Pilot Crossover Trial of Reiki Versus Rest for Treating Cancer-Related Fatigue

I have been privileged to support people during their cancer journey with Reiki. Some were receiving treatment, others were, and still are, in remission. As I write this, those who I have assisted come to mind. Thank you for allowing me to support you on your journey.

Here is an abstract from a study that demonstrated that Reiki helped to reduce fatigue during cancer treatment and recovery. Future research may investigate the impact of Reiki using more highly controlled designs that include a sham Reiki condition and larger sample sizes.

Study Abstract:
Fatigue is an extremely common side effect experienced during cancer treatment and recovery. Limited research has investigated strategies stemming from complementary and alternative medicine to reduce cancer related fatigue.

This research examined the effects of Reiki, a type of energy touch therapy, on fatigue, pain, anxiety, and overall quality of life.

This study was a counterbalanced crossover trial of 2 conditions:
(1) in the Reiki condition, participants received Reiki for 5 consecutive daily sessions, followed by a 1-week washout monitoring period of no treatments, then 2 additional Reiki sessions, and finally 2 weeks of no treatments, and
(2) in the rest condition, participants rested for approximately 1 hour each day for 5 consecutive days, followed by a 1-week washout monitoring period of no scheduled resting and an additional week of no treatments.

In both conditions, participants completed questionnaires investigating cancer-related fatigue (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Fatigue subscale [FACT-F]) and overall quality of life (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy, General Version [FACT-G]) before and after all Reiki or resting sessions. They also completed a visual analog scale (Edmonton Symptom Assessment System [ESAS]) assessing daily tiredness, pain and anxiety before and after each session of Reiki or rest.

Sixteen patients (13 women) participated in the trial: 8 were randomized to each order of conditions (Reiki then rest; rest then Reiki). They were screened for fatigue on the ESAS tiredness item, and those scoring greater than 3 on the 0 to 10 scale were eligible for the study. They were diagnosed with a variety of cancers, most commonly colorectal (62.5%) cancer, and had a median age of 59 years. Fatigue on the FACT-F decreased within the Reiki condition (P=.05) over the course of all 7 treatments. In addition, participants in the Reiki condition experienced significant improvements in quality of life (FACT-G) compared to those in the resting condition (P<<.05). On daily assessments (ESAS) in the Reiki condition, presession 1 versus postsession 5 scores indicated significant decreases in tiredness (P<<.001), pain P<<.005), and anxiety (P<<.01),which were not seen in the resting condition. Future research should further investigate the impact of Reiki using more highly controlled designs that include a sham Reiki condition and larger sample sizes.

Cited in Integrative Cancer Therapies 6(1); 2007
For full article please visit: Sage Journals

Note: Reiki doesn’t replace conventional medical practices. It complements it.

Related articles:

Receive Reiki

Learn Reiki

Reiki helps to manage chronic fatigue syndrome

Reiki helps to manage grief

Reiki eases muscle pain, fatigue and poor sleep

Reiki helps C.C. recover from a stroke