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Some Research Studies

This list is not exhaustive of all the research that has been done on Reiki, however as more peer reviewed papers and systematic review are completed - the Reiki world will have body of quality research.

Explore: The Journal of Science & Healing, January, 2023
The Effect of Reiki on Fatigue and Comfort in Hemodialysis Patients
Bayülgen MY, Gün M


This research has shown that distant Reiki application reduces fatigue severity and increases general comfort in patients receiving HD treatment. In addition, distant Reiki was seen to have no effect on systolic and diastolic blood pressures and laboratory parameters (such asHb, Htc, urea, creatinine, albumin, and potassium). Therefore, according to these findings, distant Reiki can be said to be an effective intervention for fatigue management in HD patients. Distant Reiki can be used by nurses to improve the quality of care in hemodialysis centers, as it is effective and cost-effective, does not have an adverse effect on patients, and can be easily applied. However, it is recommended that randomized placebo-controlled studies be conducted to evaluate Reiki's effectiveness in HD patients, which will also address pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, etc., along with the symptom of fatigue.


Explore: The Journal of Science & Healing, Volume 19, Issue 1, January–February 2023, Pages 91-99
The effect of acupressure or reiki interventions on the levels of pain and fatigue of cancer patients receiving palliative care: A randomized controlled study
Util H, Dinç M, Util A


Acupressure or Reiki interventions were found to effective in reducing levels of pain, analgesic use, and fatigue. It was seen that in addition to their use in routine nursing care, both treatments can be accepted as effective nursing interventions that reduce pain and fatigue in stage III and IV cancer patients receiving palliative care.

Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 11:6-7, 2022
Evaluation of a Remote Reiki Program for Frontline Healthcare Workers in the UK
Dyer N, Baldwin A, Pharo R, Gray F

The Reiki program for healthcare professionals demonstrates preliminary effectiveness for improving stress, anxiety, pain, wellbeing, and sleep in frontline healthcare workers in the UK impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Future research will include a larger sample size and longterm follow-up.

Holistic Nursing Practice, October, 2022
The Effect of Distant Reiki Sessions on Holistic Well-Being
Özcan Yüce U, Arpacı A, Kütmeç Yılmaz C, Yurtsever D, Üstün Gökçe E, Burkev FG, Yıldırım G, Gökşin İ, et al.;
https://doi: 10.1097/hnp.0000000000000557


This study investigated the effect of distant Reiki sessions on the holistic well-being of people without no acute/chronic diseases. The study was conducted between February 1 and March 31, 2022. The sample consisted of 180 healthy people living in a city in Turkey. Participants attended 20-minute distant Reiki sessions (intervention) for 4 consecutive days. Pretest data were collected using a personal information form, the Holistic Well-Being Scale (HWBS), the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), and the Subjective Vitality Scale (SVS). Posttest data were collected 2 days (posttest I) and 1 week after the intervention (posttest II) using the HWBS, PANAS, and SVS. There was a statistically significant difference between pretest and posttest I and II HWBS subscale scores (P < .05). There was a statistically significant difference between pretest and posttest PANAS and SVS scores (P < .05). Distant Reiki sessions improved participants' holistic well-being. They also helped them develop a positive mood, experience and perceive less sadness, and develop subjective vitality and cognitive awareness.

Bulletin of Educational Psychology, October 2022
The Effect of Reiki and Music on the Negative Mood Regulation Expectancies and Burnout of the Helpers
Liu TY, Liu YL

