Caution: Some complementary agents or therapies may be useful for cancer patients; however, some may be harmful in certain situations. MD Anderson Cancer Center cautions patients to consult with their oncologist before attempting to use any agents or therapies referenced on these pages. Inclusion of an agent, therapy or resource on this CIMER Web site does not imply endorsement by MD Anderson Cancer Center.
- This review is based upon articles published as of 4/30/2006
- Information on the scientific basis of Reiki therapy is provided in the Detailed Scientific Review.
Reiki ("Ray Key") is a form of energy therapy in which the focus of the practitioner, with or without light touch, are believed to access universal energy sources that can assist in balancing the biofield and strengthening the body’s ability to heal. (The word reiki is derived from the Japanese words rei meaning "universal, highest or non-dual" and ki meaning "subtle or bio-energetic".) Reiki was originally developed by Mikao Usui (1878-1940), a Buddhist monk, and brought to the U. S. by Mrs. Hawayo Takata (1900-1980), a first generation American who told of being restored to health through its practices.
Research concerning Reiki is in its very early stages so it is not possible to reach any definite conclusions about its effectiveness.
Sessions vary in length according to need, but are usually from 45 to 75 minutes long.
How it is taken
The hands of a Reiki practitioner are lightly placed on 12 positions on the head and torso of a person who is fully clothed and either seated or lying down.
No side effects have been reported in the literature.
No risks have been identified in the literature.
To avoid potential interactions, be sure to let your health care provider know if you use this or any other type of complementary therapy.
Authors and Editors
Nancy C. Russell, Dr.P.H., senior health education specialist, Integrative Medicine Program Education Component
Reviewers and editors:
Deanna Cuello, program coordinator, Place...of wellness
Lorenzo P. Cohen, Ph.D., director, Integrative Medicine Program