does exist supports the use of touch therapies in pain relief. Studies involving more experienced practitioners tend to yield greater effects in pain reduction. It is also apparent that studies with greater effects are carried out by highly experienced Reiki practitioners. Further investigation should be conducted on whether or not a more experienced practitioner or a certain type of touch therapy provides better pain reduction. The claim that touch therapies reduce analgesic usage is substantially supported. The placebo effect has been also widely explored. No statistically significant placebo effect has yet been identified except through one study on children. The effect of touch therapies on pain relief in children requires further investigation. No adverse effect has yet been identified. This review suffers from a major limitation: the small number of studies and insufficient data. As a results of inadequate data, the effects of touch therapies cannot be clearly declared. This review shows that there is still a need for higher quality studies on the effectiveness of touch therapies in pain relief, especially studies on Healing Touch and Reiki. Future studies should make a concerted effort to systematically document side effects and report the experience of the practitioners to allow for the evaluation of the relationships between treatment effect and experience of practitioners. Future experiments should also follow the CONSORT statement when reporting in scientific journals, which helps to substantiate the reliability and validity of quality assessments.

Can Reiki help with addiction treatment?

Milton, G., & Chapman, E.
The benefits of Reiki treatment in drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.
Pathways to healing: Enhancing Life Through Complementary Therapies, Conference Proceedings 1995 September; 24-25.
Canberra: Royal College of Nursing Australia.

Can Reiki help with cancer-related fatigue?

Pilot crossover trial of Reiki versus rest for treating cancer-related fatigue.
Integr Cancer Ther. 2007 Mar;6(1):25-35
Tsang KL, Carlson LE, Olson K.
Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Fatigue is an extremely common side effect experienced during cancer treatment and recovery. Limited research has investigated strategies stemming from complementary and alternative medicine to reduce cancer-related fatigue. This research examined the effects of Reiki, a type of energy touch therapy, on fatigue, pain, anxiety, and overall quality of life. This study was a counterbalanced crossover trial of 2 conditions: (1) in the Reiki condition, participants received Reiki for 5 consecutive daily sessions, followed by a 1-week washout monitoring period of no treatments, then 2 additional Reiki sessions, and finally 2 weeks of no treatments, and (2) in the rest condition, participants rested for approximately 1 hour each day for 5 consecutive days, followed by a 1-week washout monitoring period of no scheduled resting and an additional week of no treatments. In both conditions, participants completed questionnaires investigating cancer-related fatigue (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Fatigue subscale [FACT-F]) and overall quality of life (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy, General Version [FACT-G]) before and after all Reiki or resting sessions. They also completed a visual analog scale (Edmonton Symptom Assessment System [ESAS]) assessing daily tiredness, pain, and anxiety before and after each session of Reiki or rest. Sixteen patients (13 women) participated in the trial: 8 were randomized to each order of conditions (Reiki then rest; rest then Reiki). They were screened for fatigue on the ESAS tiredness item, and those scoring greater than 3 on the 0 to 10 scale were eligible for the study. They were diagnosed with a variety of cancers, most commonly colorectal (62.5%) cancer, and had a median age of 59 years. Fatigue on the FACT-F decreased within the Reiki condition (P=.05) over the course of all 7 treatments. In addition, participants in the Reiki condition experienced significant improvements in quality of life (FACT-G) compared to those in the resting condition (P <.05). On daily assessments (ESAS) in the Reiki condition, presession 1 versus postsession 5 scores indicated significant decreases in tiredness (P <.001), pain (P <.005), and anxiety (P<.01), which were not seen in the resting condition. Future research should further investigate the impact of Reiki using more highly controlled designs that include a sham Reiki condition and larger sample sizes.

PMID: 17351024 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Can Reiki help with depression?
The following is a summary by Pat Cougar of the research article "Long-Term Effects of Energetic Healing on Symptoms of Psychological Depression and Self-Perceived Stress" by Adina Goldman Shore, PhD. Originally published in the May/June 2004, Vol. 10, No. 3 issue of Alternative Therapies magazine, reprints of the original article may be obtained by contacting: InnoVision Communications, 169 Saxony Road, Suite 103, Encinitas, CA 92024; phone, (866) 828-2962 or (760) 633-3910; email,
Dr. Adina Goldman Shore's article is the result of a one-year study of the effects of Reiki, a form of energy healing, on psychological depression and self-reported stress. The study investigated the hypothesis that it is the Reiki energy itself, and not the "hands on" touch, that is the healing factor, and examined the long-term effects of Reiki on depression and stress. Dr. Shore also provides some basic information regarding the uses of Reiki, including it usefulness in psychotherapy.
Forty-five participants with symptoms of depression and stress volunteered for this study. Participant were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Hands-on (touch) Reiki, Distance (non-touch) Reiki, and distance Reiki placebo. Participants were not aware of which group would be receiving placebo Reiki. Twelve Reiki Masters, and three second degree Reiki practitioners were chosen to conduct the one to one and one-half hour sessions. Each participant received one treatment weekly for six weeks. The article describes the protocols for the selection of Reiki practitioners and participants for the study, as well as uniformity in the manner in which sessions were conducted.
Three tests, designed to measure levels of depression and stress, were administered to each participant before and after the series of six sessions. One year later, the participants retook the three tests. After testing was completed, the control/placebo group received another six weeks of Reiki treatments, this time with actual Reiki, and the three tests were administered to this group again.
Findings of the study demonstrated that there were no changes in the control/placebo group until they received the six sessions of actual Reiki a year after the first six placebo sessions. Both the hands-on and the distance Reiki were effective in relieving symptoms of depression and stress. Distance Reiki was shown to be slightly more effective than hands on, which ruled out touch as the causative factor, although the difference may have been influenced in part by the project's design (please see original article for details). The results of the placebo group served to rule out any changes due to expectations of the participants. Re-testing a year later demonstrated that the positive results of the six Reiki treatments had remained intact.
Dr. Shore suggests combining Reiki with traditional forms of treatment for psychological depression, because of Reiki's effectiveness, and cost reduction. She encourages further studies of energy healing on other psychological and physiological disorders.

