Does Reiki Work?
In the words of a nun who is also a Reiki practitioner, “If the spirit isn’t addressed, and only the body is, a complete healing won’t be possible.” Reiki is nothing new, it has been circulating alternative-medicine sphere popularity in the last ten years. Developed in Japan in the early 20th century, the first Reiki clinic opened in the states in the 1970s. It’s been increasingly offered in conventional medical institutions such as the Yale Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic, and VA clinics despite the lack of formal research on the practice. An essay in The Atlantic titled, “Reiki Can’t Possibly Work, So Why Does It?” details the success of using Reiki in a VA clinic. What research has been conducted shows the most promise in practicing Reiki to reduce symptoms of chemotherapy in patients. While Reiki is a longstanding alternative medicine practice, it seems to never gain the widespread familiarity as other practices like using a chiropractor, acupuncture, and bodywork. This could be because these other practices are hands-on with solutions that appear direct and tangible, while Reiki is literally “hands-off”. Reiki’s mysticism and spiritualism to create physical change often don't add up to the western mindset. In Reiki, the practitioner does not crack joints or use needles, but instead makes “energy adjustments” by simply hovering their hands a couple of inches above the body or lightly laying hands on the body without applying any pressure. Reiki is based on the principle that feelings and thoughts manifest in the body. In the wellness industry, the vague catchall word “stress” can encompass physical tension of all types. A tension headache, a neck strain, an eye twitch, some types of lower back pain, IBS, etc can all be physical ailments caused by “stress”. The most confusing part of Reiki as a healing practice is the phenomenon that compared to most treatment methods, the practice doesn’t look like it can do anything. Should I Try Reiki? There is almost no physical risk. It might bring up emotions. Reiki’s perspective is that if the cause of chronic physical pain isn’t clear or orthopedic… there are areas of the body that hold onto certain emotions, beliefs, and stressors. Brooke’s Take: It’s been a few years since I’ve had a Reiki session, but I know I’m stressed when my jaw starts excessively clicking. I have had reiki sessions that had no impact, and some sessions that were very jolting. Have you tried Reiki? Email it in.