Research on Reiki is still limited in comparison to mainstream Western medicine. However, there are many studies that have shown statistically significant findings regarding the effectiveness of Reiki for pain management, stress, and a number of physical problems. Listed below is some of the existing research.
The Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine released an article in 2008 regarding the use of Reiki on lab rats. In this study, the use of Reiki was significantly effective in managing the heart rates of rats in stressed and unstressed conditions.
Researchers at UCLA noted Reiki was helpful in improving heart rate variability in individuals who had recently suffered from acute coronary syndrome. This was found to be statistically significant in comparison to individuals in a control group. Another study found Reiki to have positive reducing effects in individuals with hypertension.
A pilot study on the effects of Reiki on the autonomic nervous system revealed promising findings showing individuals who used this alternative therapy benefitted from decreased heart rate and diastolic blood pressure.
Reiki has also been linked to reduced burnout in mental health professionals.
A meta-analysis of two noncontact healing studies aimed to examine potential biases for such treatments suggests that Reiki is effective in improving wellbeing for subjects independent of placebo effect or bias.
A case study published by the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine was done on an individual with Hepatitis C types 1 and 2 as well as several other limiting conditions who was unresponsive to conventional treatment and given a 5% chance of clearing the virus by medical professionals. Using Reiki, he was able to clear the virus and remained clear after a follow up one year later.
One study notes theta brain wave coherence between experienced Reiki practitioners and recipients which may be an important factor in the effectiveness of such therapies.
This review article by Susan Thrane discusses the results of several research studies in regards to the effects of Reiki on pain perception and anxiety.
An article by Green Lotus is another resource with research regarding energy healing.