Reiki is one of the few types of holistic medicine that is recognized by the American Cancer Society as being very beneficial for the patients overall health and wellbeing. There are several benefits in choosing this alternative medicine in addition to your more traditional medicine. Patients with mesothelioma can use alternative treatments, including Reiki, to assist in relieving the symptoms of chemotherapy and radiation treatment

Increase Comfort

The benefits of Reiki when undergoing chemotherapy and radiation include increased energy and relief of the symptoms that often come with cancer treatment. Mesothelioma prognosis can’t be extended with Reiki treatments, but your overall quality of life can easily be improved with one to four treatments per week. Most patients experience relief from severe chemotherapy symptoms for up to two days after a single treatment.

You will need to choose a recognized Reiki practitioner, although some medical centers in the United States do have their own centers for holistic treatments. Since Reiki improves the severity of symptoms, you may even need to take fewer prescription medications to control the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. It is absolutely vital that you receive traditional medical treatments, and take prescribed medicines, from a physician to control and treat cancer.

Enhance Well Being

While traditional medical sciences work on improving your physical health, holistic treatments such as Reiki can improve your sense of wellbeing. One of the basic tenants of holistic medicine is that the body, mind, and spirit are connected. Reiki focuses on bringing your energy back into balance using a form of touch therapy. During your Reiki session, the practitioner will work on bringing in healing energies to balance the body.

Reiki can also provide a sense of control over cancer, as well. By opting for more holistic treatments, you can reduce the side effects of medications meant to treat the side effects of cancer. For people who live organic or holistic lifestyles, Reiki is an ideal alternative for some medications. Talking to your cancer specialist is the best way to determine which medicines are optional and which are absolutely necessary for your treatment and recovery.

Is Reiki the Easiest Way to Reduce Stress?

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While Reiki hasn’t gained the same mainstream attention as other alternative therapies such as, say, acupuncture, there are millions of people around the world who swear by the Japanese healing method.

If you’ve never heard of it, here’s a quick rundown: Reiki involves a healer either lightly touching or holding their hands over different areas on your body, activating energy with their hands and into you. The idea behind it—stay with me here—is that energy supports the body’s innate or natural healing abilities, which is why treatments can help you heal from stress, illness, and addiction. So, yes, energy healing is certainly on the touchy-feely end of the alternative-medicine spectrum, but it’s a practice that more than 1.2 million American adults engage in each year, which is why I decided to give it a go myself.

I sat down with Nechama Karp, a New York–based Reiki practitioner and teacher, who took me through a session and gave me the full lowdown on energy healing. To begin, she explained that a session can take place anywhere and typically involves a client sitting in a chair or lying down on a massage table, but that’s where the similarities between massage and Reiki end: “This is not a massage, there is no sliding or manipulation at any time during a professional Reiki treatment, so hands are placed with light touch on or slightly off the body at various points along the body. Some practitioners have the client turn over in the middle of the session so they are lying facedown and Reiki hands are placed along the back, and some have the client remain lying on their back the entire treatment,” Karp explained.

Here’s what else I learned from my first Reiki experience.

It’s like a massage mixed with meditation
Before my session, Karp explained that she combines Reiki with aromatherapy so would be using lavender scents on her hands to relax me, and would dab lemon oil on my feet to stimulate memory. Apparently the session is so relaxing that lots of people fall asleep during Reiki, but the lemon can help you recall the experience later. I then lay on my back on a massage table (fully clothed), and closed my eyes while Karp dimmed the lights, covered me with a blanket, and led me through some relaxing yoga-esque breathing exercises. She lightly placed her hands on either side of my head first, explaining, “Anywhere Reiki hands are places helps to quiet the internal chatter of the mind.” Then, over the next 40 minutes, she silently moved her hands across my face, chest, and abdomen.

While I didn’t fall asleep during the session, I had the same feeling I experience when I meditate—which, for newbies, is basically a very relaxed state where you can lose a lot of awareness and time zips by. Case in point: While the session went for a full 40 minutes, it felt more like 10. For anyone who has struggled to get into meditation, I really recommend trying out a Reiki treatment to see what all the fuss is about.

It’s spiritual, but not religious
A common misconception about Reiki healing is that it’s a religious experience—something that turns a lot of people off about the practice. However, while there’s definitely something spiritual about the practice, like meditation it’s not linked with any specific religion or belief system.

