Does Reiki work? The good, bad, and ugly truth of Reiki

Reiki is a form of energy healing that has been around since the 1800s. It finds basis in the idea that an unseen “life force” flows through us. When this energy gets blocked, illness sets in. Reiki practitioners channel this universal energy to help restore balance and harmony in the body.

What does the research say about Reiki? Is Reiki real? Let’s take a look at some of its benefits—and potential pitfalls.


Table of Contents

The Good of Reiki

If you are open to trying Reiki, you’ll be pleased to learn this form of energy healing is not a fad. Reiki is part of the therapies used in hospitals and hospices to complement traditional medicine.

The good news is that there is scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of Reiki. Nearly 1.2 million adults in the United States get Reiki energy healing every year.

How Does Reiki Work?

The technique is a Japanese approach to stress management and a healthy body. “Rei” translates to universal, and “Ki” is life energy. Reiki healers use their hands and/or instruments to balance your energy centers by channeling the “universal life force energy” to flow through us, animating our bodies and allowing us to be and stay healthy.

Reiki practitioners channel this universal energy into their patients’ bodies, allowing them to achieve balance in their internal energies.

A Reiki practitioner gently moves hands above or on your clothed body to reduce stress, promote relaxation, reduce pain, and increase vitality. At the same time, you lie comfortably with your eyes closed or open.

Scientifically speaking, no one knows exactly how it works. However, some scientists postulate that Reiki energy healing occurs due to the quantum-level interactions of the healer’s electromagnetic field and that of the patient.

How's My Energy Get imbalanced?

An imbalance is a physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual condition that’s stopping you from operating at your fullest potential. Sometimes you see and feel these imbalances through chronic neck or back pain for example, or you feel something just isn’t quite right. Healers sense imbalances through your energy centers which are commonly called chakras.

Imbalances occur through your daily habits of life and way of thinking. Your habits and thinking effect energy and that energy will present itself through many examples that can include poor posture or stiffness, eating unhealthy food, having a high amount of anxiety, and much more.

What Are The Benefits And How Long Does Reiki Benefits Last?

Reiki can help with a wide range of health issues. Reiki is effective against chronic and acute pain, stress and anxiety, sleep problems, depression, and more.

The benefits can last anywhere from a few weeks, to a month, a full year or longer. The duration depends on many things but the main things to look for are how imbalanced you are, your life habits (does your life habits keep you imbalanced), and the effectiveness of the healer. Most people notice improvement within the first few sessions, but results vary depending on each client.

What Happens During And After A Reiki Session?

You lie on a massage table, fully clothed, during a Reiki session. The practitioner places their hands and/or instruments on or above the patient’s body to facilitate healing in the energy field. They gently move and position their hands and/or instruments to focus on different parts of your body. The healer will typically focus on a point for 3 to 10 minute intervals.

Afterward, many people report feeling deeply relaxed and stress-free and some even fall into a deep sleep! The healing benefits progress with each session.

How Long Is The Treatment?

Reiki sessions typically last 30 to 60 minutes when working with private practitioners and about 20 minutes in hospitals and hospices. The patient lies on a massage table in a quiet setting, sometimes with soft music playing in the background. The healers set up the room in a way that feels safe and private to you to facilitate healing.

What Does The Healer Do During Treatment?

The Reiki healer will place her hands on different parts of the body. They can move their hands and/or instruments in different positions and place them near other parts of the body.

Sometimes, they may hold their hands just off the body without touching it – especially when working on open wounds or areas sensitive to touch. There is no pressure, and there is no inappropriate placement of hands.

What Does Reiki Feel Like?

The experience of receiving a Reiki treatment can vary from person to person, depending on their unique needs.

Some people will feel nothing at all, while others may experience sensations such as vibrations. You may also experience tingling or emotions popping up as your body releases negative energy build-ups. Other times tears flow down your eyes because you’re releasing so much built-up stress from your physical body.

You might also feel coolness throughout your body or even hot flashes. These sensations can happen immediately after receiving a session, but sometimes it takes more than one session before these effects start happening.

The Bad of Reiki

Reiki is not a cure-all. It’s not a replacement for medicine or therapy. It’s not going to replace exercise and sleep. A good Reiki practitioner will always recommend that you seek medical attention when necessary.

Where Reiki Has Fallen Short In History

In the past, many people claimed to have healing powers and would charge people for their services. Fortunately some of these “healers” were legitimate; but others were looking for a way to make money off desperate patients.

One thing all these so-called healers had in common was that they used energy work as part of their treatment plan and most of them didn’t use Reiki specifically. But Reiki has received a bad rap in some sections of the media ever since.

Not Enough Studies To Really Say Yes Or No About All Reiki Effects

Reiki, a popular form of healing or therapy, has not been studied enough. There are only a few studies on Reiki because it’s not a drug and therefore it isn’t regulated by the FDA.

There are no studies that show how Reiki works. Because there aren’t any negative side effects associated with receiving this treatment, no studies show how Reiki doesn’t work either.

The Conditions Reiki Has Been Scientifically Proven To Treat

Reiki healing has been shown to help with depression, chronic pain and anxiety, sleep issues, cancer, and other illnesses.

Reiki has been proven effective in reducing stress levels by lowering cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in the blood. The healing leads to an overall feeling of calmness and better sleep quality for those who use it regularly.

Reiki may be helpful for depression because it increases serotonin levels in the brain — a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in mood regulation.

Reiki can also help your body balance its “fight or flight” response so that it doesn’t react to situations as negatively as it used to. The effects include reduced anxiety and depression symptoms such as poor concentration, hopelessness, and bad fatigue.

It can help with insomnia because it lowers stress levels and reduces cortisol, which may allow you to sleep more soundly.

It can also be used as an alternative treatment for chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia or arthritis because it reduces inflammation in joints without causing any side effects like opioids.

Reiki's Ugly Truth

Unqualified healers can be dangerous because clients will think they are receiving real Reiki when their healer is doing nothing. This first impression can ruin your relationship with a real effective healing treatment that reiki offers. 

Other than that, It may take several visits for clients to experience results even with a qualified and certified healer. In most cases long-term, effective healing doesn’t happen overnight.

Seeing Is Not Believing

Reiki may work for some people but not for everyone. The main reason some people don’t see Reiki results is that they’re either not open or receptive toward receiving healing energy into their body or mind.

The other reason some people don’t experience any noticeable effects from Reiki is their commitment level. Suppose you don’t fully commit yourself to healing through Reiki sessions with an experienced practitioner over time. In that case, there won’t be any noticeable changes in your health or well-being.

The Number Of Times You Must Commit To See Results

When you first begin Reiki, the number of times you must commit to see results varies. Some people may see results after only one treatment, while others might need four or five sessions before they feel any difference in their health and well-being.

Health Insurance Sometimes Covers It But Not Always Guranteed

As a general rule, health insurance often covers Reiki if it’s done in a hospital as part of palliative care or physical therapy. When done at a private practice, coverage may or may not be guaranteed–it depends on the plan you have.

It’s also important to remember that even if your insurance does cover some of these costs now, they may not do so for your subsequent treatments.


So, does reiki work? It absolutely does, reiki is a powerful healing modality that has been used for centuries.

If you’ve been experiencing chronic symptoms or feel like something is missing but you’re not sure quite what, reiki healing is for you.

Reiki can be a great addition to any medical treatment or therapy program because of its relaxing nature and ability to help with pain management while promoting overall health and wellness of mind and body.

If you’re looking to try Reiki and see if it works for you, you’ve come to the right place. WeHealNaturally will match you with a certified healer. The more you commit to reiki, the better your results will be!

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