Reiki Scientific Research | Reiki Science | Reiki Research

Reiki Science | Reiki Research | Reiki Scientific Research


There's no shortage of scientific research proving Reiki works!

Many people right-off Reiki as mumbo jumbo or some airy fairy practice that belongs in the land of fairies and magick, however there is already a sufficient pool of Reiki research and Reiki science proving that Reiki works and a growing body of Reiki Scientific Research that is helping science catch up with what Reiki Masters have known and practised for thousands of years.

Although Reiki has been practised for many thousands of years, it’s only until the last 20 years or so that Reiki has become more widely known and socially acceptable in the Western world.

This progress has caused Reiki to go more mainstream than ever before, with Reiki now available throughout the U.K. National Health Service in hospitals, hospices and your local GP clinic to name a few. And if any form of treatment is available from your local doctor or hospital, you can rest assured that there are health benefits. (Well…most of the time at least!)

Due to the non-physical nature of Reiki however, the limited Reiki Scientific Research available and the limitations of current scientific knowledge, proving what Reiki is scientifically, where it comes from, how it works are questions science is currently unable to answer fully. However…

We can measure scientifically the effects Reiki has upon those with illnesses and there are a number of scientific studies showing Reiki works.

Here’s just a small sample of the Reiki scientific Research and Reiki science proving the Reiki works.


Reiki has been shown to heal depression and anxiety!

In a Reiki research article published by the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2011, titled “A Randomised Controlled Single-Blind Trial of the Efficacy of Reiki at Benefitting Mood and Well-Being”, the results of a 2011 replication trial, that was originally conducted in 2010, showed the results of performing Reiki on patients with mental health conditions.

The goal of the trial was to see if Reiki had any impact on depression and anxiety and involved 40 university students who had either significant depression or anxiety, or low depression and anxiety. The test subjects were randomly selected to receive, or not receive, Reiki over a period of eight week.

Participants were asked to measure their mood, illness symptoms and sleep before the trial began and to then report any changes five weeks after they had discontinued their eight-week Reiki sessions.

Those with high depression and/or anxiety who received Reiki had “progressive improvement in overall mood while no change was seen in the control participants” (Bowden, Goddard, Gruzelier, 2011). Research Paper (1)

To that point, findings in both the 2010 and 2011 studies found Reiki does improve overall mood and helps to alleviate depression and anxiety.


Shown to reduce stress, anxiety and depression!

Further Reiki Scientific Research has been ongoing by The Center for Reiki Research since its formation in 2005, which involves a unique and rigorous peer review method for analyzing the evidence based results of Reiki.

The purpose and goal of the organization and the research they did was to demonstrate provable evidence that Reiki works. Using mainstream science in a medical setting. And the organization currently boasts a number of high profile professionals. Include renowned doctors, MD’s, Professors, scientists and research assistants.

These individuals are closely involved in the publication of the peer reviewed, scientific, evidence-based research surrounding the effectiveness of Reiki. And the findings of their research have greatly influenced the perception of Reiki in a very positive way.

Due to this research, Reiki is seen as being an effective form of medical treatment for many conditions. These are the pioneers of our time who are taking Reiki science and Reiki research from spiritual myth, to proven scientific fact.

As quoted by C. Norman Shealy, M.D. Ph.D, who is the founder of the American Holistic Medical Association;

“Reiki is one of the leading safe Energy Medicine approaches.”

Since 2005 there have been over 1200 Reiki science research sessions into the effectiveness of Reiki with 2000 sessions planned in total.

While this research is still ongoing and the complete findings have yet to be released to the general public, (at the time of writing)the preliminary analysis is positive, with the following results having already been published;


Summaries of 26 Reiki articles, including strengths and weaknesses, were posted on a newly developed Web site (, together with an overall summary of the status of Reiki research and guidelines for future research: The Touchstone Process determined that only 12 articles were based on a robust experimental design and utilized well-established outcome parameters. Of these articles, 2 provided no support, 5 provided some support, and 5 demonstrated strong evidence for the use of Reiki as a healing modality. Research Paper (2)

Once these reviews and the rest of this Reiki science have been completed and released to the general public in the near future, it’s expected to significantly boost the public’s awareness of the proven Reiki science showing it does successfully treat mental, emotional and physical illness and disease.

There have been a number of relatively recent scientific studies into Reiki, between 2008-2009, which shows strong evidence that Reiki is indeed responsible for a positive biological response in both animals and humans. And if you think about it, science has known about the power we all have to heal ourselves for a long time.