Results (obviously) will vary
I raced straight from work to my session (arriving late) and had a work dinner scheduled 10 minutes after the treatment ended, so my mind was all over the place when we started, and I was feeling a little stressed out. Less than an hour later, my mood after the session couldn’t have been more different—I was centered, refreshed, full of energy, and ready to begin my night. Whether this had anything to do with the Reiki healing or I just desperately needed a 40-minute lie-down is anyone’s guess, but I felt 100 percent more like a functioning adult afterward.

Believers use Reiki for a bunch of reasons, including to relieve stress and anxiety, to treat addiction, and to complement traditional medical treatments. “Reiki helps boost the body’s natural healing process, so we see cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, and lots of people with stress or anxiety,” Karp said, also recommending new clients commit to three sessions to see results. The science is pretty hazy about whether Reiki has any major impact, but there are some small studies that show it’s a decent way to relieve stress and anxiety.

Because it’s not a practice backed by any robust research, practitioners also have a hard time explaining why people experience benefits from Reiki: “No one is really able to explain how it works. The vibrational flow is drawn by the recipient, and the healing response is activated. No matter where they place their hands, if there is a need for balance, the Reiki connection will activate. Reiki healing promotes overall balance to help you feel better and function better,” Karp explained.

It can’t hurt to try it

If you’re intrigued but skeptical, my only advice is to give it a go. Reiki hasn’t been shown to have any harmful effects as long as you’re not using it to replace conventional medical care, which is obviously a terrible idea. Sessions usually cost around $50 to $100, depending on where you live and the practitioner.

Read more:

The Healing Power of Reiki


The word Reiki is a combination of two Japanese words: Rei, which means “a higher power’s wisdom,” and Ki, which is the energy of life force.SHUTTERSTOCK

This article, by Issue Editor Trevor Courneen and excerpted from Newsweek’s Special Edition, Spiritual Living, The Secret to Peace and Happiness, explores the power of Reiki and of an open mind.

Hands are, deceptively, the most essential weapon at a doctor’s disposal. Whether they’re handling a scalpel, administering a vaccination or setting a broken bone, a doctor’s hands are a vital part of any Western medical practice. But some believe a skilled set of hands are all you need to heal a major malady—no instruments required. Reiki, a Japanese form of spiritual medicine developed by Mikao Usui in the early 20th century, employs the hands to transfer energy with perceived healing qualities into the bodies of the ailing.

For those who willingly receive the energy, results are hard to deny, anecdotal though they may be. The International Center for Reiki Healing website boasts an extensive section of testimonials, with individuals from all across the globe sharing stories of having benefited from Reiki for conditions varying in severity from uncomfortable to seemingly insurmountable. One supporter recounts having an abscessed tooth cured by the method, saving her the pain of a root canal. Others claim to have had cancer cured by distant Reiki, a form where non-present practitioners send healing energy at scheduled intervals. Perhaps the most unlikely testimonial on the site comes from a medical doctor who describes using various versions of Reiki to heal the ovarian cyst of a patient who fearfully resisted surgery.

It’s a good thing the results speak for themselves, as many practitioners of Reiki seem disinterested in singing its praises. As Reiki master William Lee Rand humbly explains, “You don’t study to learn how to use Reiki—it’s a gift.”

Despite its near 100-year existence, Reiki remains largely unaccepted as a legitimate healing practice due to a lack of scientific support. And aside from liability packages for practitioners, you’d be hard-pressed to find insurance companies willing to cover the cost of Reiki treatments. Still, Rand has managed to establish the ever-expanding International Center for Reiki Training, one of the only recognized organizations for practitioners of Reiki. Located in Southfield, Michigan, the center provides treatment as well as courses to help individuals become healers and teachers.

“The purpose of Reiki is to provide stress reduction and relaxation, but especially healing,” says Rand, specifying that the healing can be either emotional or physical. These results are what he believes allow those receiving Reiki to lead more meaningful lives. And the benefits go both ways. “The practitioner is leading a more meaningful life, too, because they’re helping others,” adds Rand.

C48KPJA Reiki master guides a group meditation in Mexico City. In Mexico, the idea of healing energy goes back to the shamanistic practices of pre-Columbian tribes.AURORA PHOTOS/ALAMY

At the age of 18, Rand became inspired by a booklet he read about the Rosicrucian Order, a group dedicated to studying the metaphysical aspects of the universe. “I was fascinated by the idea that people have hidden or dormant abilities—some of them quite unusual—and
if we do different exercises, we can develop  those abilities and live an extraordinary life,” says the Reiki practitioner. Impressed and intrigued, Rand decided to join the Rosicrucians and soon explored the spiritual sphere by dabbling in astrology, rebirth and other metaphysical practices.

After building his background in metaphysics, Rand was better equipped to comprehend the value of Reiki when he first discovered the practice. Despite his history with the unseen world, he’d never encountered anything quite like it. “I realized it was very special, and it used quite an unusual energy,” he states. Rand officially began studying Reiki in 1981 but instantly realized he wasn’t so much studying the practice as he was awakening it from within himself. “Unlike other practices where you study for months or years before you have any skill at all, you receive the ability immediately,” he says. His latent skills unlocked, Rand spent eight years honing it and began teaching Reiki himself in 1989. Much like learning to use the technique, Rand also considers the ability to teach to be a gift. “In the teacher training, you receive an attunement, which bestows upon you the ability to do the attunement,” he states. It’s a self-perpetuating gift that passes from person to person, inspiring them to pass the knowledge on to others while also granting them access to the words, tools and motivation necessary to share it.

BXCT21Multiple Reiki practitioners attempt to heal a patient. Some have even reported out-of-body experiences while undergoing a treatment.CHICO SANCHEZ/ALAMY

Throughout his two-plus decades of teaching the ways of Reiki, Rand can only recall one student who was unable to perform the practice. “A woman came to class, and she seemed a little reluctant to be there,” he says. After receiving the attunement meant to place a student on the path of becoming a Reiki healer, the woman claimed she did not feel any differently, concluding Rand’s procedure did not work. Recognizing a preventive closed-mindedness, Rand asked the woman why she came to the class. “She said, ‘Well, my husband made me go.’ She did not want to be there,” he laughs. For Rand, this lone exception is enough to support his belief that willingness is a key aspect of undertaking Reiki. “As long as the person wants to receive the attunement and wants the ability, it comes right in,” he says. “The energy respects free will—if the person doesn’t want it, it’s not going to force itself on them.”

The numerous variations of Reiki that exist today have inspired Rand to explore the practice’s potential and create his own, which he calls Holy Fire. Using the traditions of Usui Reiki as the foundation for his iteration, the Reiki master says the inspiration to create his own method began to blossom in his early years of learning the basics. “When I learned Reiki, I realized there was no limit to the quality of the energy and that it could be further refi ned and upgraded,” he explains. Upon researching this philosophy, Rand discovered his sentiments were essentially shared by Mikao Usui himself. From that point forward, Rand became very open to the idea of perpetually improving the experience, feeling now that the mindset led him to creating Holy Fire Reiki.

Noting the particularly intensive qualities of Holy Fire, Rand considers his modified form of Reiki to be “higher dimensional,” and this new version of the healing practice is believed to be more eff ective than the traditional style used by those at the International Center for Reiki Training. Still, the perceived success of the method has not caused Rand and his colleagues to overtly promote it or push clients into choosing it. “We just say that if people feel guided to take it, then it’s right for them,” he states. As far as what may guide a particular person to seek the healing of Holy Fire, Rand explains the more sensitive an individual is to their own inner state, the more likely they are to be naturally inclined toward taking the Holy Fire class. “It feels like it has a higher vibration, so when people meditate or contemplate taking Holy Fire, they feel that and they follow it,” he says. Common results Rand has seen in those who experience Holy Fire are heightened feelings of joy, compassion and love. Who wouldn’t want a little more of that?

Those who do want to be healed or just feel greater elation in their lives do not have to look too far. In addition to the International Center for Reiki Training, Reiki classes are cropping up all across the country, with courses offered everywhere from Tallahassee, Flordia, to Seattle, Washington. As the spiritual practice spreads, Rand’s proclamation that it can be done anywhere by anyone seems to be proving out.

Looking to the future of Holy Fire, the International Center for Reiki Training and the practice of Reiki as a whole, Rand has full faith in further enhancements for effectiveness being made. The practice of Reiki, he feels, continues to demonstrate an unlimited potential for healing as well as a way of guiding itself and its practitioners toward making these improvements. Rand states, “What we’re understanding is that we’ll continue to be introduced to higher and more effective levels of the energy so that it will be easier for people to heal and receive benefits from it as time goes by.

Reiki isn’t limited in its benefits to human beings. Our four-legged friends can also see improvements to their overall quality of life when treated by Reiki masters.

Whether Reiki is right for you is a personal choice. Given that the cynical are less likely to experience the full benefits of the healing energy at the center of the practice, perhaps it’s best for those who doubt to stick with their prescriptions, or to ask their physician if there’s any treatment that can help to remedy a closed mind.

