Taproot Healing Institute







Reiki Research

"It is absolutely essential that before we think, before we so much as begin to set our thinking in motion, we experience the condition of wonder." 

~ Rudolf Steiner


In the Reiki Sourcebook (Bronwen and Stiene, 2003), quotes Usui Mikao, the founder of the system of Reiki as saying that the mind and body are one. Recent studies in the world of science are beginning to comprehend that statement. Brainwaves and body pulses and their role in stimulating healing can all be measured today allowing the concept of spiritual energy, to be more widely understood by the medical community. The growth of the system of energy work is benefited by this community awareness and acceptance.

The introduction of Therapeutic Touch by Dolores Krieger into nursing in the 1970s has increased interest in other energetic systems such as Oneness. This in turn has boosted the amount of research that has recently been undertaken using forms of energetic work. For example, the system of Reiki is also being accepted into hospitals across the world. Either patients can often bring their Reiki practitioner with them or Reiki is made available to them. Medical research has focused upon verifying energy healing effects rather than explaining how it works. The results are impressive. A few study conclusions as reported in Browen and Stiene (2003) are summarized here for your information.

Listed below are a number of trials tested on healing energy work. For more research details there are some books with relevant research material, or personal observations that have been written by both doctors and nurses. ‘Spiritual Healing’ by Daniel J. Benor has listed a number of Reiki trials as well as some very interesting trials on distant healing and healing through touch in general. Many aspects of healing energy work are being researched today. Some to see that it speeds up healing, others measure bio magnetic fields and verify the concept of distant healing. Generally, the research shows that energy work has a measurable physiologic effect. The data supports the premise that energy can be transferred between individuals for the purposes of healing, balancing, and increasing wellness.

Medical Research and Other Papers on Reiki

Alandydy, P. (BSN, RN,,CNOR), Alandydy, K. (BA) Using Reiki to support surgical patients. Journal of Nursing Care Quality. 1999, Apr; vol 13, no 4, pp 89-91.

Algarin, R. Using Reiki as a harm reduction tool and as a stress management technique for participants and self. Northeast Conference: Drugs, Sex and Harm Reducation Conference Syllabus, 1995, Harm Reduction Coalition and the Drug Policy Foundation, the ACLU AIDS Project and the City University of New York.

A RK, Kurup PA. Changes in the isoprenoid pathway with transcendental meditation and Reiki healing practices in seizure disorder. (Department of Neurology, Medical College Hospital, Trivandrum 695-003, Kerala, India). in Neurology India. 2003, Jun; vol 51, no2, pp211-4.

Author Unknown. Autonomic Nervous-System-Changes During Reiki Treatment: A Preliminary Study. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine vol 10, no 6.
Author Unknown. Reiki: Tapping the unseen self. International Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 1997, vol 15, no 9, pp22-23.

Author Unknown Reiki; a balancing therapy. International Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 1998, vol 16, no 2, pp22-23.

Author Unknown. Remedy Brief: Reiki. This Japanese system of energy healing is used for acute and chronic pain. Natural Health-Massachusetts. 1999, Sept, p41

Barberis, L., Reiki: Esoteric therapy or quantum interaction? (Paper presented at: 1996, 3rd European Colloquium on Ethnopharmacolgy - 1st International Conference on Anthropology and History of Health and Disease.

Barberis, L. Reiki healing: No matter nor energy. 1998. Presented at the 12th Continental members’ Meeting of the Scientific & Medical Network, Cortona, Italy.

Barnett, L., & Chambers, M. Reiki energy medicine: Bringing healing touch into home, hospital, and hospice. Vermont. 1996. Healing Arts Press.

Behar, M. Reiki; bridging tradition & complementary healing techniques. OT Practice; Feb 1997.

Brewitt, B., Vittetoe, T., Hartwell. The efficacy of Reiki hands-on healing: improvements in spleen and nervous system function as quantified by electrodermal screening. Alternative Therapies. 1997. July; vol 3 no 4.

