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Denise Millstine

, MD, Mayo Clinic

Last full review/revision Sep 2018| Content last modified Sep 2018
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Reiki, which originated in Japan, is a type of energy medicine. In Reiki, practitioners intend to channel energy through their hands and transfer it into the patient’s body to promote healing.

High-quality clinical trials of Reiki are limited, and evidence is mixed. A systematic review of Reiki in the treatment of pain and anxiety suggested beneficial results (1). Other systematic reviews have not shown a benefit in depression (2) or other clinical conditions (3).


  • 1. Thrane S, Cohen SM: Effect of Reiki therapy on pain and anxiety in adults: an in-depth literature review of randomized trials with effect size calculations. Pain Manag Nurs 15(4):897-908, 2014. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2013.07.008.

  • 2. Joyce J, Herbison GP: Reiki for depression and anxiety. Cochrane Database Syst Rev (4):CD006833, 2015. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006833.pub2.

  • 3. Lee MS, Pittler MH, Ernst E Effects of Reiki in clinical practice: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials. Int J Clin Pract 62(6):947-54, 2008. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2008.01729.x.

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