What Is Medical Reiki, Really?

Medical Reiki What is Medical Reiki? Medical Reiki is simply Reiki practice used in hospitals or other conventional healthcare settings to help patients, families and staff address medical problems, such as pain, anxiety, insomnia, indigestion, and optimize self healing.

How is Medical Reiki different from daily self Reiki?

The goal of daily self Reiki is to support overall balance every day. Daily self practice helps the body address existing imbalances. By helping the body maintain balanced functioning, daily self practice also helps prevent future problems.

There is no one right way to self practice, but rather many practice styles. What’s important is to actually self practice everyday; the details of how you practice are completely up to you.

That said, when I encourage your daily self Reiki practice, I mean a full Reiki self treatment, moving your hands slowly through whatever protocol you’ve been taught. I suggest my students practice around 30 minutes a day, more when needed, and less on the days when that’s the best you can do. Although you’ll quickly feel better any time you practice, you’ll get the greatest benefit by maintaining a daily self Reiki practice over time, and that takes both consistency and flexibility.

Any self Reiki practice brings relief from discomfort of various symptoms, but consistent, daily self Reiki optimizes your body’s self-healing, so you feel better, function better and make better choices. There’s no way to measure how much pain, suffering and even illness might be prevented over time. Daily self Reiki can help you age more gracefully and remain active, which also supports your health and well-being.

While consistent daily self Reiki at home helps you stay happy and healthy longer, Reiki practice is offered to patients in medical settings for its more immediate benefits, to help patients feel better, feel spiritually supported (regardless their religious beliefs), and relieve pain and anxiety.

Medical Reiki sessions offered in a hospital usually involve fewer hand placements and less practice time. For example, hospital patients often cannot turn over so we are unable to place hands on their backs. While there are no rules, and it’s important to respond to the needs and limitations in each individual session, hospital Reiki treatments are often short, maybe 15-20 minutes. However, when you’re in pain, even a few minutes of Reiki treatment can bring significant relief.

As Hawayo Takata famously said, any Reiki practice is better than none. Patients in hospitals generally show marked improvement from even an abbreviated Reiki treatment. After Reiki treatment, hospital patients commonly have less distress (less anxiety and pain) and improved heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate variability, as evidenced in various small studies. Anecdotally, hospital patients tend to sleep better and have improved digestive function.

What is the best foundation for Medical Reiki?

If you want to practice Reiki in conventional medicine, you need to be able to speak credibly about what you are doing. Discussing Reiki practice credibly with critical thinkers such as doctors, nurses and hospital administrators requires confidence, clear thinking, and some knowledge of the conventional medical paradigm.

Confidence in Reiki practice starts with daily self Reiki. If you don’t already practice daily self Reiki, start now. Contemplated daily self Reiki practice creates the strongest, clearest appreciation of the benefits of Reiki practice. I cannot emphasize that enough.

Don’t try to bring Reiki practice to a hospital or institution where it is not already available unless you are already a Reiki professional. Transition from home to professional practice slowly, with the supervision of your Reiki master or other qualified Reiki professional.

Comfort and confidence offering treatment to other people is important even if you only want to volunteer in hospitals. People in hospitals are likely much sicker than the people you usually practice on, and it can be emotionally challenging. Give yourself the benefit of being comfortable and confident placing your hands on others before you apply to volunteer in hospitals or hospice. How much practice on others is enough? That depends on you, but I would say a minimum of 30 full treatments to family and friends.

Does Medical Reiki compromise traditional Reiki practice?

Medical Reiki brings Reiki to people who are suffering and who would not otherwise have access to Reiki practice. There is no need to compromise Reiki practice in order to bring Reiki into hospitals and academic medical centers.

But we do need to adapt to the situation we find. For example, although in my private practice, I place hands on my client’s back, many patients in hospital beds cannot turn to lie on their stomachs.

When practicing in hospitals, we need to respect hospital rules, such as washing hands before and after each treatment. When offering treatment to a patient in quarantine, I wear a gown, mask and gloves the same as every other person who enters the room.

Working with others, getting along with others, always involves compromise, but we need not to compromise our practice. That’s one reason it’s important to have a longstanding daily self practice, and considerable experience practicing Reiki on others, so you come to understand where you can compromise and where you cannot.

For example, there is no reason not to adapt the hand placements if the situation warrants, but no situation warrants changing the initiations.

Conventional health care involves teamwork, and if you want to practice Medical Reiki, you need to get along with the healthcare team. That means not feeling defensive and acting positional when questioned. It’s part of your job to communicate with people who don’t understand what you do as a Medical Reiki practitioner. The members of the healthcare team rely on your Medical Reiki expertise. When you practice in a medical setting, you are a Reiki ambassador.

Communicating Reiki to Medicine

If you want to break ground — carrying Reiki practice to hospitals where it is not currently offered — you need to communicate what you offer in neutral language that is meaningful to medical professionals.

You also need to address their concerns. It’s a good sign when licensed healthcare professionals ask questions. It means they haven’t already dismissed you.