Can Reiki help with mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer's disease?

Using Reiki to decrease memory and behavior problems in mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer's disease.
J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Nov;12(9):911-3.
Crawford SE, Leaver VW, Mahoney SD.
Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point, Perry, ME, USA.

OBJECTIVES: This empirical study explored the efficacy of using Reiki treatment to improve memory and behavior deficiencies in patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild Alzheimer's disease. Reiki is an ancient hands-on healing technique reputedly developed in Tibet 2500 years ago. DESIGN: This study was a quasi-experimental study comparing pre- and post-test scores of the Annotated Mini-Mental State Examination (AMMSE) and Revised Memory and Behavior Problems Checklist (RMBPC) after four weekly treatments of Reiki to a control group. SETTINGS/LOCATION: The participants were treated at a facility provided by the Pleasant Point Health Center on the Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation. SUBJECTS: The sample included 24 participants scoring between 20 and 24 on the AMMSE. Demographic characteristics of the sample included an age range from 60 to 80, with 67% female, 46% American Indian, and the remainder white. INTERVENTIONS: Twelve participants were exposed to 4 weeks of weekly treatments of Reiki from two Reiki Master-level practitioners; 12 participants served as controls and received no treatment. OUTCOME MEASURES: The two groups were compared on pre- and post-treatment scores on the AMMSE and the Revised Memory and Behavior Problems Checklist (RMBPC). RESULTS: Results indicated statistically significant increases in mental functioning (as demonstrated by improved scores of the AMMSE) and memory and behavior problems (as measured by the RMBPC) after Reiki treatment. This research adds to a very sparse database from empirical studies on Reiki results. CONCLUSION: The results indicate that Reiki treatments show promise for improving certain behavior and memory problems in patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild Alzheimer's disease. Caregivers can administer Reiki at little or no cost, resulting in significant societal value by potentially reducing the needs for medication and hospitalization.

PMID: 17109583 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Qualitative Research and Reiki

1) Reiki and Women

The following abstracts were obtained from

Experience of Reiki: Five Middle-Aged Women in the Midwest.

Subfile: Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Format (FM): Journal Article (24).

Language(s) (LG): English.

Year Published (YR): 1998.

Author (AU): Mansour, A.A.; et al.

Source (SO): Alternative and Complementary Therapies . 4(3): 211-217. June 1998.

Abstract (AB ): This journal article describes a qualitative study of Reiki, a type of touch therapy, as experienced by the participants. The informants were a practitioner and four female patients, aged 38 to 50 years, from the Canadian Midwest. The patients had received between 15 and 50 sessions of Reiki from different practitioners under different circumstances and in different settings. Data were collected through in-depth interviewing over a 5-month period. Thematic analysis of their stories revealed some commonalities and some differences. The overriding theme was one of experiencing existential changes. All of the women spoke about experiencing major psychospiritual and/or physical changes. Four additional subthemes were identified: how the participants came to try Reiki, what they experienced during the Reiki treatments, how they felt after the Reiki sessions (short-term and long-term outcomes), and what was the nature of Reiki. The article discusses these themes, presents paradigm cases of the five participants, and discusses the implications for future research. It has 1 table, a list of recommended readings, and 27 references.

Major Descriptors (MJ): Treatment Evaluation. Reiki. Alternative Medicine.

Massage. Women.

Verification/Update Date (VE): 199908.

Notes (NT): Copyright: Yes.

Accession Number (AN): AMJA01088.

2) Complementary Therapies in Critical Care

Relatives' Lived Experiences of Complementary Therapies in a Critical Care Department - A Phenomenological Study.

Subfile: Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Format (FM): Journal Article (24).

Language(s) (LG): English.

Year Published (YR): 1999.

Author (AU): Brown, B.; et al.

Source (SO): Australian Critical Care . 12(4): 147-153. 1999.

Abstract (AB) : This journal article describes the lived experiences of relatives of critically ill patients who received complementary therapies in the Department of Critical Care Medicine at Royal Hobart Hospital, Tasmania. Twenty relatives of critically ill patients completed nonstructured, audiotaped interviews. The sample included male and female relatives ranging in age from 18 to 75 years. Each participant had received aromatherapy, massage, reiki, and either Bach Flower Rescue Remedy or Australian Bush Flower Emergency Essence. The transcribed interviews were analyzed using a phenomenological transformative process to identify common themes. Results revealed a central theme of extending and enriching a caring atmosphere. The complementary therapies were felt to enhance caring by way of four sub-themes: inspiring calm and relaxation, enhancing connectedness, humanizing the technology, and adding a spiritual dimension. The findings suggest that complementary therapies can positively influence the lived experiences of relatives of critically ill patients. The article has 2 figures, 4 tables, and 24 references.

Major Descriptors (MJ): Complementary Medicine. Critical Care. Relatives.
Qualitative Analysis.
Minor Descriptors (MN): Alternative Medicine.
Verification/Update Date (VE): 200107.
Notes (NT): Copyright: Yes.
Accession Number (AN): AMJA03019.

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................You must be the change you wish to see in the world
                                   Mahatma Gandhi(1869-1948)