Reiki- Complete Nonsense or Credible Healing Art?
In our increasingly sick modern American culture, illness and disease are becoming more and more prevalent. In stride, the cost of healthcare continues to balloon out of proportion and health insurance premiums are at an all time high. Many people can’t even afford health insurance, and so go without until emergency situations force them to go to an ER- ultimately resulting in higher costs to taxpayers. In response to our dire health dilemma, Americans are witnessing the return of holistic healthcare modalities, as many people turn to ancient natural treatment methods to improve their health and wellbeing. Reiki is one such modality with promising results. Reiki is NOT a religious belief. Reiki is an ancient a hands on Japanese healing art. Reiki traditions maintain that we all have an ability to tap into an unseen healing force, often called Qi, Chi, prana, or simply “life force energy”, and that force can be channeled or amplified through the breath and the power of our intention. Practitioners of Reiki study and practice these ancient techniques, gently channeling the healing energy to their subjects. During a typical Reiki session, the practitioner channels Reiki energy through the subject’s energy field by placing their hands gently on or near the subject’s body, encouraging a biofeedback loop of healing. Instead of seeing the physical body as the only thing requiring treatment, Reiki sees the mind, body, and spirit as interconnected, therefore addressing the subject holistically rather than in part. The premise behind Reiki is that we are surrounded with an etheric energy body. Inevitably, there are still those people who claim that the human energy field is a bunch of bologna made up by new age hippies, clinging to the age old belief that if it can’t be seen it doesn’t exist. However, the existence of the human biofield has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health since 2004! A wealth of information on the topic is available online. In a 2015 article published by Global Health Med, the biofield is described as “a field of energy and information, both putative and subtle, that regulates the homeodynamic function of living organisms and may play a substantial role in understanding and guiding health processes.”1 Our scientific understanding of such a field is finally beginning to prove what our ancestors knew- that energy is real and our connection to the unseen is stronger than we know. The electromagnetic field emitted by our brain and heart is part of this biofield, and intimately connected to our world. An article published by PubMed journal in 2015 stated that “Biofield interactions can organize spatiotemporal biological processes across hierarchical levels: from the subatomic, atomic, molecular, cellular, organismic, to the interpersonal and cosmic levels. As such, biofield interactions can influence a variety of biological pathways, including biochemical, neurological and cellular processes related to electromagnetism, correlated quantum information flow, and perhaps other means for modulating activity and information flow across hierarchical levels of biology.”2 Though our ancestors knew about and passed this knowledge down through generations, modern Western medicine maintains that energy healing modalities like Reiki are complete nonsense, citing no basis in scientific fact. Through programs like the Touchstone Process, a peer reviewed method of analyzing research on Reiki programs in hospitals and clinics in the US, we now have actual case studies showing the benefits of Reiki. In an article published by UCLA health in 2014, they reported that “The Touchstone Process has evaluated 25 test studies that appeared in peer-review journals evaluating the merits of Reiki Treatments. Taking into consideration only the most rigorously controlled studies, the team reported that 83% showed moderate to strong evidence in support of Reiki as a viable, therapeutic healing modality.”3 The studies further found that Reiki reduced stress, reduced pain levels, reduced anxiety and depression, and encouraging the body’s natural state of homeostasis, improving immune system functioning and healing ability. With so much scientific evidence now backing what ancient wisdom has taught us, it is now time for us to take our own healing into our own hands, literally and figuratively! Because Reiki is relatively affordable, gentle, non invasive, and can be done anywhere at any time, it should be considered as a viable option for those seeking holistic alternatives to traditional western medicine.
- Indo-Tibetan Philosophical and Medical Systems: Perspectives on the Biofield. Jain S, Daubenmier J, Muehsam D, Rapgay L, Chopra D Global Adv Health Med. 2015 Nov; 4(Suppl):16-24.
- An Overview of Biofield Devices. Muehsam D, Chevalier G, Barsotti T, Gurfein BT Glob Adv Health Med. 2015 Nov; 4(Suppl):42-51.
- Kafatos MC, Chevalier G, Chopra D, Hubacher J, Kak S, Theise ND. Biofield Science: Current Physics Perspectives. Global Advances in Health and Medicine. 2015;4(Suppl):25-34. doi:10.7453/gahmj.2015.011.suppl.