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Reiki is a gentle, spiritual healing method that works by shaping the aura through touch.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: August 9, 2016

Reiki is a Japanese-inspired massage technique known as “palm healing,” since only the hands are used. The holistic method is meant to treat nervous system issues, high blood pressure, nausea, and respiratory, digestive, skin, blood, and metabolism disorders, though Reiki doesn’t have much weight in the scientific community.

Still, many Reiki clients say they feel a tingling sensation during the massage and believe in its mental and physical healing capabilities.

The origins of Reiki: Reiki was developed in the 1920s by a Japanese Buddhist and is considered an alternative form of medicine.

Benefits Of Reiki

Reiki enthusiasts credit the technique with relieving stress, anxiety and depression, reducing blood pressure and improving sleep habits. Keep in mind that a 2008 clinical study of Reiki found no health benefits, though the jury is still out.

What To Expect

During Reiki, you lie on a padded table as a massage therapist places their hands on your head, torso, back, knees, and feet . Contact with each body part lasts for three to five minutes.

In another, more ethereal version of Reiki, the massage therapist might never actually make contact with the skin, their hands hovering an inch over your body.

Reiki treatments make use of 12 to 20 hand positions, and the appointment can last anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes. Dress comfortably, though you will not need to remove clothing.

Specialized equipment: No special tools are needed for Reiki, though some practitioners light incense during the massage. Reiki recipients typically wear loose, comfortable clothing. Shoes are removed, so Reiki therapists appreciate the wearing of clean socks.

Recommended sessions: Reiki therapists say that multiple sessions have a cummulative effect.

Preparation: No particular preparations are necessary.


Reiki is a low-impact practice and is virtually risk-free.

Who wouldn't benefit: Because there is no direct manipulation of body tissue, Reiki is not suitable for people seeking relief from specific muscular and nerve pain.

Celebrity Devotees

Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie and Naomi Watts have all tried Reiki.

Find licensed and certified experts who offer Reiki near you