Reiki is being used at a growing number of progressive hospitals across the US, and in many others throughout the world, to augment conventional therapy and reduce the patients' time in the hospital and need for medication (especially pain-relieving medication).


Along with Reiki, it is beneficial to teach patients to use imagery/visualization to help heal themselves because it has been clinically proven to support the body's immune response to infections and cancer with a measurable increase in WBC and NK cells; the converse is also true, when a patient gives up the will to live, by the way. Reiki is better accepted by conventional doctors and hospitals if it is explained in conventional terms, such as promoting relaxation and healing, rather than in metaphysical terms.


The following are excerpts from various articles pertaining to the use and acceptance of Reiki in conventional hospitals as part of the overall healing experience.

From Hartford Hospital, whose nursing department offers Reiki training for newborns:

Reiki is a Japanese touch therapy and relaxation technique and one of the fastest growing forms of Energy Medicine. It's a complementary therapy option that promotes relaxation and decreases anxiety and discomfort that promotes stress reduction, relaxation and pain control and is an effective healing touch therapy. It assists patients both in the hospital, and in their continued recovery after leaving the hospital as well as becoming a means of wellness promotion.


Why Choose Reiki?  Patients in the hospital setting experience many stressors (e.g. anxiety, pain, sleeplessness, nausea, fatigue, etc.) that can undermine the function of the immune system and interfere with healing. Patients are asking for Reiki as a healing option.


Hartford Hospital Outcome Measurements (attached) show that Reiki can induce the “relaxation response,” can diminish anxiety, pain, nausea and fatigue, and can enhance the healing process. The physiological changes resulting from the “relaxation response” can boost the function of the immune system and increase a sense of well-being. Research studies (see references at end) document similar benefits.


Reiki practitioners are frequently asked to provide this service to patients. Some feedback from patients:


"Being in the hospital is stressful enough, but having a major operation is very, very stressful! Reiki was extremely helpful for stress and pain relief. Thank You!"


"Even with drugs I had difficulty relaxing, but with the Reiki experience I was able to completely relax. What a great service to provide in hospitals. It opens people’s minds to alternative methods of healing. It was great!"


"Our dad who is under a lot of stress with his diagnosis was quite surprised to have fallen asleep with Reiki. It was a great feeling to see him at peace during a most difficult time. Thank you!"


"The Reiki provided me with practically the only relief I had during a rather painful four days in the hospital. First time I am without back pain in weeks! I feel wonderful!"


"I felt extremely relaxed. Cramping in my legs and knees was greatly released."


We have found the Reiki Program to be one of the most beneficial programs for our patients. 

Comment from Karen Pischke:

Here is some information on healthcare institutions offering Reiki in MA: 

"If you would be so kind to mention that I also offer Reiki at Mass General/Northshore for the cancer center, that might be helpful for others.

"I had been offering Reiki at NSMC Cancer Center for a number of years, when MGH took over the center.

"I had to reapply for the position, as the MGH/Boston HOPES Wellness did not offer Reiki, so this was new for MGH.

"I know a number of others that have had difficulty bringing Reiki into cancer/healthcare centers. I seem to have a way of presenting Reiki that has been helpful for bringing in into multiple healthcare centers, for which I am most grateful! One of my ‘missions’ is to do just that.

 "Since 1999 I have been the RN/Reiki Practitioner for the North Shore Medical Center. Here we offer Reiki inpatient, outpatient and for Surgical Support (pre and post surgery.)

"We are also nearing completion of a Reiki Study. I have been the RN/Reiki Practitioner for their Cancer Center, which is now located at Mass General North, Danvers MA and managed by the HOPES Wellness program.

"I coordinated a Reiki Clinic at Addison Gilbert Hospital, Gloucester MA and a Reiki pilot program for Essex Park Nursing and Rehabilitation. Both institutions continue to offer Reiki.

"After 12 years of working with Reiki in healthcare, it is nice to see the growing acceptance!

"Nancy Earabino has offered Reiki at her hospital in Newburyport, for employees and cardiac rehab patients.

"Thank you for your nice profile on Reiki in healthcare!"
"She can be reached at


Karen Pischke RN, BSN, CCRN Alumnus
Certified Hypnotherapist, Usui Reiki Master Teacher, Tobacco Treatment Specialist
9778.283.4258 (phone and fax)

Reiki In Hospitals
William Rand's "Reiki In Hospitals" web site has been upgraded to the 
Center for Reiki Research
In addition to the descriptions of Reiki programs at 64 hospitals the site now features a listing of all Reiki research studies published in peer reviewed journals. In addition, summaries of each study are also included along with many other valuable features.

Reiki Research Booklet
A hardcopy Research Booklet is also available that includes all the information on the new site.

