Demystifying Reiki Through Research Studies

Suzanne McMurray, Reiki Master providing Reiki to another Reiki practitioner

Written by Sachiko Komagata

Hello everyone, you may have heard about Reiki at your local welllness center, hospital or doctor’s office.  What is it?  Eve Sicurella, experienced body worker interviewed Anne Vitale, Ph.D., APN, AHN-BC, Assistant Professor, Drexel University Nursing Program about Reiki research as below.

Reiki has been known to arouse controversy in some circles and gratitude in others.  I think the controversy arises from our inability to understand something we cannot explain while a feeling of gratitude arises as a result of relief of pain, sometimes physical, sometimes mental.

Reiki was not something I easily understood myself.  My first introduction was 14 years ago while in massage school.  I was surprised by my strong desire to take the first level training because Reiki was so,.. just so,… well different.    My desire was challenged by my left brain’s relentless questioning about the how and why of Reiki.  Over the years I’ve experienced sessions and each time walked away having a new relationship with my body and the world.  My anxiety and stress levels were noticeably reduced, my aches and pains seemed lessened and as a result, my perspective on the world was much different.    Even though I clearly noted these physical and mental changes, I wanted an explanation for what was happening.

Fast forward 12 years and I’m a student at Georgian Court enrolled in the Holistic Health Program.  I find myself doing a research paper on Reiki.    Much of what I came across lead me to understand Reiki in ways as I hadn’t been able to previously.  I’d come across a book by Pamela Miles which influenced me with its clear, understandable explanations that brought Reiki out of its mysterious status.  It was during this time that I met Anne Vitale, PhD, APN, AHN-BC, Assistant Professor Nursing Faculty for Drexel University as well as project facilitator and co-founder of the Center for Reiki Research.    Anne agreed to meet with me to be interviewed for this blog, so we got together for breakfast.  I learned a lot about not only research but the importance of a study well-performed.

The Center for Reiki Research (CRR) has been instrumental in not only organizing Reiki research but consolidating it, summarizing it, and making it easier to access.   This process (called “integrated review”) allows for easy access to Reiki information says Anne and just as importantly, creates the opportunity to produce more efficacious designs in future Reiki research studies.   Many studies done in the past cannot, by today’s standards, be considered credible due to not following basic design formats.  Because of the nature of Reiki and the fact there is not the technology to measure energetic changes that have occurred after a session, it is important to build a solid foundation upon which further and more extensive research might be done.

According to Anne studies thus far are “trending towards evidence” that Reiki can provide relief in cases of anxiety, pain management and depression.   “Western medicine is just beginning to recognize the value of Reiki in pain management”.   In fact, hospitals in New York and Philadelphia, and even closer to home at Community Medical Center, offer Reiki to patients.  Isn’t it something that what Reiki practitioners have known over the years is now being validated?

According to a Consumer Reports article in 2009, prescriptions were written for $9.9 billion in depression drugs alone.  That figure was up 3.3% from the previous year.   It is timely then that Reiki is becoming an adjunct therapy for management of pain, anxiety and depression and that CRR  is accumulating data about the emerging effects of Reiki on pain management.

Eve Sicurella has maintained a private massage practice since 1998.  Her extensive education includes a Certification in Holistic Health from GCU as well as training in various energy and physical modalities.  Eve has presented workshops at Lakewood Community Education Programs, Ocean County Women’s Council of Realtors and on behalf of the NJ Holistic Magazine

3 thoughts on “Demystifying Reiki Through Research Studies

  1. nelson brown

    Working as a Dentist in Brampton i know what is reiki. Because i have done course of pranic healing. its very effective way to cure from any disease.
    Positive energy surrounding your body all time.just need to use it on proper way.
    Just need positive attitude to accept it.
    Thanks to post this page.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *