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In this session of the website you’ll find some medical literature published on the PubMed website. 


PubMed is a free search engine that provides access to the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE database, which contains more than 30 million citations and abstracts for biomedical literature. PubMed was developed and is maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States.


Reiki therapy for pain, anxiety and quality of life.

PMID: 30948444 DOI: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2019-001775

2019 Dec;9(4):434-438.



The use of complementary and alternative therapies is growing year after year, and Reiki therapy takes a place of choice. Reiki therapy, classed as a biofield energy therapy, raises the question of validity when applied to patients, especially in palliative care. The purpose of this review is to highlight the effects of Reiki therapy on pain, anxiety/depression and quality of life of patients, specifically in palliative care. The current article indicates that Reiki therapy is useful for relieving pain, decreasing anxiety/depression and improving quality of life in several conditions. Due to the small number of studies in palliative care, we were unable to clearly identify the benefits of Reiki therapy, but preliminary results tend to show some positive effects of Reiki therapy for the end-of-life population. These results should encourage teams working in palliative care to conduct more studies to determine the benefits of Reiki therapy on pain, anxiety/depression and quality of life in palliative care.


Link to the article:

Reiki Therapy for Very Young Hospitalized Children Receiving Palliative Care.

PMID: 35722865 DOI: 10.1177/27527530211059435

2022 Jan-Feb;39(1):15-29.


Background: Approximately half of children receiving palliative care are under age five; however, there are a few studies exploring palliative care interventions for this population. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of Reiki on pain, stress, heart, and respiratory rates, oxygenation, and quality of life (QoL) in hospitalized young children receiving palliative care services. Methods: In this single-group pilot study, hospitalized children receiving palliative care who were aged 1-5 years received two Reiki sessions per week for 3 weeks. Physiologic measures were assessed pre/post each session, and parent report measures of pain and QOL were collected at baseline, 3 weeks, and 6 weeks. The parent rating of Reiki's perceived efficacy and their own symptoms were also measured. Results: Sixteen families consented. Children had a mean age of 26 months and included nine boys and seven girls. Results were not significant but there were medium-to-large clinical effect sizes for children's QoL, stress, oxygenation, heart, and respiratory rates. Parents' physical and mental health scores decreased over time. Children exhibited signs of relaxation such as quiet sleep post-Reiki versus active awake pre-Reiki session. Conclusion: Reiki is a noninvasive relaxing therapy that is useful for hospitalized young children receiving palliative care. The children reacted positively in both action and outcome measures. Multisite studies with larger sample sizes are needed to be able to generate enough scientific evidence to fully recommend Reiki as an adjunct for pain management.


Link to the article:


Feasibility and Acceptability of Reiki Therapy for Children Receiving Palliative Care in the Home.

PMID: 33252426 PMCID: PMC7785613 DOI: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000714

2021 Feb 1;23(1):52-58.



Reiki is often used but not well studied in children. Yet, this gentle, light-touch therapy promotes relaxation and is appropriate for those receiving palliative care. This quasi-experimental pre-post mixed-methods 1-group pilot study examined the feasibility and acceptability of Reiki therapy as a treatment for children aged 7 to 16 years receiving palliative care. During the study, we recorded recruitment, retention, data collection rates, and percent completion of the intervention. Structured interviews with the mothers and verbal children were conducted to elicit their experience. Qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Twenty-one parent-child dyads agreed to participate and signed consent, whereas 16 completed the study (including verbal [n = 8] and nonverbal [n = 8] children). Themes included "feeling better," "hard to judge," and "still going on." Mothers and children were generally positive regarding the experience of receiving Reiki therapy. Children reported they "felt really relaxed," and mothers stated, "It was a good experience" and "She was relaxed afterward." The results of this pilot study show that Reiki was feasible, acceptable, and well-tolerated. Most participants reported it was helpful. Reiki therapy may be a useful adjunct with traditional medical management for symptoms in children receiving palliative care.


Copyright © 2020 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. All rights reserved.