Research Consultation Service
If you’re thinking of conducing Reiki research, our consultation service can help you make your study conform to the standards necessary to be accepted by the medical/scientific community.

William Lee Rand
The International Center for Reiki Training

Reiki Energy Healing is a form of hands-on healing practice used to promote physical and psychological well-being in the user developed by Dr. Mikao Usui in Japan in the early 20th century. Since coming to America in the mid 1900s, it has become a popular form of complementary and alternative medicine. It has also become increasingly more mainstream. "Reiki is used in more than 50 major hospitals and clinics throughout the United States and is a good candidate for more because it is non-invasive and poses little threat to patients," according to a literature review published August 2005 in the "Journal of Orthopaedic Nursing".


Reiki has attracted the attention of the National Institutes of Health. Studies funded by the NIH are looking at the effect of energy work on joint disorders, wrist fractures, cardiovascular health, cancer, wound healing, neonatal stress, pain, fibromyalgia and AIDS. Some studies have suggested positive effects on various orthopedic conditions, including fractures, arthritis and injuries to the muscle and connective tissue.

Reiki is a simple relaxation or energy balancing technique. Doctors have been known to tell their patients that are receiving Reiki to continue sessions since they see the benefits of Reiki. Interestingly, there are many doctors that have taken Reiki classes as well.


Reiki does no harm. It is at its simplest, a relaxation technique which relaxes the body, mind, and spirit, all of which are beneficial to healing any condition. There have not been any known cases of Reiki interacting with medications; on the contrary, Reiki has even been known to aid with side effects from anesthesia, radiation treatment and chemotherapy. Most people experience less nausea and recovered quicker.


Reiki does not take the place of medication and should not be used for such. However, because of its relaxation effects and overall benefits, some people have found that they might require less medication. All medication adjustments should be done under the supervision of their doctor.


Reiki is being used in many hospitals, as well as other health care facilities around the world. It has been found to be beneficial in every aspect of healing: this includes physical, psychological, emotional, as well as spiritual benefits, so the possibilities of using Reiki within these settings are limitless.

Cancer patients claim that reiki has helped with pain management, relaxation, and side effects of treatment like nausea and stomach upset.

Although there is no scientific data that supports these claims, claims that support reiki are overwhelming.

It is important to note that reiki is not an alternative cancer treatment. It is not used to cure cancer or in place of treatment. Reiki is a complementary therapy, used to ease the emotional and physical side effects of treatment.

Reiki classes and sessions are often offered in hospitals. Many RN's are reiki practitioners as well.

Reiki is a natural, gentle, non-invasive yet powerful method of healing that is given by gentle touch. It is an ancient Japanese hand- on technique that promotes relaxation and stress reduction. Reiki also enhances the natural power of the body to heal itself. Reiki is not a substitute for medical and other health care treatment but complements supports and enhances them.


Reiki is both powerful and gentle and has aided healing many illnesses including headaches, colds, insomnia, fatigue, heart disease, broken bones and cancer. It has been shown to relieve pain, assist the body in clearing toxins from chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and helps one to recover quicker from injuries, surgery or trauma. Reiki helps to balance and harmonize the well being of the body, mind and spirit, and also brings relief from the physical and emotional effects of stress and anxiety. It's an excellent relaxation technique that has great healing potential. 

A recent IARP survey of American hospitals indicates that many major hospitals now use Reiki for its therapeutic benefits both pre and post-surgery, and for patients suffering from stress and other disorders.


The International Association of Reiki Professionals (IARP) has conducted a survey of “America’s Best Hospitals” to determine the extent that Reiki is used at the world’s finest and most progressive hospitals and what kinds of programs if any, formal or informal, are in place.


Reiki is an ancient healing art practiced in great numbers all over the world. It has gained great recognition in the last few years as an effective integrative medical tool and is being utilized at many of the top hospitals in the US with great success.


Many nurses, physicians and outside practitioners provide Reiki services to enhance patient care. The survey results provide statistical data on Reiki’s current use. IARP will be repeating this study every two to three years to determine the change in the use of Reiki, using the 2002 study as a benchmark.


The hospitals included in the study are among the most highly regarded, recognized and progressive in the U.S.  We wanted to find out, first of all, if Reiki is used at these hospitals, what kind of programs are offered, perceptions of and experience with Reiki at these hospitals, who paid for Reiki services if they were offered, and any other pertinent information or comments regarding the use of Reiki.


We encouraged all hospitals to participate even if they did not have any Reiki programs at all in place at their hospital so we could get an accurate picture of the overall use of Reiki in hospitals.


What we found was: 60% of the respondents have Reiki programs, formal or informal, in place. Hospitals today recognize the advantages of utilizing a spectrum of beneficial modalities to enhance healing and the quality of patient care. Several of the top hospitals added that they highly recommend that other hospitals get involved to include Reiki as an offering to patients.


