An unpublished study of 23 people who received one Reiki touch session focused on the biochemical and physiological changes Reiki produces. The study was conducted in 1996 by Diane Wordell, PhD, and Joan Engebretson Dr. P.H. associate professors at the University of Texas Houston Health Science Center. The 23 participants were hooked up to machines that measured their skin temperature, blood pressure, and muscle responses before, during and immediately after one 30-minute Reiki session. The results showed that each person’s skin temperature increased, indicating relaxation. “when a person is stressed the circulation goes to major organs instead of the skin. If a person’s skin is warm, that indicates relaxation.” Says Wordell.
In addition, participants experienced a significant drop in blood pressure; saliva levels also rose significantly, indicating good immune functioning and anxiety levels dropping, says Wordell.
Neurosurgeon Clinton Miller was skeptical but after one Reiki session he says, “I went from high personal excitation to feeling like I was floating in the ether” Now Dr. Miller prescribes Reiki for his patients prior to surgery.
Dr. Miller is not alone, many Healthcare professionals and others are beginning to incorporate Reiki in the treatment for mental, emotional and physical illnesses ranging from asthma to cancer to depression. Reiki sessions are being used for pain management, to accelerate recovery from surgery and reduce medication side effects and dependence.
Dr. Stephen Sinatra, Cardiologist and head of the New England Heart Center in Manchester, Connecticut recommends Reiki when he believes an energy block is hindering a patient’s ability to heal. “ An experienced Reiki practitioner can pick up on the parts of the body that may be blocked energetically and emotionally” he explains, which is “valuable feedback for the patient”.
Patricia Alandydy, head of the Reiki program at Portsmouth, New Hampshire Regional Hospital says practitioners receive the energy first, the practitioner’s body then acts as a conduit for the energy to be drawn through and delivered to the recipient, “the results are rejuvenating”.
“The recipient, meanwhile, generally feels a warm flow or tingling sensation in his or her body, but the feeling varies with each person”. “Sometimes people feel sleepy and relaxed, while others may nap through a session and wake up energized, Reiki brings about what the person’s body needs”, says Connie Hoy, Executive Director of the Reiki Alliance.
Some Reiki advocates stress that the length of a treatment is not the issue; it is the touch that counts. Ann Ameling practices Reiki on herself daily, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ann is a Professor of Psychiatric Nursing at Yale University. “There is nothing like a cancer diagnosis to make you feel out of control. Reiki helped me gain personal power,” says Ameling, who feels that Reiki allows her to slow down, relax and think positive healthy thoughts.
Ann Ameling and Pamela Potter Ph.D. student have set up a pilot study tracking 50 women with breast cancer at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Chaplain Laurie Garrett, a therapist at the Institute for Health and Healing, in San Francisco, California often performs Reiki on dying patients, she says, “I strive to bring a sense of peace about the dying process and to help patients become less resistant to death.”
While Reiki is not covered by insurance companies at the time, The Alliance for Integrative Medicine of Northern New England, a grassroots movement of 25 hospitals, and The Florida Institute for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine along with The Quantum Healing Center of Delray Beach, and the Governors Council on Health Care are just some of the organizations who are working to try and change this.
American Cancer Society Gives Guidelines for using Complimentary and Alternative Methods : http://www.cancer.org/doc.root/ETO/content/ETO_5_3x_Guidelines
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
The National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
NCCAM is the center in the National Institute of Health (NIH)
Reiki Therapy at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute:
Healing Touch Therapy: Alternative therapies relax heart Patients.
Reiki: Rising star in Complimentary Cancer Care by Kate Jackson.