You’ve probably heard of the placebo effect, which is the scientifically known phenomena that we humans can heal illness and disease using nothing but the energy of thought and power of belief.

That alone is amazing! And with Reiki, you can take that power and ability to the next level.

Back to the previously mentioned Reiki research however, the strongest evidence (which was rated ‘excellent’ in the Process) was reported in the most carefully controlled of all experiments which involved laboratory rats.

In both 2006 and 2008, stressed-out lab rats received Reiki treatments and every single rat showed significantly reduced signs of stress, anxiety and depression, while the bogus blind Reiki treatments that were given to the placebo group showed no reduction in stress, anxiety or depression.

In humans, research performed between 1993 and 2006 showed ratings from Satisfactory to Excellent, all of which suggests that Reiki treatments were positively beneficial in controlling pain levels in human beings, while the placebo Reiki treatments in this experiment were by contrast ineffective in controlling pain.


Reiki was shown to reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration!

A further study and Reiki research conducted by the New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Campus conducted research into Reiki in order to determine the effectiveness of Reiki treatments on the autonomic nervous system, which is the part of the nervous system responsible for control of the bodily functions which are not consciously controlled, such as breathing, heartbeat, and the digestive processes.

This “blind, random study” included a Reiki treatment group, a “sham” treatment group and a “control” group. The results within the Reiki treatment group showed a lowering of the heart rate, respiration and blood pressure, further proving the Reiki research that Reiki is a sound medical healing technique.

It’s this same hospital/University which was one of the first hospitals to offer Reiki as part of their Integrative Medicine Program. Dr. Mehmet Oz, who has now become a world famous cardiovascular surgeon as a result,  brought a great deal of attention to Reiki when he invited Reiki practitioners to channel Reiki energy to open heart surgery patients and heart transplant operations.

Dr. Oz joined a large list of medical professionals who promote and use Reiki in a medical setting an has been quoted saying, “Reiki has become a sought-after healing art among patients and mainstream medical professionals.”  Research Paper (3)


The Reiki scientific research shows that Reiki works for many diseases!

It’s no secret that energy healing therapies such as Reiki stand in direct opposition to the already well established medical treatment and pharmaceutical industry. So Reiki doesn’t only have the potential to awaken your spirit and improve your health and life, it challenges a global multi-trillion dollar industry of sickness management (or what is also commonly known as the health care system).

In any case, the science confirming the effectiveness of Reiki speaks for itself and opinions to the contrary are simply unfounded, unscientific opinions. And this scientific research is growing by the day as science discovers more.

Additionally, claims that there is no scientific evidence proving the effectiveness of Reiki is, quite simply, false.

You would be best advised to use your own due diligence when deciding whether to believe personal opinion or published, peer reviewed, medical scientific research and proven Reiki science, which has been conducted by highly qualified M.D.’s and professors among many other renowned healthcare professionals.


Reiki has positive effects for those suffering from diabetes, aids, cancer and stress!

Of course there is a lot more Reiki research and Reiki science showing its effectiveness.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has completed five studies looking at Reiki’s ability to benefit people. These studies were done with diabetes, advanced AIDS, prostate cancer, fibromyalgia and stress.

The following conclusions have been published showing the following findings in relation to each condition;


The reduction of pain symptoms observed in both treatment groups is consistent with the concept that the formation of a “sustained partnership” between the health care provider and the patient can have direct therapeutic benefits. Research Paper (4)


Significant improvements in relief of pain and stress in those receiving RMG (Reiki Music Groups) were found. At the 6-week assessment, semi-structured interviews were conducted with all participants. Qualitative findings indicated that Reiki and music therapy helped reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Evidence-based data regarding the effectiveness of Reiki will help nurses help patients better manage HIV-related symptoms. Research Paper (5)


All three services (Yoga, Massage, Reiki) helped decrease stress and anxiety, improve mood, and enhance cancer center patrons’ perceived overall health and quality of life in a similar manner. Reiki reduced the pain of patients with cancer to a greater extent than either massage or yoga. Research Paper (6)


This study supports the hypothesis that the calming effect of Reiki may be achieved through the use of self-Reiki. Research Paper (7)


Reiki shown to stimulate the growth of skin cells, tendons and bone growth but not cancer cells!

Further to these scientific findings, a groundbreaking study was conducted at UCONN Medical Center by Gloria Gronowicz, PhD, who earned her Ph.D. in cell biology at Columbia University. Her scientific research into the effects of Reiki on bone, tendon and skin cells yet again showed positive results, to which Gloria Gronowicz, PhD quotes:

“Therapeutic Touch stimulated growth in bone, tendon and skin cells at statistically significant rates.”Research Paper (8)

To Gronowicz’s astonishment, the cells treated by trained Reiki practitioners grew faster and stronger than those that received the sham treatment, or no treatment at all. Gronowicz also looked at bone cancer cells. Cancer occurs when cells grow out of control.