Patricia Reilly, RN, MSN, Program Manager for Integrative Care at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA has ranked Reiki as highly beneficial for both patient and hospital.  Ms. Reilly also added that “From my experience, patients really appreciate and enjoy the treatments.” Based on her experience with Reiki in the program, she highly recommends that other hospitals offer Reiki to their patients.


Of the hospitals that offer Reiki, just about all said that they believe Reiki to be at least somewhat beneficial for patients. 67% of hospitals that offer Reiki went above and beyond that to say that they believe Reiki to be highly beneficial for patients.


In just about all of the hospitals that offer Reiki, with the exception of special programs, (i.e. studies involving Reiki), patients pay out-of-pocket for Reiki services. Reiki is usually performed by outside Reiki Professionals or hospital staff (Nurses and other professionals) who are trained in Reiki. Some hospitals also utilize Reiki Professionals who may volunteer sessions in certain departments.


Due to the warm response of these progressive hospitals, we envision the growth of Reiki in hospitals to continue to expand in the next few years as more hospitals see the benefits of the modality for their patients, and as more patients request Reiki to complement and enhance their medical treatments as well as to contribute to and enhance their overall hospital stay experience.


We thank the medical community for warmly embracing Reiki and for offering this beneficial modality to their patients.


1- Top 25 Hospitals as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, "America's Best Hospitals", 2002, Honor Roll and Individual Specialties.

At hospitals and clinics across America, Reiki is beginning to gain acceptance as a meaningful and cost-effective way to improve patient care. "Reiki sessions cause patients to heal faster with less pain," says Marilyn Vega, RN, a private-duty nurse at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital in New York. [Reiki] accelerates recovery from surgery, improves mental attitude and reduces the negative effects of medication and other medical procedures.


Vega, a Reiki master, includes Reiki with her regular nursing procedures. Because the patients like Reiki, she has attracted a lot of attention from other patients through word of mouth, as well as from members of the hospital staff. Patients have asked her to do Reiki on them in the operating and recovery rooms. She has also been asked to do Reiki sessions on cancer patients at Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital, including patients with bone marrow transplants. Recognizing the value of Reiki in patient care, 6 doctors and 25 nurses have taken Reiki training with her.


The Department of Oncology at Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island has a Reiki Clinic. According to one of the founders of the clinic, "Initially, we gave individual mini-sessions to patients during their chemotherapy treatments. Most patients had never heard of Reiki, so it was our job to explain it to them. We kept it simple. We introduced ourselves, explained briefly that Reiki might help them with pain, fatigue, anxiety, post-operative recovery, and the side effects of chemotherapy. We distributed handouts for them to look at and left the room, so no one would feel put-on-the-spot. We wanted to be sensitive to the fact that cancer patients often feel overly poked, prodded, and pressured and we did not want Reiki to fall into this category. After a while, we would return to answer questions and see who was interested. Slowly the work gained acceptance and momentum, and people scheduled one-hour appointments in the massage therapy room. A third treatment format emerged when we were invited to treat patients on the hospital's surgical floor."


"Hospitals are opening to Complementary Care services in order to maintain a competitive edge in marketing to patients as consumers. To that end, Women and Infants Hospital is currently producing a video including our work with Reiki to introduce their patients to their Complementary Care services. We're excited about the way Reiki is catching on, and are exploring ways to create hospital internships for our master level students."


"'Chemotherapy treats the body, and Reiki nurtures the Soul' -- Chemotherapy Patient"


"The most exciting part of our work has been seeing the results of Reiki. Patients have experienced reduction in chemotherapy side effects, as well as reduction of neuropathy, back pain, anxiety, fatigue and faster recovery from anesthesia. They also report a general sense of comfort, well being, and relaxation. Several nurses and a few patients have learned Reiki as a result of being treated at the Clinic. Even the most resistant nurse, who barely spoke to us for months finally asked us to put our hands on her. As of this article, at least one doctor is interested in scheduling a treatment for himself."


Reiki is also gaining wider acceptance in the medical establishment. Some hospitals are incorporating it into their roster of patient services, often with their own Reiki-trained physicians, nurses and support staff.


Why Hospitals Like Reiki

Hospitals are undergoing major changes. They are experiencing a need to reduce costs and at the same time improve patient care. Under the old medical model based on expensive medication and technology this posed an unsolvable dilemma. Not so with Reiki and other complementary modalities. Reiki requires no technology at all and many of its practitioners offer their services for free. Reiki is therefore a very good way to improve care while cutting costs.