This article was excerpted from Newsweek‘s Special Edition, Spiritual Living, The Secret to Peace and Happiness, by Issue Editor Trevor Courneen. For more about spiritual livng, pick up a copy today.


Although Energy Medicine is one of the oldest healing professions around, for many generations, it hasn’t been recognized as a valid method for healing our bodies and minds by conventional medical practitioners. In recent years however, it’s been making a well-deserved comeback.

The tradition of the laying of hands as a means of healing physical and emotional woes goes back to the Old Testament, and now people are finding that seeing professional energy healers is a fantastic addition to conventional healthcare choices.

There are many modalities of energy healing, but generally, they all work on the same premise—that we are energy and that congestion in our human energetic system or the misalignment of that energy causes pain, illness and disease.

During energy healing sessions, the healer makes a loving intention for the best outcome for the client. This type of unconditional love is very soothing. After an energy healing session, clients generally report feeling relaxed, clear, warm and like they’ve been wrapped in a soft blanket.


If you’re thinking of visiting an energy healer, but aren’t sure if it’s the right time, here are some life circumstances that an energy healing session can help:

1. When We’re Feeling Confused or Foggy

We live busy lives and a lot of information travels in and out of our energy field and chakras, but sometimes energy doesn’t exit our systems as efficiently as it could. Sometimes we’re in a transition or are healing old pain, causing a lot of congestion in our energy field. This can be frustrating as we can’t access our brain as easily as before. Energy healers have simple techniques for cleaning up congestion in the energy field that can help clients feel like their minds are clearer and easier to focus.

2. After a Recent Crisis or Trauma

A car accident, a breakup, or the death of someone dear to us are challenging things we all go through. But the shock and pain of these events not only affects our physical body and mind, but our energetic system, too. The sooner we see an energy healer and have the remnants of trauma cleared from the energetic system, the less likely the pain of these events will linger longer than necessary and create an environment conducive for disease and illness.

3. After Surgery or a Hospital Stay

When we have surgery, the doctor doesn’t just cut into our physical body, but our energetic field, as well. Energy healers have techniques to seal up any damage caused in the energy field for a quicker and more easeful recovery.

4. When Burdened With Childhood Trauma

Much of our personal programming comes from events that happened to us between conception and age three—so basically, things we can’t remember anymore. But even though we don’t remember these events, it doesn’t mean that they don’t affect us. The way our brain is wired is directly connected to the events from this time. The memory of these events lives in the energetic system and through loving and compassionate energy healing, we can change our present lives by healing our past.

5. In a Life Transition

Maybe you’re changing jobs, changing relationships or taking your life in a new direction. Well, just like we need to update our computer’s operating system from time to time, we need to do the same with our personal energetic system. If we want to feel fresh, excited and ready to adapt to new life transitions, an energy healing session—or a few—can really help.

6. When We Feel Stuck

Sometimes our life is stuck in a rut. Years go by and nothing changes. Everything feels dull. An energy healing session can be like a spring cleaning for the body and mind. An energy healer can clean out all the dust and old boxes that no longer belong in the energetic system and help us feel like we can move ahead with our lives.

7. Any Time

This is the truth: It’s your life. You don’t have to justify why you do what you do. If you feel like some loving energetic assistance, then go for it. If once a week or once a month feels good, then schedule those sessions, because feeling good is good.

I have clients who book sessions because they just want to see me, and then we end up finding gunk in their energetic systems to clear. After the session, they feel better than they expected and are happy with themselves that they took the time to book a session, even though nothing in particular had been bothering them.

So why wait to be sick or sad to take care of ourselves?

Just like we take our cars in for regular maintenance or clean our houses weekly, our energetic systems also need our caring, loving and regular attention.

Any time is a good time to get a little healing for our precious energetic system.

An Explanation of How and Why Reiki Works


What Reiki has become best known for, and most spoken about is its ability to provide deep relaxation naturally without any known side effects, impairments or contraindications. While most know Reiki effectively does this, few understand how Reiki achieves it, and fewer still have language to explain it.  This is because Reiki is commonly spoken about and taught within the context of spirituality and/or mediation. The problem with this however is that when you speak or teach Reiki within the context of spirituality, the practice of Reiki becomes a mystery, and when we accept and promote that, we continue to keep what was once known and understood about Reiki lost. The way then to regain the lost knowledge of Reiki, so that it can be used to better the lives of humans everywhere is to speak about, and teach Reiki for what it is, a form of Energy Medicine.

