Reiki: The Basics

Author: Christina Bach, MBE, LCSW, OSW-C
Content Contributor: Kimberly Fleisher, RMT, M.Ed, Director/Founder of The Reiki School + Clinic
Last Reviewed: 五月 03, 2023

Reiki is an Eastern medicine practice that came to the US from Japan in the late 1930s. It is done through gentle, non-manipulative (gentle) touch. It helps balance our system, engages our inner resources, and improves our overall wellness.

Reiki sessions treat the whole person. As a result, you may feel release or relief from unwanted symptoms. Cancer patients having Reiki therapy may feel fewer side effects such as pain, nausea, anxiety, stress, and fatigue. You may also feel a strong sense of peace, well-being, letting go, freedom, support, connection, balance, and release.

How is Reiki done?

During a Reiki session (also referred to as a 'treatment'), the practitioner places their hands on you or just above you. Any touch is gentle. The purpose is to help you use your own energy to heal yourself. You may be lying on a massage table, a bed, or sitting in a chair.

What does treatment cost?

  • The cost of a session depends on the practitioner. This can depend on their location and their experience.
  • Some places may offer free or low-cost Reiki sessions.
  • Reiki is often not covered by your insurance. Call your provider to check if it is covered when it is part of physical therapy, massage therapy, or palliative care.

Can anyone have Reiki?

There are no known reasons that a Reiki session should be avoided due to health concerns. It is generally thought of as a safe, non-invasive practice that should not interact with other treatments you are having.

You should be comfortable with having the hands of another person placed near or on different parts of your body. For some this can be uncomfortable, so Reiki may not be for you.

Where can I find a Reiki practitioner?

Ask your treatment center if they provide Reiki services or can refer you to someone. You should always tell your provider about integrative (complementary) therapies you may be using as part of your cancer treatment.

You can search for a Reiki practitioner through the International Association of Reiki Professionals.