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://ws.cam-cancer.org/The-Summaries/Mind-body-interventions/Reiki. June 10, 2017.

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