So a treatment that stimulates growth could be detrimental to people with cancer it was thought. But unlike healthy cells, bone cancer cells did not appear to be stimulated by the Reiki treatment at all.

The intelligent energy of Reiki knew what cells to encourage growth to and what cells to avoid encouraging growth. When asked about the possible reasons for this Gronowicz replied:

“An interesting, though not fully explained, finding,”

This is where Reiki science falls short and the understanding of spirituality and consciousness takes over.

In addition to seeing increased cell division under the microscope, the bone cell cultures treated with Reiki therapy also absorbed more calcium, which is an essential mineral for growing strong bones. Her findings were published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research and The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.


More and more controlled, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials are proving Reiki works!

This article refers to only a small selection of the complete scientific research conducted into the effectiveness of Reiki and even the Reiki Scientific Research that’s already been done.

However do check back with this article as I’ll continue to add more revealing studies and scientific research showing all the Reiki science as it becomes available.And as I said previously, the science really speaks for itself.

There are many other published scientific studies which have looked at the effects of Reiki on stress hormones, blood pressure, heart rate, immune response, depression, anxiety, pain, as well as many other conditions and the results are just as positive as all these previous mentioned studies.

To summarize, the Reiki science has already proven that REIKI WORKS!!!

So that’s the science. Stepping away from science for a moment, we Reiki Masters know and understand that Reiki can not be fully understood by science, or even our limited human intellect.

Humanity is simply not advanced enough in their science, or in their intelligence, to fully comprehend the true nature of Reiki. We can see what it does and we know what it can do, however we don’t have the capacity to fully understand how it does what it does. In scientific terms of course.

You can’t fully appreciate Reiki by looking at the Reiki Scientific Research alone. To fully understand Reiki, you must experience it for yourself.


Added on 13/05/2017

Reiki proven to improve heart rate homeostasis in laboratory rats


To determine whether Reiki could reduce the heart rates (HRs) and blood pressures of noise-stressed rats, three unrestrained, male rats implanted with radiotelemetric transducers were exposed daily for 8 days to 15-minutes of white noise. For the last 5 days the rats received 15 minutes of Reiki immediately before the noise, and during the noise period. This experiment was repeated on the same animals using sham Reiki.

Mean Heart Rates and blood pressure were determined before Reiki/sham Reiki, during Reiki/sham Reiki, and during the noise in each case.


“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.”


“Reiki is effective in modulating HR (Heart Rate) in stressed and unstressed rats, supporting its use as a stress-reducer in humans.” – Research Paper (9)


Added on 28/11/2018

Reiki proven to improve those with IBS, Gut Problems, Crohn’s Disease and Colitis

A recent two year study into Reiki, presented at the United European Gastroenterology Week in Vienna, which was the largest study  into Reiki of it’s kind, has conducted rigorous scientific research and concluded that Reiki does indeed work.

As quoted by the UK newspaper The Express:

It involved 200 patients with hard-to-treat gut problems including irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and colitis.

Half were treated with conventional medicine only and half with non-faith healing therapy alongside their usual conventional treatment for the first three months.

Then the group that had only received conventional medicine received a series of spiritual healing sessions.

During the six-month trial, the researchers measured patients’ symptoms, pain level, quality of life and well-being, and concluded that adding spiritual healing to conventional care showed significant improvements that were sustained for six months. Research Paper (10)

The same researchers now plan on conducting more scientific research into Reiki by proving it works on other health conditions.

As lead scientist Dr Sukhdev Singh, consultant gastroenterologist from Good Hope Hospital, said:“I do not know how it works, however, many studies have evaluated the effectiveness of spiritual healing but this is one of the first which has been conducted with proper scientific rigour.”Research Paper (10)


Added on 27/12/2018

Biofield therapies: helpful or full of hype? A best evidence synthesis.


Studies overall are of medium quality, and generally meet minimum standards for validity of inferences. Biofield therapies show strong evidence for reducing pain intensity in pain populations, and moderate evidence for reducing pain intensity hospitalized and cancer populations.

There is moderate evidence for decreasing negative behavioral symptoms in dementia and moderate evidence for decreasing anxiety for hospitalized populations.