Julie Motz, a Reiki trained healer has worked with Dr. Mehmet Oz, a noted cardiothoracic surgeon at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. Motz uses Reiki and other subtle energy techniques to balance the patients’ energy during operations. She has assisted Dr. Oz in the operating room during open heart surgeries and heart transplants. Motz reports that none of the 11 heart patients so treated experienced the usual postoperative depression, the bypass patients had no postoperative pain or leg weakness; and the transplant patients experienced no organ rejection.


An article in the Marin Independent Journal follows Motz's work at the Marin General Hospital in Marin County, California, just north of San Francisco. There Motz has used subtle energy healing techniques with patients in the operating room. She makes a point of communicating caring feelings and positive thoughts to the patients, and has been given grants to work with mastectomy patients in particular.


Dr. David Guillion, an oncologist at Marin General, has stated "I feel we need to do whatever is in our power to help the patient. We provide state of the art medicine in our office, but healing is a multidimensional process. . . . I endorse the idea that there is a potential healing that can take place utilizing energy."


The Tucson Medical Center's Reiki Clinic

The Reiki Clinic at the Tucson Medical Center (TMC) in Arizona has a team of Reiki practitioners who give Reiki to patients in their rooms. The program is administered by Sally Soderlund, RN, who is the Support Services Coordinator for Oncology. Arlene Siegel, who has been with the program from the beginning, runs the monthly support meetings for the Reiki volunteers.


The TMC program started in May 1995. Three Reiki masters invited members of the Tucson Reiki community to help them start a Reiki clinic, but lacked the funds for a location. In the process of trying to solve this problem, they contacted Sandy Haywood, the hospital administrator at TMC, and offered to provide Reiki sessions for the hospital patients. Haywood had a supportive attitude toward complementary care and made it possible for the hospital Reiki program to get started.


The program first began in the Cancer Care Unit, but has since expanded to many other areas in the hospital. At first, the attending physician had to give permission for Reiki to be provided. This has changed, and now the attending nurse makes the request. A patient must sign a consent form and sessions are given in their rooms while they are in bed.


It is up to the Reiki team to explain Reiki to the patient before giving the treatment. They have found that this usually works best by first taking a few minutes to introduce themselves and get to know the patient, then explain the work they do.


They have also found it best not to use the word "Reiki" at first when describing how they can help, but to talk about healing energy. They explain how healing energy exists in the body but is depleted when a person is sick, and they describe their work as helping to increase the patient's healing energy supply. After that, they explain more about the technique and that it is called Reiki. They also play special healing music during the Reiki session.


*Editors Note: It is very important when giving Reiki treatments in hospitals or otherwise to make sure the patient understands what Reiki is and to only provide a Reiki treatment if the patient has requested one. Also, if the issue comes up, it is important to explain that while Reiki is spiritual in nature, in that love and compassion are an important part of its practice; it is not a religion and members of many religious groups including many Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Jews use Reiki and find it compatible with their religious beliefs.


Siegel believes that each patient requires a unique response. Most of the patients are very sick, some are dying, but they all respond to their conditions differently. Conditions treated at the Reiki Clinic include cancer, pain, chronic conditions, and postoperative surgery (they also deal with childbirth).


The main reason the program is successful is that the patients like Reiki and request it. The patients enjoy the sessions and request more after their first experience. Some have reported spiritual experiences. Nurses also report that Reiki has positive effects on their patients that include reduced pain, increased relaxation, better sleep, better patient cooperation and increased appetite. The program has been well received by other members of the hospital staff who sense the value of Reiki and accept that it is filling an important aspect of hospital care.


Reiki at Portsmouth Regional Hospital

Patricia Alandydy is an RN and a Reiki Master. She is the Assistant Director of Surgical Services at Portsmouth Regional Hospital in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. With the support of her Director Jocelyn King and CEO William Schuler, she has made Reiki services available to patients within the Surgical Services Department. This is one of the largest departments in the hospital and includes the operating room, Central Supply, the Post Anesthesia Care Unit, the Ambulatory Care Unit and the Fourth Floor where patients are admitted after surgery. During telephone interviews with pre-op patients, Reiki is offered along with many other services. If patients request it, Reiki is then incorporated into their admission the morning of surgery, and an additional 15-20 minute session is given prior to their transport to the operating room. Some Reiki has also been done in the operating room at Portsmouth Regional.


The Reiki sessions are given by 20 members of the hospital staff whom Patricia has trained in Reiki. These include RN's, physical therapists, technicians and medical records and support staff. Reiki services began in April 1997, and 400 patients have received sessions to date either pre or postoperatively.


"It has been an extremely rewarding experience," Alandydy says, "to see Reiki embraced by such a diverse group of people and spread so far and wide by word of mouth, in a positive light. Patients many times request a Reiki [session] based on the positive experience of one of their friends. It has also been very revealing to see how open-minded the older patient population is to try Reiki. In the hospital setting Reiki is presented as a technique which reduces stress and promotes relaxation, thereby enhancing the body's natural ability to heal itself."


