Sunday, November 4, 2007

This presentation is part of : Complementary and Alternative Care
An Integrative Review of Reiki Touch Therapy: Implications for Nursing Practice and Research
Anne T. Vitale, MSN, APRN, BC, College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA
Learning Objective #1: to determine how to use Reiki in nursing practice given the status of the research evidence
Learning Objective #2: to identify useful methodological approaches for Reiki research


Reiki Touch Therapy is a complementary biofield therapy that involves the use of hands

to help strengthen the body’s ability to heal. There is growing interest among nurses to

use Reiki in patient care and as a self-treatment, with little supportive research and

evidence to substantiate these practices. Given specific search limits utilized during the

review, only 16 peer-reviewed articles from 1980-2006 met the established criteria.

Selected investigations using this therapy for its effects on stress, relaxation response,

pain, wound healing among others is summarized with specific direction for clinical

nursing practice, including hand positions and length of treatment. Based on the

evidence, there is a weak state of knowledge about the use of Reiki for stress/relaxation

management depression and wound healing, but research with Reiki and pain

management is promising. Confusion in what constitutes credible energy work research

is a common criticism challenging Reiki use within our Western, allopathic model of

health care. The field of energy work does not readily lend itself to traditional scientific

analysis or strictly linear research methods because paradoxical findings are common.

Synthesis of findings for future Reiki research direction is explored. A Summary of

Reiki Studies Table illustrates study descriptions and Reiki treatment protocols

specified in the investigations and is available as a handout.