Brown, F. Ancient Reiki accepted at a modern American Hospital. The Journal of Awareness. 1992, pp 3,16.

Bucholtz, R. A. The use of Reiki therapy in the treatment of pain in rheumatoid arthritis. Master's thesis (unpublished), University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, 1996.

Bullock, M. (RN BSN), [1997] Introduction to Reiki: A complementary therapy for life. Alternative Therapies in Clinical Practice vol 4, no 2, pp41-43

Bullock, M. (RN BSN), [1997]Reiki: A complementary therapy for life. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care, Jan 1997, Vol 14, no 1, pp31-32

Clark, L. [1988] Reiki in a G.P. Practice: A Report based on 29 patients over the period 5.10.99 - 25.7.01. Unpublished.

Dressen L. J. & Singg S., [1997] Effects of Reiki on Pain and selected affective and personality variables of chronically ill Patients. Subtle Energies & Energy Medicine, vol 9, no 1, pp51-82

Engebretson, J. & Wardell, D. [2002]. Experience of a Reiki Session, Alternative Therapies, vol 8, no 2, pp48-53

Gallob R. [?] Reiki: a supportive therapy in nursing practice and self-care for nurses. University of Rochester School of Nursing, Loving Touch Center of East Rochester, NY, USA
Harris, D.(Dip.App.Sc.[Nursing] [UWSN]., B.H.Sc.[Nursing]) [UWSN].,MCN[NSW]., MRCNA.) & James B.H. [?] The Mystery and Meaning of Reiki.

Hartwell, B., Brewitt, Dr. B. [1997] The efficacy of Reiki hands-on healing - Improvements in adrenal, spleen and nervous function as quantified by electro-dermal screening. Alternative Therapies Symposium, Florida 1997. Alternative Therapies, vol 3, no 4, p89.

Hodsdon, W., Mendenhall, E., Green, R., Kates-Chinnoy,S., Wacker, E, & Zwickey, H. The Effect of Reiki on the Immune System. Helfgott Research Institue at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, Oregon, USA

Kennedy, P. [2001] Working with survivors of torture in Sarajevo with Reiki, Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery, vol 7, no 4

Litchfield, G. [1999] Reiki Healing. Journal of Natural Medicine vol 3, no 1, pp3-4

Mailoo, V.J. [2002] A brief introduction to Reiki. British Journal of Therapy & Rehabilitation. May 2002 - vol 9, no 5, pp190-3

Mailoo, V.J.[2001] Reiki to Reduce Anxiety:A Literature Review.Journal of Chartered Physiotherapists in Mental Healthcare. Jun; 18 pp13-17.

Mansour A, Laing G, Nurse J, & Denilkewich A. [1998] The Experience of Reiki: Five Middle-Aged Women in the Midwest, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Therapies; vol 4, no 3, pp211-217

Mansour, A., Beuche, M., Laing, G., Leis A., & Nurse, J. [1999] A Study to Test the Effectiveness of Placebo Reiki Standardization Procedures Developed for a Planned Reiki Efficacy Study, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, New York vol 5, no 2, pp153-164.

Miles P. [2003] Preliminary report on the use of Reiki for HIV-related pain and anxiety. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 2003; vol 9 no 2 p36.

Miles, P. & True, G (PhD).[2003] Reiki: Review of a Biofield Therapy. History, Theory, Practice & Research. Alternative Therapies, Mar/Apr 2003; vol 9, no 2, p67

Milton, G., & Chapman, E., [1995] The benefits of Reiki treatment in drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs. Pathways to healing: Enhancing Life through Complementary Therapies, Conference Proceedings, Sept, 24-25 Canberra: Royal College of Nursing, Australia

Neklason, Zale T. [1987] The effects of Reiki treatment on telepathy and personality traits. Thesis [MS in Counselling] - Calif. State University, Hayward

Nield-Anderson, L. Ameling, A. [2000] The Empowering Nature of Reiki as a Complementary Therapy. Holistic Nursing Practice, vol 14, no 3, pp21-29

Olson, K. & Hanson, J. [1997] Using Reiki to manage pain: a preliminary report. Cancer Prevention & Control, vol 1, no 2, pp108-115. Cross Cancer Institute.

