Reiki Is Safe

Reiki treatment is safe when used with common sense, to support and not replace medical care.

There are no known medical contraindications to Reiki practice, no time when it is inappropriate. That is a huge statement, and a very important one, so let’s examine it carefully.

Reiki practice is balancing

Reiki practice is balancing to the individual’s system. The more balanced a system is, the less stressed it is. The less stressed the system is, the more resilient it is, and the more efficiently it self-heals.

Reiki practice encourages the receiver’s system to regain balance and thus optimizes self-healing. Reiki treatment supports and does not override the body’s natural process of self-healing.

When Reiki practice is used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for someone with a medical diagnosis, the Reiki treatment does not address the disease or any symptom directly. Rather, Reiki treatment encourages the person’s system toward balance so that the person is better able to address both the disease, and the side effects of medical treatment.

Reiki treatment supports the person undergoing medical treatment, and does not interfere with the processes involved in the medical treatment.

Reiki treatment delivery

Besides looking at the treatment itself, health care also looks at how a treatment is delivered, meaning how it gets to the patient.

It is conceivable, for example, that there might be reasons why a treatment that might help a patient cannot be safely delivered to that patient. For example, some cancer patients who could theoretically be helped by massage might be too fragile to be able to safely receive massage, or there might be limitations as to what parts of the body could be safely massaged (perhaps hands and feet only).

Reiki treatment is most often delivered through light, non-invasive contact. The Reiki practitioner’s hand can also hover just above the body. In a quarantine situation, the Reiki practitioner offers treatment while wearing gloves and whatever protective clothing the hospital requires.

Since Reiki touch is non-manipulative (or non-contact), it carries no contraindications.

The delivery of Reiki treatment involves no substances. The receiver is not asked to swallow anything, nor is any substance applied to the skin. There is nothing material involved in Reiki practice that could interfere with medical care or impact the receiver’s health.

Therefore, from a conventional healthcare perspective, there are no known medical contraindications, no time when Reiki practice is unsafe.

Use common sense

It is always safe to offer Reiki treatment, as long as you are also taking care of whatever else is needed. For example, in an emergency, you can place a Reiki hand on the victim while calling 911.

Reiki practice is not a replacement for needed conventional medical care, but used sensibly, Reiki treatment can be a valuable resource that can help improve health care outcomes.

If you have a specific question or comment, please post it below.


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29 thoughts on “Reiki Is Safe”

  1. Hello I have a client fitted with a ICD pacemaker following cardiac arrest 5 years ago , no further heart problems since the cardiac arrest. She would love to have reiki but wanted to check if safe First

  2. What a great discussion! I find the number of myths and misunderstandings about Reiki to be astounding. I practice based upon two beliefs that I was taught by my teacher, one of Mrs. Takata’s masters. First is the concept that Reiki is the flow of universal energy and it holds the power and the intelligence as to balance and heal, I am merely a channel. It is important that I “get out of the way” so to speak and practice the intention that the power greater than me will guide. The second concept is that of permission. I only treat with permission of the receiver, or if they are unable to provide it, I ask their higher self. The energy will not flow if it is not desired. Just as my dog will get up and walk away when she does not wish Reiki (or has had enough), I feel the energy blocked in my hands when someone does not wish it. I have yet to be in a situation where I felt that Reiki would harm, but should I ever get that sense, then I would not give it.

    As to using Reiki on cancer patients, my husband is a cancer patient and a second degree practitioner. He is still early in his treatment, so the outcome is unknown. And since there will be no double blind studies as to the efficacy, we will never know. He is using western medicine and TCM/acupuncture to treat his very rare and aggressive cancer. Each night I give him Reiki as we go to sleep. When he was hospitalized with acute renal failure, I was giving Reiki on the bottom of his feet, when I suddenly felt a surge of “power” go through my hand and up his leg. He felt it also. It felt like we had somehow unblocked a channel. He has since recovered from the renal failure and his kidneys are working well.

    1. Beth, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I wish your husband the very best in his recovery.

      Is it possible that the meridian unblocking (assuming that’s what happened) happened as a result of your husband’s self healing response to your Reiki treatment?

