Reiki & Cancer

According to the Cancer Nutrition Centres of America (CNCA) website, to date, there have been some intriguing studies published that have demonstrated Reiki’s potential healing effects, including:

Pain and Anxiety Relief Following Surgery: Women who received three 30-minute sessions of Reiki along with traditional nursing care after abdominal hysterectomy reported less pain and anxiety and requested fewer pain medications than those who received only nursing care.(1)

Improvements in Pain, Depression and Anxiety in Older Adults: Older community-dwelling adults who received a 30-minute Reiki session once a week for eight weeks reported significant decreases in depression, anxiety and pain compared to those who received no treatment.(2)

Management of Cancer-Related Pain: In a study of advanced cancer patients, those who received Reiki in addition to pain medication experienced improvements in pain control and quality of life.(3)

Significant Reduction in Pain from a Variety of Causes, including Cancer: In a study of 20 people experiencing pain at 55 locations for a variety of reasons, including cancer, Reiki treatment resulted in a highly significant reduction in pain.(4)

Easing Anxiety in Prostate Cancer Patients: A pilot study found that Reiki therapy may help reduce anxiety in men being treated with external beam radiotherapy for prostate cancer.(5)

Reduction of Pain and Anxiety During Colonoscopy: A pilot study suggested that Reiki therapy may reduce pain and anxiety, along with the need for pain medication, during colonoscopy.(6)

Other research suggests Reiki may also:(7)
  • Impact autonomic nervous system functions such as heart rate, blood pressure and breathing activity(8)
  • Reduce symptoms of depression and stress
  • Improve mood and energy levels among people recovering from stroke
  • Reduce perception of pain and fatigue, and improve quality of life among cancer patients
  • Improve behavioral and memory problems in people with mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s disease
  • Help HIV/AIDS patients to reduce pain and anxiety

1. Holistic Nursing Practice 2006 Nov-Dec;20(6):263-72; quiz 273-4.

2. Research in Gerontological Nursing 2010 Jul;3(3):187-99.
3. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 2003 Nov;26(5):990-7.
4. Cancer Prevention & Control 1997 Jun;1(2):108-13.
5. Cancer Volume 117, Issue 1, pages 96–102, 1 January 2011
6. Gastroenterology Nursing 2010 Jan-Feb;33(1):20-6.
7. Aetna InteliHealth Complementary & Alternative Medicine
8. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 2004 Dec;10(6):1077-81.

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

"According to a study published on PubMed, the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh reported that 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."

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