It is now being requested from other care areas of the hospital to treat anxiety, chronic pain, cancer and other conditions.


The California Pacific Medical Center's Reiki Program

The California Pacific Medical Center is one of the largest hospitals in northern California. Its Health and Healing Clinic, a branch of the Institute for Health and Healing, provides care for both acute and chronic illness using a wide range of complementary care including Reiki, Chinese medicine, hypnosis, biofeedback, acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal therapy, nutritional therapy and aromatherapy. The clinic has six treatment rooms and is currently staffed by two physicians, Dr. Mike Cantwell and Dr. Amy Saltzman. Cantwell, a pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases, is also a Reiki Master with training in nutritional therapy. Saltzman specializes in internal medicine and also has training in mindfulness meditation, acupuncture and nutritional therapy. Other professionals are waiting to join the staff, including several physicians.


The doctors at the clinic work with the patients and their referring physicians to determine what complementary modalities will be appropriate for the patient. A detailed questionnaire designed to provide a holistic overview of the patient's condition is used to help decide the course of treatment. The questionnaire involves a broad range of subjects including personal satisfaction with relationships, friends and family, with body image, and with job, career, and spirituality. The clinic is very popular and currently has a waiting list of more than 100 patients.


Dr. Cantwell provides 1-3 hour-long Reiki sessions, after which he assigns the patient to a Reiki II internist who continues to provide Reiki sessions outside the clinic. Patients who continue to respond well to the Reiki treatments are referred for Reiki training so they can continue Reiki self-treatments on a continuing basis.


Dr. Cantwell states: "I have found Reiki to be useful in the treatment of acute illnesses such as musculoskeletal injury/pain, headache, acute infections, and asthma. Reiki is also useful for patients with chronic illnesses, especially those associated with chronic pain."


At this point, Reiki is not covered by insurance at the clinic, but Dr. Cantwell is conducting clinical research in the hope of convincing insurance companies that complementary care is viable and will save them money.


More MD's and Nurses Practicing Reiki

Mary Lee Radka is a Reiki Master and an R.N. who has the job classification of Nurse-Healer because of her Reiki skills. She teaches Reiki classes to nurses and other hospital staff at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor. She also uses Reiki with most of her patients. She has found Reiki to produce the best results in reducing pain and stress, improving circulation and eliminating nerve blocks.


Reiki master Nancy Eos, M.D., was a member of the teaching staff of the University of Michigan Medical School. As an emergency-room physician, she treated patients with Reiki along with standard medical procedures.


"I can't imagine practicing medicine without Reiki," Eos says. "With Reiki all I have to do is touch a person. Things happen that don't usually happen. Pain lessens in intensity. Rashes fade. Wheezing gives way to breathing clearly. Angry people begin to joke with me."


In her book Reiki and Medicine, she includes descriptions of using Reiki to treat trauma, heart attack, respiratory problems, CPR, child abuse, allergic reactions and other emergency-room situations. Dr. Eos now maintains a family practice at Grass Lake Medical Center and is an admitting-room physician at Foote Hospital in Jackson, Michigan, where she continues to use Reiki in conjunction with standard medical procedures. According to Dr. Eos, there are at least 5 other physicians at Foote hospital who have Reiki training along with many nurses.


Libby Barnett and Maggie Chambers are Reiki masters who have treated patients and given Reiki training to staff members in over a dozen New England hospitals. They teach Reiki as complementary care and the hospital staff they have trained add Reiki to the regular medical procedures they administer to their patients. Their book Reiki Energy Medicine7 describes their experiences. One of the interesting things they recommend is creating hospital "Reiki Rooms," staffed by volunteers, where patients as well as hospital staff can come to receive Reiki treatments. Bettina Peyton, M.D., one of the physicians Libby and Maggie have trained states: "Reiki’s utter simplicity, coupled with its potentially powerful effects, compels us to acknowledge the concept of a universal healing energy."


Anyone interested in bringing Reiki into hospitals is encouraged to do so. The hospital setting where there are so many people in real need is a wonderful place to offer Reiki. The experiences and recommendations in this article should provide a good starting point for developing Reiki programs in your area.


An excerpt from Sister Mary Mebane, O.S.F., Chaplin, Marian Medical Center, A Member of Catholic Healthcare West, Santa Maria, CA 93805:

One of the anesthesiologists later asked me for information on Reiki. I gave him the book: REIKI, ENERGY MEDICINE, which details the use of Reiki by physicians/nurses at Massachusetts General. On another occasion another anesthesiologist looked me up after a surgery and said, "I don't know what you did, but whatever it was it worked--the mass (tumor) wasn't there any more--that was a real surprise!"


