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  • Reiki is an ancient Asian healing technique for stress reduction and relaxation. It promotes healing by stimulating the immune system. Reiki is thought to help relieve physical and emotional symptoms.

    What is involved?

    Reiki is administered by "laying on of hands" by a qualified practitioner. The patient is fully or partially clothed and lies on a table or bed faced up or down. The practitioner places his or her hands on various parts of the body. Reiki may also be done in a chair or sitting position.

    What has been proven?

    The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words — Rei, which means "Higher Power," and Ki which means "life force energy." Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind, and spirit and creates many beneficial effects including relaxation and feelings of peace, security and well-being. Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that most everyone can benefit from. It has been found to be effective in helping every known illness, including cancer. It may be used in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote quality of life. Reiki energy is non-invasive and safe. The practitioner using the "laying on of hands" serves as a conduit for "life force energy," (Ki-chi-prana-spirit) that which flows through the physical body through energy pathways. Practitioners believe this energy nourishes cells and organs of the body. When the energy flow in the body is disrupted or uneven it causes physical changes that lead to physical or emotional symptoms.

    Possible Side Effects

    • Reiki may cause the following initial reactions, but these are usually temporary and are part of the necessary healing process:
    • Emotional release (laughter, crying, etc.), gastric upset, mild nausea, diarrhea, body sensations like tingling feeling, headache, etc.

    Special considerations

    It is recommended that you only receive treatment from a qualified practitioner. Speak with your physician about using this modality along with your current treatment, never as a substitute.

    By making this information available neither the Patient Family Education Council nor Dana-Farber Cancer Institute makes any recommendations, promises, or guarantees the effectiveness of this complementary therapy. For any serious condition please contact your doctor before trying any new therapy. If you do decide to try this modality of therapy, please inform your doctor or nurse so all practitioners can work together to help you in the healing process. 

  • Integrative Therapies