      1. It most certainly is possible. I do not know exactly what happened but am grateful that it did. Whatever part I may play by being a channel is a blessing. You would not believe the number of procedures and complications and tests my husband has gone through in the last six months, but he is doing really well, his spirit is strong. I believe that all of the things that we do, chemotherapy, acupuncture, TCM, Reiki all contribute to the goal of healing.

  3. Reiki being a mindful divine energy transmitted to a patient through induction the human body is not at all tilted and nothing negative happens to the over all health condition of the patient. I have self healed my 34 year old eczema on both legs with a side effect of knowing my Divine Life-Spirit closer.

    1. Happy to hear you have had a good response to treatment.

      Regarding your comments about why Reiki practice is safe, while I respect your opinion/beliefs, it is not reasonable to offer one’s personal beliefs as validation of safety. We need to help people think it through, especially those of us who are professionals.

  4. Hello Abby,
    Regarding Reiki and cancer. I had a dear friend diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer and we began doing Reiki on a weekly basis. The statistics for a stage 4 diagnosis are pretty bleak. My friend followed all the western medical advice and treatments while doing the weekly Reiki treatments. Reiki helped her with the many side effects caused by chemo which included nausea, fatigue, sleep issues etc. She reported feeling so much better after a Reiki session sleeping better, absence of nausea, anxiety and increaded energy. She did haver several surgeries over the years and we took Reiki to the hospital also. It was very validating for me to be able to see her heart rate and blood pressure decrease on the monitors while doing reiki. Her doctors were always commenting on how she was beating the odds because they originally estimated 1 year or less with her aggressive cancer. She opted not to tell her Docs about the reiki treatments but continually stated that she always felt so much better after each session and lived another 7 years to see her second grandchild born enter kindergarten. After each session, we would talk and were always amazed as each and every weekly session for the 7 years was always unique and very different. I was very happy that I had the Reiki training and was able to share this with her.

  5. Dear Pamela,

    When we do hands on healing for other do we get energy of that person.?
    What if you are thinking something else while give reiki to ourself.?Reiki is completely safe?

    1. Kiran, our individuality is rather permeable and people can pick up another person’s energy at any time, such as when sitting by someone on a bus. It is a matter of personal boundaries, and really has nothing to do with practicing Reiki.

      This article by Susan Mitchell, a Reiki master who was a student of Hawayo Takata, addresses safety from another perspective You might find it helpful.

  6. Hi Pamela,

    I am really glad I stumbled upon this site! Thank you for your information! I do have a question; I have been encouraged by multiple Mediums and others to learn Reiki to help balance myself while fulfilling my desire to help others.

    I have been researching, and stumbled upon various articles that mention the “dark side of Reiki”, that it can attract negative as well as positive and the practitioner must be able to protect themselves from this. Especially for people who are already emotionally tuned to things, as well as ‘newbies’ who many not know how.

    What are your thoughts?

    1. There is no dark side to true Reiki practice, just as there is no dark side to meditation practice.

      That said, it is important for the public to realize that there are no standards for Reiki training and treatment. People can do whatever they want and call it Reiki. There may be people doing “dark” things under the guise of Reiki, but that doesn’t mean Reiki practice itself attracts darkness.

      Here is an article that will help you ascertain who is a qualified teacher

  7. Are there any drugs that interfere with reiki therapy, such as anti-psychotics, pain meds, etc? I have terrible insomnia. It may be caused by too high a dosage of synthroid, but my labs show that I my TSH is on the low end of normal and my endocrinologist isn’t ready to change my dosage. Regardless, I am left to taking various sleep inducing meds and am wondering if any of those interfere with my system’s response to reiki.

    1. Very good question, Dan. Let’s look at the broad view first.

      Reiki practice is balancing overall. No matter what is happening in your system, Reiki practice will influence it toward its own unique balance. Side effects of medication may be part of what needs to be balanced. If there are glands or organs that are not functioning optimally, restoring function is part of the balancing process.

      Is there a point at which medications might overtake the body’s ability to function through interfering with the delicate web of relationships of the system’s many parts and thus stall the body’s ability to balance? It is certainly conceivable.