On my regular rounds I went to see a new patient and the RN and Physical Therapist had just gotten her up. I started to leave with the intention of coming back when they had finished, when the patient, holding tightly to the walker said she "felt funny," but refused to sit back down when requested to do so by the RN. The RN took her blood pressure as she was standing there and said it was "sky high." While she consulted with the Physical Therapist, I quietly asked the woman if she would like me to pray for her and she said it "couldn't hurt." I placed my hands over hers (she was still clutching the walker with both hands) and prayed a brief prayer for healing and left. In about 5 minutes the Physical Therapist rushed out, found me and told me that the woman's blood pressure had dropped 40 points and that she was feeling great.


One of the patients told her Nurse that after I put my hands on her head the severe headache she had as a result of her IV medication "lifted up like a cloud" and did not come back. I had had only a minute or two with her before her family came in laughing and talking to visit her.


I had major abdominal surgery myself in March of 1999 and my friends did Reiki on me before and after the surgery and at intervals afterwards. When I saw my surgeon 3 weeks after the surgery, he did a double take and said, "This is amazing! I can't believe how fast you are healing!" He just shook his head and looked up the date of the surgery. At my discharge visit he again remarked on the rapidity of the healing and said he wished all his patients would heal that rapidly.


I have found Reiki to be a great comfort to patients on our Compassionate Care Program (patients with a prognosis of approximately a week or less to live). They tell me they feel "so relaxed" or feel "so much more at peace." On occasion, I have taught Reiki to their families at the bedside.


I have referred some patients/families to the Third Thursday Reiki Sessions at The Unity Church for a continuation of the healing process and people who attend these sessions from the community at large often ask for Reiki when they are admitted to the Medical Center.


Jeanette McDaniel, RN, who works in the Emergency Room, uses Reiki daily, sometimes at the ER Doctor's request-they don't always call it Reiki, they sometimes referred to it as "that thing you do," or "that massage you do." She uses it with patients, Doctors, Nurses and other employees at their request. She has seen blood flows lessen or stop, and healings of many kinds, including making the passage from this life to the next more peaceful for some.


Jacqueline Miller, CCRN, from the Critical Care Unit has had the same experience as above, using Reiki/massage with her patients, families, co-workers, and physicians with very good results.


Donna Matthews, RN, who works Med/Surg shared with me that she uses Reiki often and finds it often helps calm patients with dementia and Alzheimer's as well as emotionally stressed patients and their families as well as terminally ill patients and those on the Compassionate Care Program.


There are many wonderful healing stories from Doris Oakes and others who work at the Marian Cancer Center-stories of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing/improvement. Doris and a fairly large number of others volunteer at the monthly Reiki Sessions at the Cancer Center--hopefully to soon be bi-monthly if all goes well. Some of the RNs at the Cancer Center also have Reiki training.

I have contacted people at various hospitals in the area and while Reiki is sometimes offered at the Cancer Centers, and a class is sponsored by Sierra Vista Medical Center, Reiki is practiced primarily by individual nurses and others in their work situations and is not fully accepted by the medical community at large. It is my hope and prayer that this will change.


It is my opinion that the value of Reiki and its very simplicity of use especially in a medical setting are inestimable. I have seen the results of its use on the physical, mental emotional and spiritual levels and, again, it is my fervent hope that it will soon be accepted fully in the medical field.

A Healing Space for Reiki In a Hospital 

by Janny E. Adkins, RN, BS, CHTP, HNC


I manage a holistic women’s center, St. Luke’s Women’s Care, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. St. Luke’s Hospital is a member of a large hospital system, Iowa Health System. We are considered rural and conservative. In l994 Women’s Care opened a new facility located in a medical office plaza connected to St. Luke’s Hospital. Women’s Care views women from a holistic perspective, honoring their needs from a physical, emotional, and spiritual perspective. Nurses on staff are holistic nurses, and they integrate this philosophy with their traditional nursing care. Mammograms, and diagnostic interventions are offered as well as holistic nursing, imagery, and energetic balancing techniques which initially included Therapeutic touch, and Healing Touch. At that time, the Vice President of Nursing was very open to holistic interventions. I obtained her sanction to begin to offer these modalities, quietly, without advertising, and upon the request of clients.


At that time I knew nothing of Reiki. One of the nurses on staff at that time, Diane Cira, told me about a Reiki Class that she had taken from Laurelle Shanti Gaia. She returned from the class enthusiastic and excited about using Reiki with clients. Within a few months, I took a Reiki Class from Laurelle, and immediately experienced the gentle, but profound, healing power of Reiki, and immediately saw the advantage of incorporating Reiki into the clinical setting. The versatility of Reiki appealed to me, as it was simple in the clinical setting to call on the Reiki energy to be present. There was no necessity to make obvious hand movements. Reiki could also be sent from a distance without placing hands on a patient. All of this appealed to me, and I could see that adding Reiki would greatly enhance the energetic interventions that were already offered.


