a closer look at reiki's efficacyReiki Australia is proactive in enriching our members’ day-to-day Reiki practice and raising the benchmark standards within the Reiki industry as a whole throughout Australia. By taking our responsibilities seriously we offer so much more to our members, over and above organised events and a sense of community.

Reiki practitioners at all levels join Reiki Australia for a range of reasons, and particularly the support of a recognised, professional organisation.

Our pursuit of excellence affords us a real voice in the industry and an opportunity to position ourselves as a professional organisation which our members can leverage in their own clinics.

Many join Reiki Australia because their goals and aspirations for Reiki as a whole are aligned with ours. There is a real desire to see the legitimatisation of Reiki as a treatment choice in a holistic health plan – sitting confidently alongside or hand in hand with other healthcare professions.

To this end, we’re often asked
“ How do we prove to our clients that Reiki works?”

In order for doctors and other healthcare practitioners to recommend a treatment or a complementary healing practice to patients, they need evidence that it is safe and effective.  So is Reiki effective? Or more precisely, from a research standpoint, what is Reiki effective for?

Generally speaking, a Reiki Practitioner may respond to such questions by saying, “Reiki is effective for restoring balance in the individual. Balance brings about its own benefits – its own ‘knock-on-effect’ – to the whole body – but how that actually manifests will vary from person to person.”

Of course medical researchers prefer to work with something more substantive, because they are in the business of studying treatments for specific illnesses rather than treatments that, rather ‘ambiguously’ bring our bodies back into balance.

It’s worth remembering, respected medical research is designed to address very specific questions within defined parameters. Although conventional medicine has long included a concept of ‘balance’ in its messaging to the public, there has historically been no clear definition of this concept that can be used to test the claim that Reiki promotes balance.

Given the vagueness of the term stress and the differences in human bodies and the circumstances in which they live and function, how could science realistically measure an individual’s ‘balance’? It’s a tricky area and practically impossible to use a ‘control’ group scenario.

What research has been carried out?

To date, the primary outcomes studied in Reiki research have been measures for pain, anxiety, and stress, including heart rate, blood pressure, cortisol, as well as measures for things like job/life burnout. More specific measures have been used to evaluate outcomes for stroke rehabilitation, depression, and other chronic health conditions.

Given the relatively subtle and complex nature of Reiki practice, these measures may not adequately illustrate the whole experience for the person receiving Reiki. Measures that incorporate quality of life, patient satisfaction, and stress reduction may have the greatest potential for demonstrating the benefits of Reiki practice.

The good news is the debate on how best to study complementary therapies is gaining traction (though this depends on the Government of the day), and it’s still very early days for Reiki.

We hope this will change soon, and the pursuit of raising the profile of Reiki underpins our strategy now and in the years ahead.

Over the years, Reiki Australia has collated a wide range of research papers over the years, many of which in the interests of space, have been Archived. If there is a specific area of research you are interested in, do get in touch and we will locate what we can for you. 

Alternatively, we hope you find value in some of the papers posted here.