Link to the article:


Feasibility and Acceptability of a Reiki Intervention With Very Young Children Receiving Palliative Care.

PMID: 34262006 DOI: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000540

2021 Nov-Dec;70(6):469-474.



Background: Very little research has been reported examining nonpharmacological symptom management strategies for very young, hospitalized children receiving palliative care, and none has involved Reiki-a light touch therapy.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine if completing a Reiki intervention with hospitalized 1- to 5-year-old children with chronic, life-limiting conditions receiving palliative care was feasible and acceptable.


Methods: Children ages 1-5 years receiving palliative care who were expected to be hospitalized for at least 3 weeks were recruited for a single-arm, mixed-methods, quasi-experimental pre- and poststudy. Six protocolized Reiki sessions were conducted over 3 weeks. We calculated feasibility by the percentage of families enrolled in the study and acceptability by the percentage of families who completed all measures and five out of six Reiki sessions. Measures were collected at baseline, at the end of the intervention period, and 3 weeks later. At the final follow-up visit, parents were verbally asked questions relating to the acceptability of the intervention in a short structured interview.


Results: We screened 90 families, approached 31 families, and recruited 16 families, whereas 15 families declined. Reasons for not participating included that the child had "a lot going on," would be discharged soon, and families were overwhelmed. Of those enrolled, most completed all measures at three time points and five out of six Reiki sessions. We completed nearly all scheduled Reiki sessions for families that finished the study. All parents reported that they would continue the Reiki if they could, and almost all said they would participate in the study again; only one parent was unsure.


Discussion: Young children and their parents found Reiki acceptable; these results are comparable to an earlier study of children 7-16 years of age receiving palliative care at home and a study of massage for symptom management for hospitalized children with cancer. These findings add to the literature and support further investigation of Reiki's efficacy as a nonpharmacological symptom management intervention.


Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Link to the article:


Symptomatic improvement reported after receiving Reiki at a cancer infusion center.

PMID: 23221065 DOI: 10.1177/1049909112469275

2013 Mar;30(2):216-7.



Objective: To evaluate patient-perceived benefits from receiving Reiki at a cancer infusion center.


Methods: During a 6-month period, adults at a university hospital receiving Reiki through volunteer services were invited to complete a survey asking about perceived changes after Reiki. Changes in pain, mood, distress, sleep, and appetite were rated on a 5-point scale from no benefit to great benefit. Surveys were distributed after completing treatment and were returned in postage-paid envelopes.


Results: A total of 145 surveys were completed (34.5% response rate), with 47 participants seen in the cancer infusion center and 98 in other areas of the hospital. Reiki was rated as a positive experience by 94% at the cancer center and 93% of others, with 92% at the cancer center and 86% of others interested in receiving additional Reiki sessions. Symptomatic improvement was similar for people at the cancer center and others, respectively, with much to great improvement for 89% and 86% for relaxation, 75% and 75% for anxiety/worry, 81% and 78% for improved mood, 43% and 35% for improved sleep, 45% and 49% for reduced pain, 38% and 43% for reduced isolation/loneliness, 75% and 63% for improved attitude, and 30% and 30% for improved appetite. Response was unaffected by previous exposure to Reiki, massage, or other touch therapy.


Conclusion: Reiki results in a broad range of symptomatic benefits, including improvements in common cancer-related symptoms.


Link to the article:


The Power of Reiki: Feasibility and Efficacy of Reducing Pain in Children With Cancer Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