At the same time I began sponsoring Reiki Classes taught by Laurelle in the Women’s Center Educational Classroom. The classes were popular, as more and more people became excited about using and experiencing Reiki.


This is now three years later and we have individuals asking us if we offer Reiki. I find it interesting that the individuals ask specifically for Reiki. Patients have told us that they are using St. Luke’s Hospital because they can have energetic interventions, like Reiki, while they are hospitalized.


Individuals coming to St. Luke’s ask their physician to write an order for relaxation therapies. Hospital staff nurses call Women’s Care and one of the Women’s Care nurses provide the relaxation intervention at the bedside. Each individual is holistically evaluated by the nurse to determine the correct intervention; Reiki, Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch, Music Therapy, or Imagery. The nurse charts on the patient’s computerized chart, noting consent for treatment, pre-treatment assessment, and response to treatment. There is currently no direct charge to the patient.


In Women’s Care, women may self refer. All visits are paid out-of-pocket. We especially encourage women to use Reiki pre and post surgery as a part of the pre-surgical consultations we offer to help women prepare for surgery. Use of Reiki is one of the modalities that we suggest.


Reiki has added a depth to our energetic interventions that cannot be described with words... Reiki was the missing piece.


An interesting caveat is that for several years, there was no formal written protocol regarding energetic interventions like Reiki. I considered the provision of energetic interventions part of our nursing care. However, last August, I asked Mona Sonkens, a Women’s Care staff nurse to write a department policy regarding Reiki. Mona had served on hospital policy and procedure committees for 14 years. Mona wrote the protocol, which I edited and reviewed and adopted as departmental policy.


Would I suggest that other hospitals do what we have done? I would ask how one can argue with the fact that we are offering Reiki.


Reiki has added a depth to our energetic interventions that cannot be described with words, only experienced by our clients. Reiki was the missing piece. It provided the spiritual component of healing that was not identified in the other modalities.


I believe Reiki has a place in hospitals if we are to make our hospitals authentic places of healing. Just as Reiki works with the healing of our patients and clients, I believe Reiki has created a healing space for itself within our hospital.

Reiki's benefits during pregnancy and for fertility problems:
An expert Reiki practitioner, Hope Cramer explains the effects of Reiki and how they may be beneficial during pregnancy. The positive effects of Reiki can be extended to pregnant women as well as the unborn baby.


Reiki is used during the first stages of pregnancy to relieve the stress and illness that the mother is feeling. Morning sickness and the stress of the body changing can be harmful to the mother. Reiki can restore the balance and health to the mother.


Reiki is safe to use during all stages of pregnancy from conception to childbirth. Couples who are having trouble getting pregnant (fertility problems) sometimes seek Reiki treatments for their reproductive problems. Men as well as women have shown benefits from these Reiki therapy sessions. During pregnancy, tests conducted at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut shows that Reiki used during pregnancy reduced anxiety by 94 percent, nausea by 80 percent, pain by 78 percent and improved sleep by 86 percent.


During labor, pain is associated with the back and pelvic area. Reiki used during this stage has been shown to control and lessen pain during labor. This type of therapy has also shown to make delivery easier on the mom and baby. Also, mothers who have had previous c-sections who receive Reiki in later pregnancies show a clear reduction in the need for cesarean surgeries.


Cramer explains that "it's wonderful for the mother, because it makes the contractions milder and it can help with a whole peaceful feeling."

As far as post-partum treatment, Reiki is shown to reduce the emotional rollercoaster of adjusting to a new baby and is great for stress reduction and anxiety reduction. Mothers who have used Reiki during and after pregnancy can better adjust to their babies. Babies are also better adjusted to the outside world when the mother has had Reiki therapy during her pregnancy.


After the baby is born, it can be a stressful time for the baby. When Reiki is used in the delivery room it makes an easier transition for the baby. It also reduces anxiety, sleep problems, colic, and enhances motor activity and active sleep.


An even newer trend in Reiki during pregnancy is certifying fathers so that they can get involved in the treating of their partner and child. They are able to treat themselves when they feel stressed, treat mom during the different phases of pregnancy and delivery as well as the baby during late night feedings or colic fits.