      In terms of the specific question you asked — whether any of the sleep meds you are taking might interfere with your body’s balancing response — I can only share that I have had many clients and students who were taking various sleep meds and still responded well to Reiki practice, including sleeping better to the point where they no longer felt the need for medication. (I never get involved with decisions about medication, and encourage people to discuss any change of meds with their doctors.)

      I don’t know if you are already receiving Reiki treatment from yourself or a practitioner and haven’t noticed the benefits you expected, or if this question is part of your preliminary investigation.

      If you are looking to try Reiki practice, this article will help you identify a credible practitioner, and this article will help you choose a Reiki teacher and class that is credible and fits your needs.

  8. I’m sorry to read that you have had an unfortunate experience in the name of Reiki.

    However, it doesn’t sound as if what you experienced was actually a Reiki treatment. Because there are no agreed-upon standards for Reiki treatment or training, sometimes people practice in ways that are much more interventionist than Reiki practice is meant to be. For example, the treatment itself doesn’t aggressively remove stress. Rather, it is balancing to the individual, which is often experienced as a comfortable release of stress. It has been my clinical experience that when there are stressors in the environment, as part of the balancing influence of Reiki practice, the person’s awareness increases organically, and he or she is able to identify problems and find solutions.

  9. Hi. There are times when reiki is unsafe. A person may be stressed emotionally in response to an invalidating, abusive or unsafe environment. This is NORMAL and HUMAN even if the level of stress is huge. By removing that “Stress” that I had which was huge and total, something like terror, the reiki left me feeling no emotions ever again. That part of me is gone. Stress is human, if you’re not even a little stressed you’re probably dead (like me). The state this has left me in is inhuman.

  10. I am a cancer survivor, having had cancer three times. Cervical, breast and melanoma. The last two mammagrams had questionable images and I was called back. During the 2nd waiting period I gave myself Reiki on that particular breast. After proceeding with the lumpectomy the result showed non-malignant material. The first time I did not have the self confidence to attend to it by myself but the second time I had not choice. Consequently, now I have the confidence that ” I am enough” . In reflection, I have more time and awareness to treat myself with Reiki better than anyone else ever could have.

  11. I believe Reiki is beneficial for people with cancer and have had about 4 clients go into rapid remission when Reiki was implemented. One person was scheduled to start chemo but the tumor disappeared after radiation and Reiki. It has been 3 years now-still no tumor. Also the side effects of treatment seem to be lessened when Reiki added. Some other energy modalities like Esoteric healing taught by Dr Barbara Briner in Michigan do not advocate this treatment with cancer.

  12. Dear Pamela,
    Thank you for busting some common Reiki related myths and concerns. Your post is very reassuring.

  13. Thank you for this question, Abby, as I have heard that other people are confused about this. Reiki treatment helps the person’s system balance itself. Tumors grow when the system is unbalanced, so balancing the system by offering Reiki treatment is not going to feed the tumor. Every time we place a Reiki hand, no matter where we put it, there is a systemic balancing response.

    Regardless the explanation, if you are uncomfortable treating people with cancer, there is no reason why you have to do so. It’s okay to limit your practice to situations that are comfortable for you.

  14. Hi Pamela,
    I have a question for you regarding cancer patients. I have been reluctant to give Reiki treatments to people with cancer as my fear is that the healing energy can encourage the cancer to flourish. What are your thoughts on this?

  15. Thank you, Janice, for bringing up these three myths that are often taught. Since I learned to practice Reiki in 1986, I have practiced in all three of these situations many times without adverse reactions.

    Again, I suggest going back to the original post. Reiki treatment is balancing to the system overall. When there is a new organ in the body, that becomes part of the overall system. So you could say that Reiki helps to harmonize the new element into the recipient’s system, as well as balance the side effects of the anti-rejection drugs. There is nothing involved in Reiki treatment that can interact with the drugs themselves (because there is no substance ingested) or that overrides the body’s wisdom.

    Similarly, how would Reiki treatment affect the electrical signals in a pacemaker? Reiki treatment does not involve electricity. Rather, it helps to balance the human system into which the pacemaker has been inserted.

