Reiki and ScienceThere is an increasing body of evidence through research that Reiki and other similar modalities are demonstrable through Western science. There has always been a theoretical basis for the validity of Reiki. Physics has always held that those phenomena which are not forbidden by the laws of physics can exist. Quantum physics extends this assertion by demonstrating that light can be either a particle phenomenon or a wave phenomenon according to the nature of the experiment and the state of mind of the observer. Recently, rudimentary information transfer at speeds greater than the speed of light has been shown to exist. Western physics has always noted the flow of electricity in the human body and demonstrated its variations through EKG and EEG tracings. The brain waves and heart waves thus demonstrated have been invaluable in the practice of medicine. Recently, in addition to the use of X-rays, medical research has popularized the use of CAT scans, PET scans, and MRI scans, all of which utilize detection of energy flows within the body as diagnostic aids. We take these manifestations of energy flows in the body as part of normal science. A special word of caution - Western science has been forced to use many Eastern energy terms, since there are none available in Western science. In these studies, these terms are used without any scientific, religious or cultural meanings whatsoever. They are only used to designate the phenomena being studied and their locations or functions.
Certain treatment modalities, such as chiropractic and homeopathy, have only recently gained respectability in the medical community, as more information validating them has come to light. Aryuvedic medicine is just on the horizon of this acceptance, as is the use of herbs to replace or supplement drugs. Just recently, I saw magnetic pads for various parts of the body in local drug stores - for the relief of pain. Magnetic fields are one form of external energy which can affect the body. CNN reports that magnets may lessen migraine headaches. This means that energy fields can be used to alter migraines. Therefore, the use of Reiki as an external energy application will doubtless be studied in this area.
Recently, the Eastern discipline of acupuncture, once thought to be superstition or the result of the placebo effect, has become accepted as a valid treatment modality. The acupuncture meridians can now be demonstrated through the use of lab equipment, especially TENS units, which measure changes in body electrical resistance. The discipline of acupressure uses the same points on the body, without the use of needles. Reiki is thought to affect the same meridians, since certain studies have been able to demonstrate a change in the meridiens when Reiki is used.
Kirlian photography has been able to show the human energy field(s), once called the aura, using double blind studies, getting the same results as clairvoyant persons report as to color and location of the field(s). The hands of psychic healers have been photographed , both before, during, and after treatment. The flow of Reiki has also been shown using Kirlian photography.
In Israel, double blind studies showed that in-vitro fertilization successes were enhanced substantially beyond chance by using Reiki on the fertilized eggs. In this country and in Europe, studies show that chronic and acute pain seems to be reduced substantially when Reiki is added to the treatment. Chinese lab studies of Qi Gong masters show emissions from the Lao Gong points on the palms which, when active, emit waves in the infra-red through microwave frequencies. Therapeutic Touch studies show beneficial results in this country. Psychotherapy seems to benefit from a concomitant use of Reiki. Even if some of these are the result of the "placebo effect", Dr. Herbert Benson has said that if only we could find a reliable way of triggering such a response, that way would have great medical benefits. Reiki may be one such way.
Research in the fields of psychology, oncology, immunology, and cardiology has shown that the reduction of stress has immediate important positive effects on the immune system and cell changes, as well as in the avoidance of pathology. Many diseases are related to excess stress. Can Reiki be of help, since it reduces stress?
Reiki is currently in use as a complementary therapy at the Tucson Medical Center in Arizona, the Portsmouth Regional Hospital in New Hampshire, and at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York. The Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) Medical School, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, Marian General Hospital, and the California Pacific Medical Center all offer Reiki to their patients. In Cleveland, hospitals are considering setting up a Reiki clinic. In Vermont, there is already a Complementary Medicine clinic at Windsor Hospital where Reiki practitioners are working. A recent newspaper article indicates that there are at least 65 Reiki practitioners among the doctors and nurses at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. There are other hospitals in Vermont, New Jersey and California which have permitted Reiki as a stress-reduction modality. New hospitals are being added to this list almost daily.
I will try to use this page to report on additional documented information about the use of Reiki and related energy modalities, as such information becomes available. Where possible, I will include links to web sites where the information is available. I recognize that the use of Reiki for anything other than relaxation and stress reduction is very experimental at this time.