References (From Hartford Hospital):

  • Barnett, L. and Chambers, M. "Reiki Energy Medicine: Taking Healing Touch into Home, Hospital, and Hospice" (Vermont: Healing Arts, 1996)
  • Brewitt B, Vittetoe T, Hartwell B. The Efficacy of Reiki: Improvements in Spleen and Nervous System Function as Quantified by Electro Dermal Screening. Alternative Ther Health Med. 1997, 3:89-97.
  • Burack, Marsha. "Reiki, Healing Yourself & Others" (Ca: Lo Ro Productions, 1995)
  • Horrigan, B. Reiki Vibrational Healing, an Interview with Pamela Miles. Alternative Therapies. 2003, 9 (4): 75-83.
  • Jackson, Kate. "Reiki - Rising Star in Complementary Cancer Care." Radiology Today. May 2003;10-13.
  • Maansour, Ahlam et al. "A Study to Test the Effectiveness of Placebo Reiki Standardization Procedures Developed for a Planned Reiki Efficacy Study" Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 1999; 5(2): 153-164.
  • Miles, P. Preliminary Report on the Use of Reiki for HIV-Related Pain and Anxiety. Alternative Therapies. 2003, 9 (2): 36.
  • Miles, P. True G. Reiki – Review of a Biofield Therapy: History, Theory, Practice, and Research. Alternative Ther Health Med. 2003, 9 (2): 62-72.
  • Miles, P. Palliative Care Services at the NIH include Reiki and Other Mind-Body Modalities. Advances . 2004, 20 (2):30-31.
  • Moore, Alice. "Reiki Healing Touch: Enhancing the Healing Process." Berkshire Medical Journal. October 2001; 7-9.
  • Olson, K. and Hanson, J. "Using Reiki to Manage Pain: A Preliminary Report." Cancer Prevention and Control, 1 (2): 108-113, June, 1997
  • Oschman, James. Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis. New York: Churchill Livingston. 2000.
  • Prestwood, Karen M. M.D., "Energy Medicine: What Is It, How Does It Work, and What Place Does It Have in Orthopedics?", Techniques in Orthopaedics, ISSN: 0885-9698, March, 2003
  • Rand, W. "Reiki, The Healing Touch, A First and Second Degree Manual" (MI: Vision Publications,1998)
  • Schiller, Robert, MD. "Reiki: A Starting Point for Integrative Medicine." Alternative Therapies. 2003; 9(2):20-24.
  • Schmehr, Robert. "Enhancing the Treatment of HIV/AIDS with Reiki Training and Treatment." Alternative Therapies. 2003; 9(2):120-122.
  • Wardell, Diane, and Engebretson, Joan. "Biological Correlates of Reiki Touch Healing" Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2001; 33 (4):439-448.
  • Wetzel, W. "Reiki Healing: a Physiologic Perspective." Journal of Holistic Nursing. 1989; 7(1):47-53.
From Hartford Hospital, who has done extensive testing regarding the use of Reiki in a hospital setting:

Integrative Medicine - Outcomes

During program development, patient outcome measurements were obtained for Art for Healing, and both employee and patient outcome measurements were obtained for Massage Therapy, and Reiki.

Integrative Medicine

The outcomes below show that patients and employees have responded very positively to these therapies .  Pain, anxiety and nausea were reduced, their ability to sleep improved, and the likelihood of patients choosing Hartford Hospital for future admissions increased.

Patients: Pre and Post Reiki Therapy
Measurements obtained during the initial pilot phase, Dec. 1999 through Dec. 2000

Patients: Pre and Post Reiki Therapy

0 = Very Relaxed/No Pain
10 = Very Tense/ Unbearable Pain)


Patient Satisfaction Rating: Reiki Therapy
Measurements obtained during the initial pilot phase, Dec. 1999 through Dec. 2000

  • 100% "caring" & “professional”

  • 98% “able to answer questions”

  • 75% would definitely want service again 

  • Overall rating: 61% excellent, 32% very good


Employees: Pre and Post Reiki Therapy
Measurements obtained during the initial pilot phase, Dec. 1999 through Dec. 2000

Employees: Pre and Post Reiki Therapy

0 = Very Relaxed/No Pain
10 = Very Tense/ Unbearable Pain)


Patient Satisfaction Rating:
Measurements obtained after the pilot phase and expansion of the program, Jul.-Sep. 2003

Effect on sleep and nausea after Massage or Reiki

Following this service, did your sleep improve?

Following this service, did your sleep improve?

Following this service, was your nausea reduced?

Following this service, was your nausea reduced?


Patient Satisfaction Rating:
Measurements obtained after the pilot phase and expansion of the program, Oct.-Dec. 2003

Likelihood of choosing Hartford Hospital for future admissions because of the Integrative Medicine Program

Likelihood of choosing Hartford Hospital for future admissions because of the Integrative Medicine Program


Outpatients: Pre and Post Massage, Acupuncture, Reiki Therapy
Graph shows effect on anxiety and pain levels for 189 patients seen once a week for 6 weeks in Brownstone Ambulatory Clinic 1/8/03 - 12/3/04 (76 receiving acupuncture, 84 receiving massage, 36 receiving Reiki)

Pre and Post Massage, Acupuncture, Reiki Therapy


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