What is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing.

How can Reiki benefit you?

Reiki is a simple, natural and safe therapy that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping a wide variety of illnesses and maladies and works in conjunction with medical treatments to relieve side effects and promote recovery.

In addition to stress-reduction and symptom relief, other subtle and profound effects may unfold over time. Reiki works from a subtle level of our existence, where imbalance begins. As we regain balance, superficial symptoms often disappear, and the body's innate healing potential is enhanced. Whereas specific results are never promised and vary widely from person to person, Reiki can be a valuable addition to any treatment plan or well-being program. Because Reiki is extremely gentle, it is appropriate in any situation. It will not interfere with any medical interventions being used, and often can provide comfort and relief from their side effects.

What happens in a session?

The individual will lie fully clothed on a massage table while the provider gently places their hands on the individual. During the session, individuals report a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and surrounds them. The Reiki session fosters letting go of tension, anxiety, fear or other negative feelings, frequently resulting in a state of peace and well-being. Sessions generally last 40- 60 minutes and at the end of the treatment, individuals report feeling refreshed, positive, and balanced. There is a cumulative effect of receiving Reiki over time and a series of sessions are recommended.

Reiki and Cancer

Reiki can assist individuals with cancer by supporting wellbeing and helping to reduce side-effects of cancer treatment. Patients frequently report less pain, nausea, and fatigue and a feeling of deep relaxation and peace. It is gentle and safe, with no known negative effects, and it can be effective with any stage and any type of cancer. 

Where is Reiki used?

Reiki is practiced around the world and is used in spas, wellness centers, hospitals, hospices, and nursing homes, as well as many private Reiki practices. Numerous hospitals have Reiki programs including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Integrative Medicine, New York, NY, and George Washington University Hospital, Center for Integrative Medicine, Washington, DC.

Origins and philosophy

Reiki, developed by a physician in Japan in the early 1900’s, has an eastern perspective, and is deceptively simple in its techniques. It is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.


More information

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research.  The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), part of the NIH, has a review of many complementary therapies. Here is the NCCAM page on Reiki.