The conclusions of this study are that distance Reiki could improve individuals' confidence to adjust to negative emotions, and distance Reiki is also one of the effective strategies to reduce helpers' burnout risk. This study is the first article about distance Reiki intervention in Taiwan and designs standardized processes to improve the research quality. Based on the findings of this study, we provide the application value of distance Reiki and propose suggestions for future research. The research limitations and suggestions of the study are as follows: (1) more than half of the participants have master's and doctor's degrees, and their education level is higher than the general public. Then, the results cannot be generalized to other helpers; (2) as the participants agreed to participate in the study, they accepted pretest and were immediately and randomly assigned to the experimental group or the control group. Therefore, some participants were receiving the intervention while the recruiting was ongoing. It was difficult to match the basic characteristics of the participants between the experimental group and the control group; (3) the experimental group accepted distance Reiki and musical interventions, and the improving effect of burnout and negative mood regulation expectancies cannot be inferred to the group when accepting distance Reiki only. It is recommended to include a distance group as a control group in the future; (4) if readers are interested in taking Reiki intervention or participate in Reiki workshop, they need to be familiar with this procedure addressed in the current study. Moreover, they need to be aware that the capability to channel Reiki has to be enlightened through Reiki attunement by Reiki Master; (5) Reiki workshop provides Reiki implementation steps, Reiki attunement, related precautions, and course manuals. However, these workshops are not free for participation; (6) the study showed that distance Reiki reduces burnout and improves negative mood regulation expectancies. Helpers can use distance Reiki at work, such as sending Reiki to depressed or anxious students or cases to improve their physical health and emotion; (7) it is suggested that research should be encouraged to cooperate with Reiki-related organizations, such as Taiwan Reiki Culture Association and Taiwan Reiki Promotion Association, to promote scientific research.

Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing, October, 2022 S1089-9472(22)00453-1
The Effect of Reiki on Anxiety, Stress, and Comfort Levels Before Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: A Randomized Sham-Controlled Trial
Utli H, Dogru BV
https://doi: 10.1016/j.jopan.2022.08.010

Reiki applied to patients before upper gastrointestinal endoscopy was effective in reducing stress and anxiety and in increasing comfort.

Bezmialem Science, 10(4):518-522 2022
The Effect of Reiki Therapy on Cancer Pain Management in Palliative Care Patients: A Systematic Review
Yildrim D, Erceylan M


In conclusion, reiki has a positive effect on reducing pain.

The administration of this method to all patients experiencing pain, including patients in palliative care units, can contribute positively to patients’ pain management. However, in reiki therapy, randomized controlled trials with a large sample group are needed. The questions such as; which hand position to use for different diseases, the duration of the reiki session and how often it will be practiced, the duration of the practice, and the training of the reiki practitioner, need to be answered.

Holistic Nursing Practice, 36(5):p E48-E56, September/October 2022.
Stress and Anxiety Reduction Effects of a Reiki Program During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Employees in Lima, Peru
Gálvez Escudero D, Reyes-Bossio M
https://doi: 10.1097/hnp.0000000000000545

Evidence has been found of how the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has increased stress and anxiety indicators. Against this background, the present research aims to determine the effect of a distance Reiki intervention program on stress and anxiety during the period of isolation due to COVID-19 among people working in the city of Lima, Peru. The related hypothesis was that distance Reiki would generate a reduction in stress and anxiety levels. It was a quasiexperimental design with pre- and posttests, with nonprobabilistic purposive sampling. In total, 28 employees participated (12 in the experimental group and 16 in the control group). As part of the method, the following instruments were used: the EPGE, IDARE, and Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS). There was a large decrease in the distress parameter (Cohen's d = 1.006), as well as in the state anxiety parameter (d = 1.678) and a large increase in eustress (d = 0.921). Similarly, there was an overall reduction in the trait anxiety parameter (d = 0.373) in all cases as compared with the control group. Coronavirus anxiety showed no major impact. These results provide initial evidence on the effects of distance Reiki among Peruvians and provide the basis for promoting this cost-effective therapy, generating a practical and social contribution.

Psych, 4(3), 525-536 August 2022
Interventional Studies on Nurses’ Mental Health in the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review
Köse S, Murat M

Interventional studies investigating the variables impacting nurses’ mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic were examined in this review. During the COVID-19 pandemic, which is a difficult time for everyone, these studies were crucial in that they aimed to assist nurses by strengthening them spiritually, teaching positive coping skills against challenging situations and helping to maintain these skills, and preventing primary mental health problems before they occur. Most studies are second-level evidence-based and well-designed randomized controlled trials. These studies were conducted in different countries and demonstrate how vital it is at this time to assist nurses spiritually. It has been 
determined that more interventional studies are required to protect and improve nurses’ mental health to quickly plan and carry out necessary measures in any future endemic and pandemic.