    Diabetics who are insulin-dependent check their blood sugar levels regularly because many things affect the amount of sugar in their blood and it has to be kept within certain parameters. The balancing effects of Reiki treatment can definitely affect blood sugar levels, which are being constantly monitored anyway. In my professional practice, every person with diabetes I have treated or trained to practice has told me he/she needed less medication. For some, the change has been quite dramatic. But addressing this type of diabetes involves constant monitoring anyway, and needing less medication is seen as a good thing, not a danger.

    It’s important to realize that Reiki treatment can affect blood sugar levels not because it in any way interacts with the medications, but because the system is experiencing a more balance state, which affects hormonal secretion and blood chemistry, moving them toward a health.

  16. I was taught that Reiki is to be avoided with people with three medical conditions:-

    1. People who have had an organ transplant as Reiki can affect the anti-rejection drugs that they take.

    2. People who have had a pacemaker fitted as Reiki can affect the electrical signals.

    3. People who are insulin-dependent diabetics as Reiki can affect the blood-sugar levels.


  17. Eileen, thank you for asking this question. I first received Reiki treatment when I was pregnant with my now 22-year-old daughter, and supporting pregnant women and new mothers is one of my most favorite parts of my professional practice. I have even offered Reiki treatment in hospital, during delivery.

    If you stop and think it through, isn’t your question answered in the original post? What specifically is your concern? What is involved in a Reiki treatment that could be harmful to a pregnant woman and developing fetus?

    And what kind of proof are you looking for? In my book, I mention a small study done by Cheri Herrmann, RN, on the OB floor of NY Presbyterian Medical Center in Queens. Magnesium sulfate IV is the standard care given pregnant women admitted to the hospital with either early labor or preeclampsia.

    The women receiving this needed treatment often complain of a range of side effects, including headache, lethargy, and visual disturbances. In this study, the women who received Reiki treatment as well as the magnesium sulfate reported significant reduction in a number of symptoms, including headache, exhaustion, feeling emotionally drained, and various visual discomforts.

    Reiki treatment would not have been offered in this hospital-based research project if there were any concern about safety. The point of the research was to see if Reiki treatment added to standard care might improve the patient’s experience, which it did.

    What the practitioner needs to keep in mind when offering Reiki treatment to a pregnant woman is her comfort. For example, after a certain point, it is no longer feasible for a pregnant woman to lie on her back, and pregnant women lying on their side are often more comfortable with a roll between their thighs/knees.

    The concerns about the safety of Reiki treatment itself in any situation stem from a basic misconception of what is happening during the treatment. Reiki is not an intervention that targets specific conditions and symptoms even at the cost of unbalancing the overall system, thus risking side effects. Rather, Reiki treatment is balancing to the entire system. This enhanced balance enables the person’s own self-healing mechanisms to make adjustments organically, from within, rather than imposing changes from outside (thereby risking side effects).

    Make sense?

  18. Is it safe to provide Reiki treatments to a pregnant woman? Is it safe to both the woman and developing child? If yes, please provide examples of proof of this safety, if possible. Also, are there specific procedures or steps to keep in mind when providing Reiki treatments to these clients.

    Many thanks,

  19. I have once had a somewhat similar experience.A family friend who was in late sixties was dying.He had been diagnosed with psarchodosis of lungs.Normal medicines had failed.As a last resort he was put on a certain medicine mixed with steroids.The doctor gave thirty percent chance that it may act.The friend knew I practiced Reiki and asked if I could give it too.Sure,I said.From the second day that I started giving it the lookers on could discern a slight change in his facial appearance.The healing progressed at an accelerating pace as days passed.He continued with the medicine as well.In less than two weeks his x-ray showed a remarkable improvement.The doctor could not believe it and remarked that he was lucky this particular medicine had acted,but it defied his medical understanding that such quick result could be produced.At the end of four and a half weeks our friend was completely healed.It was confirmed by the doctor looking at the x-ray.Of course it wasn’t mentioned to the doctor that Reiki had also been given alongside…My own understanding is that the effectiveness of the medicine had been enhanced manyfold with the help of Reiki.Though it is open to guess that Reiki had its own independent healing effect also in this case.Our friend has been saying afterwards that he never had such good health before. Alicia

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