When people ask what Reiki is, the follow-up question is usually “How does Reiki work?” One of the best answers I’ve seen to this question is an article that explains many of the scientific phenomena behind hands-on energy therapy. So in my next couple of Reiki Reports, I’ll give you the Cliff’s Notes version of the article, and if you want to know more, you can read the full article here.
The effects of hands-on energy therapy are the result of physical processes, not the placebo effect. To control for the potential for a placebo effect, a study was conducted with mice. The mice were injected with a form of breast cancer with a predicted rate of 100% between 14 and 27 days following injection. Half of the mice were treated with hands-on energy healing for an hour a day for 30 days. The study was replicated four times, and 87.9% of the mice treated with hands-on energy healing lived, while 100% of the control group (those mice not treated) died within the predicted timeframe.
Reiki has electrical and magnetic qualities that can be measured. You might be surprised to know that energy-based technologies are nothing new to Western medicine. Everyday examples include the electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) and electroencephalogram (EEG), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, and lasers, among others.
Reiki is a form of “energy work,” and energy manifests in many different ways. Electrical and magnetic energies are among the easiest to measure, and living tissues conduct electricity and form a magnetic field around the body. This biomagnetic energy field is sometimes referred to as one’s “aura” and can even be thought of as what is commonly referred to as one’s “personal space.” Tools such as the magnetometer and the superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) have recently been developed to measure the effects of magnetic fields on living beings.
Pulsing magnetic fields from the hands of Reiki therapists are in the same frequency ranges that are optimal for stimulating tissue repair. In the 1970s the FDA approved Pulsing Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF), which uses an electrical current of 7 Hz for bone healing. In general the optimal electromagnetic frequencies for stimulating tissue repair fall in the “extremely low frequency” (ELF) range, which ranges from about 0.3 to 30 Hz. And… you guessed it — the frequency emitted from the hands of Reiki practitioners falls in the ELF range, with 7 Hz being the most common frequency measured.
So no wonder Reiki is being used more and more in hospitals across the country! Stay tuned for next month’s article, which will continue to explore the science behind Reiki.