Your daily self Reiki and experience giving and receiving Reiki treatment with others will bring you the poise to be able to address people’s concerns.

But it takes a different kind of effort to understand the medical paradigm and how institutional health care functions. And more effort to find language that communicates in the medical world. I know, because I started collaborating in conventional health care in the 1990s, creating the first hospital Reiki program at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.

You need to develop presentation skills and step off the usual Reiki soapbox. It’s a bit of a conceptual stretch, but you can do it. That’s why I teach the Reiki & Medicine Intensive and why I recorded the Introduction to Medical Reiki. In those trainings, I share how Reiki practice intersects with conventional medicine and teach communication strategies that work.

If you want to successfully bring Reiki to mainstream medicine, you need to discuss the practice without resorting to your beliefs. If you feel a need to impose your belief system on others, you’ve mistaken Reiki practice for a religion.

Like meditation, Reiki is a spiritual practice. While spiritual practice might be wrapped in cultural trappings, the practice itself is belief-neutral. If you want to carry Reiki into medical culture, you need to restrain yourself to speak about the practice only, and keep your beliefs to yourself.

Trademarking Medical Reiki

Medical Reiki cannot be trademarked. I have been collaborating in conventional medicine and using the term Medical Reiki since the 1990s. I did not trademark the term because I want to educate and empower, not build an empire.

The government rightly denied a recent attempt to register a trademark on Medical Reiki (now you know).

However, anyone can mislead you by placing a TM as a common law trademark. Check with your lawyer about what if any legal standing that offers.

What Is Medical Reiki? is a free recorded class that gives perspective and detail so you can make informed healthcare choices for yourself and your family, and if you are a Reiki professional, so you can better guide your clients.

After watching that, you might consider the recorded Intro to Medical Reiki training.

For a thorough overview of Medical Reiki — understanding the fundamental differences between the paradigms of Reiki practice and conventional medicine, as well as how they overlap — join me for my live, interactive, online Reiki & Medicine Intensive. You’ll learn about the concerns of conventional medicine, how to present Reiki credibly to doctors, nurses and hospital administrators, and so much more. Whether or not you want to collaborate in medical environments, what you learn in the Reiki & Medicine Intensive will raise your credibility, professionalism and confidence, and help you bring Reiki practice to the mainstream public.


8 thoughts on “What Is Medical Reiki, Really?”

  1. Annmarie sparks Dunn

    When is next class? And I’m
    Exhausting my searches to finding hospitals etc that use reiki masters. I’m
    Also in remission from worst aml
    And mutation. Less than 1% chance well I’m
    5th year remission. I do mostly medical reiki and would love being able to take courses you offer but also find hospitals or surgeons I know we have to do special training too.

  2. Paula E. Hawkins

    The three days of investment in the Medical Reiki Intensive Course June 23-25, 2017 in NYC was invaluable. It was eye opening, thought provoking, and revealed the truth of misstatements and mysterious jargon often used to explain Reiki. I appreciated learning a rational and easily understood language relevant to the medical community. Filled with new insights about Reiki, after the Intensive, I have an increased confidence in the direction of my Reiki Practice. I appreciated leaving the intensive with a proposal template designed specifically for communicating with the Medical profession. More importantly I have gained a new commitment to the daily practice of Reiki and understand how important it is to gaining a deeper understanding of the gift of Reiki.

  3. Wonderful piece, Pamela. I am an integrative medicine physician at Stanford Medical School who just completed my Reiki Level 2 attunement this past weekend. Stanford has several clusters of spiritual medicine and integrative medicine clinics, chaplains, and other practitioners. (Please PM me if you know of any who practice Reiki at Stanford!) I plan to integrate Reiki into my teaching of Medical Tai Chi and Qigong with Horses. My mind was blown in Reiki 1 when I realized how different reiki is from qi (ch’i) as taught in martial arts and qigong.

  4. Florence McFarlane

    I couldn’t get Reiki into my Hospital and just used it for myself and patients. My days always went nicely in surgery and used it until I retired. I found that just touching a patients shoulder or arm did wonders. Reiki knows where it is needed and goes there. Have also just touched people out in the open and the energy went where needed!! Loved being a channel. I had a class lined up and the hospital cancelled me so gave up. The healing touch they used was much more expensive and less effective. I love Reiki!!!

    1. I love Reiki practice, too, Florence, and I can appreciate it was disappointing not to be able to start a program where you worked.

      My guess is language such as “the energy went where needed” and “being a channel” got in the way of your good intentions.

      When we speak about Reiki practice and draw attention to the individual’s response to the practice, we bypass those beliefs. People don’t need to believe that’s what’s happening in order to benefit from Reiki practice.

  5. I took your medical Reiki Intensive in March 2012 as well as the two day medical Reiki class at the New York Open Center in October 2011. Both have been extremely helpful to my hospital-based practice and now my private practice. Even as a critical care nurse, it is important to communicate Reiki effectively to medical staff.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top