Autonomic nervous system changes during Reiki treatment: a preliminary
Institute of Neurological
Sciences, South Glasgow University Hospital NHS Trust, 1345 Govan Road, Glasgow
G51 4TF, Scotland, UK.
To investigate if a complementary therapy, Reiki,
has any effect on indices of autonomic nervous system function.
Quiet room in an out-patient clinic.
Forty-five (45) subjects assigned at random into
Three treatment conditions: no treatment (rest
only); Reiki treatment by experienced Reiki practitioner;
and placebo treatment
by a person with no knowledge
of Reiki and who mimicked the Reiki treatment.
Quantitative measures of autonomic nervous system
function such as heart rate, cardiac vagal tone, blood pressure, cardiac
sensitivity to baroreflex, and breathing activity were recorded continuously
for each heartbeat. Values during and after the treatment period were compared
with baseline data.
Heart rate and diastolic blood pressure decreased
significantly in the Reiki group compared to both placebo and control groups.
The study indicates that Reiki has some effect on
the autonomic nervous system. However, this was a pilot
study with relatively
few subjects and the changes were relatively small. The results justify
further, larger studies
to look at the biological effects of Reiki treatment.