There is equivocal evidence for biofield therapies’ effects on fatigue and quality of life for cancer patients, as well as for comprehensive pain outcomes and affect in pain patients, and for decreasing anxiety in cardiovascular patients. Research Paper (11) 

Reiki Reduces Burnout Among Community Mental Health Clinicians.


Reiki was statistically significantly better than sham Reiki in reducing burnout among community mental health clinicians.Research Paper (12)

Effects of Reiki on Autonomic Activity Early After Acute Coronary Syndrome


In conclusion, in hospitalized post-ACS patients, Reiki increased HF HRV and improved emotional state. Research Paper (13)

Effects of Distant Reiki On Pain, Anxiety and Fatigue in Oncology Patients in Turkey: A Pilot Study.


The results of this study indicate that Reiki may decrease pain, anxiety and fatigue in oncology patients. Research Paper (14)

Effects of Reiki on Pain, Anxiety, and Blood Pressure in Patients Undergoing Knee Replacement: A Pilot Study.


This blinded, controlled pilot study investigated the effects of Reiki on 46 patients undergoing knee replacement surgery. Of the 3 groups, Reiki, Sham Reiki, and Standard of Care, only the Reiki group showed significant reductions in pain, blood pressure, respiration rate, and state anxiety, which provides evidence for a full-scale clinical study. Research Paper (15)

Biological correlates of Reiki Touch(sm) healing.


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.

These findings suggest both biochemical and physiological changes.Research Paper (16)


Added on 22/09/2020

Autonomic nervous system changes during 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.
Research Paper (17)


The effect of complementary healing therapy on postoperative pain after surgical removal of impacted third molar teeth

Abstract: This study utilized a randomized, double-blind, within subject, crossover design to examine the effect of Reiki and LeShan healing in combination on iatrogenic pain experienced after unilateral operative extraction of the lower third molar. Two separate operations were performed on 21 patients with bilateral, asymptomatic, impacted lower third molar teeth. The patients were randomly assigned to the treatment or control condition prior to the first operation. For the second operation, patients crossed over to the opposite condition - i.e. those subjects who were in the treatment group for the first operation became control group subjects for the second operation, and those subjects who were in the control group for the first operation became treatment group subjects for the second operation.


All pre-operative and postoperative conditions were identical for the treatment and control groups for both operations, with the exception that the treatment group received Reiki and LeShan healing postoperatively. The patients assessed their pain intensity using a 100 mm visual analogue scale for postoperative hours 3 through 9, and pain relief using a 5 point scale for hours 4 through 9. A statistically significant difference was found between the treatment and control groups in both the level of pain intensity and degree of pain relief experienced for postoperative hours 4 through 9.
Research Paper (18)


Long-term effects of energetic healing on symptoms of psychological depression and self-perceived stress

Abstract: The long-term effects of energetic healing were examined in an experimental design employing a 3 x 3 factorial MANOVA on symptoms of psychological depression and self-perceived stress as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Hopelessness, and Perceived Stress scales. Forty-six participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: hands-on Reiki, distance Reiki, or distance Reiki placebo, and remained blind to treatment condition. Each participant received a 1 to 1.5 hour treatment each week for 6 weeks. Pretest data collected prior to treatment demonstrated no preexisting significant differences among groups. Upon completion of treatment, there was a significant reduction in symptoms of psychological distress in treatment groups as compared with controls (P < .05; Eta square ranging from .09-.18), and these differences continued to be present 1 year later (P < .05; Eta square ranging from .12-.44).
Research Paper (19)


Effects of Reiki on anxiety, depression, pain, and physiological factors in community-dwelling older adults

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of Reiki as an alternative and complementary approach to treating community-dwelling older adults who experience pain, depression, and/or anxiety. Participants (N = 20) were randomly assigned to either an experimental or wait list control group. The pre- and posttest measures included the Hamilton Anxiety Scale, Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form, Faces Pain Scale, and heart rate and blood pressure. The research design included an experimental component to examine changes in these measures and a descriptive component (semi-structured interview) to elicit information about the experience of having Reiki treatments. Significant differences were observed between the experimental and treatment groups on measures of pain, depression, and anxiety; no changes in heart rate and blood pressure were noted. Content analysis of treatment notes and interviews revealed five broad categories of responses: Relaxation; Improved Physical Symptoms, Mood, and Well-Being; Curiosity and a Desire to Learn More; Enhanced Self-Care; and Sensory and Cognitive Responses to Reiki.
Research Paper (20)


The effect of Reiki on pain and anxiety in women with abdominal hysterectomies

Abstract: 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.
Research Paper (21)


Check back with us soon for the latest Reiki scientific research to date!


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