The Evidence

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Reiki

Hundreds of hospitals, clinics & hospices across the U.S. &  Europe  offer Reiki to accelerate healing, support pain management, reduce anxiety, stress & depression, & comfort the dying. In many countries, Reiki treatments are a usual component of treatment plans. 

Studies have demonstrated a significant reduction in stress, anxiety & depression.  Reiki was tested against a placebo in a multi-site study that assessed the effect on people's autonomic nervous system; results showed that blood pressure, heart rate and respiration rates were lowered after just one treatment. 

Nurses suffering from Burnout Syndrome experienced significant improvement in relaxation response.

Reiki has been favourably compared with physiotherapy in the treatment of shoulder pain; memory & depression significantly improved in adults with mild cognitive impairment. 

Other peer-reviewed studies have found positive results with Reiki on: pain after tooth extraction, pre-operative relaxation and post-op pain, chronic pain, depression, and stress. Eighty-three per cent of rigorously controlled studies indicated a satisfactory or excellent response to Reiki. 

Investigations are underway that are finding positive effects on cellular regeneration and blood vessel relaxation, particularly where stress has been a factor in tissue damage. 

The highly respected Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews  critically appraised 24 studies of Touch Therapy (including Reiki), determining that a moderate positive effect was apparent on pain in adults, with two studies finding a reduction in the use of analgesics.  

Biological markers related to stress & immune response improve from reiki i.e. salivary IgA & cortisol, blood pressure, galvanic skin response, muscle tension & skin temperature. 

Several progressive health care facilities report benefits from Reiki including: reduced anxiety, less use of pain medications, increased satisfaction of surgical patients, reduced feelings of loneliness, insomnia, pain and support with recovery from mental illness & addictions.

View more than 80 studies on Reiki summarized by the Center for Reiki Research's Touchstone Process at http://www.centerforreikiresearch.org

Aromatherapy

The process of extracting medicinal oils from plants is well established. Ancient cultures have used these oils in their healing practices for thousands of years, and forward thinking practitioners  are integrating essential oils into their patient care.

When essential oils are inhaled, olfactory pathways connected to the brain are stimulated. These pathways can influence physical, emotional and mental health through their activity in the limbic system.  

A reduction of stress & anxiety is the most commonly studied effect of aromatherapy; however clinical trials are showing early evidence of improved quality of life in cancer patients, and topical applications of certain oils demonstrating effects on reducing bacterial growth e.g. studies examining gingivitis & MRSA. Other conditions offer mixed results.

Sound Healing

It's widely accepted that music - essentially, sounds - have the ability to soothe, enhance athletic performance, increase energy or even stir memory and emotion. The "Mozart Effect" described the increase in spatial IQ after listening to a Mozart sonata. But what does the literature tell us about the subtle effects of sound on our brains? Can the therapeutic application of sound really play a part in our wellness or dis-ease?

Studies on mindfulness & meditation clearly show positive changes to brain waves. But can the external application of sound waves mimic the same meditative state? At this point, the evidence is arguably not robust enough to suggest this. However, a solid body of literature supports the therapeutic use of music and sound, particularly on stress & anxiety reduction. 

A randomized controlled study of 108 pre-operative patients examined the effect of binaural beats on anxiety. A 26% reduction in anxiety in the binaural group was statistically significant.

Neuroscientist Jessica Grahn at the University of Western Ontario, is studying the ways music & rhythm can help the brain & entrain muscles in people suffering from Parkinson's Disease. 

The use of audio tones, chimes, drumming or chanting complement the relaxation response inherent in Reiki. And that "sounds" good.

The Future of Healing

"Reiki energy...is the newest form of healing on the horizon." -Dr. Lonnie Zeltzer, UCLA Paediatric Pain Clinic

"Energy medicine is the future of medicine." -Dr. Mehmet Oz, Cardiac Surgeon, New York Presbyterian Hospital