Brazilian Journal of Nursing (Revista Brasileira de Enfermagem – REBEn), August, 2022
Reiki for Promotion of Health and Sleep Quality in Hospital Nursing Professionals
Rosenilda da Costa J, Silva Marcon S, Gonçalves Nitschke R, Fátima Helena of the Holy Spirit, Roggia Piexak D, Griebeler Oliveira S, de Freitas Goes HL, Lopez Soto PJ

The results show the benefits of reiki for improvement the quality of sleep of nursing professionals, in addition to reduction of pain and daytime tiredness and improvement of mood to carry out daily activities. These results point to the importance of carrying out actions aimed at nursing working in the hospital, with the purpose to promote health and quality of life. Still considering the number of those who sought intervention and were unable to participate due to unavailability of hours, it is suggested to carry out actions of this nature in the health institution itself and preference within the professional's working hours, for facilitate the participation of everyone who wishes.

Frontiers n Psychology 2022 July, vol 13

Does Reiki Benefit Mental Health Symptoms Above Placebo

Zadro S, Stapleton P



The results suggest that, Reiki may be more effective in treating some areas of mental health, than placebo, particularly if symptoms are clinically relevant. To date, there are a small number of studies in each area, therefore findings are inconclusive and, more RCTs controlling for placebo in Reiki research are needed. Most included studies were also assessed as having a risk of bias of some concern. Incorporating Reiki as a complementary treatment to mainstream psychotherapy for depression, stress, and anxiety may be appropriate.

Journal of Nursing & Health Sciences, 8(7):1-7 July, 2022
Effects of Reiki on Stress Reduction of Residents of Multi Professional Residence in Health in Times of Pandemic COVID-19
de Martins LM, Sehnem GD, Cogo SB, Badke MR, de Lima Dalmolin G, Nietsche EA, Franco GP, Rossato G, et al.,
https://doi: 10.4172/JNHS.2022.8.7.30

The I possession of the knowledge disseminated in this study, it was possible to know the stressors, acute or chronic, derived from the pandemic caused by COVID-19, and  their impacts  on the  personal and professional life of residents of the Integrated Multi professional Health Residency of an HEI. This occurrence requires immediate action of the teams, in order to manage the care of those who care, seeking to avoid health problems caused by chronic exposure to stressors, which can trigger psychic disorders such as Burnout Syndrome, anxiety, depression and posttraumatic stress. The study allowed us to know the social demographic profile of the 14 participating residents, mostly female, aged between 22 and 55 years. Half of the participants with training time from

2 to 5 years and, most, in the first period of residency (R1). In addition, two residents have children and half of them live alone. Answering the research question, the results show that, after two Reiki sessions, there was a reduction in perceived stress levels, which was demonstrated in the comparison of the means of the answers and descriptive statistical tests performed with the pre- and post-test data. Although Reiki is recognized worldwide as a method of cure widely used in a variety of psychological and physical symptoms, proof of its efficacy is still scarce, requiring studies to investigate its effects, such as the use of biological markers to better evaluate the effect of the technique on stress at the cellular and physiological level. The meanings and experiences with Reiki therapy  were  plural  and  subjective,  converging in the understanding of practice as a promoter of health, well-being and  quality  of  life, through holistic  care  centered on the integral  perception of the human being.  Moreover, the  study  has  as  limitations  a  reduced sampling  to  evaluate  analytical  correlations  regarding  stressors  and  the  influence on stress  levels.  It is  recommended  to produce  more studies  on the contributions  of  PICs  as  aggregators in  the care of  health professionals, promoting the possibilities available in the training of nurses. In a second moment, it is expected that this study can contribute to the prevention of the negative and deleterious effects of acute or chronic stress on the performance and health of the nursing professional. It is also expected to promote the insertion of integrative and complementary practices in the curriculum of undergraduate courses in the health area, especially in the nursing course, because it is a rising theme that has numerous proven benefits for practitioners. Nevertheless, the present research has the potential to instigate the interest among nurses in relation to the use of Reiki in patient care, especially as self-care, including also the possibility of being performed remotely. It is an accessible therapy, not costly, which demands few technological resources and effective in reducing the incidence of injuries and promoting health, through holistic care, based on the integral view of individual.

The Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine, May, 2022
An Evaluation of the Subjective Experience of Receiving Reiki: Qualitative Results from a Pragmatic Effectiveness Study
Dyer NL, Ali A, Baldwin AL, Kowalski S, Rand WL

The findings from this study suggest that Reiki can elicit the relaxation response and alter emotions and perception in such a way as to facilitate a transformative subjective healing experience. Future work will analyze these themes as they relate to changes in symptoms and compare the experience of Reiki with other biofield therapies.

Holistic Nursing Practice, April, 2022
The Effect of Distant Reiki on the Stress and Fatigue Levels of Nurses Working in COVID-19 Clinics
Bektaş Akpınar N, Özcan Yüce U, Yurtsever S

The study was conducted using a pre/post-test, randomized-controlled, single-blind trial method. After the pretest, a survey was administered and, distant Reiki was applied to nurses in the intervention group (n = 30) for 20 minutes a day for 4 consecutive days at a usual time. No intervention was made in the control group (n = 32). On the second day after the fourth Reiki session, a post-test survey was administered to nurses in the intervention group. The control group, on the other hand, was administered the post-test survey together with the last intervention group. As a result, in the intervention group, there was a decrease in the mean scores of the Helpless Approach subdimension on the Coping Style Scale and an increase in the mean scores of the Optimistic Approach and Social Support subdimensions (P < .05). In the Visual Analog Scale for Fatigue, the mean Fatigue score in the intervention group decreased and there was an increase in the Energy subdimension mean score (P < .05).

Holist Nurs Pract 2022;36(2):105–111
Feasibility and Effect of Reiki on the Physiology and Self-perceived Stress of Nurses in a Large US Hospital
Hailey K, Fortin J, Pratt P, Forbes PW, McCabe M


Nurses experience stress in the workplace. We evaluated the feasibility and effect of Reiki to relieve stress of staff nurses during a work shift. All Reiki treatments were completed without interruption and lasted 30 minutes. Stress scores, respiratory rate, and heart rate were significantly decreased immediately following the Reiki treatment.

Holistic Nursing Practice 2022 Jan

Evaluation of the Impacts of Reiki Touch Therapy on Patients Diagnosed With Fibromyalgia Who Are Followed in the Pain Clinic

Çinar, G H, Alpar Ş,  Ilhan S



As a result of the 4-week Reiki application in the patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia, the quality of life significantly increased with regard to the physical function, energy, mental health, and pain lower dimension scores compared with the control group.

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol Nurs 2022 Jan-Feb;39(1):15-29
Reiki Therapy for Very Young Hospitalized Children Receiving Palliative Care
Thrane SE, Williams E, Grossoehme DH, Friebert S

Reiki is a noninvasive relaxing therapy that is useful for hospitalized young children receiving palliative care. The children reacted positively in both action and outcome measures. Multisite studies with larger sample sizes are needed to be able to generate enough scientific evidence to fully recommend Reiki as an adjunct for pain management.

Medicina 2021, 57(9), 867
Self-Reiki, Consideration of a Potential Option for Managing Chronic Pain during Pandemic COVID-19 Period

Billot M, Daycard M, Rigoard P

While the world faces an unprecedented situation with the pandemic, other chronic diseases such as chronic pain continue to run their course. The social distancing and restrictive displacement imposed by the pandemic situation represents a new barrier to access to pain management and tends to reinforce chronification process. Given this context, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) might offer new opportunities to manage CP, notably with a hand-touch method, such as self-Reiki therapy. Although Reiki administered by a practitioner has shown promising results to reduce pain and psychological distress, and to improve quality of life, self-Reiki practice needs evidence-based medicine to be disseminated. Overall, self-Reiki could bring positive results in addition to, and without interfering with, conventional medicine approaches in patients experienced chronic pain.

