were inpatients who were within 72 hours of a myocardial infarction event.

The study's chief aim was to determine whether the relaxation benefits of Reiki could help improve HRV by easing a pa- tient's stress about their health condition. Stress is a known contributing factor to heart disease as well as a common side- effect of hospitalization. Stress makes the body less resilient overall and puts the patient at risk for a second cardiac event.

Reiki Harnesses Life Force Energy to Aid Healing

Of 229 patients screened, 49 met the study criteria and were randomized to receive either Reiki, a classical music intervention or bed rest, as a control. Patients' HRV measurements were taken at baseline, and a 10-point query regarding emotional state was administered. All patients underwent continuous electrocardiographic monitor- ing via a small, battery-operated EKG device.

Throughout the study period, patients re- mained in their beds and a quiet environ- ment was maintained. Resting control group patients received no additional stress-relieving intervention. Classical music group patients were played medita- tive musical selections with tempos slower than a normal resting heart rate. Slow-tempo music is known to decrease heart rate, blood pressure and catechol- amines, a hormone made by the adrenal glands.

For the Reiki group, a Reiki-trained clinical nurse performed a 20-minute energy heal- ing session by placing his or her hands lightly on the subject's head and torso in seven standardized, noninvasive positions. Reiki was performed only once within the 72-hour period. HRV measurements were repeated, as was the 10-point emotional state assessment. The baseline and final readings were then compared for all three groups.

Reiki Improves Physical and Emotional States, Post-Heart Attack

Results of the study showed that patients who received a 20-minute Reiki treatment within three days of suffering a heart attack experienced improved heart rate variabil-

ity and mood enhancement as compared to the rest-only and music intervention groups. There were no adverse events as- sociated with Reiki treatment.

The 10-point emotional assessment rated both positive emotions (happy, relaxed, calm) and negative emotions (stressed, angry, sad, frustrated, worried, scared, anxious). Reiki treatment improved all positive emotional states and reduced all negative emotional states.

Across the three treatment groups, the Reiki group showed the most significant positive emotional change, while the rest- ing control had the least positive emo- tional change, with music intermediate. The mean HRV value increased signifi- cantly from baseline in the Reiki group. Mean HRV did not appreciably change in the control group and was decreased slightly overall in the music control group.

The magnitude of Reiki's effect on heart rate variability was similar to that of pro- pranolol, a commonly prescribed beta- blocker drug used to treat heart problems and help with anxiety. This study demon- strates that Reiki is a safe, viable interven- tion for cardiac patients in acute-care settings.

The study authors pointed out that, with proper training, this healing modality can be applied by nurses as part of standard hospital care, without additional cost or disruption of the nurses' workday. They have called for further study on the mech- anisms involved in Reiki's impact on au- tonomic activity in order to more fully understand the value this innovative treat- ment can provide.

Reiki Therapy: Safe, Relaxing, Effective

Reiki therapy has a relatively brief history of use as a modern healing intervention. Studied since the mid-2000s, Reiki has delivered demonstrable benefits for suffer- ers of a variety of health problems.

A 2020 study on women in hospital for obstetric and gynecological conditions reported that both pain and anxiety levels decreased following a Reiki session, and that those effects were long-lasting for 91 of 101 respondents.[vi] Other studies sup- port the use of Reiki as a form of pain

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management, including for postoperative pain.

Since Reiki works to soothe and regulate the nervous system, there are virtually no limits on how or when this safe and acces- sible therapy can be applied. This includes if you are single or in self-isolation and have no means of accessing a qualified Reiki practitioner.

Self-Reiki has been scientifically validated in a 2015 trial on college students seeking ways to better manage stress. After receiv- ing training on how to self-administer Reiki, there was a significant reduction in stress levels from pre-study to post-study. Of the 20 students who participated in the study, 18 felt that self-Reiki was a viable stress-reduction method by the end of the trial.

© February 2021, GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter at

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