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REIKI Healing Touch Therapies

Posted by Bernie Corsten, Reiki Master at Dragonfly Spiritual Healing, Director of NAMI Northwoods.

Healing touch therapies, the best-known being Reiki (pronounced RAY-key), are ancient practices in increasingly wide use today.

According to the International Association of Reiki Professionals (IARP), “Reiki is [a] subtle and effective form of energy healing using spiritually guided life force energy… practiced in every country of the world. While often considered to be spiritual in nature, Reiki is not affiliated with any particular religion or religious practice.”

Reiki is increasingly offered in hospital, hospice, and private practice settings, applied to a variety of illnesses and conditions. Those who receive such treatments report relief of symptoms from numerous health challenges, including mental health issues.

Research shows that Reiki primarily helps in the reduction of stress, anxiety and depression, as well as relief of chronic pain — the last of which can bring on anxiety and depression, or make episodes worse.

Pain often causes depression and anxiety. Reducing difficult-to-treat chronic pain can have a substantial effect on psychological well-being.

Some studies have found Reiki to be effective for pain, anxiety and depression relief. However, their design or conclusions are unclear as to whether Reiki’s emotional benefits were a result of pain reduction or a separate phenomenon. Nonetheless, research demonstrated Reiki’s positive results for both pain and anxiety or depression.

Reiki is becoming an increasingly accepted presence in hospitals and clinics. It is seen as an effective and cost-reducing method to improve health outcomes and quality of care.

Hospital staff, such as physicians and nurses, are adding Reiki treatments to their work. Scientific validation of Reiki’s effectiveness has helped bring this method to the mainstream, where it is able to aid patients in all realms, including those with mental health challenges.

The Reiki treatments leads a person to develop their own intuition that encourages a person to discover their own self- care plan. Reiki works on all levels of the human psyche, mental, spiritual and physical.

The root cause of disease comes from imbalances in the human body and Reiki can help facilitate an understanding. A person who explores complementary energy techniques will be engaged in a life-time of learning and growth, which includes mind, body and spirit.


Baldwin, A. L.. Reiki, the Scientific Evidence. (Fall, 2011). pp. 29-31.

Dressin, L.J., Singg, S. (1998). Effects of Reiki on pain and selected affective and personality variables of chronically ill patients. Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine, 9(1):53-82.

International Association of Reiki Professionals (IARP). Definition of Reiki. Retrieved June 22, 2012, from

Potter, Joe, Research Report, Introduction and General Findings. Retrieved July 21, 2012 from

Shore, A.G. (2004). Long term effects of energetic healing on symptoms of psychological depression and self-perceived stress. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 10(3):42-48.

Weze C, Leathard H.L., Grange J, Tiplady P, Stevens G. (January, 2005). Evaluation of healing by gentle touch. Public Health. 119(1):3-10.

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