I spend time talking with clients first explaining to them what Reiki is so they are clear about their session. It is very similar to massage except a Reiki Practitioner is not going to massage you but instead places their hands in certain spots starting at the head first and moving along down to the feet.
How does Reiki help to heal? It allows for energy blockages to be released and for the stagnant energy to be allowed to move freely within your body. A Reiki Practitioner can feel where these blockages are at and will work to get them set free so that the client may heal. Reiki is a good stress reliever and helps to alleviate anxiety. It can be conducted on animals, people, plants, and much more.
Here is an article I thought was interesting about Reiki and Cancer. There has been studies conducted over the last 10 years or so looking at what Reiki could do for healing with Cancer patients.
Complementary Treatments for Cancer: The Role Reiki And Massage Can Play in Treatment
Reiki, in its original form, is a self-administered treatment; however, it cannot be self-taught. One must learn Reiki from an experienced practitioner and it involves three levels of learning. As a complementary treatment, it has been used to treat many conditions. Although Reiki can theoretically be performed at a distance, in the cancer treatment centers where it is used, it is often applied in-person at one-to-one sessions lasting anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. In these sessions the Reiki practitioner places his or her hands close to or lightly touching the patient's body, using as many as 15 different hand positions. The idea behind Reiki is that the practitioner is able to feel the flow (or lack of flow) of the body's energy ( ) and to free it up so as to facilitate the patient's overall health. Reiki can be a very calming and reassuring therapy for the patient who receives it.
The recently published a review of 12 clinical trials of Reiki. While nine of these investigators reported positive effects for Reiki, 11 of the 12 studies had serious methodological flaws, such as the lack of a control group and/or a comparison treatment. It is therefore impossible to say whether the reported effects were due to patients' expectations of benefit -- the placebo effect. In another review of research published in the , 205 studies were evaluated and boiled down to nine that were scientifically sound. The most common benefits of Reiki that were reported in these studies was in the area of relieving depression and anxiety. There were no substantiated results for pain relief. Finally, none of these studies has been replicated to show that the results can be reliably repeated.
According to NCCAM, the leading reason why Americans turn to massage therapy as an adjunct to cancer treatment is to help relieve pain. To the extent that massage is effective in relieving the physical aspects of stress (tight muscles, etc.), we could say that massage is also used to relieve stress. And surely treatment for cancer is stressful, for the patient as well as loved ones!
Keep in mind that we are talking specifically about the use of massage as a complement to cancer treatment, not its effectiveness in general. In a study funded in part by NCCAM, 380 participants were randomly assigned to receive either six 30-minute sessions of actual massage therapy or six three-minute sessions of simple touch therapy that did not include the kinds of methods cited above. Both groups showed significant reductions in reported pain, physical and emotional distress and overall mood. However, these effects were greater for the group that received actual massage therapy.