Olson K, Hanson J, Michaud M. [?] A phase II trial of Reiki for the management of pain in advanced cancer patients. Faculty of Nursing and International Institute for Qualitative Methodology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Pankhurst, J. (RGN, Reiki Master) [?] Thirteen Case Studies to Investigate the Effects of Reiki on the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. The Reiki Research Foundation.

Retzlaff N. [1998] Reiki - the gift of love, healing and wholeness; Nursing Matters Feb,1998

Rivera, C. [1999] Reiki Therapy - A tool for Wellness. Imprint - New York - National Student Nurses Association, vol 46, no 2, pp31-33

Robertson, A.L. [?] Pronounced effects of proper Reiki attunement. American Reiki Master Association Newsletter; vol 1, no 5, p6.

Rosentiel, L. [1991] Hypnosis and Reiki. Journal of Hypnotism, Dec; pp8-10
Sabrina, T. [2000] The Science Behind Reiki - What Happens in a Treatment? UK Reiki Federation

Sawyer, J. [1998] Clinical Exemplars; the first Reiki practitioner in our OR. AORN Journal, vol 67, no3, pp674-77

Schiller R. Reiki: A Starting Point for Integrative Medicine. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.2003; vol 9, no 2, pp20-21.

Schlitz, M. & Braud, W. [1985] Reiki-Plus natural healing: an ethnographic/experimental study. PSI Research, 1985 Sept/Dec vol 4 no 3, pp100-123.

Schmehr R. [2003] Case Report: Enhancing the Treatment of HIV/AIDS with Reik Training and Treatment. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 2003; vol 9, no 2, p120.

Sicher, Fred, and Elizabeth Targ, Dan Moore II, and Helene.S. Smith. “Reiki treatments with Advanced Aids Patients.” Published in the Western Journal of Medicine, December 1998, Vol. 169, pp. 356-363.

Tattum A., [1994] Reiki - healing and dealing. Australian Nursing Journal.1994 Aug; vol 2, no 2, p3

Thornton, L. [1996] A study of Reiki, an energy field treatment, using Rogers' science. Rogerian Science News, vol 8 no 3, pp14-15

Thornton, L. [1996] A study of Reiki using Rogers' science: Part II. Rogerian Science News, vol 8, no 4, pp13-14.

Thorton, L. [1996] A study of Reiki, An energy field treatment, using Rogers' Science. Rogerian Science News; vol 8, no 1, p3.

Thorton, L. [1996] A study of Reiki using Rogers' Science, Part II. Rogerian Science News; vol 8, no 1, p4

University of Michigan.[?] Reiki Technique Study to Control Chronic Pain in Diabetic Neuropathy.The Department of Public Relations & Marketing Communications, University of Michigan

Van Sell, SL. [1996] Reiki: an ancient touch therapy. Reiki News. Feb. 1996, pp57-59
Wardell D.W.; Engebretson J.[2000] Biological correlates of Reiki Touch healing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol 33, no 4, February 2001, pp439-445

Wetzel, W. [1989] Human Hemoglobin Levels and Reiki Healing: A Physiologic Perspective. Journal of Holistic Nursing, vol 7, no 1, pp47-54.

Whelan, K. M. & Wishnia, G. S. [2003] Reiki therapy: The benefits to a nurse/Reiki practitioner. Holistic Nursing Practice, vol 17, no4, pp209

Whitsitt, T., [1998] Reiki Therapy Journal of Christian Nursing, vol 15; no 1, pp12-13

Witte D. & Dundes L. [2001] Harnessing Life Energy or Wishful Thinking?: Reiki, Placebo Reiki, Meditation and Music, Alternative and Complementary Therapies, vol 7, no 5, pp304-309

This list is compiled with the help of James Deacon, and Bronwen and Frans Stiene.  At the time of compilation of this list, several of the following papers and articles were available on the internet.