Holist Nurs Pract 2021;000(000):1–13
Home-Based Reiki by Informal Caregivers - A Mixed-Methods Pilot Study
Chen Y-J, Petrinec A, Stephenson PS, Radziewicz, Sheehan D

Overall Reiki benefits outweighed barriers in relation to time commitment and place distractions/positioning. Our preliminary findings support that the at-home Reiki protocol had potential benefits and was feasible and acceptable by both community-dwelling patients and their family caregivers in promoting cancer-related outcomes. Further studies with larger samples are warranted to examine the effectiveness of home-based Reiki for a patient-centered cancer care modality.

Holist Nurs Pract 2021;35(4):191–198
Effects of Reiki on Mental Health Care - A Systematic Review
Morero JAP, de Souza Pereira S, Esteves RB, Cardoso L,
DOI: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000456

This systematic review aimed to identify the benefits of Reiki in mental health care. Eleven studies were included. Although the number of studies is limited, the results contribute to the potential beneficial role of Reiki in mental health care. Persistent studies using Reiki with broad samples, consistent randomized controlled trials, and patterned protocols are recommended.

Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice Volume 43, May 2021, 101328
The effects of reiki on heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and stress levels: A pilot randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled study
Namuun Bat

The p-value for the comparison of Reiki and sham groups for heart rate was 0.053, which is very close to being significant and so, a definitive conclusion can not be made based on this pilot study alone. A second study with a larger sample size is warranted to investigate this finding further and perhaps with additional outcome measures to look at other possible physiological mechanisms that may underlie the therapeutic effects of Reiki.

J Clin Nurs. 2021;00:1–13.
Integrative therapies in intensive care units: A scoping review
Mamba WM, Filmalter CJ, Heyns T
DOI: 10.1111/jocn.15775

From 275 studies retrieved, 30 were included, based on the inclusion criteria. Three key themes related to integrative therapies in intensive care units emerged from the literature: 1) general information on integrative therapies; 2) interventions using integrative therapies; and 3) perceptions and attitudes of nurses on integrative therapies. Positive outcomes were observed in ICUs, and nurses showed positive attitudes towards using integrative therapies.

Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 43 (2021) 101385
The effect of Acupressure and Reiki application on Patient’s pain and comfort level after laparoscopic cholecystectomy: A randomized controlled trial
Topdemir EA, Saritas S
DOI: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2021.101385

Reiki and Acupressure applied to the patients after Laparoscopic cholecystectomy decreased the pain and increased the comfort level.

J Hosp Palliat Nurs. 2021 Feb 1;23(1):52-58.
Feasibility and Acceptability of Reiki Therapy for Children Receiving Palliative Care in the Home
Thrane SE, Maurer SH, Danford CA
DOI: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000714

Young children and their parents found Reiki acceptable; these results are comparable to an earlier study of children 7-16 years receiving palliative care at home and a study of massage for symptom management for hospitalized children with cancer. These findings add to the literature and support further investigation of Reiki's efficacy as a nonpharmacologic symptom management intervention.

Explore 17(2021)5054
The Effect of Preoperative Reiki Application on Patient Anxiety Levels
Topdemir EA, Saritas S

The results of this study imply that the administration of Reiki is effective in controlling preoperative anxiety levels and in preventing them from increasing.

Nurs Clin North Am. 2020 Dec;55(4):521-536.
Reiki: Defining a Healing Practice for Nursing
Lipinski K , Van De Velde  J
DOI: 10.1016/j.cnur.2020.06.017

More Americans are embracing complementary and integrative healing modalities such as Reiki to enhance the efficacy of allopathic medicine. It is important that nurses and other health care professionals be knowledgeable about these modalities. Reiki is a wellness practice that offers whole-person healing of body, mind, and spirit. The study of Reiki offers nurses an opportunity to care for themselves as well as create an optimal healing environment for their patients. This article offer nurses a comprehensive overview of the system of Reiki; it includes the core elements of Reiki, its history, Reiki training, and examples of its applications.

