What Happens During A Reiki Session & What are the Side Effects of Reiki?

Reiki is an energy healing therapy developed in Japan in 1920. According to The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), reiki is based on a belief that energy supports the body’s innate or natural healing abilities. The healers believe that they can transfer healing energy from the universe, through the practitioner to the patient.(1)

The reiki treatment deals with subtle energy and biofields.

According to reiki, our bodies have energy. In disease, this energy is disrupted. Reiki aims to realign energy and encourage physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing.

What Happens During A Reiki Session?

During a reiki session, a practitioner places his hands on the body to balance the flow of energy. There are light and slow progression of hand position just above or on a clothed body.

Each position is held for approx 5 minutes. The sessions can be as short or as long as needed, depending on the patient’s condition. Generally, they last for 45-90 minutes.

A minimum of 3 sessions is recommended by a reiki practitioner. However, it may differ for each person.

Though the therapy has limited evidence to support the claims, it is known to ease stress, anxiety, and pain.

Side Effects of Reiki

Reiki is considered safe but can have a few side effects. Though lacking evidence, it is known to be effective in conditions such as anxiety, stress, depression, fatigue, blood pressure, and improving the quality of life of cancer patients. Some patients also report a reduction in acute and chronic pain in sprains and bruises.

The side effects of reiki therapy are as follows:

Discomfort During The Reiki Session

During the reiki session, the person has to lie down on a massage table in a room with dim light. There is soft music played.

The practitioner stands next to the massage table but does not speak anything. Because of it, some people feel awkward and uncomfortable and there might be panic attacks and anxiety.

Drop-in Oxygen Level

A clinical trial conducted to see the effect of reiki on children undergoing dental procedures found that a child experienced a low blood oxygen level(2).

No such effects have been reported in other studies.

Increased Tiredness

Many people feel relaxed after a reiki session while a few feel unusually tired.

Practitioners claim that it might be due to the healing process in the body.

 Along with tiredness, other side effects felt are headache, stomach ache, and weakness.

Drawbacks of Reiki

There are certain things you need to know before going ahead with reiki therapy. Knowing about the drawbacks helps you make a well-informed decision.

The drawbacks of reiki are as follow:

It Has Limited Scientific Backing

Reiki is being practiced for many years, but the evidence proving its effectiveness is lacking.

Science has failed to prove the existence of the body’s energy field. If the energy field exists, the technique to measure how it can be transferred or balanced is unknown.

It Is Unregulated

Reiki therapy lacks formal regulation and there are no nationwide standards for its education, training, credentials, and certification.

People with no experience in healthcare can also become reiki practitioners.

It Is Not Covered By Insurance

If you visit a reiki practitioner, you need to pay a large amount, depending on the experience of the practitioner.

Reiki therapy is not covered by insurance unless it is a part of any other treatment that qualifies for the coverage.

Does Not Treat A Specific Condition

Reiki is an alternative medical treatment that claims to promote overall wellness. It does not treat a particular disease.

Reiki therapy has been practiced for centuries but the scientific evidence and regulation behind the practice are lacking. The main disadvantage includes inconsistent results and paying huge amount out of pockets.

Reiki might have a subjective experience, but still, you would want to give it a try. Look for a therapist with proven background and credentials and make sure you feel comfortable with the therapist before booking a session.

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