Everything is energyEverything starts and ends as energy. As such, the human form is made up of more than the physical body it also has a corresponding energy system. As people interact with the world they are a part of, they cannot help but be influenced by the many energies they come into contact with each day. As a result of our daily interactions, each of us will accumulate a sort of energy debris within our energy system. This debris, which often becomes stuck in our own energy field, creates imbalance. Simple imbalances within the energy field create the experience we commonly call tension. Our minds then, which have no choice but to respond to this tension, will create explanations for why we feel tense or out of balance. Reiki helps by naturally restoring balance where imbalance has occurred. In doing this, Reiki, in a sense resets our energy system. Relaxation then comes as a result of this rebalancing, and this rebalancing occurs both within the aura and in physical body.

When our bodies are in a state of relative balance, we relax naturally and on demand. When our bodies are in a state of imbalance, we require outside influences to help us relax. This form of artificial relaxation comes in many forms including food, drink, recreational and prescription drugs, sex, excessive exercise, and many other known forms, which may simulate a sense of relaxation, but comes at a price to the individual as it only compounds the state of imbalance by introducing more imbalance that the individual has to find ways to compensate for.

For this reason, natural relaxation will always be preferable to the human form than artificial relaxation, for one is working within the natural ebb and flow of our biology and energy while the other is working against it. One of the easiest and most effective ways to relax naturally, and with little effort or time, is through a self-care regime that includes giving yourself Reiki, even if it is for only 10-15 minutes each day. Additionally the benefits of using Reiki is cumulative meaning the more you use it the more responsive your energy system becomes to it and so greater ease is found and the toll daily tension takes on you in your life becomes naturally less and easier to manage.

If you are attuned to Reiki, you can start right now by placing a cupped Reiki hand anywhere on your body. I suggest starting where you hand naturally wants to be placed. If you are not attuned to channel Reiki energy yourself, you have options: You can become attuned by receiving a Reiki attunement from a Reiki Master Teacher, or you can receive regular Reiki treatments from a local Reiki professional in your area.

The use of self-Reiki for stress reduction and relaxation.

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More than one-third of college students reported the desire for stress reduction techniques and education. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a 20-week structured self-Reiki program on stress reduction and relaxation in college students.


Students were recruited from Stockton University and sessions were conducted in the privacy of their residence. Twenty students completed the entire study consisting of 20 weeks of self-Reiki done twice weekly. Each participant completed a Reiki Baseline Credibility Scale, a Reiki Expectancy Scale, and a Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) after acceptance into the study. The PSS was completed every four weeks once the interventions were initiated. A global assessment questionnaire was completed at the end of the study. Logs summarizing the outcome of each session were submitted at the end of the study.


With the exception of three participants, participants believed that Reiki is a credible technique for reducing stress levels. Except for two participants, participants agreed that Reiki would be effective in reducing stress levels. All participants experienced stress within the month prior to completing the initial PSS. There was a significant reduction in stress levels from pre-study to post-study. There was a correlation between self-rating of improvement and final PSS scores. With one exception, stress levels at 20 weeks did not return to pre-study stress levels.


This study supports the hypothesis that the calming effect of Reiki may be achieved through the use of self-Reiki.

Parable on light and darkness by Silver Birch

“Once upon  a time the world was very dark, and  along came a man with a little torch and he held it aloft and it cast gleams of light around him.holding the sun

And those who dwelt in the darkness were attracted by the gleams of light and they drew near until the rays were shed upon them.

Time went by and the torch began to flicker.  And then one who had lived in the darkness of fear and foreboding, which he now knew was apart of the darkness and was killed by the light, grasped the torch and rekindled it with such vigor that now the illumination was cast even wider. light and daarkness

And so, throughout all ages, someone has risen to hold aloft the torch of life, each adding his own luster to its luminosity, until gradually the light has been spreading in ever-widening circles.  At no stage has the torch been allowed to be extinguished.

That is all.  Hold aloft the torch of the spirit, feed it with the lustre of your own souls so that each one of you helps to dissipate and dispel the gloom in which so many needlessly live.

That is important.  The rest of the things that many people worry about do not matter.  When all is said and done, the physical body gets excessive attention, the spiritual body and it’s requirements are very much neglected.”

Healing and Karma

You asked about Karma, the law of cause and effect, sowing and reaping, which operates in all the worlds and at all times.  Sometimes you have a patient with a karmic condition which is a carry-over from a previous existence.  If the karmic condition has not out-worked itself, the healing will appear to be a failure.  If the patient has reached that stage in spiritual development where the effect has completely followed the cause and there is no more karma to manifest, the healing will be a successful because the soul is ready.