PMID: 31046557 DOI: 10.1177/1043454219845879

2019 Sep/Oct;36(5):361-368.



Purpose: Reiki is a growing complementary therapy in pediatric oncology that needs evidence to become more credible among the health community. A within-subject design experiment was conducted to pilot testing the feasibility and efficacy of Reiki to provide pain relief among pediatric patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Method: Pediatric patients undergoing HSCT during the inpatient phase in the Stem Cell Transplantation Unit were eligible to participate to the pilot study. Short and medium effects were assessed investigating the increase or decrease of patient's pain during three specific time periods ("delta") of the day: morning of the Reiki session versus assessment before Reiki session (within subjects control period), assessment before Reiki session versus assessment after Reiki session (within subjects experimental period) and assessment after Reiki session versus morning the day after Reiki session (within subject follow-up period). The long-term effects were verified comparing the pain evolution in the day of the Reiki session with the following rest day. Results: The effect of 88 Reiki therapy sessions in nine patients (Mage = 12; Female = 61%) was analyzed following a short, medium, and long-term perspective. Repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed a significant difference among the three periods (F = 17,17 p < .0001): A decrease of the pain occurred in the experimental period in short and medium term, while in the follow-up period, the pain level remained stable. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the feasibility of using Reiki therapy in pediatric cancer patients undergoing HSCT. Furthermore, these findings evidence that trained pediatric oncology nurses can insert Reiki into their clinical practice as a valid instrument for diminishing suffering from cancer in childhood.


Link to the article:


The effect of reiki on pain: A meta-analysis

PMID: 29551623 DOI: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2018.02.020

2018 May;31:384-387



Objective: Pain is one of the most common symptoms and may lead to important psychological, mental, and physiological problems in individuals. According to data by The Center for Reiki Research, Reiki is an effective approach to decrease the levels of pain, depression, and anxiety. Therefore, the aim of this meta-analysis was to investigate the effect of Reiki on pain level.


Methods: Randomized controlled clinical trials in databases of Pubmed, ISI Web of Sciences, and Google Scholar were investigated. 4 randomized controlled studies involving 212 participants were included in the meta-analysis.


Results: The result obtained after the final Reiki application was evaluated in VAS pain score. When Reiki (n = 104) group was compared with control group (n = 108), standardized mean difference was observed to be -0.927 (95% CI: -1.867 to 0.0124). Reiki was observed to cause a statistically significant decrease in VAS score.


Conclusion: Consequently, this meta-analysis revealed that Reiki was an effective approach in relieving the pain.


Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Link to the article:


The effects of Reiki therapy on pain and anxiety in patients attending a day oncology and infusion services unit.

PMID: 21998438 DOI: 10.1177/1049909111420859

2012 Jun;29(4):290-4.



Reiki is a system of natural healing techniques administered by laying of hands and transferring energy from the Reiki practitioner to the recipient. We investigated the role of Reiki in the management of anxiety, pain and global wellness in cancer patients. Building on the results of a pilot project conducted between 2003 and 2005 by a volunteer association at our hospital, a wider, 3-year study was conducted at the same center. The volunteer Reiki practitioners received 2 years of theory and practical training. The study population was 118 patients (67 women and 51 men; mean age, 55 years) with cancer at any stage and receiving any kind of chemotherapy. Before each session, the nurses collected the patient's personal data and clinical history. Pain and anxiety were evaluated according to a numeric rating scale by the Reiki practitioners. Each session lasted about 30 min; pain and anxiety scores were recorded using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS), together with a description of the physical feelings the patients perceived during the session. All 118 patients received at least 1 Reiki treatment (total number, 238). In the subgroup of 22 patients who underwent the full cycle of 4 treatments, the mean VAS anxiety score decreased from 6.77 to 2.28 (P <.000001) and the mean VAS pain score from 4.4 to 2.32 (P = .091). Overall, the sessions were felt helpful in improving well-being, relaxation, pain relief, sleep quality and reducing anxiety. Offering Reiki therapy in hospitals could respond to patients' physical and emotional needs.


Link to the article:


Other articles not published on PubMed


Reiki program at Hartford HealthCare among the oldest in US

Jan 24, 2023


The reiki program at Hartford HealthCare is among the oldest in the country.

Learn how the holistic approach benefits patients with chronic pain. 

The content below has been provided by Hartford HealthCare and has no editorial input from News 12 Connecticut.


Cleveland Clinic

What Is Reiki, and Does it Really Work?

Here’s how this energy-healing practice can help balance you.

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