Written by Helen Seers, Edzard Ernst and the CAM-Cancer Consortium.
Updated June 10, 2017

Reiki

Abstract and key points

  • Reiki is often classified as a form of energy healing.
  • Its mechanism of action is not biologically plausible.
  • The few clinical trials that have been published have shown some effects of Reiki on improving cancer related symptoms; however conclusions are limited due to methodological shortcomings of the studies.
  • Reiki has not been associated with serious risks.

Reiki, a form of energy healing that originated in Japan, is a system of natural healing administered by the laying on of hands and by transferring energy from the Reiki practitioner to the recipient. It is sometimes used as a palliative or supportive treatment of cancer patients. Only few studies of Reiki have been published; most have methodological limitations and are thus not conclusive. Reiki is not believed to have the potential to cause serious direct harm.

Citation

Helen Seers, Edzard Ernst, CAM-Cancer Consortium. Reiki [online document]. http://cam-cancer.org/The-Summaries/Mind-body-interventions/Reiki. June 10, 2017.

Document history

Summary fully updated and revised in June 2017 by Helen Seers
Summary fully updated and revised in March 2015 by Helen Seers.
Summary fully updated and revised in March 2013 by Edzard Ernst.
Summary first published in July 2011, authored by Edzard Ernst.

References

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