Get well, stay well


Is Reiki a Placebo? – Part 4

May 4th, 2015

I know want to examine the scientific evidence of the impact of Reiki on more subjective issues like pain and anxiety.

Heidt (1979) utilised  healing to reduce levels of anxiety in patients in a hospital cardiovascular unit. Ninety volunteers were divided into three matched groups receiving treatments as follows: a five-minute period of healing, casual touch and no touch at all. Pre- and post-intervention levels of anxiety were measured using a special questionnaire. In those subjects receiving  healing there was a highly significant reduction in anxiety following the treatment.

Quinn (1982) also studied the effects of healing on anxiety states in hospitalised cardiac patients, but without making physical contact. Sixty patients were randomly assigned to either an experimental group receiving five-minute treatments of non-contact healing given by an experienced practitioner; or to a control group where inexperienced practitioners went through similar procedures whilst doing mental arithmetic. Assessments were done by the patients before and after treatment using a specialised questionnaire. Results showed that the experimental group had a very significant reduction in anxiety post-treatment.

Gulak (1985), a healer, undertook a study on his patients measuring anxiety levels before and after healing treatment. Seventy six patients were given 15-minute treatments, with anxiety levels being assessed 14 days before and 21 days following the treatments using a specialised questionnaire. Different statistical analyses showed the reductions in anxiety to be significant as well as other health issues being cleared up.

Wirth, Brenlan, Levine & Rodriguez (1993) performed a double-blind, crossover study on the effect of healing on post-operative pain, following surgical removal of both impacted lower molar teeth. Twenty one patients were randomly assigned to control or treatment groups before the first tooth was removed; and before the second operation the groups were transposed from control to experimental and vice versa. All conditions for both groups were the same except that the experimental groups received Reiki and healing post-operatively. Healing was undertaken at a distance of several miles from the patients with the healers concentrating on individual patients’ photographs. Patients measured their pain intensity and pain relief over a period from 3 to 9 hours after operation using specialised pain assessment techniques.

A statistically significant difference was found between the treatment and control groups in both pain intensity and amount of pain relief at hours 4 to 8 and hour 9. When combined, the data showed a highly significant improvement in pain levels as a result of the distant/remote healing.

I started the series of articles by saying that Reiki is intangible.  But in the last four articles I have demonstrated the impact on Reiki energy on human blood, yeast and plants as well as the human body.  In addition there is clear evidence Reiki helps with pain, anxiety and lowering blood pressure.


Heidt, Patricia (1979). An Investigation of the Effect of Therapeutic Touch on the anxiety of Hospitalized Patients. Ph.D. dissertation, New York Univesity. See also: Heidt, Patricia (1981). Effects of therapeutic touch on the anxiety level of hospitalized patients, Nursing Res., 30, 30-37.

Gulak, J. (1985). Lowering the anxiety levels in persons undergoing bioenergo-therapy. Psychotronika, 1985, 6-9. Quoted by Benor (1993).

Wirth, D. P., Brenlan, D. R., Levine, R. J. & Rodriguez, C. M. (1993). The effect of complementary healing therapy on postoperative pain after surgical removal of impacted third molar teeth. Compl. Therap. Med., 1. 133-138.


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