Explore (NY) epub Nov 2020
Energy Medicine treatments for hand and wrist pain: A pilot study
Yount  G, Delorme A, Radin D, Carpenter L, Rachlin K, Anastasia J, Pierson M, Steele S, Mandell H, Chagnon  A, Wahbeh H

Studying the administration of energy medicine to people with carpal tunnel pain is feasible, although requiring a documented carpal tunnel syndrome diagnganosis proved to be prohibitive for recruitment. Our finding of preliminary evidence for positive effects in pain and pain-related outcomes after a single session of energy medicine warrants further controlled investigation.

Journal of Holistic Nursing 38(7): February 2020
Implementation of a Volunteer Reiki Program at an Academic Medical Center in the Midwest
Jurkovich P, Watson S

The authors presented the results that were consistent with research findings from the literature review suggesting that Reiki can decrease pain, general discomfort, anxiety, insomnia, and nausea.

Journal of Creativity in Mental Health Volume 15, 2020 - Issue 3 Pages 311-326
The Impact of Psychotherapeutic Reiki on Anxiety
Webster LC, Holden JM, Ray DC, Price, E, Hastings TM

Reiki healing is one of several complementary and integrative therapies becoming increasingly prevalent in mental health counseling. It has been identified in the medical field for its usefulness in treating anxiety, depression, and pain but has rarely been studied for its counseling impact on client wellness. The existing literature on the use of Reiki with psychotherapy is largely conceptual in nature. This single-case experimental research found anxiety symptom reduction in three out of four participants through the implementation of an in-session psychotherapeutic Reiki (PR) intervention. The results suggest potential therapeutic benefits for integrating PR with traditional counseling. Included in the discussion of study results are clinical implications and importance, suggestions for future research, and limitations.

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Vol. 25, No. 12
A Large-Scale Effectiveness Trial of Reiki for Physical and Psychological Health
Dyer NL, Baldwin AL, and Rand WL

The results from this large-scale multisite effectiveness trial suggest that a single session of Reiki improves multiple variables related to physical and psychological health.

BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2019 Dec;9(4):434-438.
Reiki therapy for pain, anxiety and quality of life  
Billot M, Daycard M, Wood C, and Tchalla A
DOI: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2019-001775

The use of complementary and alternative therapies is growing year after year, and Reiki therapy takes a place of choice. Reiki therapy, classed as a biofield energy therapy, raises the question of validity when applied to patients, especially in palliative care. The purpose of this review is to highlight the effects of Reiki therapy on pain, anxiety/depression and quality of life of patients, specifically in palliative care. The current article indicates that Reiki therapy is useful for relieving pain, decreasing anxiety/depression and improving quality of life in several conditions. Due to the small number of studies in palliative care, we were unable to clearly identify the benefits of Reiki therapy, but preliminary results tend to show some positive effects of Reiki therapy for the end-of-life population. These results should encourage teams working in palliative care to conduct more studies to determine the benefits of Reiki therapy on pain, anxiety/depression and quality of life in palliative care.

Military medicine 185(4) 2019Oct:394-400
Educate, Try, and Share: A Feasibility Study to Assess the Acceptance and Use of Reiki as an Adjunct Therapy for Chronic Pain in Military Health Care Facilities
Gantt M, Orina JAT.

A 30-minute Reiki session, performed by a trained Reiki practitioner, is feasible in an outpatient setting with possible positive outcomes for participants who are willing to try at least four consecutive sessions. Reiki has the ability to impact a variety of types of pain as well as positively impacting those activities of life that pain often interferes with. However, education and the opportunity to experience this energy healing modality are key for its acceptance in military health care facilities as well as more robust clinical studies within the military health care system to further assess its validity and efficacy.

J Pediatr Oncol Nurs. Sep/Oct 2019;36(5):361-368.
The Power of Reiki: Feasibility and Efficacy of Reducing Pain in Children With Cancer Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Zucchetti  G, Candela  F, Bottigelli C , Campione  G, Parrinello A, Piu  P, Vassallo E, Fagioli F
DOI: 10.1177/1043454219845879

This study demonstrates the feasibility of using Reiki therapy in pediatric cancer patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). Furthermore, these findings evidence that trained pediatric oncology nurses can insert Reiki into their clinical practice as a valid instrument for diminishing suffering from cancer in childhood

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