An ancient Japanese healing practice based on the principle of removing energy blocks in the body, reiki is increasingly offered in hospitals, hospices and private practice settings. This healing practice believes that all life forms have a core energy supply flowing through them which is responsible for their existence.
The energy, which is rooted in our body chakras, affects our overall well-being by influencing the state of our mind. The principle goes as such—when our mind is positive, our energy levels are high. On the other hand, a mind afflicted with negativity harbors low energy, which creates blockages in the flow of energy and results in dysfunction and illness.
Jennifer Bristol, a Texas-based reiki practitioner and healer says, “Any imbalance that occurs in the body has occurred at the energetic level first. These imbalances can take the form of hormonal fluctuations, cellular dysfunction and disease.”
Reiki is known to infuse the body chakras with universal light energy which can clear energy blockages and make you relaxed and calm.
How Reiki Can Ease Anxiety & Stress
Extreme anxiety and stress can put your sympathetic nervous system in overdrive, activating your fight-or-flight response. This can make your heart beat faster, breathing heavier and contract your muscles so that you break into a sweat. The sympathetic nervous system once activated overwhelms your adrenal glands, which shoots up your cortisol (stress hormone) levels as a survival antic.
However, constant stress can overtax your adrenals leading to excess production of cortisol. By balancing and aligning the vital energy centers in the body, reiki can relieve stress, soothe emotions and calm an overactive mind. Several studies have been able to highlight the usefulness of this modality in curbing stress and reducing anxious feelings and panic attacks. [1,4]
A 2011 study carried out on patients with burnout syndrome (a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress), demonstrated how reiki was able to control the physiological indicators of stress and induce a significant relaxation effect. 
Another study carried out in 2004, used reiki to treat patients with mild depression and extreme stress. After six weeks of treatment, the researchers observed that those who had received reiki showed both immediate and long-term improvements in depression, stress and hopelessness. 
The health benefits of reiki don’t end here. Here are a few things you may want to know:
- Insomnia: Reiki symbols can make the mind more peaceful, aiding relaxation and managing insomnia.
- Anti-Aging: Reiki can help correct the very imbalances that trigger the signals for premature aging.
- Hormonal Balance: Reiki may promote hormonal balance by normalizing the body’s energy.
1. Wardell DW, Engebretson J. Biological correlates of Reiki Touch(sm) healing. J Adv Nurs. 2001 Feb;33(4):439-45. PubMed PMID: 11251731.
2. Díaz-Rodríguez L, Arroyo-Morales M, Fernández-de-las-Peñas C, García-Lafuente F, García-Royo C, Tomás-Rojas I. Immediate effects of reiki on heart rate variability, cortisol levels, and body temperature in health care professionals with burnout. Biol Res Nurs. 2011 Oct;13(4):376-82. doi: 10.1177/1099800410389166. Epub 2011 Aug 5. PubMed PMID: 21821642.
3. Shore AG. Long-term effects of energetic healing on symptoms of psychological depression and self-perceived stress. Altern Ther Health Med. 2004 May-Jun;10(3):42-8. Erratum in: Altern Ther Health Med. 2004 Jul-Aug;10(4):14. PubMed PMID: 15154152.
4. Richeson NE, Spross JA, Lutz K, Peng C. Effects of Reiki on anxiety, depression, pain, and physiological factors in community-dwelling older adults.Res Gerontol Nurs. 2010 Jul;3(3):187-99. doi: 10.3928/19404921-20100601-01. Epub 2010 Jun 30. PubMed PMID: 20635803.