Reiki is an ancient Japanese practice that promotes healing by “laying on hands”. It is based on the concept that a life force energy flows through us, and that low levels of this energy causes ill-health.

The word ‘Reiki’ is made of two Japanese words: Rei which means “God’s wisdom” or “Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki can be translated as “spiritually guided life force energy”.(2016). Reiki: In Depth [online] National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Available at: [accessed 12 Sept. 2017].

The beneficial effects of Reiki are believed to be obtained from this “universal life energy” that practitioners channel to patients, providing strength, harmony and balance to the body and mind.

Practitioners position their hands in 12 to 15 different positions, which are held for two to five minutes each.

Reiki for mental health

Reiki has been shown to be helpful for pain management, as well as for anxiety and depression, and can be helpful to manage:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chronic pain
  • Sleep issues
  • Fatigue, P. (2013). Energy Therapies in Advanced Practice Oncology: An Evidence-Informed Practice Approach. [online] Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology, 4 (3), pp. 139-51. Available at: [accessed 12 Sept. 2017].