The effects of reiki on heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and stress levels: A pilot randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled study

Author: Namuun Bat1
1 Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH, USA. Electronic address:
Conference/Journal: Complement Ther Clin Pract
Date published: 2021 Feb 17
Other: Volume ID: 43 , Pages: 101328 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2021.101328. , Word Count: 237

Reiki is a biofield energy therapy that focuses on optimizing the body's natural healing abilities by balancing the life force energy or qi/chi. Reiki has been shown to reduce stress, pain levels, help with depression/anxiety, increase relaxation, improve fatigue, and quality of life. In this pilot randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled study, the effects of Reiki on heart rate, diastolic and systolic blood pressure, body temperature, and stress levels were explored in an effort to gain objective outcome measures and to understand the underlying physiological mechanisms of how Reiki may be having these therapeutic effects on subjective measures of stress, pain, relaxation, and depression/anxiety. Forty eight (n = 48) subjects were block randomized into three groups (Reiki treatment, sham treatment, and no treatment). The changes in pre- and post-treatment measurements for each outcome measure was analyzed through analysis of variance (ANOVA) post hoc multiple comparison test, which found no statistically significant difference between any of the groups. The p-value for the comparison of Reiki and sham groups for heart rate was 0.053, which is very close to being significant and so, a definitive conclusion can not be made based on this pilot study alone. A second study with a larger sample size is warranted to investigate this finding further and perhaps with additional outcome measures to look at other possible physiological mechanisms that may underlie the therapeutic effects of Reiki.

Keywords: Biofield therapy; Reiki.

PMID: 33639516 DOI: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2021.101328