How it works

Reiki touch therapy originates from Japan and involves the use of a therapist’s hands to help strengthen the body’s ability to heal. The healer’s hands are believed to channel energy, known as chi, around the body, which enables self-healing and a state of equilibrium.

What it could help:

Anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia.

Evidence base:

Currently there is very little evidence to suggest that reiki is an effective treatment for any condition. Recent reviews of studies suggested that no joint conclusions could be reached from the evidence available. A few small studies have suggested that reiki reduces heart rate and blood pressure, which can be raised by stress, but these have not been replicated or supported by other reports. It may be that the experience of relaxing for an hour and being touched gently can be soothing.

What to expect:

Essentially, all you have to do is lie down or sit comfortably, on a couch. No clothes are removed as reiki energy can apparently go through any material. The specialist would then place their hands on your body in a sequence of specified positions, holding each for a few minutes. This continues for an hour as reiki treats the whole person and not specific symptoms. Reiki practitioners usually carry this out in their clinics but some offer home visits if it is more relaxing.


Reiki is generally safe and has few side effects. Be sure to contact a qualified reiki specialist and be comfortable with them before any treatment to ensure safe therapy.

Find out more:

Find a therapist:

Reiki training comes in three levels. Most therapists will have done at least first-degree reiki, which permits them to practice reiki and teaches the main elements of energy flow and hand positions. Second-degree training teaches more advanced energy flow techniques, and the third – master reiki-level is for practitioners who wish to teach others. Be sure to get proof of their training and that their skills complement your needs. Phone a therapist and have a chat before committing yourself. You can find reiki therapists here:


Varies depending on the practitioner and the duration of treatment. One hour starts at £50.

How does reiki work? – VIDEO

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