Reiki is an alternative touch therapy from Japan, which transmits positive energy from one person to another. If our energy becomes low, we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. Therefore, the proper flow of this energy promotes stress reduction, relaxation, and healing. The Reiki practitioner places his or her hands slightly on or above the client’s body to help direct the flow of energy in the recipient. Different hand positions around the body ensure that all parts of the body are being treated. Although there are a few positions in which the practitioner is in contact with the patient (such as cradling the head), most Reiki treatments do not involve actual touching. The practitioner holds his or her hands a few inches or farther away from the patient’s body and manipulates the energy field from there.

Reiki energy has several basic effects: it brings about deep relaxation, destroys energy blockages, detoxifies the system, provides new vitality in the form of healing universal life energy, and increases the vibrational frequency of the body. People may feel a deep sense of relaxation after a reiki session. They sometimes report a sensation of warmth or cold, tingling, sleepiness, refreshment, and/or a reduction in symptoms. 

A typical session can last anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes. Although it’s considered to be its own therapy, Reiki can also be combined with other therapies or with conventional medical treatments.

People use reiki for a variety of health conditions, such as:

  • Chronic pain
  • Stress
  • Recovery from surgery
  • Side effects of chemotherapy or radiation for cancer
  • Improving immunity
  • Sense of well-being and/or spirituality
  • Enhancing the sense of peace in people who are dying

There are no known safety concerns with Reiki. However, it should not be used to replace necessary standard medical treatment. People may experience weakness, tiredness, indigestion, or a headache after having reiki. Reiki practitioners often advise clients to expect this, and say that these reactions are caused by the body releasing “toxins”. Practitioners often suggest that clients rest and stay well-hydrated.