Reiki Helps Depression

Reiki healingWisconsin Reiki master Rhiana Tehan responded to my call for Reiki healing stories (and I hope you will, too!).

By Rhiana Tehan

Me depressed? I never would have believed it. This wasn’t depression, it was just life in my 30s.

Sometimes I’d imagine my other life — me elsewhere. I’d create stories of alternate realities ranging from totally plausible to exotic and extraordinary. I’d even create magnificent back-up plans if some tragedy were to strike. I wasn’t abandoning my husband and kids; I just daydreamed about it.

I accepted stress, worry, and anxiety as a daily part of life. People I complained to reaffirmed my misery and shared their own. An Unsettling crept into my life. Sadness in corners that happy hour couldn’t cover.

One day my busy world cracked open with an emergency room visit for my two-year-old son. He swallowed a small, round circular battery.

This is when Reiki healing came into my life. I learned First and Second degree Reiki practice in order to help him. After six months of daily Reiki treatment, his esophagus healed.

I also began to practice Reiki on myself before bedtime and in the mornings. At first I thought something was wrong with me, as I always craved Reiki treatment. I began incorporating mini-sessions throughout my day.

My feelings and attitudes transformed. Before I started practicing Reiki, I censored my emotions ruthlessly. I didn’t allow myself to feel deep losses. My inner critic was never sated. I applauded my aggressive behavior and tough cookie persona. I manufactured a personality for a bruised, scarred heart. Sutures to keep what was left intact.

As I fell in love with my Reiki practice, I began to love myself. And gradually it dawned on me that staying tough just hardened and shut down my heart, cutting me off from my inner sense of peace and power.

Much has changed in the past two years of daily Reiki self-treatment. My Reiki practice has carved out paths even I couldn’t have imagined.

My daydreams now consist of vacations my family and I will take together. My relationships are healthier and have more joy. Annoyance and anger have been replaced by tolerance and humor. My Reiki practice released my stress and anxiety, and filled me with clarity and faith.  I have shaken off the cloak of sadness and thanked it for blanketing me until it was time to wake up.

Me depressed? I do believe I was.


Hawayo Takata wanted Reiki practice to become as common as aspirin. I share this vision, and for two decades, bringing Reiki practice to the mainstream public and conventional health care has been a focus of my work. Do you share our goal?

MAINSTREAMING REIKI downloadable audio recordings are available here.

Let’s stay in touch! Please sign up for my email list here.

14 thoughts on “Reiki Helps Depression”

  1. I had a nervous breakdown two years ago after a series of traumatic events the big one being my sister’s overdose. Now I have treatment resistant depression and am going through the change. I am so miserable. The worse thing is, I really do want to be well. So very much. What a battle this is.

    1. I’m very sorry to hear what a difficult time this has been for you, Mel. Reiki practice could be a useful part of your care. I encourage you to find a good local teacher and learn self practice, and then practice every day, as often as you like. This will help: Reiki Classes: What’s Best for You.

    1. People need to make their own treatment decisions. You could certainly help your loved one find a good practitioner and even pay for the session, but it needs to be his/her choice.

  2. I am a total mess, very challenging upbringing, then having 4 children, 2 which were disabled until their teens!! Last year my eldest son died in my arms after a brutal attack from his partner, I am taking this that & the other,I just want to be free again to look after rest of family ? will Reiki seriously help,,, suzie

    1. Suzie, you will never know unless you try, and give it a good enough try. This article will help you understand how Reiki can help.

      My recommendation would be to learn to self practice, and then practice every day.

      You want to choose your teacher carefully, as there are no standards in this field. Some people who call themselves masters have only a few hours of training. Click here to learn about finding a good teacher. And click here to learn what’s involved in self practice.

      Remember, if you don’t practice regularly, Reiki cannot help. But the good news is that people usually feel some benefit pretty quickly, and that is very motivating.

  3. Nathan, as a psychotherapist I have learned it’s important to respect my client’s defensives against “getting well.” What looks like resistence to me may be his or her’s attempt to protect from further hurt. A non-judgmental, accepting space goes much farther in melting those walls than trying to make a person willing to change, I have found.

    A Dominican monk once told me true compassion is sitting with someone in their suffering knowing there is nothing you can do about it. I think of that sometimes when I am giving reiki to someone who is truly suffering, and seems not to be making any progress. I have to accept it is not in my power to change things. But I can allow reiki to do what it is able to do.

    So don’t be overly concerned about results. Believe me, if you have very depressed clients who are coming back, that act in itself is a sign they want to get better (guarded as it may be), and you are making a difference.

  4. Still, one must remember that a person suffering from depression must be willing to get better – those who suffer from serious depression have a tendency to create a “shield” around themselves, through which even Reiki won’t pass. At least this is what I’ve noticed in my own practice, and practice of others here in Poland.

    Getting the person willing to get better is a tricky part :).

    1. Nathan,

      In my experience, the systemic self-healing process that Reiki practice elicits is usually the beginning of people feeling better. As they feel better, they can imagine getting better, and they also start functioning better. They begin to appreciate the difference their effort makes instead of expecting the healing to come from outside.

      Any individual’s path of healing is unique and cannot be judged from the outside, nor is it helpful for a therapist to do so.

      I disagree about the “shield”…”through which even Reiki won’t pass.” Reiki isn’t a thing. Whatever it is, Reiki is everywhere all the time. You might find this article of interest: Toward a More Plausible Reiki Model.

  5. What an inspiring story!!! I totally understand where Rhiana is coming from!!! I just got released from the Mayo Clinic after going through a battery of tests to figure out what was happening to me!! I was floored when they told me that I am severely depressed and have severe anxiety!! I have lost so much weight that if I stayed on the path I am on, I would not live very much longer!!! It was very hard to accept that diagnosis!!! I have a lot of stress in my life!! ( work, financial, home) I really thought I had a major illness!! Everyone I know cannot believe this diagnosis!! My mom is a Reiki master teacher and she attuned me to Reiki 1 while I was in Arizona! When she did this, my soul soared!!! I really want to help others but I know now that I need to help myself first!! So this is only the beginning of a long path and I am pumped up and open to suggestions!!
    I know now that I have to change my way of thinking and coping with stress! I am currently under the care of a psychiatrist and cognitive behavioral therapist to learn better ways of coping! I cannot even go back to work until I gain 15 pounds!! Luckily, I have the support of my family and friends!! I am soo blessed!! I thank God every day for everything he does for me and my loved ones!!! I try to never take anything for granted and appreciate all the wonderful things in my life!! (even the crappy things too because I can learn from them)
    So, any suggestions would be appreciated and welcome!!

    1. How wonderful for you that you are getting the care you need, Angela.

      I hope you will practice Reiki self-treatment every day without fail. If you need help with that, click here.

      Your doctors may be interested to know that a study by Adina Goldman Shore documented improvement in depressive symptoms with Reiki treatment, and many studies have reported lessening of anxiety. I am not implying Reiki practice is all you need, but it’s a good adjunct to conventional care.

    2. Hi Angela,
      I’m so glad to hear that Reiki has helped heal you with your depression, as it has mine. I’ve found that Reiki puts healing that I need on my path. I ask for it, or it just appears when needed, whether that be a book or another modality of healing. I do treat myself daily and that really keeps me balanced. Thank you for your story!

Leave a Comment

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

Scroll to Top